August 2016

The Sound of Things FallingOur August book was the well-reviewed and prize-winning novel, The Sound of Things Falling, by Juan Gabriel Vásquez. It was published in 2011 and translated into English in 2014. Although Vásquez was born in Colombia and is now living in Bogotá, he had written this novel while living in Europe. He stated that he did not want to write the usual romanticized book about South America, but wanted to realistically portray his country’s violent and cruel history. So this fictionalized account is about the time when the drug trade in Columbia was at its worst, affecting everyone’s lives, both directly and by association.

Antonio Yammara, a law lecturer, had been seriously wounded in a shooting which killed his billiards companion, Ricardo Laverde. Consequently, Antonio becomes depressed, which contributes to his failing marriage. He becomes obsessed with his companion’s murder, which he solves after meeting Laverde’s daughter, Maya.

The story’s structure works well and the timeline is a successful and interesting narrative device. The title is especially apt regarding plane crashes, aggressive traffic, gun shots, the crash of billiard balls and the compelling black box recording that the characters obtained.
We all commented on the author’s excellent writing, and his delightful turn of phrase, for example, ‘members of our litter’ to describe the young Colombians. Their shared experiences were not easily understood by outsiders, like Antonio’s young wife, Aura, who lacked empathy with his post-traumatic stress.
We agreed Vásquez successfully portrays Colombia’s troubled past. Claudia, who had read the book in its original Spanish, said that he writes in an easy-to-read modern version of  the language sensitively. We thought the English translation depicts the idiom perfectly. Most of the members of our bookclub liked the book, a rare occurrence, and some said that they would read him again.
For more information, see review by Edmund White in the New York Times. He called this novel a ‘deep meditation of fate and death’.

Next month we get together on the 12th at 6:30pm to discuss The Watchtower by Elizabeth Harrower. Hope to see you there and happy reading!

Ratings: Alexa 3, Claudia 3.5, Denise 3.5, Di 2.5, Gail 3, Janet DNF, Kim 3.5, Margie 3, Nicola 3 and Penny 3.5.

About Us

We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.

ceramicWe meet at the 1920s heritage Ceramic House, Bischof Park, Nerang St, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. excluding Public Holidays. A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device, switch to desktop view.

CONTACT DETAILS

We meet from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every month at the heritage listed CERAMIC HOUSE located on Bischoff Park, Nerang Street (next corner White St), Nerang next door to shops at 54 Nerang Street. Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save