Thanks Emma and Candida for hosting an excellent 10th anniversary meeting last night, a fine celebration of our first decade. It was a packed agenda so straight on with business….
Farewell, My Lovely was a big hit – very different to this year’s other books, some might even say refreshing. The atmosphere and sense of place came across brilliantly in his short, vivid descriptions, and the way he made the characters come to life in a few words was really well done. There was some confusion as to what was going on in a few places, partly due to Ray’s spare writing, and we also found some of his language and attitudes a bit difficult, but very much of its time (published 1940). His animal similes were well liked, and some lovely set pieces — the medium’s house, the boat in the harbour and the Grayle’s house being particular favourites. All in all, excellent choice, and interesting to read an author who has inspired so many other authors and film makers. Fans of Ray may also like The Big Sleep, written the year before.
So on to anniversary business, and congratulations to Emma on winning the raffle, your book token will be with you shortly.
The best and worst books of the year turned out to be less contentious than usual, we didn’t even have one fight over it. I am happy to report that the book of the year was The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth, with The Mayor of Casterbridge the runner-up. At the other end of the scale, in joint last place, were The Transit of Venus and The Git.
And finally the very exciting new addition for this year’s anniversary, the quiz, which I think turned out to be more difficult than expected. So well done to Gillian on a very worthy win, hope you enjoy your prize. Also congratulations to John for his creditable second place in a closely fought contest. Special mention to Emma for getting the last question completely right! Quiz questions and answers available here for anyone who wants to have a go.
After all that excitement we still had to reveal books for next time and here they are:
Friday 8th March
Underground, Overground by Andrew Martin
Friday 12th April
The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie
Choosing next time for the May book club: Ruth.