Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writing and thinking is not economically sustainable.

Cat. Theatre Royal car park, Campbell Street, Hobart. September 2013.

Sunday Book Club? That's right, SUNDAY Book Club!

Great Granny Webster, Caroline Blackwood: What an odd little book. Essentially a psychological analysis of how one person (in this case the obdurate matriarch of a clan) can inflict emotional damage across generations. The titular Great Granny is stuck in the "correctness" of her own Victorian youth. Her daughter is driven mad and talks to the fairies. Her granddaughter parties all night, smokes all day, and parties obsessively. She also constantly attempts suicide. Deceptively concise, this one is a sleeper. Recommended. B.

Strangers on the 16:02, Priya Basil: A short novel, this reads more like synopsis for a new novel than a complete work. Painted in broad strokes, it does a reasonable job in constructing three very different characters, reaching a climax between the three, then it ends. Frustrating. C-.

I, Claudius, Robert Graves: Romans had different ideas about family and politics than modern people. For example, in this historical novel, I lost track of how many of the main and secondary characters had been taken out by poisoning, bludgeoning, or neglect. Mothers kill their daughters by walling them up in a room and listening to them starve to death, grandmothers gradually poisoning grandsons, and emperors get their jaws hacked off by assassins. Rank, kinship or success didn't seem to protect Romans from an inevitable and unnatural death. Riveting. B.

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