Book of the month: and April's Irish winner is... BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin (discussion Tue 27 April)

(93 Posts)

The magnificent BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin has shot to the top of April's poll, with Sebastian Barry in second place.

We'll get together here on Tuesday 27 April 8.00 - 9.30 pm to discuss the book.

I am contacting the publisher now to see if Mr Toibin might be able to join us on the night so fingers crossed...

And for anyone new to bookclub, here is how it works

SuSylvester Mon 29-Mar-10 11:32:16

OMG
please do
i haev questions about the characters

TheFirstLady Mon 29-Mar-10 17:19:42

Count me in. I loved Brooklyn. And I have questions for Mr T.

DecorHate Tue 30-Mar-10 16:27:08

Hmm now just need to find a plausible excuse for spending an evening on the computer!

MonkeyChicken Wed 31-Mar-10 09:30:01

Ha, ha. I'm quite new to book club and was amused to see the power of mumsnet. I had a look online to see if my local library had a copy of Brooklyn. The local council had 23 copies and there are already 19 reservations in place, obviously I need to be quicker off the mark!

frankie3 Wed 31-Mar-10 16:00:53

Yes! I have just finished reading this.

Phrenology Wed 31-Mar-10 21:54:29

What an interesting juxtaposition.....

The current cover for Brooklyn is the one one that was used for the hardback edition of Rachel Heaths book The Finest Type of English Womanhood. confused

Essaye Thu 01-Apr-10 15:51:37

Great, started reading this last month and as I'm a bit bad at giving myself time to read I might have got it finished by then. Fingers Crossed.

I'm about a third of the way through it, and have mixed feelings about it currently.

wukter Sun 04-Apr-10 22:17:30

I read it a couple of months ago, details are alittle hazy now but it did feel a little anti-climactic.

JuneMum2be Mon 05-Apr-10 19:45:24

Loved this book, took it on holidays only last week and could not put it down until I finished!Characters were so charming and warm.Only thought I had was the ending seems to lead to a follow up book....or leaving me wondering if it was just a one off for the main characters'story? Was I the only one wanting a little more at the end?

ItsAllaBitNoisy Mon 05-Apr-10 23:10:15

Bought Brooklyn today.

PLEASE do Sebastian Barry another time, it's gorgeous.

(Also, when contacting Mr Tóibín - don't forget the fadas - it might help get him!)

wukter Tue 06-Apr-10 22:19:07

How do you do fadas, IAABN?

Sorry for hijack!

ItsAllaBitNoisy Tue 06-Apr-10 22:41:43

CTRL+ALT+the vowel

CTRL+ALT+a = á

Leptin Mon 12-Apr-10 11:06:53

I absolutely adored this book. I read the last third of it in one sitting, with my heart in my mouth. Can't wait to hear what everyone else thought of the ending.

ItsAllaBitNoisy Mon 12-Apr-10 20:06:18

I'm struggling tbh. Should finish it tonight.

morningpaper Mon 12-Apr-10 20:13:27

I have nearly finished this.

It is GREAT.

I didn't realise Colm was a man's name blush - I thought the book seemed like it was written by a woman.

I think he captures a woman's feelings very well, especially the bitchiness of the lodging house.

I am slightly scarred by the vomiting scenes early in the book though <faints>

Leptin Wed 14-Apr-10 10:52:13

My DH is reading it now. I think he's a bit bored by it. He said last night, 'Girl leaves Ireland, girl throws up on boat, girl gets job in shop - so bloody what?'
Then I started a discussion about how it is the little details that make it important. It could be the story of any one of the countless immigrants to the US during the 20th century, it is 'personalising' history. He disagreed, and feels that the book is not adding anything to the retrospective narrative of immigration.
I think he may abandon it soon in favour of something with burning helicopters on every page.

ItsAllaBitNoisy Wed 14-Apr-10 13:20:24

I agree with your DH. I didn't enjoy it at all I'm afraid.

I watched "Little Island" on BBC4 last night and loved it - about Jamaican/UK emigration, so maybe it's because I'm Irish and have read lots about Irish/US emigration that it bored me?

FifiMac13 Thu 15-Apr-10 00:58:59

I loved this book and didn't want it to end. I'm with you Leptin - so tense by the end my hands were shaking as they gripped the book! I loved the way Colm Tóibín swung my expectations and sympathies; not wanting Eilis to be persuaded to abandon Tony but then wishing she could get out of their marriage and stay in Ennisworthy with Jim and her mother. I loved the period detail, but it is much more than a book about 1950s emigration. He writes so accurately and movingly about how circumstances hold our desires captive.

sophable Thu 15-Apr-10 02:23:15

just finished this by fluke...looking forward to discussion!

fairfield09 Thu 15-Apr-10 10:05:40

My husband picked up this book in a library in New Hampshire while on holiday in October - his only suggestion for a name for our baby and annoyingly perfect. I read the book on my return and loved it. I am now 40+5 and if the baby is a boy it will be Colm, if a girl Eilis.

I am very much looking forward to the book group discussion and hope that by then i will know whether i have a Colm or Eilis.

FifiMac13 Thu 15-Apr-10 16:46:16

I was just raving about this book to an Irish friend today and she told me Colm means 'dove'. It's a beautiful name - so is Eilis - good luck!

raggie Mon 19-Apr-10 18:38:19

Hello - I'm new to book club but I just read Brooklyn on holiday last week and looking forward to our discussion, especially if with Colm Tóibín! (The keyboard shortcuts didn't work on my Mac but I copied and pasted)

I agree with lots of what's been said, both good and bad but I think it's meaty enough to provoke a good discussion and that's what we want isn't it?

Sweet to hear it's influenced your choice of names fairfield smile

And ItsAllABitNoisy - you mean Small Island don't you? I watched it on iPlayer after its first showing and thought it was great. I had previously tried to read the book and not got through it well but think I'll give it another go now you've reminded me. The only thing was I thought the ending of the film was a bit cheesy, especially with the OTT detail letting us know it's the 90s or 2000s or whatever - LOOK a boy on a skateboard! And someone with headphones! ... Just because the rest was particularly well done, I thought. But perhaps it's because I wasn't around in the 1950s and anyone who was would think those bits were a bit hammy?

ItsAllaBitNoisy Mon 19-Apr-10 19:47:05

Oh bugger you raggie! I've only watched the first part - second part is on tomorrow night! I'm trying to count backwards so I can forget what I've just read. grin

Sorry for off-topicness. I won't join in the discussion, as I seem to be in a minority here and don't want to "diss" the author.

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