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Book of the Month: and May's musical winner is....DIAMOND STAR HALO by Tiffany Murray (discussion Tue 25 May)

(40 Posts)
TillyBookClub Mon 26-Apr-10 11:02:13

Message withdrawn

MayorNaze Mon 26-Apr-10 19:33:22

so whats the craic with book club? do i just read the book and then post thoughtful insight at the appropriate time? i think i should like to join...if that's ok...

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 28-Apr-10 13:28:17

I missed the voting - have only just discovered book club. Not sure I want to give this one a go though - would never pick it up from the shelf.

FOOBIE Thu 29-Apr-10 01:05:17

I voted for this book - a friend recommended it to me so I thought I'd give it a go. What can I say - it's beautiful, funny, touching and eccentric. Try it, you'll love it and fall in love with all it's characters.

yUMMYmUMMYb Thu 29-Apr-10 18:09:03

i am also new to the bookclub and wouldn't consider this book normally, but i think that is the whole point of a bookclub - to widen your reading horizons. i've just ordered it, looking forward to getting started.

PfftTheMagicDragon Thu 29-Apr-10 21:49:13

<grumbles> ok then

TillyBookClub Wed 05-May-10 12:23:34

MayorNaze and yUMMYmUMMYb - very happy to have you. The craic is exactly like you say: have a read, come onto this thread at 8pm on Tue 25 May, and post your thoughts - plus have a gander at what everyone else thought.

If you fancy a look at previous chats, here is last month's chat and the author webchat with Sarah Waters.

Plus...the excellent news is that Tiffany Murray will be joining us that evening to answer all your questions. She's coming direct from the Hay Literary Festival, so will be on fire and ready to tackle a demanding audience...

MrsvWoolf Tue 11-May-10 00:35:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coderooo Sat 22-May-10 13:07:53

why did you make me buy it
its so crap

Coderooo Sat 22-May-10 13:08:26

in fact the book clubs reccys are goign down hill! what are oyu lot on - last years books were SO much better

Aliarse Sun 23-May-10 18:42:53

I have got it out the library and am finding the nana quite irritating already. In fact all the over-egged imagery is a bit much for me. And why use a short description when a much longer one with lots of metaphors is an option? Not sure if I'll finish it. Sorry. (am going out tuesday)

TillyBookClub Mon 24-May-10 09:49:41

Aliarse and coderooo, sorry its not your cup of tea. The flip side of the voting system, the winner not being everyone's first choice. Last month's winner (Brooklyn by Colm Toibin) was universally worshipped so it is hit and miss.

Tell me your top authors or best books and I'll find out if we can get the authors on in the coming months (or find books that are similar).

Coderooo Mon 24-May-10 09:51:22

i hate the welsh crap
and the "ooh we are so cool" naming of the horses
uttelry unbelievable

Coderooo Mon 24-May-10 09:51:37

yes i liked colms

TillyBookClub Mon 24-May-10 09:55:17

Colm was phenomenal. I'm on the hunt for more like that.

Which other authors would you like to have?

And have you voted for June's choice yet? My vote is on Damned United.

TillyBookClub Mon 24-May-10 10:48:45

Given the comments above, I think probably best if we discuss the book amongst ourselves, and get to the bottom of what everyone did and didn't like.

So I've cancelled our author chat, and it'll be just us.

See you tomorrow at 8.

chicadee Tue 25-May-10 06:40:09

I really enjoyed this, I kept sneaking off to read it. It's all about fahmlee innit.

TillyBookClub Tue 25-May-10 11:54:03

Whatever your feelings on the book, don't forget to come and share them here tonight at 8. Got a feeling it might be a lively discussion.

See you later...

MayorNaze Tue 25-May-10 16:47:15

i couldn't find this book for love nor money in the shops or the library eithr shock
so have fun tonight and will hopefuly join you next time.

i know i could've gone on amazon but its a bit like pringles to me...once you pop you can't stop...blush grin

TillyBookClub Tue 25-May-10 19:59:30

Okaaay, here goes. Haven't seen such strong feelings about a bookclub book before, so hoping that everyone puts their view in. For what its worth, here is mine:

I didn't get on with it very well. I didn't like it as much as her first one. I hadn't read Diamond Star Halo before choosing the selection, but had included it with Hornby, Tremain and Patchett because it came well recommended and I'd enjoyed Happy Accidents, her debut. But my heart sank on the first evening, when I somehow couldn't get past the workings of it, I saw it as all 'creative writing' and no original truth or direct emotion coming from the author.

I have definitely read brilliant books that felt quite laboured (Saturday by Ian McEwan for me has a lot of artifice and not much true heart) but McEwan is so innately himself, so perfectly styled, that I join him anyway. Here, I couldn't join in. It didn't ring true. I didn't believe an American rock chick would call Halo 'kiddo' and I didn't believe Nana would call her 'sunbeam' either. I kept seeing every metaphor or image as a worked-upon piece writing rather than reality.

I'm properly sad about it because I wanted to like it, I thought the premise of a rural rock romance was great, and I also feel I've let many of you down by including a book that I now don't feel I would recommend.

But it has provoked many thoughts about what makes writing turn from a visible art (whether well done or not) into an invisible, magical spell.

It may be unfair to compare with last months book, Brooklyn, but the values of Colm's writing - its simplicity, subtlety, psychological precision and insight - were the exact things I missed in this months read. Colm's writing was deeply moving without seeming to move a muscle; Tiffany had all manner of colours and noises and tricks but I couldn't feel or see anything.


I have huge respect for anyone who undertakes the massive effort to complete a book and I think that if Tiffany wanted to express part of herself or her upbringing through writing then that is her deal. I'm just sorry that I couldn't join in.

What did everyone else feel about the writing style?

chicadee, what was it that made you like it most? the subject? or the writing?

coderoo, were there bits that you liked?

yUMMYmUMMYb Tue 25-May-10 20:07:05

Given this was the book that was chosen from a shortlist by many people i don't think you should blame yourself TillyBookClub.
I did not pick it myself, and although i didn't particularly enjoy the book i found it did make me think a lot more about any book i have read in a long time.
I would completely agree that i was distracted from the story by the creative writing style. Perhaps i am just used to page turning books that i have chosen myself.
Although i wasn't hugely into the book i did find the part where Nana was giving Mum the special brew quite emotional.

TillyBookClub Tue 25-May-10 20:09:36

Er, anyone there? Has there been a total boycott this month?

yUMMYmUMMYb Tue 25-May-10 20:12:47

On a positive note, it has made me think about reading her first book "Happy Accidents" as loads of people have told me that it was good. Perhaps too high expectations set for this book because her first was so good.
Any other authors who have written fab first books and followed it up with not so good seconds?

TillyBookClub Tue 25-May-10 20:16:36

Hooray, I'm not alone...

Distracted is a good word for it. And I do think that it makes you wonder how the brilliant books are created, what it is that separates a believable phrase from a constructed one. And how is it that some characters seem to exist when others don't ever make it into 3D.

It is something to do with the rhythm of the sentences. And the weird paradox of someone saying something you've always thought, but in a way you've never been able to think of.

JSL Tue 25-May-10 20:21:01

Hello everyone,

this is the first time i have been on an on line book club i like the idea.....

i enjoyed the book but can see why it could be annoying because everyone wanted to be so cool.

Fred was a real pain and i did not like the way everyone worshipped him!!

I liked the 'fahmlee' stuff it seemed very old fashioned.

i was a bit mad with halo as she did not do very much only grew up and lived her life through every one else.

Nana was hilarious especially the Elvis stuff and her potions that were likely to poison everyone.

min was funny to so rude!!

probably more to say later...

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