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April Discussion Selection List

(31 Posts)
Freddiecat Fri 02-Apr-04 15:24:36

(This is April as in following on from March - we won't neccessarily finish in April!).

This next selection list is drawn from the Granta Top 20 young novelists published in 2003. (Granta publish such a list every 10 years). I have selected a cross section of 4 books buy 4 different authors. All are available in paperback (many of these authors have new books coming out this year).

I have given some short synopses - taken from various places. I suggest for more in depth reviews you check these out yourself (rather than having really long posts on here).

How about we try and decide by the end of next week then start a discussion going on Monday 26th April (this gives people time to buy the book and read to a roughly half-way point.

Books to follow:

Freddiecat Fri 02-Apr-04 15:29:49

Hari Kunzru
The Impressionist
In India, at the birth of the last century, an infant is brought howling into the world, his remarkable paleness marking him out from his brown-skinned fellows. Revered at first, he is later cast out form his wealthy home when his true parentage is revealed. So begins Pran Nath's odyssey of self-discovery - a journey that will take him from the streets of Agra, via the red light district of Bombay, to the green lawns of England and beyond - as he struggles to understand who he really is.

David Mitchell
Oblivious to the bizarre ways in which their lives intersect, nine characters — a terrorist in Okinawa, a record-shop clerk in Tokyo, a money-laundering British financier in Hong Kong, an old woman running a tea shack in China, a transmigrating "noncorpum" entity seeking a human host in Mongolia, a gallery-attendant-cum-art-thief in Petersburg, a drummer in London, a female physicist in Ireland, and a radio deejay in New York — hurtle toward a shared destiny of astonishing impact.

Rachel Sieffert
The Dark Room
The Dark Room tells the stories of three ordinary Germans: Helmut, a young photographer in Berlin in the 1930s who uses his craft to express his patriotic fervour; Lore, a twelve-year-old girl who in 1945 guides her young siblings across a devastated Germany after her Nazi parents are seized by the Allies; and, fifty years later, Micha, a young teacher obsessed with what his loving grandfather did in the war, struggling to deal with the past of his family and his country.

Sarah Waters
The third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. It begins in a grimy thieves kitchen in Borough, South London with 17-year-old orphan Susan Trinder. She has been raised by Mrs Sucksby, a cockney Ma Baker, in a household of fingersmiths (pickpockets), coiners and burglars.

Good places for reviews are:
Amazon or Powells in the States.

Freddiecat Mon 05-Apr-04 17:16:31

Bumping this up in case people missed it.

Ouisie Mon 05-Apr-04 20:24:46

I'd love to read Fingersmith - I've been eyeing it off in Waterstones but keep thinking I won't have time!!! Before I came to London from Oz, her other book ?Tipping the Velvet was on telly; didn't see it but it looked good.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 05-Apr-04 20:28:30

I like the sound of the dark room

jmb1964 Tue 06-Apr-04 00:25:51

Not sure if this is open to anyone, but I like the idea of Fingersmith too - have been thinking of buying it to take on holiday at Easter anyway.

jmb1964 Tue 06-Apr-04 00:27:19

Dur - just read the other thread - OK I'm in!

Bron Tue 06-Apr-04 15:05:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tex111 Tue 06-Apr-04 17:35:55

They all look really interesting but I'd have to say either Fingersmith or The Impressionist.

AussieSim Tue 06-Apr-04 18:21:19

The Dark Room - v interested living in germany married to a german etc.

Marina Tue 06-Apr-04 19:29:40

Really happy with any of these, have read and enjoyed Fingersmith and The Dark Room, both excellent. Fingersmith is an "easier" read IMO and has the edge for me on that alone!

rsv1000r Tue 06-Apr-04 20:12:27

I quite fancy 'Ghostwritten', but I seem to be in the minority! All of them sound ok so will read whatever the group finally decide on.

Allegra Tue 06-Apr-04 20:16:12

Dont count this as a vote since I've only started Possession and probably wont be joining in the discussion but I want to say that Ghostwritten is one of the most intriguing and fascinating books I've read recently. It is a bit strange but definitely worth the read.

Evita Tue 06-Apr-04 21:26:00

The Dark Room or Ghostwritten would suit me best. I've read Fingersmith, v. easy to read and enjoyable tale with lots of twists I didn't foresee. So if you chose that one maybe I could join in the discussion?

Codswallop Tue 06-Apr-04 21:26:46

I liked the dark room

Codswallop Tue 06-Apr-04 21:27:01

(not that i am in the club!)

Saskia909 Wed 07-Apr-04 22:37:10

Saw this in the Mumsnet newsletter - what a good idea to have a book club and I haven't posted for ages so a way to get back in! I have read The Dark Room and thought it was amazing and I have Ghostwirtten on my shelf waiting to read so I would vote for that one. I'm up for the Indian one, but after seeing Tipping the Velvet I can't say I fancy Fingersmith.....

Natt Thu 08-Apr-04 17:26:53

Fancy Ghostwritten as been meaning to read it and would be v diff from possession. Do we have to join the club?

bron42 Tue 13-Apr-04 17:09:10

Hi New to MN. Would like to join the book club. Could anyone explain the set-up. Many thanks.

neetsmassi Tue 13-Apr-04 17:15:15

Could I join please - I would choose Fingersmith

dinosaur Tue 13-Apr-04 17:17:15

Can I vote for The Dark Room please.

Grommit Tue 13-Apr-04 17:19:31

I have read Fingersmith - it is great - would highly recommend!

Mirage Tue 13-Apr-04 21:02:55

I loved Fingersmith too,couldn't put it down.

Carriel Wed 14-Apr-04 19:15:15

Sorry to be a bit behind the times but wanting to give the book cluba plug on the homepage tomorrow and not sure what the official current book under discussion is - can anyone enlighten me?

Freddiecat Wed 14-Apr-04 20:29:53

Hello all - sorry for the delay in posting. I'm away and the internet connection is a bit unreliable.

OK the votes are as follows:
Fingersmith - 7 votes
The Dark Room - 5 votes
Ghostwritten - 4 votes
The Impressionist - 1 vote

So we shall go with Fingersmith.

It should be easy to get hold of. Again - please don't start discussing it online until 26th April - just to let everyone get a hold of it.

Also this time could people post (on this thread) when they are getting near to finishing and we shall try to arrange a live discussion time.

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