Saturday, December 02, 2006

Book club, December

I know several folks read Amazing Adventures, and I've even had private chats with a few people about the themes of the book. But the comments have been sparse, so I wonder if it's worth trying something different.

Come to this blog and click this link to open a chat window at 5:00 pm MST on Sunday Dec 3, to join in a lively discussion on AAKC. In this chat we'll decide the book club title for December. If you can't make it to the chat, please comment your preference for a December title here.


santorio said...

i have been off-line for several days on a business trip, to of all places, gotham itself.

AAKC is, well, amazing. it will stay with me for a long time, and i will be posting on it if for no other reason than to help me clarify my own reactions to it.

unless decisions were made yesterday, i suggest no book club for december, such a busy month, and try again in january, perhaps a shorter book [not that i would have wanted AAKC to be any shorter].

sammy lives!

Scot said...

In my defense, I did buy the book and Intended to read it :-).

With all your reviews though, I hope I can make time over the holiday break.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

Like the many others I too enjoyed the novel very much. My one regret was the end. Logically I understood his decision, but my heart was deeply saddened. I think it has mostly to do with the fact that it is my kids who keep me as sane as I am (although I am sure they would be happy to debate otherwise (though you may have to explain sane and insanity to them as that is a concept that I am not sure they get)) :-)

I most certainly will be looking to read the other novels writen by the author.

I did have one question about the book - How the hell does the Golem arrive Joe's place in NY after all that. I dont get it - was it addressed to him mystically?

santorio said...

i had the same question and kept looking over that part to see if i had missed anything. i think, loyalist, that it may be as you suggest, the author's intent to keep the supernatural in play, just at a time when so many other loose ends are being tied up. or, we can assume that as part of joe's fascination with the subject of golems he had it arranged. though how could he have made those arrangments in such short time?

John Galt said...

L - I missed the chat. Did it work? Things have been crazy for me. Sorry.

What I like best about this book club is now I feel like we all have one more thing in common - our friends Joe and Sam and Rosa. I love them.

And I wasn't disappointed about the end as many seem to have been. Not at all. I think it was inevitable... and Loyalist, I understand about what you've said about your kids... but that's the point here. Tommy wasn't Sam's and he knew it. And even though he loved him, there was a disconnect. I think Sam was miserable inside. Regretting, but too loyal and possibly too afraid to make a change. Joe coming back FREED him of his obligation. I didn't feel bad at all. I felt relieved for Sam. At first I was sick that he was so ashamed of himself after the dining room table incident that he went undercover with Rosa. But really, was that his motive anyway - to run away from his "feelings" considering the social implications? Was he that great of a coward? Or was it out of duty to protect Rosa, being single and with a child back in those days when it was a shameful thing. And to offer her protection, to "save" her and her child. He always wanted to be a super hero. It was more likely a combination of the two I think.

When I read this book the first time I was with Isaac and I was frustrated that Sam let his man go away to LA without him. I think he lived regretting it. He lived loving Bacon. And once Bacon died, he realized how much he had wasted.

But now, with a different perspective, maybe he wanted to be a "father" and live a "normal" life badly enough to give the dream up. How far does "true love" get us anyhow?

That's a rhetorical question. Because for me, it goes a LONG way.

-L- said...

I got the impression, despite the caveats about being a supposedly poor father for spending little time with him, that Sammy was a great dad to Tommy. They had a lifetime of shared experiences and Sammy clearly loved him. That alone makes the idea that he could just up and walk away sort of repulsive to me. Same with Rosa. Sure, it's an awful situation that Joe is back and she's still in love with him. I don't see a great alternative to the way things worked out, but Sammy and Rosa had much deeper and longer relationship--the kind of experiences that love is REALLY made of--than Joe did. So, I thought the ending sucked for that despite that it was billed as a "happy" one.

santorio said...

the ending fits well with me. tommy's comment that the 'bed isn't big enough for both of us' is a metaphor for what we have all told our parents and will in turn hear from our chidren: 'i love you but i have my own life now; i don't need you in my bed [i.e. your physical presence] anymore.'

during college summers i went home only if i absolutely could not find anything else to do. it never occurred to me that my parents just might like having me around. i needed their moral and financial support but not their physical presence.

tommy's half-awake, half-asleep comment gave sammy the permission to pursue his own life after 12 years of sacrifice.

to me the end is full of resolutions and wonderful: four people who i came to love each starting a new world.

-L- said...

I can see that's what Chabon was going for, sure. But I can't quite dispel my disbelief. Adolescence is a time to slowly separate from parents, but that process is a rough one and takes several years, not just an overnight release from obligation. I wish I could just accept the happy ending intended, but it's hard for me.

santorio said...

the problem, L, is that you need more practice in 'disbelief:'

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland.

i mean, isn't this what daily scripture reading is all about? ; )

Stenar said...

Y'all should read "The Charioteer" by Mary Renault.

The Charioteer

-L- said...

That does look like a very interesting book. Actually though, I was kind of hoping everyone would lean toward something not so gay for a break.

Stenar, you can join the club and chime in, you know. ;-)

Stenar said...

Thanks for the offer of joining in the book club. I've been swamped lately and haven't had much chance to "chime in" on much of anything.