MoFo Book Club: July 2022

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The Adventure Starts Here!
Started it this morning. This fellow is an actual writer, not to be confused with a storyteller, who just throws words on a page to tell a tale. Not on a level with say, a Thomas Wolfe, but much closer than most of the authors I have read. Elegant use of language here, even if the material is morbid and mysterious. Good so far!
I am thinking the same thing. But I also know there is a fine line between elegant writing and self-absorbed "look at meee!" writing. He's skating on the right side so far. So far. (I'm about 21% done.)

I have, though, found a handful of proofreading errors so far. Then again, I usually do.



A system of cells interlinked
I am thinking the same thing. But I also know there is a fine line between elegant writing and self-absorbed "look at meee!" writing. He's skating on the right side so far. So far. (I'm about 21% done.)

I have, though, found a handful of proofreading errors so far. Then again, I usually do.
I did a little reading and found out this guy has no formal schooling/training when it comes to his writing. That's pretty awesome considering the results. 61 pages in and cruising along - I should finish this one up fairly quickly.

OK, am I correct in thinking Austruck is the last person to not have a book chosen for the club, or Thracian as well? In either case, we should next read a book chosen by someone who hasn't had a book picked yet...
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"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



A system of cells interlinked
I am somewhere around chapter 42, and was close to tossing this book in the DNF pile this morning. I will soldier on, but... we shall see if I make it through!



Can you spot the “I” in Team?
My copy finally arrived on Wednesday. Currently around chapter 22 . . . the same DNF thought flickered with me . . . building up all that momentum in the first book then simply dropping it; then jumping forward to start all over again with everyone 15 years older in the second book was a weird choice.



A system of cells interlinked
I finished it up.

I will hold my comments until Thracian finishes. I am back into the Moore book for now as I wait for the next title.



I'm still chipping away at it, after having to get a replacement copy. I've also just been really busy and my leisure reading time has been shorter this month. I feel bad because it was my suggestion! I'm trying to finish it this week.



I'm close, but not quite done yet.

Please go ahead and discuss if you want.

Again, I apologize for not finishing in a timely manner.

I will say this about it, in mostly a good way it has managed to consistently surprise me.



Can you spot the “I” in Team?
First of all, I liked the dense prose. The previous books seemed to have had churned out feel, like after they got an outline accepted by a publisher, six months later they delivered a final draft, this one feels like it was re-written, re-tooled, puzzled over.

I liked the evocative title, I was hoping for an explication, and near the end we get one. The reporter hears (some of the wiser) residents around him in his neighborhood are boarding up for the impending hurricane. He likens it to the sound of building coffins, yet these are their homes and afterwards when the storm has passed they will return to live in their . . . caskets.

The author also took actual elements and people from New Orleans history. The mass lynching of 1891. There actually was a Buddy Bolden who took the ragtime sound into jass, then others moved the jass sound into jazz. When some yankee music company up north offered the black musicians a chance to record, but they all passed on the deal but Dominick Carolla of the Jim Jan Jump orchestra agreed to their offer and scored himself a little early fame.



Okay, finally completely finished!

This post will contain MAJOR SPOILERS!!!


Ultimately I really liked this novel. I thought that the characters were well developed and, like I said earlier, it packed quite a few surprises. That sequence with Jim, Dropsy, and West felt like it came out of nowhere, even though there had actually been some good foreshadowing.

I was also not prepared for what happened to the various Morningstars around the 300 page mark.

Now, at first I was kind of mixed on the last 100 pages. It felt a bit too cutesy having the reporters basically spell out and confirm what we'd seen right before and it felt too meta.

But what really salvaged it for me was the very final sequence, told from the point of view of Nobody, in which we finally learn about his part in it all and specifically why he's so keen on finding "his fish."

A solid
+ for me. It took me a little while to get through the book, but I didn't dislike it. It was the kind of writing that I wanted to take a bit slower to make sure I was picking up on all that was being said.



A system of cells interlinked
First, I want to quickly comment on my earlier sort of random DNF comments in this month's thread. I am glad I finished the book, and those comments were thrown out there after a couple sequences in the book that really annoyed me: The icky scene with Typhus and his real father, and the chapter about the cure, which at the time, came across to me like a thinly-veiled political rant. At times, I need to remind myself that I can still enjoy art that doesn't align with my worldview. I am just getting crotchety in my old age!

My irritation with those sections was short-lived, and really, I enjoyed the rest of the book immensely. The authored unbridled creatively was on full display, and his raw, from-the-hip writing style was refreshing - I especially enjoyed his bold move to drop a lot of the "he/she said" indicators in his dialogue - I think it shows the author's respect for his readers.

His descriptions were immersive and memorable, and I have reflected back on several of the sequences, with much of the mood and atmosphere standing out to me when I do so.

Easily the best book the club has read so far, IMO.
+ for me, also.

Ok, so if I am correct, either @thracian dawg or @Austruck is up next for a book choice, yea?



His descriptions were immersive and memorable, and I have reflected back on several of the sequences, with much of the mood and atmosphere standing out to me when I do so.
Yes, it's a book that left me with several little moments that were very memorable.

Ok, so if I am correct, either @thracian dawg or @Austruck is up next for a book choice, yea?
Correct! I think whichever of them wants to throw something out there first we can make that the August pick, and whoever doesn't get to pick can choose something for September.



A system of cells interlinked
I have two chapters left in the Chris Moore book, and am ready to dive into something else, but I may find a short book to squeeze in between A Dirty Job and the August book.



Can you spot the “I” in Team?
Now, at first I was kind of mixed on the last 100 pages. It felt a bit too cutesy having the reporters basically spell out and confirm what we'd seen right before and it felt too meta.

The news clippings in the Apocrypha section of the book clarified some things for me like, rather than two old grannies eternally freezing each other out in the same house . . . her sister died young, so it was a revelation that Malvina was living either with her ghost, or simply the memory of her dead sister for the last 53 years of her life.


The icky scene with Typhus and his real father

Yeah, the creepy hermaphroditic imagery of the perfumed Doctor Jack consoling his son (or himself) in drag. Yikes. Another startling image is right at the beginning, where the boyish Typhus transforms the fetuses into finning catfish, this could be magic realism, or it could just be his imagination.

I also changed my mind about the opening section, this was a diversion. It suggested that everyone just gone on with their lives and put it all behind them, but everyone at the exorcism remained marked by the demonic encounter, some profoundly disturbed by it. The great bloodbath at the end showed there was some unfinished business where no one could escape.

The Sound of building coffins ★★★★

As for the next choice, I could suggest something, but I would feel uneasy at an imposition. I have to confess to being utterly clueless when it comes to choosing books, I just follow my bliss, which is not unlike stumbling out into the woods and simply aiming the rifle to the heavens and squeezing off a blast without bothering to look. Every so often, a magnificent Thanksgiving feast fall out of the sky at my feet, but most of the time . . . all I get is a turkey.

On the other hand, if Austruck would like to do the honors for the next book, great.



The news clippings in the Apocrypha section of the book clarified some things for me like, rather than two old grannies eternally freezing each other out in the same house . . . her sister died young, so it was a revelation that Malvina was living either with her ghost, or simply the memory of her dead sister for the last 53 years of her life.
I loved that revelation, too. But it was just as easily conveyed by seeing the different death dates on their gravestones.

I also changed my mind about the opening section, this was a diversion suggested that everyone just gone on with their lives and put it all behind them, but everyone at the exorcism remained marked
Yes, I ultimately liked this a lot as well.

The first book is almost like a condensed version of what another book would be. The big climactic moment of them saving the child. And then in the next two sections we discover that Dominick/Jim wasn't saved, that Noonday died almost for nothing, and that just by being a witness or tangentially involved, the fates of the other characters were set all askew.



A system of cells interlinked
With the amount of supernatural stuff that occurred in the book, I like to think it was all actually happening, and not just in people's heads. So, for me, the sister was a ghost, Typhus was actually rebirthing aborted babies into fish, and the possession was real, the voodoo stuff was actualizing in the physical world, and on and on...



The Adventure Starts Here!
I kinda put this down about midway in. That "elegant writing" was starting to feel self-important, and the storyline was annoying me, for some reason. Partly, I tend to dislike how "Christians" are mis-defined and then maligned in so much fiction. So I was doing a bit of an eye roll pretty early on in this one. I'm not even sure if I'll pick it back up.

Let's let the other guy choose the next book. I'm a bit swamped this month. I'll actually be ready to start a new book with this group in perhaps mid-September.



A system of cells interlinked
Kewl. I’ll make it simple, I’m going to agree with Sedai’s choice for August (apologies to Takoma).
For July you mean? The Christopher Moore book?



Can you spot the “I” in Team?

I have two chapters left in the Chris Moore book, and am ready to dive into something else, but I may find a short book to squeeze in between A Dirty Job and the August book.
I was referring to the next opus you are going to dive into . . . which now, doesn’t have to be a thin. This kind of puts the gang around the same starting place, it could take 2 to 3 weeks to get a copy and read it. Sorry for the time lag down there, it’s already August up here in Canada.