Kamila Shamsie’s “Home Fire”
The March 23 book club meeting was, as usual, a raucous event! I’ve concluded that when we dislike a book, we generate more energy, we all seem to become more and more animated as the evening progresses, and our theories about why the author wrote a book like this become more illogical, speculative and fun!
This was certainly the case last week.
Aravind Adiga’s “Selection Day” was clearly no one’s favorite! While we started off by venting about the author, the characters, and the story, I am happy to report that by the end some of us had mellowed, at least a bit… All ratings were below 5, but only one member gave it a 1, the lowest you could go! All others were in the 3 to 5 range, which means we didn’t really like the book but could see one or two redeeming features!
Negative comments pointed to the unrealistic obsessive behavior of the father, too many storylines, most of which went nowhere, extreme cynicism about India and Indians, insufficient character development, and an inconclusive ending. The few positives were the humorous touches, the author’s ability to portray a growing boy’s confusion, loneliness, and fears, and the realistic portrayal of India’s competitive environment and the many obstacles to success.
This was clearly a good book to discuss!
We will meet up again on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 7 PM. The book selected is Kamila Shamsie’s “Home Fire”. Some of you may remember the author’s “Kartography” which we discussed in July 2016.