The Book Exchange reading group met yesterday to discuss the novel, True History of the Kelly Gang, by Peter Carey. I was about five pages short of having finished it, but still felt I could discuss it in a reasonable manner. By the way, in the meantime, I have finished reading it.
Not many of the members attended, but that might have meant one of several things. First, it might be because of the fact that we had to change our meeting time. Our meeting had to be changed due to cutbacks in library hours because of the deep budget cuts from the state. The other reason for poor attendance, in the past, has been when the members of the group don't particularly care for the book. This book was chosen, I was told, because another of Carey's novels wasn't available in quantities needed for the entire group. Of the two reasons, I suspect the latter because of the comments made by those who attended.
The novel is written as if it is a diary (the history) of Ned Kelly written for his infant daughter. As an unlettered, relatively unschooled young man, Kelly is not very (as it would have been in the text v.) literate and therefore, written in a style of run-on sentences, abbreviations, puncuation lacks, etc. While the writing style may be considered authentic for the times, it was, frankly, difficult to read. I found it often necessary to re-read passages putting in the appropriate punctuation in order to delineate who said what to whom, and what exactly was going on and filling in the blanks. The word adjectival permeated the text. Once into the story itself,the historical aspects of the life of Ned Kelly and his gang were a compelling read of the lives, deceptions, and times of the early 19th century in Australia.
Having finished that, I picked up a Tess Gerritsen novel. In fact, having never read any of her novels, I chose Harvest, her debut novel. One of the reasons I chose to read Gerritsen is that she is going to appear at a library next week for a talk and book signing that we (my husband, some friends, and I) are planning to attend. Coincidentally, a co-worker had recently mentioned her as an author worth checking out...somewhat in the vein of Robin Cook. I figured that I would like to know a little more about Gerritsen's writing before the event specially since she had already been recommended to me. So far, it is a very plausible medical thriller about transplants and donors. Lots of suspense with a very scary scenario! Although I just started it yesterday afternoon, I imagine I will have it finished this evening just because I find it such a riveting read. If the rest of this one continues to be as interesting, I may have found some new novels to add to my reading list.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association