May 27, 2014 Meeting @ Katie’s House (front gate is some sort of IQ test?)
another rainy night = sky crying since we were missing Karen C, Shelley & Sue
house guests & their germs; partying @ Brennan’s and cops come (again…); young singles living the rich life @ Dewey – boats, drinks, par-tay – except for the part about sharing small room w/3 dudes
STOP EVERYTHING! Schedule reminders NOW. Do not.. repeat do NOT forget to remind Katie that when she hosts in 2015 she MUST remember to have 2-3 bottles of ‘back up wine’ in the house since it’s dumb/rude/short-sighted not to. (And thanks, Marie & Tim S for providing emergency fluids)
Chit Chat (cont.): Katie’s front yard terracing gets thumbs up; Margaret’s graduation was really great; BEST PARENTING MOMENTS: college graduation & marrying the right person; Other Book Chatter: Tom Wolfe (many voices; scan & move on to enjoy next scene); James Michener (great research!; died in 1997, fyi); Big Ass Summer Reads (Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, Anna Karenina; relish or avoid them?)
Which segues us to:
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Liz picked this because:
- continuing the re-read theme from last month & conducting the Reread It & Love/Hate It Test*
- t’s a movie – June 5 release
- likes this author
- Bootleg has not yet read anything by him
*she did not love it again, but liked it well enough (phew)
- Jess: did anyone like her..w/sympathy? No. She was a foil for Martin. She was good for the book, but not as a friend. Poor thing could only ever say exactly the wrong thing.
- FOUR ‘I’ voices – ack! And they were not written very distinctly from each other. At all.
- so much punchy dialogue, but hard to follow who was talking
- not ‘hilarious’ but some witty, dry & gallows humor; Martin’s acerbic responses = funny!
- well done theme: the yearning/consideration of suicide & then the moment passes and life keeps being lived
- redemption theme: sufficiently covered or more depth needed? We were undecided
- critical moments: that decision to live or die rests in a gossamer-thin decision point & yet it’s so gigantically powerful
- the end: it’s not Disney which we liked; the plot(s) move ahead just enough but not to full-on ‘wonderful’
- suicidal (could be sane & this is a ‘logical’ option) vs. mental illness (could commit suicide as a ‘symptom’ not a decision)
- male vs female consideration of suicide – was it properly/correctly treated in this book? probably
- Jess’s purpose? Her survival skills kept the group together so the on-going support remained on-going
- Whole book was bizarre, absurd, but you go along on the ride to see how they survive with or because of each other
- How did Hornby select the archetypes? Martin & Maureen (stories write themselves); JJ (weakest story, lamest suicide rationale); Jess (most actually disturbed); others as ‘filler’ or based on types typically seeking treatment?
- Movie: can enough of the important things be conveyed or will it just be titillating treatment of suicide? Will it be Breakfast Club-y on a bad trip?
- Funny haha & Funny odd scenes: deciding to find Chaz; the angel
Character Bootleg Cast Actual Cast
Martin Hugh Grant Pierce Brosnan
Jess Emma Watson Imojean Poots
JJ Jared Leto Aaron Paul
Maureen Penelope Wilton Toni Collette
Cindy Rachel Weisz ?
Penny Sienna Miller Rosamunde Pike
Jess’s dad Colin Firth
Jess’s mom Kristin Scott Thomas
Dessert: Pudding Bar! Liz was a lemon, pistachio, chocolate, butterscotch wizard!
June meeting: Karen C’s home. Katie’s book: American Gods by Neil Gaiman