January’s meeting

It was an intrepid group that made the journey to our super secret new location for book club last night (for those of you who weren’t there, it was at my house!) Sadly, we were let down by our normal location (again) and so new book club haunts need to be found. Any suggestions to the normal address please.

However, the food was delicious and varied, the wine was plentiful, the conversation was flowing, and as I have a dishwasher, there wasn’t that much to clean up this morning! All in all, a near perfect evening.

This month we were reading The Method by Juli Zeh. The whole group read the book (which, to be honest, isn’t surprising as it’s pretty short!) and reactions to the novel were mixed:

  • Disappointing
  • Frightening because it’s possible
  • It was more like a play
  • It gave me nightmares
  • I was hopeful it was just a bad translation
  • It was clunky
  • So near, yet so far
  • Unconvincing

We turned to Julia, as the only book club member who had read both the original and the translated versions, to give us her view. All in all (and I hope you’re reading publishers) she wasn’t convinced on the translation of the text. Zeh is known for using incredibly precise words and paring her text down to the bare minimum. Julia felt that perhaps that was the main problem with the translation – it’s very hard to translate something if the exact word doesn’t exist in the other language!

The group talked about a number of different things – the relationship between Kramer and Mia (Was there history? What was Kramer’s role? What was going on at the end?) – the question of perfection and society (in a perfect society, you wouldn’t have to sacrifice anything. Is there such a thing as a perfect society?) and, of course, health.

I think the main topic of conversation was about the one-sided version of society that Zeh portrayed. We learnt nothing on the other facets of life – love, work, crime (apart from the crime of being unhealthy), marriage, education…

All in all, I think the group was a bit meh for Zeh. But, as we all know, the point of book clubs is to read books you wouldn’t normally and so many thanks to Julia for recommending the book.

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