The discussion was as strong as ever, with a good mixture of thumbs up/thumbs down. 15 members lent their voices to the discussion.
We started with Death and the Lit Chick, which received 8 thumbs up and 5 thumbs down (I think I missed a few, but this is representative of the split). Comments ranged from, “fun, light, a fast read,” to “confusing, dull, dumb.” A couple people mentioned that they had just come from reading a much heavier novel, and this was just what they needed as a counterbalance. Those who gave it a thumbs up appreciated the view into the publishing world, and liked the humor. The positive reviews might be summed up by: if you start with low enough expectations, it wasn’t too bad!”
Peter May’s The Blackhouse received some of the most positive reviews this group has given, yet the group was not unanimous in its praise. 9 thumbs up to 4 thumbs down was my unofficial count. The novel was bleak, atmospheric and extremely well written according to the positive reviewers. Although the setting very desolate and plot grim, the story was beautifully told with amazing attention to detail and believable and well drawn characters.
The mystery was described as simple, and secondary to the story of “Finn’s search of self.” Even those who didn’t like the book agreed that the writing was extraordinary, with the location almost another character and the descriptions of growing up in such an isolated area told with great style.
Those who didn’t like the novel mentioned disliking the graphic autopsy scene in the beginning, and the “macho” bird hunt disconcerting. One member found “nothing to peak interest,” which would have allowed appreciation of other aspects.