Thursday, September 16, 2010


"Troubles" by J.G. Farrell was the September selection for the Newberry Book Group and kicked off our 2010-2011 season.  This kind of book is exactly why I love being in that group.  I never would have found this book on my own.  It's not something I would have sought out.  It was dense, and slow at times, but a very well written and engaging read.  It's perfect for a book group because there is so much to talk about.  We only meet for an hour and 15 minutes and barely scratched the surface.  Often after Newberry I find myself reviewing the discussion on my way home and thinking "oh, what about this?" or "ah, I wish I would have brought up that". 

I think I concentrate on the literal when I'm reading.  During this one I kept thinking "why don't you fix it!" or "C'mon - do you not notice what is going on?".  I found the Major a really well thought out character.  His comments about keeping up with events were dead on because don't we all get a little news overload and maybe don't pay attention to every crisis.  It's a book about Ireland after World War I and focuses on a group of people living in a decaying hotel.  You would get all that from the back of the book.  For the humor, the relationships and the violence in Ireland, you will have to read it.  I understand it's the first in a trilogy and at Newberry we have a habit of picking trilogies and reading one installment each season so I'll be interested to see if we continue with this one. 

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