The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

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Serpent
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby Serpent » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:03 pm

Wow so it's indeed 700+ pages :shock:
Maiwenn wrote:the Gospel is apparently only ~18 pages in English
Oh I see, I noticed that some of the longer editions on goodreads include it but I had no idea it's a short section :?
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019

Postby Cèid Donn » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:11 pm

Maiwenn wrote:
Do the other editions contain fewer than 20 chapters? The Gospel is apparently only ~18 pages in English, so I can't imagine that it would account for such a discrepancy.


The English version has 20 chapters--I was able to verify that via users comments on Goodreads. According to Amazon, the English edition is only 460 pages.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:33 pm

I probably won't be able to finish Metro 2033 early, as I hoped, but I should be done by the end of this month. I personally have been enjoying it a lot. Some questions/points of discussion I've been thinking about while I have been reading:

  • How motifs/ideas/imagery that are intended to evoke and parallel Cold War/Soviet-era Russia, in particular "underground" culture in Moscow at that time as well as references to Soviet-era wars, contribute to the kind of post-apocalyptic, end-of-the-human-race atmosphere and environment the author is trying to create

  • The different ideologies/worldviews/philosophies represented by Артём/Artyom/Artjom's companions throughout of the story, i.e. Hunter, Bourbon, Khan, etc. and how they are responses to the novel's universe

  • If you have previously read Orson Scott Card's Ender Game, to what extent to you think Artjom's relationship with the Чёрные (the "black ones" -- die Schwarzen in the German edition) parallel and contrast Ender's relationship with the Buggers? (this might be hard to discuss here without spoilers, but I think it's worth thinking about if you have read both books)

  • What do you think about how violence is shown to be everywhere in the novel's universe, and although Artjom witnesses it and seems prepared to engage in it (as shown by how he almost always is carrying a weapon), he largely does not engage in violence himself, and even seems to naturally avoid it, as seen from the very first paragraphs of the book?
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby Serpent » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:31 pm

As someone who never got past the second chapter...
-for how many chapters do you keep getting background information about the life in the metro and the history of interaction between the stations etc? so far that's what I've mostly been enjoying, for obvious reasons.
-fighting is shown as a manly thing. will there be at least a token woman who's capable of fighting alongside men? i mean it's not like i expected non-binary demisexual characters, i know when and where the book was published, but i was still disappointed :?
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:20 pm

Serpent wrote:As someone who never got past the second chapter...
-for how many chapters do you keep getting background information about the life in the metro and the history of interaction between the stations etc? so far that's what I've mostly been enjoying, for obvious reasons.


There is a lot of exposition like that throughout the book, moments where the author give you insight into that world and characters that let you think. As the story goes along, Artyom meets different people who have different experiences of the metro and will talk about the history and relations between the stations--one is an older man who jokes about how he still calls the stations by their "old names" which is one of the more obvious connections to the Metro's Soviet past that the author makes. Different characters approach their reality in different philosophical and spiritual ways, but it all revolves around the Metro. At one point Artjom complains that he hears older, more experienced people talk about how different the Metro is for one station to another but he has yet to see it himself--I think this is allusion the author makes about how the Metro had been an architectural marvel in its day but now in this world where everyone is fighting to just stay alive and no one thinks about things like art and creating beautiful things, the Metro's past splendor has been lost amid all the fear and desperation.

-fighting is shown as a manly thing. will there be at least a token woman who's capable of fighting alongside men? i mean it's not like i expected non-binary demisexual characters, i know when and where the book was published, but i was still disappointed :?


Yeah, this wasn't one of the better aspects of the novel. The novel's universe is very male-dominated and there is really no thought given to gender. The author seemed very comfortable in giving us an uncritical and rigid gender binary where women largely do nothing in the story. They mostly just exist in the background. This unfortunately is not very appealing to many contemporary readers, so I understand your disappointment.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby MamaPata » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:56 pm

I think it’s probably time to move onto the next book, which was Les Hirondelles des Kaboul, if I remember correctly. Who will be taking part?

It’s also probably worth working out what people want to read in April so everyone has time to get it. I know people weren’t sure about choosing two at once so shall we just go for April. Maybe people could have until the end of the day Monday week (11th) and then a week to vote? What are people’s nominations?
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby Cèid Donn » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:33 pm

Well, Ok. That's rather disappointing after spending 5 weeks reading the book and genuinely looking forward to discussing it. If people weren't going to read it, how did it win the poll? <sigh> I have no nominations to offer. I'll read the next book, because I already bought it, but after this I think I might pass on the book club. Sorry.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby kanewai » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:57 pm

I'll be starting in on Hirondelles as soon as I finish my current book; hopefully next week. I'm glad that it's a short novel!

For April, I'll be tackling Don Quijote. There was a new translation put out a couple years ago en castellano actual that intrigues me. I already know that this is what I'll be reading, but I'll put it out as a book-club rec in case others are interested. I'm pretty sure there are translations in most major languages.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby javier_getafe » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:01 pm

MamaPata wrote:I think it’s probably time to move onto the next book, which was Les Hirondelles des Kaboul, if I remember correctly. Who will be taking part?


I am, and I am definitely enjoying this read.


kanewai wrote:For April, I'll be tackling Don Quijote. There was a new translation put out a couple years ago en castellano actual that intrigues me.


Omg, I can't actually stand El Quijote. It was a compulsory read in the school. I can't think in any other book more boring. Sorry. Aaaag. However, it is a matter of taste, of course. :) :)

Cèid Donn wrote:Well, Ok. That's rather disappointing after spending 5 weeks reading the book and genuinely looking forward to discussing it. If people weren't going to read it, how did it win the poll? <sigh> I have no nominations to offer. I'll read the next book, because I already bought it, but after this I think I might pass on the book club. Sorry.


I am with you, what's the point of the Book Club but having interesting discussions/conversations about the read books.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. February: Metro 2033

Postby kanewai » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:20 am

javier_getafe wrote:Omg, I can't actually stand El Quijote. It was a compulsory read in the school. I can't think in any other book more boring. Sorry. Aaaag. However, it is a matter of taste, of course. :) :)
This article from El Cultural might interest you - one of the reasons Andrés Trapiello gives for his new translation is that so many people in Spain don't read the novel, and that's it's more popular overseas, in places with modern translations.

Cèid Donn wrote:Well, Ok. That's rather disappointing after spending 5 weeks reading the book and genuinely looking forward to discussing it. If people weren't going to read it, how did it win the poll? <sigh> I have no nominations to offer. I'll read the next book, because I already bought it, but after this I think I might pass on the book club. Sorry.
Maybe we could ask people to only nominate or vote for books that they'll actually read? I think I've been the only one actually reading the 'winning' book a few times now.
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