The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. November: Roadside Picnic/Quo Vadis

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

Postby Mista » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:40 pm

Are there any wishes for October's book?

I've finished Petit Pays, but I'll have to get back to that later
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby IronMike » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:50 pm

Mista wrote:Are there any wishes for October's book?


I'll recommend a couple when I get home. Have to check for Esperanto translations first.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby IronMike » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:45 pm

IronMike wrote:
Mista wrote:Are there any wishes for October's book?


I'll recommend a couple when I get home. Have to check for Esperanto translations first.

Some ideas:
Quo vadis? by Henryk Sienkiewicz (152 results at Index Translationum)
Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway (296 results);
The Doomed City (43 results at Goodreads) or Roadside Picnic (116 results) or Hard to be a God (82 results) by the Strugatsky brothers;
The Time Machine by HG Wells (171 results at Index Translationum).

My vote would be for Quo vadis?
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby Mista » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:25 pm

Here's the link to the new poll for October:

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 23&t=11197
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby David27 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:03 pm

Spoilers ahead

I read Petit Pays in French this month. I thought it seemed just right for a month book club selection. It was not difficult reading and I was able to move through it quickly. I sadly have not read a lot of books that take place in Africa, off the top of my head, I can only think of Heart of Darkness, Poisonwood Bible, and a book in high school about the Maasai that now I can't recall the title or author.

Reading a coverslip of the book will tell you about everything there is to know about the plot of the story: a coming of age story of a half-French, half-Rwandan boy growing up in Burundi, interrupted by the violent civil war and ethnic violence of 1993-1994, forcing him to emigrate as a refugee to France at the conclusion. That being said, his voice comes through, and he brings his friends and family members to life with complex personalities, and they take the brunt of the trauma, while the protagonist (much like us, the readers) is somewhat removed from the violence. This shows in his desire to remain neutral through it, and the book largely eschews and stays neutral of the politics of the time as well, by being told through an adolescent, who happens to occasionally "overhear" political radio programs or adult conversation to clue the reader in here and there to the political scene. Gaby (the protagonist) shares a similar name to Gaël (the author), and likely shares similar experiences, with some elements of fiction. To me, the scene where he was forced to torch the car with the Hutu member inside of it, which should be one of the most horrific scenes of the book, did not seem real. It seemed distant, and without deep emotional consequences, whereas his mother's psychologic breakdown, confronting Ana about the death of their cousins night after night, resenting them for their privilege felt real... possibly a combination of fiction and the authors true feelings of guilt of a situation out of his control? To me, the most emotional chapter was the letter to his cousin, a way for him to address his grief and loss, and I felt that with the narrator.

The author also apparently is a musician/rapper with music on youtube? I didn't listen to any of his songs, but I may have a peak in the coming weeks when I have some down time.

For next month I'll sit out of the book club and abstain from voting. Quo vadis sounds up my alley, and I added to a potential read for the future, and I love Old Man and the Sea, but I want to finish Metro 2033 which I never reached the end of and Bridge over the Drina which I read only ~half.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby marie39 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:13 am

David27 wrote:Spoilers ahead
To me, the most emotional chapter was the letter to his cousin, a way for him to address his grief and loss, and I felt that with the narrator.


This was also the most emotional chapter to me. I pretty much agree with your post. I feel that the writing and emotion of the story was the mos successful when the author got close to his own feelings.

This is a book that I will reread at some point in the future. I felt like I understood enough while reading it in Spanish but I'm sure I'll pick up something new if I reread it.

I'm going to pick up a copy of Quo Vadis in Spanish for October and November. And I'll probably pick up Heaven and Hell for December and January because I voted for both books. I may pick up the shorter books too. I'm still undecided because I have some other books to get to this month.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby kanewai » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:54 am

Trois Contes (1): Un coeur simple.

I don't know what anyone's reading schedule is, so I'll keep this spoiler free.

This story doesn't sound like much on the surface: it just covers the life of one poor servant, Félicité. It appears to be a sad life, full of unrequited love, yet the story was also surprisingly touching. I looked up some reviews afterwards, and saw a lot of disagreement on what it all meant. Some saw the final passages as a religious allegory; others insist that Flaubert was secular and that the ending was one final illusion for Félicité.

I'd also vaguely heard about "Flaubert's Parrot," and now know that it a novel based in part on this short story.

Definitely recommended, especially for folks who want a taste of Flaubert without committing to his longer novels.

I also finished Légende de Saint Julien l'Hospitalier, but I'll hold off writing about it until next week.
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. SEPTEMBER: Small Country

Postby Mista » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:27 am

We just passed into November, and it's time to start reading Roadside Picnic.

I won't be reading that myself (not really a big fan of SF). Instead, I have started on Quo Vadis now. I downloaded the free French version from Amazon, and have now reached 16%. So far, I'm finding their wiews on women a little old-fashioned ;) Apart from that, I really like the scene where they are quoting from Homer (but I studied Ancient Greek, so I'm partial)

kanewai wrote:I also finished Légende de Saint Julien l'Hospitalier, but I'll hold off writing about it until next week.

I'd love to hear what you think about it. I was wondering at one point if I would be able to finish it, because it was so disgusting. I did get through, though. But I think the objective and unemotional style of writing made the emotional effect even stronger. The ending, however, had more of a cleansing feeling to me, although I think that must have been meant to feel disgusting too. Maybe? Also, I suppose the story is based on a real legend (haven't checked that, though), so there's always the question of what was in the original story and what Flaubert has done to it.

I've also read Hérodias, but there I'm mostly left with a feeling that I missed something. I'm considering if I should read the story in the Bible and then read the Flaubert story again, now with a computer on my side so I can look up the words that aren't in my Kindle dictionary (I think some of the vocabulary in that story was exceptionally obscure, due to the setting).
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. November: Roadside Picnic/Quo Vadis

Postby IronMike » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:52 pm

I will be reading Roadside Picnic in Esperanto for the upcoming 60th iteration of the Esperanto Sumoo!
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Re: The New Forum Book Club thread 2019. November: Roadside Picnic/Quo Vadis

Postby MamaPata » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:13 pm

I am sadly going to be sitting out this month again. I don’t see myself being able to join for a while yet. :cry: But I’ll be cheering you all on!
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