Fiction Book Club The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen Buy book: $15.09
From the author of "In the Drink," a compelling novel about a man smoking himself to death. A literary tour de force of bitter humor and gorgeously articulated misanthropy to rival the works of Martin Amis and John Lanchester.
As usual, could not wait for Monday's read so have searched and found reviews and excerpt from this book - even had to call my brother to tell he must check into - think he would enjoy --
My library does not have so may have to purchase this one - can hardly wait to get it --
Waiting to hear everyone else's reaction and response to this one --
I was prepared to dislike this book, the jacket blurb made it sound like such a depressing read. BUT.....this first installment has me truly intrigued. The characters already introduced are indeed dislikable, but the writing is so tight that I can hardly wait for the plot to unfold. I'm next on the list for our library's one and only copy. And I still have to catch up on last week's selection...so many good books,so little time.....and now golf season is starting!
Much better than last weeks read with the crazy confused mother. Hugo, though cynical, pessimistic and lonesome is a character that I like already. He's forward and honest and very funny. He had me suppressing my laugher as I read my e-mails in my school's library. I might just go and purchase this book.
I am greatly enjoying charactors that I can understand. Good point Monica, on how even though there have been no physical descriptions, I can totally picture Hugo and his brother and the brother's wife already. Great Choice, I will have to see if I can get this at the library!
I'm one of those annoying people at the movie theater who whispers predictions to my seatmates. I'd do the same with books if I had anyone to listen. I'm intrigued by the hint of pain. The self awareness of our main character leads me to think he's not the average man. I'm going to operate on stereotypes here, so I hope I don't offend anyone. Is he gay? Does he have AIDS? Would that cause a pain in his foot? Maybe his self destructive tendencies have caught up with him. I'm intrigued.
I too have reserved a copy at my local library. Why is it they never have books waiting when I want to read them? :)
From what I read he has Beurger's disease (associated with smoking -according to the book) and also in the info I found while researching the disease -- but other factors are involved tho' stopping smoking can definitely be beneficial -- to the point of living and not dying -- along with other treatment I believe --
Wow. I have to admit I'm really getting into this week's read! It's been a while since I got really jazzed about the fiction reads (mostly because of my own tastes) but this one has hooked me. I can't wait for tomorrow's section. :-)
This is one of those interesting situations where you don't like the characters, but can't wait to learn why they are the way they are and if there is going to be any positive resolution to their predicament. The writing/dialogue is so precise that I'm loving the read even though the two brothers are so flawed. And although we haven't even met her, I'm finding the sister-in-law somewhat unlikeable as well. What a writing talent. Bring on the next installment!
You're right, Doris. "Don't like" isn't the right expression. Hugo is the train wreck we all have to look at. He's hopelessly flawed...no redeeming social benefits that I can see yet. But I can hardly wait for the next installment.! I'm reading with dictionary at hand. I love words, their arrangement and construction. Don't know if I can wait for the library copy of this one or head out to the local B & N to buy one.
I personally think the kindergarten remark was nothing other than a description comparing her with her bony - was it second grade sister -? -
don't feel anything sinister in its meaning -- just his usual way of thinking and writing --
Like others have said here, I'm very impressed with the characterization of Hugo in particular. I like how he's being put into a perfect situation for growth - forced to endure all the things he doesn't like . . . namely, family, responsibility, illness, facing up to his demons.
I was feeling the usual Monday blahs . . . but finding this delightful story in my "in box" was a refreshing lift. I'm enjoying it more each day. Have already requested this one from my library. It's in hardback, otherwise I'd run out and buy it if it was in paperback.
Although this sort of book is rarely in my realm of tastes, I'm actually enjoying it. Sure it's depressing, and yes, the main character is a major grump with a chip on his shoulder, but like many of you, I'm anxious to see if there is a transformation...
Michelle - I too was baffled by the "sexy kindergartner" comment...
Hugo is a very sad person because he seems to have no values or spiritual meaning in his life. He is so upset about his brother being with him, has no compassion at all for him. Dennis is going through a difficult time in his life, but Hugo doesn't seem to care, only resents Dennis' intrusion in his domain.
The "sexy kindergartner" remark kind of says it all to me. Hugo sees people as objects, what they can do for him. Not that he would actually act on the impulse to abuse a 5 year old, but yet that kind of thinking seems what his life is made of.
I don't think I like this book - empty lives are too depressing. Maybe Hugo becomes more whole as the book continues.
It's interesting to read other reader's responses. When I first started reading this book, I became more irritated than Hugo appeared to be. His behavior was driving me crazy--actually making me angry. His nastiness reminded me of someone in my past. In a way, they were Hugo--the spitin' image. I'd stop reading, put the book down in disgust, but then I'd pick it up again. Maybe I kept reading, hoping to find out"why"?
It seems that every family has its Hugo. Ours does and she's more than irritating. We gave up long ago on any hope of civility from her. But, I'm not giving up on Hugo just yet. The writing is just too wonderful. Don't you think we all secretly love characters like Hugo because he makes our own foibles and shortcomings seem so trivial?
Me too Vith, I'm glad to see Suzanne reading this one along with us!! I am so intrigued by this Hugo character even though I don't like his attitude, he is interesting and I love his use of words. Because they have not given a physical description of him, I hope I don't spoil it (or maybe I'll make it better) for some of you when I tell you that I am imaging him looking and acting like Johhny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean !!! How do you like that !!!
Each day I have read the excerpts and each day I would ask myself what am I missing? Could not figure out what all the raves were about. Glad to know I am not alone. Hugo makes me feel uncomfortable and creepy. I don't find him at all funny or amusing.
The author is very talented but the story gives me an upset stomach.
DOH! I really wanted to meet this sister-in-law! I forsee quite the scene between Hugo, Marie, Dennis and the children, oh yes, and the "girl"...
Hugo, Hugo...he's the character you love to hate but hate to love. He seems such a cold-hearted, cruel man yet there's something about him or within him that seems captivating. I'm adding this one to my list. The list is getting WAY too big. Thanks Suzanne!!
The two excerpts that I receive were good. But I find the book like the movie "Igby Goes Down" so I wasn't impressed with the themes (anger against the mother, blueblood background, the wandering lifestyle, careless attitude, and the sibling rivalry).