Saturday, 21 June 2008
I failed at book club
I went to the reasonable expense and not insignificant trouble of reading all of Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book for the book club I was supposed to be joining, and then I forgot to turn up. The book club was on and I was in the cinema at Greensborough Plaza (which still hasn't gotten itself busy with my instructions for fixing it up) watching You Don't Mess With The Zohan which was exactly what you would expect. In absolute honesty I liked the movie and the book about equally as much. They were both a sort of Komedy Kosher exercise in catering to the implied audience's desire to be painlessly entertained whilst specifically having the feeling of caring a small amount about the odd problems overwrought Jews and Arabs have with each other. And why did both novel and film have a key character who was allegedly, yet hilariously unconvincingly, Australian? TPOTB I thought had some severe issues. Because of the structure it had the appearance of being predictable, which makes the reader bored. But then it did have some genuine surprises in the last pages after all, so all the bored feelings were nothing but an exercise in wastefulness and futility. I could admire it in a 'sociology of literary publishing' sort of spirit all right, though. If you were to set out to write a book-club-bait novel, based on the strategic recombining of elements of The Da Vinci Code with Possession, with a good dash of sentimentality about heroic types who save books from destruction, then writing this would be a pretty good result. It's probably for the best that I forgot to go to the meeting really.
You Don't Mess With The Zohan had a running joke about hummus in it which seemed to imply that Americans don't regard it as a food which anyone except Israelis eat, that was confusing but it certainly fits with what I had already concluded about American food.
at 11:07 pm