Book discussion?

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Book discussion?

Postby MarylandManson » Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:22 pm

Given all the varied and intelligent opinions here, and thinking about the pros and cons of THE DAVINCI CODE...would anyone be interested in a Sladists' "book discussion" forum here on the Board? There are many ways such a thing might unfold, but a general suggestion follows:

There could be several topics in the forum--suggested books for discussion, a poll so folks can vote on the next book to discuss, and a topic in which folks discuss each book that gets elected. There could be very loose guidelines, nothing too rigid. For example, given the international spectrum of Sladists, ideally a book discussed would be easily available to all at their local libraries.

The key is to get several people to read the same book at the same time. Some great discussion can unfold, especially when there's a wide range of responses--"loved it" and "hated it" with all points in between. Best of all, sometimes other folks catch something another reader might have missed, which can enhance appreciation of the book.

Anyway, please feel free to comment, yea or nay. If there's enough interest, maybe we can set up a new forum in time for a May or June discussion.

Cheers! MM
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Postby raasnio » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:43 pm

That sounds like a great idea. :idea:
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Postby WaywardSoul » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:47 pm

Dammit MM, you stole my idea!

I was seriously considering posting and seeing if there was any interest in maybe forming an informal Sladist' book club.

How about one book per month? That sounds like a reasonable amount of time to locate a copy and digest it.
Then the end of each month can be used for discussion of that month's choice and selecting a title for the next month.

I'm not sure about the voting thing. It seems to me that over time the majority vote would fall into a pattern and restrict the choices.

How about setting a deadline for all those interested, initially? Then a trusted member can draw those names and each person could pick a selection, on a rotating basis, in the order their names was drawn.

After that, new members can join the group and have their name added to the rotation.
Maybe stipulate that anyone joining after the deadline must participate, by reading and contributing to the discussion of at least one book, before they are placed in the rotation and allowed to pick a monthly title.

Some limits need to be set for book choices.

Minimum of 1 year since publication date.
No arcane or rare titles.
No scholarly text books.
Will this be limited to fiction? Certain genres?

Count me in!
It sounds fun and I'm much more prone to read, or finish reading, something new or different, in a group setting.
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Postby raasnio » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:50 pm

My first thoughts on the books would be that perhaps Slade should choose them. He has mentioned some mystery and horror titles that he found to be particularly well done and inspirational and it would be great for the board members to read these as well since I'm betting many of us haven't read them before.
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Postby Starra » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:51 pm

I'm in...
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Postby WaywardSoul » Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:20 pm

raasnio wrote:My first thoughts on the books would be that perhaps Slade should choose them. He has mentioned some mystery and horror titles that he found to be particularly well done and inspirational and it would be great for the board members to read these as well since I'm betting many of us haven't read them before.


A great idea, raasnio!
I'm willing to follow Slade's suggestions, wherever they might lead in the literary world.
He could also mix in selected poems, or collected volumes of poetry, for reading and discussion.

I know all of the members here would love it and Slade might find the discussions to be beneficial.
"Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over." - Frank Zappa
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Postby moonflee » Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:41 pm

I'm up for it.
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Postby Cawdorgraves » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:18 pm

my only concern is - what happens when new members join the forum and wish to be apart of these discussions. They might wish to read books already read. wouldn't want to single people out. Why not create a forum for each book so people can read past posts and be able to give their own feedback. I am not aposed to the book club cause it is always great to reread a book and see if you can pick up on elements that the first read missed.

Anyway I think such a forum devoted to each book would be beneficial to past sladists and new.

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Postby Slade » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:19 pm

A few thoughts:

The best horror novel of the 20th century was I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and all the current zombie stuff (I watched the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD last night) comes out of it.

Lovecraft wrote only one novel: THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD. That's a must.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT? The secret there is which translation. Penguin does the best.

THE THREE COFFINS by John Dickson Carr inspired RIPPER.

And if we want to get literary, Faulkner's INTRUDER IN THE DUST is damn good.

Did any of you just watch MALICE AFORETHOUGHT? In 1931, it revolutionized the whodunit by inverting it: "It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr. Bickleigh took any active steps in the matter."

What about THE MALTESE FALCON? Have you read that, or was it "before your time?" Or THE BIG SLEEP? Or THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD? What's the best James Bond novel in print?

And if we really want to mix things up, there's always Spillane's I, THE JURY!

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Postby Rush_Grrl » Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:29 am

Count me in too.

Sounds like you are up for the role as fearless leader, Slade.

Looking forward to the trip!
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Postby raasnio » Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:48 am

You have my interest with Carr. The first novels I ever read were by Agatha Christie and I've been out of the mystery genre since. This is only due to my drowning in the horror genre after later reading King and Lovecraft. :D
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Postby Slade » Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:44 am

Raasnio,

That would be another interesting book - historically - to read. LADY, LADY, I DID IT! by Ed McBain. The novel that fused mystery and horror in my mind, and led ultimately to the forming of Michael Slade.

The convergence of two separate streams.

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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:56 pm

Slade, thank you for all those suggestions. It's always great to see what dovetails into the Slade oeuvre--clearly plenty. Oh, and YOLT is the best Bond in print, IMO.

It looks like this idea is on, so it's probably a good idea to wait a week or two and let others weigh in on particulars. I'll work all the "guidelines" suggestions into a single post, which will then be a "Sticky" that's always at the top of the new book-discussion forum. The guidelines can be revised as we go along. A living, breathing document, eh?

One thing to keep in mind about suggested titles is widespread availability. I looked for all of Slade's suggestions in my local library's online catalog. Of those books, the Faulkner, Matheson, Carr, and Dostoevsky titles are available. Personally, I don't mind buying a book, but it might be appropriate not to require it of all Sladists who want to participate in the discussion.

More to come...

Cheers! MM
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Postby WaywardSoul » Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:03 pm

Most public libraries in the U.S. have the option to request books thru an inter-library loan system, a network of libraries across the region, or entire country, that allows you to request books that are not available at your local public library.

I use it all the time for hard to find books. One condition is that the book must be in print one year, before it can be requested from another library.

If I have the option at the local branch, here in this one horse town, then surely most of you do, also.

And if you don't have a library card, shame on you!
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Postby Slade » Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:52 pm

When I was researching BED OF NAILS, inter-library loan actually brought a book in from Fiji for me. In this day and age, there's nothing we can't get.

Also, I think it's a good idea to select something back in time. Judging from posts on the Board, a lot of Sladists - like most of us - are focused on the now, instead of stuff that has stood the test of time.

When Pink Slade and I were in New York, WICKED was hot at the moment. We had to settle for HAIRSPRAY, which took 8 Tony Award back in 2003...and you couldn't hope for better entertainment than that. Time offers perspective.

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