We’re doing things a little different for this poll. Instead of two options, we have three of which one is a special book club outing! It makes for a somewhat strange combination, but whatever we do is up to you guys! First are the books. We are going to the eighties with these two famous male authors:
Blood Meridian is an epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America’s westward expansion, brilliantly subverting the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the Wild West. Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving. Cormac McCarthy’s violent lyric masterpiece, Blood Meridian acquires an amoral, apocalyptic dimension through the Miltonic grandeur of the language …It is a barbarously poetic odyssey through a hell without purpose.
Tom Wolfe’s modern American satire tells the story of Sherman McCoy, a Wall Street “Master of the Universe” who has it all – a Park Avenue apartment, a job that brings wealth, power and prestige, a beautiful wife, an even more beautiful mistress.
Suddenly, one wrong turn makes it all go wrong, and Sherman spirals downward in a sudden fall from grace that sucks him into the ravenous heart of a New York City gone mad during the go-go, racially turbulent, socially hilarious 1980s.
And then our third option is reading The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner and visiting a reading and interview with her in The Hague (in English). This will be on the 15th of July and costs €7,50. We will read the book ahead of time, go to the interview with the book club and then discuss the novel somewhere in The Hague afterwards. About the book:
The year is 1975 and Reno—so-called because of the place of her birth—has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world—artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art. Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts. Ardent, vulnerable, and bold, she begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged scion of an Italian tire and motorcycle empire. When they visit Sandro’s family home in Italy, Reno falls in with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in the seventies. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow.
The Flamethrowers is an intensely engaging exploration of the mystique of the feminine, the fake, the terrorist. At its center is Kushner’s brilliantly realized protagonist, a young woman on the verge. Thrilling and fearless, this is a major American novel from a writer of spectacular talent and imagination.
Vote on what you would like to read/do and let us know if you have any questions!