April Book Club Review

April 27, 2012 at 11:05 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The ladies and I spent this past month reading Blindness by  Portuguese Nobel-prize winning author Jose Saramago and for dinner/drinks we checked out Haymarket Pub & Brewery in the West Loop.  Blindness is a stream of consciousness story (meaning no actual dialogue or quotes were used and everything is described from various points of view instead) of a pandemic of blindness that spreads by contagion.  It starts with a man sitting in his car at a stop light who suddenly loses his vision, and a passerby who helps him home becomes blind himself.  Soon, there are hundreds of newly blinded individuals living in an old mental hospital as the government has decided that quarantine is the best solution.  The people in the hospital quickly revert to primal human beings who fight for food, beds and sex.  These people lose their dignity and every comfort they’ve ever known.  It’s a really interesting concept and I think the anthropologist in me especially enjoyed thinking about the breakdown that society would face if something like this were to actually occur.  The book was fairly long and dense as the style of writing didn’t include many paragraph, page or chapter breaks, and sometimes the lack of dialogue caused me to have to stop and think about who was saying what.  I found though that I actually really liked the style (not all of the other ladies felt this way), as when I write stories myself I don’t use a lot of dialogue either.  There were two of us out of the four present who finished the book and while the other girl felt the ending was too expected and easy, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing and really enjoyed the whole book.

You might not be able to see me but I give this book two thumbs up

Apparently there’s a sequel called Seeing, but I have yet to read that.  Blindness was also made into a movie staring Julianne Moore (whom I love) and I watched that last weekend.  It wasn’t exactly a light, feel-good film but it did do justice to the book and Scott (who hasn’t read the novel) really liked the film.  It was interesting to see some of the buildings described but watching the movie just didn’t capture the horror of the situation like reading the book did.  All in all though, I’m glad I experienced both.

I’m also glad I experienced Haymarket Pub & Brewery, which is just a short walk from my office.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good brewery?  This place is a lot bigger than it looks and was full of dudes watching the Blackhawks hockey game, which we didn’t actually anticipate before booking our reservations.  So the place was a little (lot) louder than we expected but we managed to make ourselves heard.  I ordered a brew called Lucy’s Belgian Style Abbey Trippel, which was a delicious golden ale that shared a name of a good friend of mine (I thought of her when I ordered it and she would’ve loved it too).  I also had a veggie burger that put many other bar veggie burgers to shame, as well as some amazing sweet potato tater tots.  Can’t go wrong with tots and I’m a big fan of incorporating sweet potatoes into things (such as falafel – there’s a place near the office that does this amazingly).  Another gal ordered pizza which had an unusual sauce that made the whole thing superb and everyone left the night feeling full and satisfied.

Yet another successful book club meeting has come and gone and I believe this next book should be a quicker read, so as soon as the library gets it ready for me I’ll be checking it out.  In more ways than one (see what I did there?).  I’m currently about 40 pages from finishing Catch-22 and I’ll probably write another post about that but it won’t be so complimentary.  Seriously, this thing has taken me forever and I actually put it aside to read Blindness.  So you can look forward to that and I’ll be thankful that I have the eyes to read, even if I am reading things that drive me crazy.


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