PopJustice Book Club | Page 181 | The Popjustice Forum

PopJustice Book Club

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Amstell_s Bitch, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. What did you think in the end? I just finished it and thought it was pretty phenomenal. Galgut’s command of perspective is just astonishing — I can’t believe how well he executed it, or how I wasn’t once confused by it.

    Best of the Booker longlist I’ve read.
    Someboy likes this.
  2. I rattled off The Final Girls Support Group in about 3 days, it was just so damn good. I'm not really one for horror movies but this felt more like a mystery/thriller with a nice nod towards horror.

    A few days now into my next book, The Contender by William J. Mann, which is a biography of Marlon Brando.
    I didn't know much about him beforehand but even a little bit into this and all my prior notions of him are shattered. He was such an interesting man who led an often harrowing life. He had his faults but he did seem to be a good man at heart. For someone who was so talented and who has shaped the acting genre and inspired so many, it is really heart-breaking how little joy his career gave him.
    Really shocked how much of an outspoken advocate he was for civil rights, racial and sexual equality and giving voices to the voiceless, in a time when nobody in Hollywood would dare. He was truly ahead of his time in that regard. Major props for him being so open and blunt about how he was sexually fluid too.
  3. I’ve just finished the first Earthsea book and I can’t wait to finish the rest. I can’t get enough of the characters and the lore and the actual writing itself. Just wonderful.
    Doenjang and dirtypony like this.
  4. He was an incredible actor, but didn’t he also sexually assault an actress whilst filming a sex scene for one of his films…?
  5. The whole incident with the butter scene in Last Tango In Paris was all kinds of wrong that wasn't originally in the script, but it was all simulated. Whether of not the Maria Schneider was told (there are differing accounts but it seems if she was told, it was right before they filmed) all seemed to come from the director wanting a real reaction from the scene.
    It's all really seedy and I don't know why Marlon went along with it (by the 70's he'd kind of given up caring about his career and only did it for the money to help him raise turtles), but there was no assault made by him. Doesn't change the fact that it was a horrible situation for Maria and nothing like that should have happened. She and Marlon seemed to keep in touch after so there didn't seem to be bad blood with them. She has said that both she and Marlon (moreso her) were manipulated by the director who by all accounts seemed like a horrible creature.

    Marlon had trouble when it came to women, but he never went beyond the line or ignored when a woman said no. Relationship wise, his childhood and the PTSD he had from it ruined any chance of him finding long term stable relationships though.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
  6. Thanks for clearing that up for me! I knew I’d heard something about it but couldn’t remember the details of which movie it was and . Unfortunately it’s one of a long line of stories of directors traumatising actresses (in particular).

    I’ve finished the first of the Philippa Gregory Tudor series which I enjoyed, and have moved onto the next one The White Queen which deals with the princes in the tower mystery.

    I’ve heard great things about The Sympathiser by Viet Thanh Nguyen - has anybody here read it? Here’s the synopsis -

    It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause.

    I thought I might read that next and take a break from the Philippa Gregory.
  7. I've been reading a lot of books about older Hollywood actors and the things the studios and people involved got away with sickens me.

    I'm not an expert on the subject, but from what I've read, I honestly feel like the director was a creep and pulled the strings and Marlon for some reason went along with it, which saddens me as it doesn't seem like something he'd have done. He went on to say that the movie took a huge toll on him mentally and he was known to have really dark depressive episodes due to his trauma so I guess he didn't have much fight or clarity. Still, I think the whole scene was horrible and should never have been done.
  8. Someboy

    Someboy Staff Member

    Oh, I loved it. At first, I was really taken aback by Galgut’s strict approach to language and his refusal to sentimentalize much of anything, but then I got into a groove with it and enjoyed how well it flows overall. The third section (“Astrid”) was quite bleak, but I think by the end of “Anton,” I understood better why he told the story the way he did, and I really appreciated him for it. I think it’s hard to write a family drama and not have it be a melodramatic mess, but he pulls it off, and I agree, one of my favorites this year.
    Alphableat likes this.
  9. The last couple of weeks I’m not picking up anything* unless it’s Mary Gaitskill. I mean, she’s the queen of emotional complexity, sadomasochism, 1980s NYC squalor, the short story as an art form in general. Her recent book (well…novella. Well…short story sold as a novel) This Is Pleasure is by far the most significant, incisive post-Me Too piece of writing I’ve read and her two collections of stories from the late 80s/90s (Bad Behaviour and Because They Wanted To) are two virtuosic examples of just how much can be achieved through the medium of the short story - the sex and violence and detailing of humiliation and failure could easily feel schlocky and cheap from the pen of a writer less attuned to the emotional landscapes of desperate, doomed, ordinary people but luckily Gaitskill is no hack. A very, very fine chronicler of the human misery (and occasional, fleeting beauty) of life in an urban hell.

    *well anything but Miss Rooney on Wednesday xx
    Trinu 3.0 likes this.
  10. Being the little book prize whore that I am, I’ve decided to sneak in one more of the Booker longlist before the shortlist is announced: Karen Jennings’ An Island.

    Partly because it’s short, and partly because I’ve been hearing good things.

    If China Room and A Town Called Solace get shortlisted, I might read those too, but I’m not hugely interested in any more of them.
    Trinu 3.0 likes this.
  11. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

  12. Yeah so I saw a signed indie copy and snatched it up without blinking twice.

    The level of self-delusion I had thinking I’d wait.
    Andrew and Beautiful Child 2 like this.
  13. I'm so excited that my all time fave Douglas Coupland is releasing his first work of fiction since 2013. 'Binge' is out next month.
  14. I spent yesterday listening to the Never Let Me Go score (where's Rachel Portman's Oscar?!?!!?) and today there's an Ishiguro sale at the Devil's Shop... my mind... Ishiguro is winning the Booker getting shortlisted!

  15. Had no idea Harlem Shuffle was a crime novel? That might explain the Booker snub (or potential non-submission).
    Trinu 3.0 likes this.
  16. Congrats Ms Clarke.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  17. I had no idea that was happening today ñññ

    I loved Piranesi so good for her! It was not Strange&Norrell... but not many books reach those heights. Hopefully she won't take as long in giving us another book.
  18. I’ve never read Strange & Norrell…
    Alphableat likes this.
  19. I-

  20. Ddd I’ve not read it either.

    I am considering making 2022 my year of long reads. There are so many that I want to read and I never seem to get around to them.

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Heart’s Invisible Furies, Kavalier & Clay, literally any Jonathan Franzen, Life After Life, The Stand, Wolf Hall, Cloud Atlas, Pachinko… and then of course there’s Hanya’s next opus in January.

    Actually exhausted just writing the list.
    dirtypony, Someboy and Trinu 3.0 like this.
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