Book choice for March 2013

A Perfectly Good Man [suggested by Ross Allatt]

A Perfectly Good Man

When 20-year-old Lenny Barnes, paralysed in a rugby accident, commits suicide in the presence of Barnaby Johnson, the much-loved priest of a West Cornwall parish, the tragedy's reverberations open up the fault-lines between Barnaby and his nearest and dearest – the gulfs of unspoken sadness that separate them all. Across this web of relations scuttles Barnaby's repellent nemesis – a man as wicked as his prey is virtuous.

Returning us to the rugged Cornish landscape of ‘Notes from an Exhibition’, Patrick Gale lays bare the lives and the thoughts of a whole community and asks us: what does it mean to be good? [product description on Amazon]

No entry on Wikipedia, but being down with the kids the novel has its own Facebook page.

About the Author

Wikipedia entry.
Author's website.

 

Shortlisted for this month

This was Month One of our experimental new book choosing method where everyone at the meeting brought one book, and from those available the ones considered for next month had to NOT have been read by anyone present. This gave us four books to choose from in total. Besides 'A Perfectly Good Man' we also voted on:

Kafka On The Shore [suggested by Amy Gregg]

Kafka On The Shore

Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy.

The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

As their parallel odysseys unravel, cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle - one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece. [Product description from Amazon]

Wikipedia entry.

About the Author

Wikipedia entry.
Author's website.

The Doll Princess [suggested by Geraldine Osowska]

The Doll Princess

It's Manchester, July 1996, the month after the IRA bomb, and the Evening News is carrying reports of two murders. On the front page there's a photograph of a glamorous Egyptian woman, a socialite and heiress to an oil fortune, whose partially clothed body has been found in the basement of a block of flats. It would appear that she has been the subject of a sexual attack. In the back pages of the same paper there is a fifty-word piece on the murder of a young prostitute whose body has been found dumped on a roadside near the McVitie's Factory.

For Bane - fixer, loanshark and legman for one of Manchester's established ganglords - it's the second piece of news that hits hardest. Determined to find out what happened to his childhood sweetheart, he searches through the tribes and estates of his bombed city for answers. It soon becomes clear that the two newspaper stories belong on the same page, and that Bane's world belongs to others - those willing to profit from gun arsenals, human trafficking and a Manchester in decay. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Not been around long enough to whip up a website for himself, or even a Wikipedia page, but there is this.

We Had It So Good [suggested by Matt Stibbe]

We Had It So Good

Born to hardworking immigrant parents in sunny suburban Los Angeles, Stephen Newman never imagined that he would spend his adult life under the grey skies of north London, would marry Andrea for convenience and stay married, and would watch his children grow into people he cannot fathom. Over forty years he and his friends have built lives of comfort and success, until the events of late middle age and the new century force them to realise that they have always existed in a fool's paradise. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Wikipedia entry.
Author's website.

 

Previous Months' Book Choices

2013

January February March April May June July August September October November

2012

January February March April May June July August September October November

2011

January February March April May June July August September October November

2010

January February March April May June July August September October November

2009

January February March April May June July August September October November

2008

January February March April May June July August September October November

2007

January February March April May June July August September October November

2006

January February March April May June July August September October November