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View Poll Results: The MobileRead Literary Book Club June 2011 Vote
On The Beach by Nevil Shute 14 34.15%
Seven Japanese Tales by Junchiro Tanazaki 3 7.32%
A Question Of Upbringing by Anthony Powell 5 12.20%
The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov 14 34.15%
Persuasion by Jane Austen 5 12.20%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
sun surfer
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Post The MobileRead Literary Book Club June 2011 Vote

Help us choose the June 2011 selection to read for the inaugural month of the MobileRead Literary Book Club! The poll will be open for three days.

We will start the discussion thread for the selected work on June 17th and a thread for July's nominations will be created five days later on June 22nd. I will start the threads, but the discussion thread may have a "discussion leader" if one volunteers. Everyone can post whatever thoughts they wish on the month's selection, but the discussion leader's goal will be to continue the dialogue in a thought-provoking direction with discussion questions and the like.

Unlike pilotbob with the general book club, I will vote in this poll. In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off poll. In the event that the run-off poll also ends in a tie, the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all five of its initial nominations first.


Select from the following works:

On The Beach by Nevil Shute
Spoiler:
After the war is over, a radioactive cloud begins to sweep southwards on the winds, gradually poisoning everything in its path. An American submarine captain is among the survivors left sheltering in Australia, preparing with the locals for the inevitable. Despite his memories of his wife, he becomes close to a young woman struggling to accept the harsh realities of their situation. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from the United States and the submarine must set sail through the bleak ocean to search for signs of life.

“The most haunting evocation we have of a world dying of radiation after an atomic war.” — The New York Times

“The most shocking fiction I have read in years. What is shocking about it is both the idea and the sheer imaginative brilliance with which Mr. Shute brings it off.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“A novelist of intelligent and engaging quality, deservedly popular. . . . Nevil Shute was, in brief, the sort of novelist who genuinely touches the imagination and feeling.” — The Times (London)


Seven Japanese Tales by Junchiro Tanazaki
Spoiler:
Seven Japanese Tales represents aspects of Tanizaki's prose art between 1910 and 1959. The four short stories have a strong concern with abnormal psychology. He tells of a tattoo artist who is obsessed with the desire to decorate the body of a supremely beautiful woman; a city man who is struck with terror when obliged to ride trolley cars. There is a study of the emotions of a schoolboy thief, and an account of a young man exhausted by months of passion for his mistress. The three longer tales, written in his maturity, tell the story of a famous blind woman who teaches the samisen and the koto, and of a pupil who becomes her lover. When she is disfigured by some unknown enemy, her lover blinds himself. There is an account of a young man's erotic confusions between his dead mother, his stepmother and his wife. Finally, a blind man tells of the ambitions and stratagems, loves and cruelties during the feudal wars of sixteenth-century Japan.


A Question Of Upbringing by Anthony Powell
Spoiler:
Book 1 of A Dance To The Music Of Time

A Question of Upbringing (1951) introduces us to the young Nick Jenkins and his housemates at boarding school in the years just after World War I. Boyhood pranks and visits from relatives bring to life the amusements and longueurs of schooldays even as they reveal characters and traits that will follow Jenkins and his friends through adolescence and beyond: Peter Templer, a rich, passionate womanizer; Charles Stringham, aristocratic and louche; and Kenneth Widmerpool, awkward and unhappy, yet strikingly ambitious. By the end of the novel, Jenkins has finished university and is setting out on a life in London; old ties are fraying, new ones are forming, and the first steps of the dance are well underway.

"Anthony Powell is the best living English novelist by far. His admirers are addicts, let us face it, held in thrall by a magician."—Chicago Tribune

"A book which creates a world and explores it in depth, which ponders changing relationships and values, which creates brilliantly living and diverse characters and then watches them grow and change in their milieu. . . . Powell's world is as large and as complex as Proust's."—Elizabeth Janeway, New York Times


The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Spoiler:
Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita. Full of pungency and wit, this luminous work is Bulgakov's crowning achievement, skilfully blending magical and realistic elements, grotesque situations and major ethical concerns. Written during the darkest period of Stalin's repressive reign and a devastating satire of Soviet life, it combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with incident and with historical, imaginary, frightful and wonderful characters. Although completed in 1940, The Master and Margarita was not published until 1966 when the first section appeared in the monthly magazine Moskva. Russians everywhere responded enthusiastically to the novel's artistic and spiritual freedom and it was an immediate and enduring success.


Persuasion by Jane Austen
Spoiler:
Anne Elliot, heroine of Austen's last novel, did something we can all relate to: Long ago, she let the love of her life get away. In this case, she had allowed herself to be persuaded by a trusted family friend that the young man she loved wasn't an adequate match, social stationwise, and that Anne could do better. The novel opens some seven years after Anne sent her beau packing, and she's still alone. But then the guy she never stopped loving comes back from the sea. As always, Austen's storytelling is so confident, you can't help but allow yourself to be taken on the enjoyable journey.

Last edited by sun surfer; 05-27-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
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I've just cast my vote.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:34 PM   #3
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:51 PM   #4
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:47 PM   #5
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I'll happily read any of them except On the Beach, which I read years ago and thought was a potboiler. Ah, well, there's always next month, if current trends continue.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:15 AM   #6
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I'm going to read The Master and Margarita in any case. If it doesn't win and we are enough people interested, we can have a separate discussion. The Anthony Powell book looks good too, though.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:32 AM   #7
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I cast my vote.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 05-28-2011 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:11 AM   #8
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Well I voted for Seven Japanese Tales, because someone had to (and cos I'd like to read them )
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:36 AM   #9
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I voted for persuasion, would it be too much trouble to provide links to epubs when possible in the OP of this thread? Ideally links to all epubs would be nice, what do you think that would require? An end of copyright or something?
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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Please don't start your typical crap here.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlok View Post
Well I voted for Seven Japanese Tales, because someone had to (and cos I'd like to read them )
I'd like to read them, too. One thing I'd like to get from this club is to expand my horizons and this is the horizon-expander title from the list. Frequently (if not always) the also-rans are more interesting to me, but I'm glad to have found out about them. I'd like to see the executive decision/fiat option some months, in hopes of avoiding too many safe choices resulting from the democratic process.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'll happily read any of them except On the Beach, which I read years ago and thought was a potboiler.
Oh - I was hoping that it would be a novel of absolute and crushing despair. That's what I got out of the Australian production in 2000 and I was hoping to get the same thing from the novel.

Maybe I just like being miserable.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ea View Post
I'm going to read The Master and Margarita in any case. If it doesn't win and we are enough people interested, we can have a separate discussion. The Anthony Powell book looks good too, though.
Ditto
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:02 AM   #14
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I have already started reading On the Beach so that if it wins, I can be prepared to lead the discussion (since I was the first to nominate it). The version here turned out to be not very well edited, but Amazon has it on sale for $1.02 so I bought it.
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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My vote goes to The Master And Margarita as it appears to have the only chance of coming in ahead of On the Beach. Not knocking that novel, but it was a lot more compelling back when it was written at the height of the Cold War. Now, not so much. That and I won't go into the overblown estimate of the world wide effects of nuclear fallout even from a hypothetical massive nuclear exchange between the USSR and the US at the time. For a more realistic account of the effects of fallout try the fictional but based on fact novel Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse about Japanese exposed to fallout from the bombing of Hiroshima.
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