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View Poll Results: What scholastic book will we read in September?
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 7 58.33%
Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris 5 41.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-14-2018, 08:47 AM   #16
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I am excited for everyone to read this!

If I can make a suggestion - read as little as possible about the book before you begin reading it. I think the less you know going in, the better the organic development of the book is.
I've been spoilt since before this was nominated so it has nothing to do with anything said here, so I plan to read it with close attention to how its development is handled which will be rewarding in itself.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:11 AM   #17
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I didn't vote for this book in the runoff, but the quality of the writing is remarkably good. It really does draw one in. I'm already in chapter 5, which is speed reading for me.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #18
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I didn't vote for this book in the runoff, but the quality of the writing is remarkably good. It really does draw one in. I'm already in chapter 5, which is speed reading for me.
If Ishiguro had won the Nobel in '05 or '06 on the strength of this book, no one would have been surprised. The only reason it was such a head scratcher when he won in '17 was that his most recent work, The Buried Giant, was poorly received. I have read all his works and I think that Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day are absolute masterpieces.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:10 PM   #19
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The Nobel often lags years behind the work for which it is awarded (and sometimes that work is not acknowledged in the prize award).
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:32 PM   #20
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By coincidence I have just finished reading Never Let Me Go, so I think I will join the discussions for the first time. I know what I think about it, so it will be interesting to read other people’s opinions.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:09 PM   #21
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By all means, we look forward to having you join our discussion! New participants are always welcome and new viewpoints appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:33 AM   #22
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I feel compelled to defend The Girl With All the Gifts. Those of you who have not read it are IMHO really missing out. Whilst it is of course not without its flaws it is an exceptional book. The ideas explored are fascinating and it defies genre to some extent. It is not a traditional horror book. Dystopian Science Fiction is perhaps the best description, but not YA. Very character and idea driven, it explores some quite uncomfortable aspects of human nature. To the extent that the girl in the title (Melanie) is a monster, she is a very sympathetic one, to the point that you will likely find that your sympathies lie with her despite her real and threatening differences.

With the current prominence of arguments about race, cultural appropriation etc. it is interesting to note that the title character in the book is a blonde Caucasian girl. However, in the excellent and reasonably faithful movie based on the book the girl was black, played superbly and very believably by the talented Sennia Nannua. Sometimes I find changes between the book and the movie adaptation very jarring. For instance, I was never able to fully enjoy the award winning movie of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" because I could just not see Jack Nicholson, a superb actor, as the McMurphy of the book. Yet I found Melanie's race inconsequential, perhaps because it has little or nothing to do with the themes involved. The sequel, The Boy on the Bridge, is also an excellent read and a worthy prequel/sequel.

To those who are turned off by books of the type referred to above in the Spoiler section, I can't guarantee that you are going to enjoy the book. I do, however, think that you owe it to yourself to give it a try, even if you only read a chapter or two.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:03 AM   #23
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I feel compelled to defend The Girl With All the Gifts. Those of you who have not read it are IMHO really missing out. Whilst it is of course not without its flaws it is an exceptional book. The ideas explored are fascinating and it defies genre to some extent. It is not a traditional horror book. Dystopian Science Fiction is perhaps the best description, but not YA. Very character and idea driven, it explores some quite uncomfortable aspects of human nature. To the extent that the girl in the title (Melanie) is a monster, she is a very sympathetic one, to the point that you will likely find that your sympathies lie with her despite her real and threatening differences.
I think I'll pass; the label "dystopian science fiction" makes me want to run away almost as much as what was in the spoiler!
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:08 AM   #24
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OverDrive had The Girl with All the Gifts in the audiobook, so after all the raves here and even though it's not my thing I decided to give it a try as a swim-listen, when I prefer something I don't have to concentrate on. So far, so good; it's holding my attention which is the most important criterion when I'm in the water. I figured it would be a good run-up to Never Let Me Go.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:36 AM   #25
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I think I'll pass; the label "dystopian science fiction" makes me want to run away almost as much as what was in the spoiler!
I do understand your feelings, and it is of course your prerogative. When I'm challenged to try something different I sometimes accept and sometimes decline, often based on little more than my feelings at the time. Having said that, its surprising how often I do get some enjoyment and occasionally even love something I would not have normally read. Bear it in mind to read or listen to a chapter or two when you feel like something a little different. If it doesn't keep your interest by this stage then life is too short and there are too many wonderful things to read for you to waste your time.


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OverDrive had The Girl with All the Gifts in the audiobook, so after all the raves here and even though it's not my thing I decided to give it a try as a swim-listen, when I prefer something I don't have to concentrate on. So far, so good; it's holding my attention which is the most important criterion when I'm in the water. I figured it would be a good run-up to Never Let Me Go.
I'm impressed your giving it a try and will be interested to hear your thoughts if and when you get a little further. But once again, life is too short and there are too many great things to spend too much time on something your not enjoying.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:14 PM   #26
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I do understand your feelings, and it is of course your prerogative. When I'm challenged to try something different I sometimes accept and sometimes decline, often based on little more than my feelings at the time. Having said that, its surprising how often I do get some enjoyment and occasionally even love something I would not have normally read. Bear it in mind to read or listen to a chapter or two when you feel like something a little different. If it doesn't keep your interest by this stage then life is too short and there are too many wonderful things to read for you to waste your time.
I am not someone who can read a few chapters and then abandon a book; I figure once I start, I have to finish. I'm taking the opposite approach from Issybird--if I like Never Let Me Go, possibly I'll give Girl with All the Gifts a try.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:22 PM   #27
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I am not someone who can read a few chapters and then abandon a book; I figure once I start, I have to finish.
I was like that until relatively recently. Then, in the midst of reading an Indie which was not totally terrible but simply mediocre and failing to engage me, I thought enough. There are so many really good books to read why waste further time on this one? I do take pains to give a book a fair chance and not abandon it too quickly, but the odds are that I will sometimes miss out because I abandoned a book too early. I can count on one hand the number of books I have abandoned in this way so far.

If I still felt compelled to finish a book once I started it, I would make exactly the same decision as you in this type of instance. If you do ever read it I will be very interested in your comments.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:17 PM   #28
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I was like that until relatively recently. Then, in the midst of reading an Indie which was not totally terrible but simply mediocre and failing to engage me, I thought enough. There are so many really good books to read why waste further time on this one? I do take pains to give a book a fair chance and not abandon it too quickly, but the odds are that I will sometimes miss out because I abandoned a book too early. I can count on one hand the number of books I have abandoned in this way so far.

If I still felt compelled to finish a book once I started it, I would make exactly the same decision as you in this type of instance. If you do ever read it I will be very interested in your comments.
I am generally careful and safe in my choices, which probably means I overlook good books. I decided to participate in the book club to expand my reading choices a little bit.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:18 PM   #29
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If Ishiguro had won the Nobel in '05 or '06 on the strength of this book, no one would have been surprised. The only reason it was such a head scratcher when he won in '17 was that his most recent work, The Buried Giant, was poorly received. I have read all his works and I think that Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day are absolute masterpieces.
I just completed the book. I understand now why he won the Nobel.
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