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Old 03-05-2019, 01:37 PM   #16
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Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake
I knew that sounded familiar- Gormenghast! I watched the BBC production with Jonathan Rhys Myers so long ago and though I don't remember so much of it, I do remember that it definitely lives up to the definitions of strange and queer.

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The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen
You had me at 'literary society'. (more or less just kidding since I haven't decided what to vote for yet, but I had to comment on that )
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:00 PM   #17
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For my last nomination I offer Troubles by J.G. Farrell. It’s the winner of the ‘Lost’ Man Booker Prize.

We still have at least a few more hours to go but I’ll add in more info about it, update the first post and start the vote a little later when I’m not on mobile.
I chose Troubles because like many of the nominations this month it revolves around an assorted cast of unusual characters. In this one, set just after WWI, a man returns to Ireland to find out if he's still engaged to his fiancé, whose family owns a grand hotel although the family and hotel are now on a steep decline. He finds his fiancé strangely altered and he apparently moves into the hotel, where the few remaining guests enjoy rumours and whist among all the disintegration of the hotel including cats taking over the bar and piglets taking over the squash courts. Well, most of that will also appear just below in the quoted abstract too , but something that won't be there is that it's been described not only as a first-rate historical novel, it's also romantic, gothic, mournful and full of dark humour. It won the Lost Man Booker Prize, which was awarded in 2010 because there originally was no winner for books from 1970 simply because of a rules change (until 1970 the award was for the previous year; in 1971 it became for the current year thus leaving 1970's crop out in the cold... it was odd they didn't make up for it at the time somehow but anyway they did 40 years later). Goodreads 459 pages, 1970, Ireland & England

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1919: After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo-Irish family owns the once-aptly-named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough. But his fiancée is strangely altered and her family's fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline. The hotel's hundreds of rooms are disintegrating on a grand scale; its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist; herds of cats have taken over the Imperial Bar and the upper stories; bamboo shoots threaten the foundations; and piglets frolic in the squash court. Meanwhile, the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin. As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room, outside the order of the British Empire also totters: there is unrest in the East, and in Ireland itself the mounting violence of "the troubles."

Troubles is a hilarious and heartbreaking work by a modern master of the historical novel.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:30 PM   #18
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Nominations are complete and voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly four days from this post.

Each person has NINE votes to use.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:40 PM   #19
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I really like the way this topic turned out with the nominations; it's a very diverse and delightfully queer group. I'm going to enjoy reading samples of each to decide which to vote on and I look forward to see which one wins out.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:16 PM   #20
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If I'm not mistaken, all of our nominations this month are first-time nominations for the book clubs here, which is terrific. The nominations also represent eight different decades and seven different countries.

One thing that hadn't occurred to me until now is that I've been slowly watching one of the queerest television series ever these last few months and I just realised how well it related to our monthly category. The series in question is Twin Peaks: The Return which is without a doubt the strangest series I've ever seen, and overflowing with queer characters. I'm also reminded of one other series called The League of Gentlemen which was also full of very unusual characters, but it was more purposely over-the-top comedy so I think Twin Peaks easily edges it out as strangest series for its quasi-realistic seriousness and subtler humour mixed with such unusualness.

As I was reading the preview for Passing Strange I thought, hmm, it's odd that the preview prologue isn't anything like what I was expecting, being about a black woman in the 1800s who married a white man in NYC. I thought perhaps this would be the ancestors of a main character who moves to San Francisco. Well, after I finished the sample and was pretty confused, I looked again and realised I'd read the sample for another book called Passing Strange, lol. I'd gone to Amazon to get the preview and the other Passing Strange was listed first in the results (I didn't include author's name) and I just read it without considering that it might not be the correct one, heh.

The only other nomination I'll comment on right now is The Little Prince, which I've wanted to read for ages. I'd actually been saving it to read as my first book in French once my French was good enough, but my learning of the language is so slow and scattershot that I'm not sure when I'll ever get there, so now is as good a time as any to read the book (and if it wins, I'll read it in English, heh).

I'm going to spread my nominations out very evenly this month because I liked all the previews and would be happy with any of them. Since I can't vote for all, I decided to choose the one not to vote for based on which one seemed the least queer, which was difficult since they all seem to be in their way. But if it comes down to it, I wasn't sure just how odd the actual characters are in Troubles even though their circumstances and surroundings seem quite unusual, so even though it's my own nomination it's the one I'm leaving off though I'd still be very happy if it won. Thus my votes are:

-1 to Eva Luna
-1 to Passing Strange
-1 to Unreliable Memoirs
-1 to The Little Prince
-1 to Flatland
-1 to Titus Groan
-1 to Observatory Mansions
-1 to The Family Fang
-1 to The Rabbit Back Literature Society
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:34 PM   #21
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[...] As I was reading the preview for Passing Strange I thought, hmm, it's odd that the preview prologue isn't anything like what I was expecting, being about a black woman in the 1800s who married a white man in NYC. I thought perhaps this would be the ancestors of a main character who moves to San Francisco. Well, after I finished the sample and was pretty confused, I looked again and realised I'd read the sample for another book called Passing Strange, lol. I'd gone to Amazon to get the preview and the other Passing Strange was listed first in the results (I didn't include author's name) and I just read it without considering that it might not be the correct one, heh. [...]
As I was reading this paragraph I was trying to work out what you were talking about. So you just shared the confusion.

I'm not certain how far my participation here will extend, so I might watch the vote process rather than exert a preference.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:37 PM   #22
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We are happy to have you participate here whenever you feel like it. I always enjoy your nominations and discussions in the other club.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:40 PM   #23
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Thank you
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:03 PM   #24
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Basically ditto to what Bookworm_Girl said. It's great to have you here whenever you can.

Last edited by sun surfer; 03-08-2019 at 03:33 PM. Reason: corrected a typo
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:48 AM   #25
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Less than five hours left to cast your votes!
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:27 PM   #26
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Thanks for the reminder. I thought I had until tomorrow. It’s been a busy week. Glad the weekend is finally here.
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #27
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Here are my votes. I picked the books that I thought would be interesting in a run-off vote if it comes down to that.

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende Votes 2

Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James Votes 2

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Votes 2

Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey Votes 2

The Rabbit Back Literature Society Votes 1
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:47 PM   #28
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And it has come down to it.

We have a four-way tie! I'll get the two-day run-off running soon.
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:52 PM   #29
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And it has come down to it.

We have a four-way tie! I'll get the two-day run-off running soon.
Whoops, I slipped up dallying too long over what to vote for so missed the deadline. Am I able to vote in the run-off (shouldn't tax my brain so much with there being fewer choices )?
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:22 PM   #30
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Whoops, I slipped up dallying too long over what to vote for so missed the deadline. Am I able to vote in the run-off (shouldn't tax my brain so much with there being fewer choices )?
No problem, and yes anyone can vote in the run-off even if they didn't in the first vote.

I'll have the run-off up as soon as I get enough time to edit in the run-off vote for each nomination in the first post.
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