Here in Australia we have a TV show hosted on ABC called The Book Club, with Jennifer Byrne as the host (she’s amazing, honestly one of my favourite TV personalities to be honest). Talking about promotions and book reviews in a previous post I was asked to… review and talk about The Book Club, so hey here I am. There might be spoilers for the book, so you know you’ve been warned.
In the episode, they introduce the members on the panel (two usual speakers and two guests) and introduce the books – this month they talk about Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee as the new book, and This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith as the classic book. They gave a fun fact about American Psycho being illegal to sell unwrapped as once it was released it was deemed to be rated R 18+ and to be wrapped in plastic. Even now in 2015 a book store in Adelaide was ‘gently’ raided for accidentally selling it without the wrapper.
After everything, they have a segment where they ‘go to the streets’ and ask what they’ve been reading. Then they talk about Go Set a Watchman, there were a few comments on the book, like not being able to “divorce” it from Mockingbird and that it feels like a DVD extras. Other comments like that it felt weird going back to nostalgia and then afterwards it’s clumpy. One of the speakers said it went “hoo hoo” at the end. They spoke about how there was violence against women in the book, with slapping as a metaphor for birth and that the book itself is a metaphor for birth.
More opinions on Watchmen were said like “You feel empowered” at the end of Mockingbird. One of the panellists suggested to the viewers that if you’re writer to read it, if you’re a Mockingbird fan to read it, it shouldn’t have been edited though one panellist commented that “I would recommend it with a big but.” After they speak about the new book, they talk about what books they’re reading. How to Walk Away by Lisa Birman, Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, The Children Act by Ian McEwan, The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm and Prayers for The Stolen by Jennifer Clement. They all comment on the book they’re reading about and have a sort of synopsis on it.
The next segment is the classic novel (or a novel that is older then the current year), and they give a synopsis on it as someone from the guest speakers picks the novel and they all review it, (for some reason in my notes I didn’t write down what they said, but from my terrible memory they seemed to like it). The show itself is monthly (with October’s only airing yesterday – or Saturday since it’s 1:51 am here on a Monday), and I genuinely enjoyed it and that it’s a good show. I might if I end up remembering when it’s on give it a watch!