House keeping matters before we waft away into the sensuous feast that is The Book Club ABC.
- JByrne = Jennifer Byrne
- Ace = Jason Steger formerly Stegersaurussex
- Marieke Hardy = an utter delight
- I’m dyslexic, there will be errors. No rewards given for spotting them, I’d go broke.
- I’m neither sponsored nor paid for this, I do it for love. But if you want to bribe me I like wine, notebooks, and money. Money is my favourite.
The credits play. Books are dancing across the scene in a colour coordinated disregard for segregation via genre and or alphabetisation. I’ll allow it. JByrne appears. She’s clearly pissed off the wardrobe department, they’ve tried to mask her radiance with beige and muted toned. It hasn’t worked. The make-up department have her back and have lovingly added an extra layer of gloss to her lips to combat this clear case of sabotage.
Marieke is there, clearly on excellent terms with the wardrobe department. She looks like a model for Kitten D’Amour. Next to her sits Michael Williams, director of The Wheeler Centre, the main man, the big dude, the guy who can make or break an author with a snap of his fingers, so I better keep things above board and completely respectful. He really could do with an extra button undone on that shirt. What is going on with his ankle region? Am I just seeing what I want to see? Is he wearing smarties on his socks. #sockwatch Doesn’t he look delicious? I just want to nibble on those ankles. Nom, nom, nom…. In a most respectful and revered fashion, obvi.
Opposite, sits John Safran. If you don’t know who he is, have you been living under a rock? And ooolala, what is Ace wearing tonight? An electric blue jumper to match his electric personal magnetism. Perfection.
Time to get down to business. There’s books to be discussed. Paula Hawkins has released her second novel, does it live up to the hype of The Girl on the Train… well Michael indicates that The Girl on the Train didn’t live up to its own hype so why would the second one? Saucer of milk for Michael’s table. JByrne says it had 11 different narrators and so she found it a bit difficult to follow. She suggests she might not be clever enough for it. Jason says he didn’t find it difficult at all. Oh reeeaaaallllyyyy.
Tonight’s classic is chosen by Ace and is therefore sexy and British, just like him. Has he had a haircut? There’s something extra about him this evening. It could just be that jumper, but it might also be the hair. We’ll get to the book later on when they do. As for the new book….
JByrne is practically bursting out of her skin with excitement that she has managed to lure the esteemed John Safran onto the show. She says she did it by choosing his favourite author’s new book, Moonglow. Safran kinda shrugs nonchalantly and says, yeah he likes Michael Chabon, in a deadpan voice. I snort some Gossip Moscato out of my nose trying to suppress a giggle. JByrne looks a tad heartbroken at his lackluster response. Marieke suggests that his appearance on the show does coincide with his own book coming out yesterday and that maybe, just maybe, JByrne’s ability to lure him wasn’t that miraculous. Cynic.
The dramatic recreation is played. Holy crap, I love the music they’re using for it. Gold star for music choice.
John takes things away by saying that he likes the book and it was better than Chabon’s last one. It’s said so deadpan that JByrne has to check that he’s saying that it is even better than the book he previously told her was his favourite book of all time. He nods his agreement that this is the case. John indicates that there could have been a smidge less sex in there.
Marieke thanks John for addressing the ‘grandpa’s penis in the room’ as she felt that this book had more grandfather penis in it than she had ever encountered before in her life in a book. John agrees that he would possibly have enjoyed the book even more if there was less grandpa penis. Jason indicates he is totally fine with the quanity of grandpa penis. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out if there is too nuch or just the right amount of grandpa penis.
JByrne breaks free of the grandpa’s penis and talks about how Moonglow is a book set right at the darkest point in history. It’s about the attempted eradication of the Jewish population.
Michael said that he could have marked every single page for examples of beautiful writing. He reads a quote about the smell of a postage stamp. Apparently Michael really loves postage stamps.
Marieke said she enjoyed it until it became too complex and obviously not true. This bothered her because she felt tricked. She liked the book but just felt lied to and overwhelmed with grandpa penis.
Jason says that the trick is to read it all as fiction. And why does it matter if it’s true or not? Marieke points out that it matters to her and Oprah! She asks why does he sometimes refer to it as a memoir if it’s not? JByrne says, ‘Because it’s fun.’ Marieke lets JByrne know that lies aren’t fun and maybe she should think about her priorities in life.
They start talking about a skinless horse. It’s apparently important. It’s where fact or fiction is decided. I have a history minor and must confess I don’t really know anything about some symbolic skinless horse. I don’t know what’s happening. Hold me. Has Nuckelavee made an appearance? Let’s move on.
It’s time for By the Bed. Woot.
Michael is reading All My Friends Are Superheroes.
Marieke is reading Anything is Possible.
JByrne is reading Death of a She Devil.
John is reading Pop 1280
Ace is reading Reunion
And now it’s time for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It is noted that Ace brought it as a by the bed in 2013. He says it’s a Cinderella story about a nightclub singer with three blokes on the go and a pervy old lady watching on. He says it’s like a glass of champagne that never goes flat. This is coincidentally exactly how I feel about Ace.
Marieke says it’s farce, it’s frolicksome and a whole bunch more f words. It made her laugh out loud. It was hot and sexy and she loved it. She said it was also a very kind book. It didn’t use mean humour.
Michael suggests that it’s kind with a hint of racism. JByrne says not only racist but sexist. She challenges the other panelists as to why it can be considered kind and funny given that it’s deeply antisemitic. John says it’s okay because it’s old.
Michael says the book is just like Jason. Racey, English, and very silly. So if you like Ace, give it a read. I shall be pressing it to my eyeballs shortly.
JByrne finishes the discussion by staring into Ace’s eyes and murmuring, ‘Are you happy, Sweetheart.’ She then plays a montage of Jason and his love of books with British biddies.
What a time to be alive. A show where panelists love both a book about the horrors inflicted upon Jewish people in the 1940s AND a book that was published in 1938 that is antisemitic. In totally unrelated news, who likes playing connect the dots?
Next week they’re discussing Lincoln in the Bardo and The Handmaid’s Tale. See you next week.
Read last week’s episode recap here.
Read Michael Williams’ Robinpedia entry here.
Watch past episodes of The Book Club ABC on iView here.
Read about the positives I’ve found in being a dyslexic writer here.
Find the film version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day here.