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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!






Morbid Hound

Welcome goonlings to the Awful Book of the Month!
In this thread, we choose one work of literature absolute crap and read/discuss it over a month. If you have any suggestions of books, choose something that will be appreciated by many people, and has many avenues of discussion. We'd also appreciate if it were a work of literature complete drivel that is easily located from a local library or book shop, as opposed to ordering something second hand off the internet and missing out on a week's worth of reading. Better yet, books available on e-readers.

Resources:

Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org

- A database of over 17000 books available online. If you can suggest books from here, that'd be the best.

SparkNotes - http://www.sparknotes.com/

- A very helpful Cliffnotes-esque site, but much better, in my opinion. If you happen to come in late and need to catch-up, you can get great character/chapter/plot summaries here.

:siren: For recommendations on future material, suggestions on how to improve the club, or just a general rant, feel free to PM me. :siren:

Past Books of the Month

[for BOTM before 2014, refer to archives]

2014:
January: Ursula K. LeGuin - The Left Hand of Darkness
February: Mikhail Bulgalov - Master & Margarita
March: Richard P. Feynman -- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
April: James Joyce -- Dubliners
May: Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- 100 Years of Solitude
June: Howard Zinn -- A People's History of the United States
July: Mary Renault -- The Last of the Wine
August: Barbara Tuchtman -- The Guns of August
September: Jane Austen -- Pride and Prejudice
October: Roger Zelazny -- A Night in the Lonesome October
November: John Gardner -- Grendel
December: Christopher Moore -- The Stupidest Angel

2015:
January: Italo Calvino -- Invisible Cities
February: Karl Ove Knausgaard -- My Struggle: Book 1.
March: Knut Hamsun -- Hunger
April: Liu Cixin -- 三体 ( The Three-Body Problem)
May: John Steinbeck -- Cannery Row
June: Truman Capote -- In Cold Blood
(Hiatus)
August: Ta-Nehisi Coates -- Between the World and Me
September: Wilkie Collins -- The Moonstone
October:Seth Dickinson -- The Traitor Baru Cormorant
November:Svetlana Alexievich -- Voices from Chernobyl
December: Michael Chabon -- Gentlemen of the Road

2016:
January: Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the Dog!) by Jerome K. Jerome
February:The March Up Country (The Anabasis) of Xenophon
March: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
April: Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling
May: Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
June:The Vegetarian by Han Kang
July:Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees
August: Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
September:Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
October:Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
November:Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Current:

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

Available from amazon here (including ebook):

Free download link here for all areas where copyright is author's life + 50 years: http://www.feedbooks.com/book/3659/it-can-t-happen-here


About the book:

It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt. Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a Democrat and United States Senator who is elected to the presidency after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes a plutocratic/totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of Adolf Hitler and the SS. The novel's plot centers on journalist Doremus Jessup's opposition to the new regime and his subsequent struggle against it as part of a liberal rebellion. Reviewers at the time, and literary critics ever since, have emphasized the connection with Louisiana politician Huey Long,[1] who was preparing to run for president in the 1936 election when he was assassinated in 1935 just prior to the novel's publication.

Themes and Background

Oh, I think you see where I'm going with this.



Pacing

Just read, then post.


References and Further Reading

Umberto Eco's Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt; Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco; All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren; The Iron Heel by Jack London

Final Note:

Thanks, and I hope everyone enjoys the book!

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Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Cool, I'm in again.

Actually about 25% in. Some pretty good and funny satire so far.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG




I'm also in, been meaning to read this for a while so why not now?

e. I'm a chapter in it so far and have been struck by the old timey voice of narration. While reading it I was reminded of Mark Twain, and a little of Vonnegut, which got me wondering why I was putting the two of them together like that. I've decided its because, instead of being narrated by a character in the book, its classic story telling. That clicked with me, because its a similar voice that Garrison Keillor used for his Lake Woebegone stories. It reads really well and is quite engaging.

The other thing that struck me is just how...appropriate...for these times this book really is. Fear of immigration? Lazy youth? Let's build up the military against some undefined existential threat and maybe have a war!

Bilirubin fucked around with this message at 14:52 on Dec 12, 2016

Baka-nin
Jan 25, 2015



Read the book years a go and currently looking for my copy. I remember being really impressed with how it makes clear that Fascism Corpoism doesn't spring from a vacuum, but built to some degree on prexisting themes and tensions. Though it did get a few of his prediction wrong. The Popular Front thing contradicts all the bits about the American Communists. though its still worth reading them as the arguments between them and the liberal Doremus still have merit.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG




Sauerkraut was called "Liberty cabbage" in WWI? lol "freedom fries" takes on a whole new meaning. We do relive history. :suicide:

The parallels are really haunting. Loved the Father Caughlin callout.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Finished, was awesome.

First thing that struck me was how quickly things got violent with mass killings at the drop of a hat. Different times.

woke kaczynski
Jan 23, 2015

How do you do, fellow antifa?





Fun Shoe

I've started reading this on my own for obvious reasons, glad to see there's a thread. I'm just a couple chapters in so far, is surprisingly funny and pertinent.

Baka-nin
Jan 25, 2015



Groke posted:

Finished, was awesome.

First thing that struck me was how quickly things got violent with mass killings at the drop of a hat. Different times.

I remember reading that a lot of those massacres were based on actual armed clashes that had happened in the 1910's and 20's, like Ludlow. There's at least one passage listing journalists imprisoned by the new regime that included the real names of active journalists who had been most vocally opposed to militarism. I imagine they got a shock when they read it.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!






Morbid Hound

Groke posted:

Finished, was awesome.

First thing that struck me was how quickly things got violent with mass killings at the drop of a hat. Different times.

Well, look at the Philippines.

Walh Hara
May 11, 2012


Finished it as well. I really enjoyed it. Since I'm not American I'm sure I missed a lot of references, but it was still quite interesting. The society is very different, extremely male dominated for example, but there are indeed some parallels with the current world.

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Walh Hara posted:

Finished it as well. I really enjoyed it. Since I'm not American I'm sure I missed a lot of references, but it was still quite interesting. The society is very different, extremely male dominated for example, but there are indeed some parallels with the current world.

Are you like from the planet Mars or something?

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!






Morbid Hound

Need suggestions for next month. Perhaps something more positive.

Baka-nin
Jan 25, 2015



Well I've finished my re-read. I remembered a lot of it but out of order, especially Doremus's conflict with his son Philip I remember that happening much earlier, which made Philip a little more sympathetic in my memory.

Strangely enough the one thing I did completely blank on was the last chapter; except for a brief passage at a train station. I didn't remember anything about the ending but had a vague feeling it wrapped everything up in a neat little bow, I'm pleased that wasn't the case, the ending is pretty appropriate emotionally and narratively.

I have only two real problems with it, like I said before Sinclair really didn't foresee the Popular Front, which is understandable since the Popular Front u turn happened very quickly round about the time he was writing. The other issue is that Trowbridge seems a bit to perfect, and its a bit weird that a novel that repeatedly warns the reader not to unquestioningly follow a leader, any leader regardless of ideology or personality to have a politician be perfect.

Still very impressed with the criticism and description of Fascism, particularly the passages about the Concentration camps, they tally pretty closely to accounts of the early days of the Nazi penal system.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Need suggestions for next month. Perhaps something more positive.

I'll re-nominate Watership Down since it's been ages and I think I want to reread it soon.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Need suggestions for next month. Perhaps something more positive.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut?

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG




Franchescanado posted:

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut?

Just to keep the Nazi train rolling?

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Groke posted:

I'll re-nominate Watership Down since it's been ages and I think I want to reread it soon.

Also since I posted that the news has broken that the author has just died.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Groke posted:

Also since I posted that the news has broken that the author has just died.

Carrie Fischer wrote Watership Down?

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Groke posted:

Also since I posted that the news has broken that the author has just died.

thanks roland barthes

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG




Actually how about Postcards from the Edge or another of hers? I know nothing about any of them

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!






Morbid Hound

Bilirubin posted:

Actually how about Postcards from the Edge or another of hers? I know nothing about any of them

This is a good suggestion.

Need one or two more for a poll.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Bilirubin posted:

Actually how about Postcards from the Edge or another of hers? I know nothing about any of them

Well I was anyway planning to start off 2017 with one of her books (since I started 2016 with Lemmy's autobiography), so that's a fine idea too.

rngd in the womb
Oct 13, 2009



Yam Slacker

I'll nominate Undermajordomo Minor just to round out the poll? I just got it on a sale, and it's comedy, so it should be more positive than It Can't Happen Here. I'd like to throw in a vote for Postcards from the Edge, though!

rngd in the womb fucked around with this message at 09:27 on Dec 29, 2016

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

This is a good suggestion.

Need one or two more for a poll.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson or Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay?

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Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG




Sorry I missed the flash poll.

This book has gone from wonderful satire to really depressing in pretty short order.

e. just finished it. Amazing.

Bilirubin fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Jan 21, 2017

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