Monthly Archives: August 2015

Can Adult Fiction Have a 14 Year Old Protagonist?

“Growing up in rural Connecticut, I had been told the name Riddell meant something to people in the Northwest.

Just finished A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. I enjoyed the story, but I never completely suspended disbelief two reasons:

1) Letters and diary entries that were too detailed.

2) Our protagonist turns 14 in the first part of the book but Trevor Riddell didn’t sound 14 to me. I read a review that said this age-voice mismatch is because the story is being told by Trevor as an adult, but that wouldn’t explain all of it. Then again, I’ve never been a 14 year old boy, and our author has, so maybe he knows this voice better than I do.

This story could be an excellent movie; some of the components of the story that we need to know could be shown instead of being told through a diary entry and a strong actor could make it easier to believe Trevor regardless of his age.

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Filed under This Book Would Make A Great Movie

Follow Up to 8/16 Meeting

This message is going to my entire Book Club list, if you never want an email on this subject again, do let us know! Remember, whether you’ve read the book or not, come once, a dozen times, or never before – you are always welcome. (And if I missed someone, please share this with them and let me know).

We had a very nice gathering in Sara’s lovely garden today and I promised to send an email to recap a few decisions/reminders. All of the meeting times mentioned below are 4:00 to 6:00pm.

1 – Next meeting is September 13 at my house (Brooklyn Street), the book being discussed will be Moonwalking with Einstein : the art and science of remembering everything / Joshua Foer I just put it on hold at the library and I’m now 2nd of 2 holds for 38 copies.

2 – Following is October 11 at Kathleen’s (Brooklyn Street), the book is The world without us / Alan Weisman. The library has 15 regular book copes, I’m 4 of 4 holds.

3 – November will be at Sharon’s (not on Brooklyn), I expect the 8th but as I write this I am reminded that I am always out of town on the second Sunday of November and I may put out the idea that this be moved to the 1st or 15th because I’m looking very forward to discussing Astoria : John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s lost Pacific empire : a story of wealth, ambition, and survival / Peter Stark (library has at least 38 copies and today I ordered a used hardback copy for $5 from Amazon).

4 – We’ll end the year at Adrienne’s (Brooklyn Street) on December 13 with The book of Genesis / illustrated by R. Crumb. The library has 14 copies. I’m wondering if I can read my copy of The Brick Testament instead.

5 – January we’ll have our annual “what shall we read this year…” meeting. We did agree today that everyone will limit themselves to 2 titles to recommend, it was either that or agree to not be too polite to remove a book from consideration (too many books, not enough meetings…). That location is TBD, though I expect it will be January 10th (2nd Sunday of the month).

As I said, if you don’t want another Brooklyn Book Club email, do let us know (and if you already did and I lost it, I’m sure after reading the September book I’ll be able to remember in the future).

Looking forward to all of it,




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Visiting a Friend

April 9 – 10, 2009
Augie Odenkirk had a 1997 Datsun that still ran well in spite of high mileage, but gas was expensive, especially for a man with no job, and City Center was on the far side of town, so he decided to take the last bus of the night.

Starting a Stephen King novel is like settling in for a long visit with a dear, if slightly odd, friend.

What I think of this particular story should be irrelevant to others; I am a fan, have been since I read Carrie when I was still in my teens and after reading his book On Writing I became his #2 fan (I’m letting Annie Wilkes keep her claim on #1).

Mr. Mercedes does not have supernatural scares, but that is, in many ways, scarier than the stories that do. I was slow to commit to reading this book because of that, but when I learned that the next Stephen King novel will be something of a follow-up to this one, I knew I didn’t want to miss two in a row so I started over – and finished the 436 pages within a week.

Looking forward to my next visit.

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Filed under For The Love of Books, I Read It