Chicago Cabal* Book Club, 3rd Edition
posted April 14, 2011 11:58 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sun May 15 at 3:00 PM, the 3rd Coast Cafe & Wine Bar
1260 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL, USA (Map & Directions)
The Chicago Book Club's next selection is The Golden Age, a twisty cult item by Michal Ajvaz. We'll be meeting to discuss it at the splendid 3rd Coast Cafe.
Ajvaz ("eye-voss;" I think Michal is pronounced with a throat-clearing Scottish -ch in the middle) is a fantasist in the tradition of Borges and Calvino. The Golden Age is his take on the old-fashioned travelogue/Utopian memoir: a dry European narrator recounts his time among the seemingly addled inhabitants of an unnamed and unnameable mid-Atlantic island.
The islanders seem at first to do nothing but sit and observe the world, and indeed draw no distinction between reality and representation, so that a mirror image seems as substantial to them as a person (and vice versa); but the center of their culture is revealed to be "The Book," a handwritten, collective novel filled with feuding royal families, murderous sorcerers, and narrow escapes.
(For those keeping score, this will be our second book in a row to feature a mysterious island motif, and the third of three to have weirdness going on around large bodies of water.)

The Golden Age is available here, here, and here. We hope to see you at the 3rd Coast!

*There is no Chicago Cabal.
posted by Iridic to Meetup (5 comments total)

Thank you for including the pronunciation of the author's name, to prevent me from sounding like any more of a complete idiot than I normally do. I am looking forward to reading this!
posted by booknerd at 6:14 PM on April 14, 2011

Dang. I guess I'll start on the Pale King and hope that gets picked eventually.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:45 PM on April 14, 2011

Woo! In, and chaining the slaves to the oars that day to ensure my presence.
posted by kitarra at 9:40 AM on April 16, 2011

Just a reminder that we're meeting this Sunday afternoon.

If you haven't finished The Golden Age yet, it may be that the exceedingly dry first half of book has you discouraged. Don't give up! The story (or at least a story) really gets going around the 45% mark. You might even try skipping ahead a little; it would certainly be in the spirit of the thing...
posted by Iridic at 8:23 AM on May 13, 2011

kitarra, where are youuuuuu?
posted by booknerd at 1:27 PM on May 15, 2011

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments