Hey book nerds!
The general consensus on Tokyo Cancelled was that it was "weird".
Our next book is The Trick of It by Michael Frayn. I'd added this to my list after reading Nick Hornby's favorable review in The Polysyllabic Spree (his collection of "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns he wrote for the Believer magazine). It's available on amazon.com and there are a couple copies at the APL and one copy at the UT library.
Our meeting will be Sunday, September 30, 2007 at 5pm at Central Market North Lamar.
By the way, it seems that Nick Hornby (not unlike Grove Koger from Library Journal, quoted on amazon) didn't think the book was funny (though it seems to have been billed as such). However (unlike Koger), he describes it as "witty, smart, readable and engaging." What it lacks, according to Hornby, are Jackass: The Movie-type gags, which is really just fine with me. Hornby was concerned that Anthony Burgess apparently referred to The Trick of It as "one of the few books I have read in the last year that has provoked laughter." He (Hornby) goes on to say: "The Trick of It is about the relationship between a young college professor and his area of expertise, a middle-aged woman novelist he refers to as JL. This relationship becomes complicated, although perhaps in some ways simplified, when he sleeps with her and then marries her: he thus becomes a part of his own research material, a chapter in her still unwritten biography. We have objected to novels about writers and writing in this column before, have we not? We are concerned that the preciousness to which these novels can be prone will alienate the last few readers left out there. But we have no complaints in this case, you and Michael Frayn will be delighted to hear. The Trick of It has a healthy resonance rather than a sickly insularity—anyone who has ever been a fan will recognize something in here—and if you've read Frayn's work then you will know how effortlessly clever he is, and thus you can imagine the fun he has with the hall of mirrors he has rigged up here."