The SpiritStore book club is now heading for its 3rd active week and the book next week under discussion is Cormac mc Carthys ‘The Road’. The Club just finished a series of George Orwell’s essays collected in the book ‘Books v Cigarettes. The consensus was that Orwell’s concise moral and social outlines on imperialism; class and the range of tyrannies imposed by outside and inside societies remain still relevant today. ‘Why don’t more contemporary blogs on similar lines come to the fore particularly in these days?’ was a relevant comment at the table last week. Amongst the talk around this book of ideas was the balance between didacticism, polemic directions, reportage and the borderline fictional approach that the author took at times (for example in describing his Schooldays.)
The Book was recommended to the group by Dawn McCarthy of O Mahoney’s Bookshop who chose it on merit, price and availability. This was a factor new to the group all of who were fresh to the concept of a Book club and accompanying problems i.e. is the book available in some form to be read for next week? Can I physically get it? What happened then was that O Mahoney’s ended up being sold out of the Orwell book as it was being bought by those who heard it was under discussion but were not able to attend the club. Vice versa some were able to attend but were then not able to buy the book. These were in there own way positive aspects that were unseen and both were registered as such.
The Choice of ‘The Road’ was one that sought to avoid such logistical hiccups and since it was actually chosen while the Orwell book was being discussed and in that there arises an interesting overlap. Orwell warned in his essays of the attendant militaristic and fascist tendencies that circle modern democracy and hone the doomsday threat while Mc Carthy describes in postmodern biblical terms the apocalyptic results of an unnamed attack and the humanistic consequences on the notion of the spirit. Personally after reading the Road and having seen the reviews when it came out I was surprised that to my knowledge there is no existing commentary on the similarity in treatment of Mc Carthys book to JG Ballard’s 1966 novel ‘The Drought’. If anyone in book club would like to join me in ‘hang on a minute!’ Mode regarding these two books I would be happy to lend them the Ballard.
The presumably last book before the SpiritStore project ends has yet to be found but it was agreed it should foreground a female voice. The Book club takes place in the SpiritStore each Wednesday at 1-2.