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This Is Memorial Device - Oct 2019 Book Group discussion thread

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Feb 2020
10:25am, 29 Feb 2020
459 posts
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Read Diogenes's piece ^^^ and consider TIMD done. You are not alone.
Feb 2020
11:14am, 29 Feb 2020
43627 posts
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I gave it a 5? That's quite high...
Mar 2020
5:42pm, 15 Mar 2020
15848 posts
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Haha, I liked this although the continuous "male gaze" of everything got very wearing. Even the chapters from the point of view of female characters (e.g. Paprika Jones) sounded like men. Is everyone that obsessed with sex?

So after struggling with the early chapters, the later longer chapters clicked, some of the characters (such as Johnny McLaughlin) seem satirical, so irritating to the point of fact you want to hit them, but also seeming reminiscent of people I'd met in music scenes. But the defiantly modernist point of view worked a lot better for me than say Tom McCarthy's Booker prize nominated novels. The stories of the drummer going to Israel, following naively a romantic obsession and ending up bruised and changed by the encounter. The care home nurse chapter and also the chapter in Paris worked. The piecing together of different views to come up with a multi-faceted history. Street Hassle's chapter as well. For once, there is no start, there is no end just different points where each character checks in and checks out, and once you'd worked out who they were, there was sly humour derived from one character's view of another. I liked the "Rashomon" like view of events. I liked the fictionalisation of town which probably had one pub band at best in reality, creating a mythology where none existed. True it was a little overwrought in the writing and depended a lot on music knowledge you already had, otherwise at times it became a bloomin' list of names you'd never heard - like the last chapter heavily referencing Lothar and the Hand People's "Space Hymn", it acts like a soundtrack to that chapter, the author was listening to it as he wrote it, I'm sure. Music has a rhythm. Good writing has a rhythm. One can evoke the other. And just occasionally it did. 7 out of 10, because a lot rang true.

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