March 2008 Book of the Month

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March 2008 Book of the Month

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu": L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

1Hagelstein
març 2, 2008, 10:34 pm

I was asked to pick for March. How about Smonk by Tom Franklin?.

2Dystopos
març 3, 2008, 10:01 am

Smonk it is. Thanks for stepping up!

3andyray
març 7, 2008, 10:02 am

know nothing about it. Good! I'm stuck in 60 years of past literature anyways. Need something new. I shall hit the library foirthwith.

4LouisBranning
març 7, 2008, 11:26 am

I'm a Tom Franklin fan, but never have read Smonk, so this is as good a time as any.

5LouisBranning
març 11, 2008, 7:33 am

I just finished Tony Earley's wonderful new book The Blue Star, and plan to start Smonk later today.

6RandomSpiffiness
març 11, 2008, 6:22 pm

I just finished Smonk, and I couldn't wait to go write a review. It was so different from anything I'd read recently. Great choice!

7LouisBranning
març 12, 2008, 5:58 am

I'm over halfway through Smonk, and I do plan to finish it, but it is beyond a doubt one of the worst books I've ever read in my life. And once I'm done with this awful-on-every-level item and write my review, it's going straight in the garbage, as I've got 9-year-old triplets who are already rabid readers, and don't ever want them to accidentally pick up this crapball thing and assume it's something that merits even a sliver of their attention. Not gonna happen.

8Dystopos
Editat: març 12, 2008, 11:04 am

Ah, genuine disagreement. This should spice things up.

PS, my copy is just now on the way. Maybe I should have just sent a SASE to LB.

9LouisBranning
març 12, 2008, 11:56 am

I'd have sent it to you in a heartbeat, D.

10LouisBranning
març 14, 2008, 1:55 pm

Ok, I've written and submitted my review of our featured title, and Tom Franklin will need to move heaven and a large part of earth before I read another of his books.

11LouisBranning
març 29, 2008, 5:11 pm

How's everyone doing with Smonk? I was just curious as to how many have finished, or are maybe still getting through it. Just wondering what your general opinion of it was, aside from any reviews that you may have already written??

12RandomSpiffiness
març 30, 2008, 9:26 pm

I find it odd that it looks like only the two of us have finished it, Louis. I would think two differing reviews would have generated interest.

13Dystopos
març 31, 2008, 12:30 pm

I've only just managed to start reading it, having plunged through the first few chapters before getting caught up with other chores.

LB, is the vulgarity your main complaint?

14LouisBranning
abr. 1, 2008, 5:58 am

No, D, my complaints about Smonk really have little to do with the vulgarity of the language or the situations described. My problem is that it's just not a very good book. Instead of realistic characters a reader could get involved with, Franklin offers only caricatures, none of whom remotely resemble any real people I've ever encountered, and because they're little more than crude cut-outs, it's difficult to care about what happens to them at any stage of the story.

And the violence that Franklin portrays, and keeps piling on in scene after bloody scene, quickly becomes numbing and grossly predictable as well, but because his characters are so flimsy and poorly drawn, I was unable to empathize with any of them and they might as well have been cartoons. As somewhat of a parallel, there was plenty of violence and graphic mayhem in Lonesome Dove, Little Big Man, and Blood Meridian, with many scenes as grotesque as anything in Smonk, but the writers made me care about the characters in those fine novels, about the stories they were part of, something Franklin utterly fails to accomplish in the unfortunate Smonk.

15Dystopos
abr. 1, 2008, 4:22 pm

Innocent question. I hope I didn't belittle your analysis by asking it. Franklin certainly seems to relish the caricaturing of deformity and depravity, and to do so without sympathy.

16RandomSpiffiness
abr. 1, 2008, 8:12 pm

I think that if Franklin had made us care about the characters the tone of the novel would be changed completely though. Smonk hardly came across, in my opinion, like it was meant to rend the heartstrings. The ridiculousness of the plot, which I happened to find entertaining exactly because of its unrealistic qualities, is aided by the callous way both the characters traits and the violence is treated.

17LouisBranning
abr. 2, 2008, 9:26 am

Hey D, no problemo above, but I'm interested in what you thought about it, and I'm just assuming you're close to finishing pretty soon. And I'm also curious to get some other opinions on it too, how many in the group actually read it, how many liked it (besides RandomS above), whether they chose to write a review or not. Over at Amazon there's a bunch of rave reviews, but only a couple who felt like I did about it. I remember when it came out, Smonk was reviewed by a lot of the mainstream press, but the consensus on it was pretty withering, which is why I'd avoided it until now.

18LouisBranning
abr. 5, 2008, 3:28 am

I think Smonk has killed this thread.

19RandomSpiffiness
abr. 5, 2008, 11:31 am

I agree that we've gotten as much discussion as we're going to out of Smonk. Perhaps we should move on to an April book in hopes it might be more generally pleasing.

20LouisBranning
abr. 5, 2008, 1:38 pm

That's the best idea I've heard lately, RS.