August 2010

Brodeck’s Report is beautifully written and is by turn chilling, troubling and intriguing. Although a dark account of inhumanity that closely mirrors the Holocaust, the group felt that the novel was not without hope. We debated the author’s use of the book’s fable like setting, the messianic qualities of the Anderer and the numerous moral questions raised in the text. The poetic quality of Claudel’s writing was appreciated and discussed but many found this book to be bleak and disturbing.

Those who enjoyed reading Brodeck’s Report will probably like to read John Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians an allegorical account of apartheid South Africa.

wolf_halla At our forthcoming meeting on August 25th we will be discussing Hilary Mantel’s critically acclaimed Wolf Hall. This fictional account of Thomas Cromwell provides a sweeping view of Tudor England and breathes new life into a period of history with which we are all familiar. This novel won the Man Booker Prize for 2009, the Walter Scott Historical Fiction Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Prize in the USA as well as being short listed for Orange Prize for fiction. Below you will find reviews of the book, biographical information about Hilary Mantel as well as accounts of the prizes that the novel has won.

Book reviews:

Prizes for Wolf Hall:

Synopsis of Wolf Hall and biography of Hilary Mantel


Manchester born and bred writer, broadcaster and political commentator, Howard Jacobson has been long listed for the Man Booker prize for his novel The Finkler Question. Watch out for the short list announcement early in September. For Booker long list see: and for details of Jacobson and his novel see:


Members were asked to bring humorous or uplifting titles to recommend and here is the list:

Eat, pray, love and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
A year in the merde by Stephen Clarke
Out of Egypt by Andre Aciman
The almost moon by Alice Sebold
The secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The marriage bureau for rich people by Farahad Zama
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The uncommon reader by Alan Bennett
The righteous men by Sam Bourne
Man and wife by Tony Parsons
The help by Kathryn Stockett