Friday, January 28, 2011

The Knockout Artist

Hostess: Alyssa
Book:The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews
Food: Salmon with leeks and jalapeno, toasted bread with goat cheese, pears and roasted red pepper, triple chocolate torte
Wine of the Night: Tormenta
Month: January

First book club of the new year, and I needed it. I have been feeling a little bummed out this week, with all that has been going on, but apparently all I needed was book club. Good friends, good food, good conversation, and of course good wine.

Alyssa always picks books with strange, sordid characters living the basest forms of life, doing the worst possible things to get by. Eugene Biggs may not have quite hit rock bottom, but he was lingering around down there with a crazy cast of characters. Oyster Boy, Charity, Pete..

We all agreed the book was hard to get into. For me, the turning point was the introduction of Charity. She was a bigger mystery to me - like what was her story? She acted like a super academic, but she was really just crazy. Karin and I agreed that she was just getting off on her relationship with Eugene, and had the money to live out the farce she was producing. Ironically though, it is crazy Charity's "work" that finally gets the lead out of Eugene and gets him to want to change his life. Shame and humiliation kept him from going home, but reading what Charity thought of him, and realizing that he was just an unique party favor was the epiphany creating moment.

Will I read Harry Crews again? Probably - Alyssa told us about one novel that sounded kind of interesting, although I can't recall the title. I will have to find out. He looks like an interesting guy too.

Karin, at her book club meeting in November, mentioned that we all have a pattern of book choices, which was really interesting. I have been thinking about this, and will continue thinking about this until I decide what pattern I seem to follow. I already did find a common theme that runs through all my choices, although I don't think this is what Karin meant. All of my choices have involved water as a major player ~ Remembering Blue, The Problem with Murmur Lee, and now my next choice, Waltzing the Cat. I hope to explore this idea further, as it develops in my mind.

The next book club book is Waltzing the Cat by Pam Houston, my choice. I am looking forward to rereading this book, Pam Houston is a favorite of mine.


  1. Great article on book club book Erin - makes that book sound interesting. Your next month choice sounds like a good one also. You are the best my friend!

  2. I am glad your book club meeting was able to cheer you up some. It sounds like you have a great group there.

    I can't say the cover of The Knockout Artist would draw me in at all, but I do like my share of sordid and crazy characters. I am glad you enjoyed the book in the end, despite the slow start.

    I hope you have a great week!

  3. I had the same response to the cover Literary Feline ~ it would not have been a book I chose for myself at all. I do have a great book club, and that is one of the reasons ~ we have to step out of our reading comfort zones for everyone else. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Please share your thoughts, don't be shy! I love hearing from people.