So last night we had a meeting of the reconvened Lush Book Club, so named because we all work for Lush Cosmetcs - not because of the amount of alcohol we put away during our meetings! Turn-out was disappointingly poor, with only four of us meeting to discuss the book, which was Carry On Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (you can read my review here). Of the four people present, I was the only one who fnished the book, and certainly the only one who enjoyed it.
Many of the people who would usually attend book club meetings didn't come last night because they said didn't like the sound of the book and didn't fancy reading it. It was the first time we had decided on a book which wasn't contemporary - a choice which I guess we won't be repeating, given the lacklustre reception it received.
Amongst those who actually made it to the meeting, nobody really found the book very funny, they all thought the language was difficult to adjust to and that the book was overhyped and didn't live up to the glowing recommendations printed on the back cover. We talked about the difficulties of representing humour in books - especially slapstick - which is such a visual thing and works so much better on film. We also felt that Fry and Laurie's portrayal of Jeeves and Wooster was so brilliantly done on screen that it was difficult to banish them from our minds when reading.
I'm kind of disappointed with the reaction to poor old P.G. Wodehouse's famous creatiion. I had enjoyed it mysef, and found its amusing style rather lovely. One of the complaints I heard last night was that "nothing much happened". Does this kind of gentle humour no longer entertain modern audiences more used to the fast, the loud and the flashy?
Next month we have something a bit different planned for our chosen book. The lady who used to write all Lush's advertising copy left the company last year to do other things, amongst which was to write a novel. She has just finished the second draft and asked for volunteers to read it and give their critical opinions, so we asked her to send us a copy for review. Should be interesting!