Friday, 17 May 2013

Book Club: 'Surfacing'

This month we read Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. It was a pretty short book, but so much is packed into it! The characters are complex and there is a great deal of subtext so I think it is the type of book that would get better on a second or even third reading. I liked the main character; she starts off fairly pragmatic, but towards the end of the book there is more symbolism and more of an exploration of mental states which is really interesting. I did find that I got lost somewhat towards the final chapters, I wasn't exactly sure what had happened and that made me a little confused about what feelings the character was trying to express.

The thing that most interested me was the relationship between the two couples and how that changes as they spend more and more time in isolation. There is increasing paranoia, vanity, pettiness and other strong emotions all come to the surface, deeper characters and fears are shown than might ever be exposed in the city dwelling routine that the couples normally belong to.

I have to say, I have read quite a few works by Margaret Atwood before and this was a good read but it wasn't my favourite.

After we finished our discussion of the book we grabbed some pizza and settled down to watch The Impossible, a film about the tsunami in Thailand. I love both Ewan MacGregor and Naomi Watts. I thought that it was an incredibly emotional and a bit overblown and hammy in places, but there were definitely things I appreciated. The acting was fantastic, particularly the kids. It managed to portray just how fast everything happened and how much pain and insecurity and fear there was. Some of the scenes of the ocean wave coming in and engulfing the resort were literally awe inspiring, as was the contrast between the tranquil Christmas day and then the carnage afterwards. None of us cried it must be said, but there was definitely a bit of squealing and hiding behind clutched pillows as the suspense mounted. I enjoyed it (if you can say that about that type of film!).

This month we are reading (and probably watching) The Hobbit which I have never read. I know, I'm about to remedy this situation poste haste. To the bookery! Without a moment to lose!

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