February 16, 2016
It is above all a book about how circumstances can crush a soul but also about the transformative power of love. Those of us who had read the book. Those of us who had read the book love the relationships Ove had with those around him, particularly with the women in his life.
This book was and excellent book club selection but a good reminder that if not enough people read the book before book club meets, it's really hard to talk about some books.
Going forward, those of us who have read the books are just going to spoiler the hell out of the books for those of you who haven't gotten finished yet but might want to finish yet. Sorry. But it's not nearly as much funny to discuss the book when you have to worry that you're going to ruin it for someone.
Some had read one or the other of the books, some both, some none but we were still able to have a lively discussion about Conan Doyle's characters, writing, and the history of the books. We agreed that the character of Watson serves as the "every man," all of the readers, in that we are always behind Holmes in solving the case. We talked about whether or not Holmes might now be concluded to have Asperger's Syndrome (as further evidenced by both the latest BBC adaptation, "Sherlock" and NBC's "Elementary").
Everyone was impressed by the fact that a man who had very little medical background was able to write stories that included investigative skills that are still considered the best method, skills that police forces had never considered when the books were written. We also talked about the way Conan Doyle wrote about women...and how Watson was lost once women came into the picture.
These were definitely stories out of our comfort zone but they made for fun discussion and, given the amount of background information to be found, make good book club selections.