This is super late, and I only remembered to write something about it had I not imagined seeing the group photos somewhere. I asked my bookish friends if they have seen these photos on social networks only to find out that these haven’t been uploaded yet. Is that strange or what?
In addition to that, I am in no mood to write something about the book discussion. If you have read my initial reaction on it, you must realize that I did not enjoy it. I’m not inclined to put the link here, but it’s just somewhere here.
In our motley crew, I gave it the lowest rating. Most of the attendees at least liked it. During that time, I said that it was just okay, only to admit later on, a couple more weeks after, that I hated it despite a couple of laughs that I got from it.
I will stop discussing my feelings about the book and focus more on the discussion. It was a light discussion, with questions like what we would like to change in terms of geography, to which I responded an eternal autumn with a temperate climate, leaves falling constantly, wind blowing smoothly, but never having to sweep the streets for dead leaves. I actually got the idea from my seatmate. Not an original, I know, but I like her idea. Besides, it’s not a strictly geographical wish, no?
Another question is if we would like to have that translating Babel fish stuck inside our ears. It’s a little gross, I know, like getting a goldfish from a bowl and squeezing it inside your ear, but I didn’t dislike the idea because of that. The Babel fish didn’t appeal to me because I still prefer to have the sense of strangeness and awe when I hear a language I do not understand. I don’t want to kill the fascination of hearing the Spanish S or the French R.
The other questions, I don’t remember them now, except for the final question: do you think that this book has some literary merit? I think it does not. Of course, I was met with silent antipathy and probably some seething anger at my answer. Someone countered that of course, it does have some merit, like the cultural references that it has and that were popular during its time of publication. It might have some cultural impact, but if we just keep to strict literary merit, I insist that it doesn’t.
First, the themes are underdeveloped. We are offered clumsy inferences from whimsical premises about the nonexistence of God. Second, there is not a lot of technique or style in the narrative. It’s a straightforward form of writing. Nothing fancy, just plain adventures and humor, which by the way, I mostly understood, being the dry and sometimes sarcastic person that I am.
I guess I’ll stop now. I hope people would understand that I just don’t like it. I enjoyed the discussion though because really, a lot of the questions do not really draw answers from the book. And I love the food! It’s nothing fancy, and what can I do? I am cheap. I feasted like there’s no lunch time to come, and I ended up with a minor tummy ache, me being unaccustomed to heavy breakfast.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Book Discussion Details
- Date: March 25, 2012
- Place: Chocolate Kiss, A. Roces Ave., Quezon City
- Time: 9 AM to 12 PM
- Attendees: Me, Aaron, Aenna (sorta newbie), Beejay (newbie), Camille, Ella, Jzhun, KD, Kristel, Kwesi, Maria, Marie (newbie), Po (super late), Doc Ranee (discussion leader), Tina, Miss Veronica
- Food I Ate: Cornflakes cereal, champorado, Vigan longganisa, sausages, chicken and pork adobo, omelet, papaya, ripe mango, pineapple, mango juice, coffee, some cakes, and what else? It was a breakfast buffet, by the way.