June 28, 2017

Book Review: 'Left of the Bang', By Claire Lowdon

Published in 2015, ‘Left of the Bang’ is a contemporary novel about the lives of young adults living in London. Told in third person narration, the story focuses on Tamsin and her relationship with her boyfriend Callum. Surrounding this central relationship is a series of sub-plots that provides a thorough look at the complexities of a generation. Big themes are tackled in this book: sexuality, adultery, modern family life, war in a contemporary setting.

Tamsin is not the most likeable character, in fact she’s quite unlikeable; what keeps you hooked is the rawness of the writing. There is no censorship to what these characters say and do, and it is refreshing to see such an extremely honest portrayal, for better or for worse.
Left of the bang is a military term that describes the lead-up to an explosion. This idea is reminiscent in the novel as events slowly reveal themselves and reveal what is to come.

Reserve a copy here.

June 08, 2017

Movie Club - 'Nebraska'

Set in the American mid-west, Woody is an alcoholic retiree who thinks he has won $1 million dollars in a sweepstakes prize. Woody becomes convinced he must walk from Montana to Nebraska to collect his winnings in person. He is slow and fragile; only with the help of his nice-guy son, David, does he manage to begin his journey.

Along the way Woody and David visit relatives. The characters which turn up here (including Woody’s wife and other son Ross, as well as two cousins) seem simple, however, as the film develops it is evident there is a complex undercurrent occurring. Woody’s extended family believes he has actually won a million dollars. It is through these peripheral characters that sit on the edge of Woody’s life that we piece together the man Woody once was.
Nominated for six Academy Awards and a Palme d’Or, Nebraska is a film that ultimately instils a quiet sense of greatness through character and a strong sense of place. The Midwest is highlighted for its bleak bareness and it is beautiful. Characters are revealed slowly, so that by the end of the film we know them as people in our own lives.

The Movie Club will be screening 'Nebraska' on Wednesday 14 June, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.