Minutes from January 25th meeting

Great conversation at the Medway Public Library about International Literary Fiction!

Our Benchmark was “The 100 Year Old Man Who Went out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson.

Our observations about International Literary Fiction in general:

  • Patrons like to see a worldview other than their own
  • Sometimes has a different tone and perspective than US based literature
  • Voice, Plot, Pacing can be very different and intriguing
  • Good Translation can make or break the book
  • There might be a distinct difference between European literature and other nationalities
  • Allows one to be an “armchair” traveler
  • For fiction readers, is great way to learn about another culture

Our observations about “The 100 Year Old Man Who Went out the Window and Disappeared”:

  • Funny and Funky
  • More Plot, less characterization
  • Writing can be both charming and jarring – maybe a function of the translation
  • Can be likened to Forrest Gump but very different from the innocence of that book
  • Lighter, less intense than most Scandinavian books
  • Place is important, plot is based on place
  • Can be likened to an “Indiana Jones” type of adventure
  • Definitely a “road trip” book – both through place and history
  • Fast paced
  • Would definitely recommend to men, senior citizens, book groups, etc.
  • Well constructed, good translation (we think!)
  • Always surprising

 

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