Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 17, 2001

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Fourteen people attended this meeting. Confessions of a Ugly Stepsister is a retelling of Cinderella from the point of view of one of her stepsisters. The story in Confessions starts earlier and ends later than the traditional story, so we learn more about the history of Cinderella’s step-family and what happens to them after she marries the prince. The author, Gregory Maguire, is best known for his previous novel Wicked, which was the biography of the Witch of the West fromThe Wizard of Oz. Twelve of us had finished the book, one had read half, and the other did not start it.

Several of us loved this book for its premise and Maguire’s execution of it. Comments included “This book kicks butt!” and “Great book! I was hooked by the third paragraph.” We liked how the author set the story in a specific time and place (17th century Holland) and worked historical details and characters into the story. The family develops friendships with several Dutch painters, which allows

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Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 3, 2001

The Road to Mars by Eric Idle

We had a wide variety of participation in this meeting. Ten people showed up at Adventures in Crime & Space to attend the discussion. One regular member of the group submitted comments by e-mail. Another person telephoned the bookstore and gave Willie comments to pass on. And finally, one person visited the store earlier in the day and gave Lori a handwritten note to be read aloud at the meeting. Seven of us had finished the book, four had read half or less, and two had not read the book at all but were just present to socialize.

The topic of discussion was The Road to Mars, a first SF novel by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. The book is a fast-paced futuristic space adventure involving a comedy team, Alex and Lewis. Alex and Lewis have a few robot servants including Carlton, who’s trying to understand the nature of humor and use it as a topic for his Ph.D. dissertation. The comedians and robots get

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