Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bloggy Book Club Meetup!!!!! Between the Bridge and the River

Oh, so late! Forgive me. What started out as a few mercy delays, for everyone to finish up reading turned into me catching the nastiest flu in the history of ever and having to delay the meetup and review even longer. On the plus side, I hope those who wouldn't have otherwise been able to finish the book were able to finish the book!

So to the review!

One of the things I love the most about this novel is the novelty of seeing America through a foreignor's eyes. Mr. Craig Ferguson since the writing of the novel has become an American citizen and is currently in that new-American state of patriotic fervor that makes me a natural born American feel a bit unappreciative of my homeland. What amuses me very much is the way he takes a good hard look at some of the strangest things about America and Americans, and he doesn't come down acidly and condescending upon it, but instead, he sees something unique and worthwhile about it.

His characters all fascinate me. They are so horribly flawed, and there is a fussy selfishness about a few of them at the least, and a horrifying decay about the worst of them. He doesn't shy away from anything about them.

Did anyone have a favorite character or storyline? Was there a storyline or character who couldn't be stomached? Seeing as Mr. Ferguson is a highschool dropout who has pretty much completed his education by filling in his knowledge gaps by sitting in a library or experiencing things himself, how did his writing style and story structure seem to you? (I kind of root for him there because I am also a school dropout who feverishly tries to compensate for my gaps in knowledge by learning about anything I can on my own.) Was there a storyline that just busted reality a bit tooo much for you or did you find yourself just going along with it. (Believe me, in some parts of America, church chanting and snake twirling is alive and well. Heh.)

Well, I hope everyone had fun and I can't wait to read comments!

How did everyone's holidays go? :D


  1. Hi my fave *valley girl*
    I also have the most horrendous flu, (although not caught off you ;)) but I could not miss this review.
    Such a fab book, I too loved seeing America through the eyes of this fab Scotsman. I think us peeps from across the pound are often under the misconception that America is just the same as England, but your heritage and experiences are so vastly different from ours, being such a big country from each other too I guess, and I think this comes out in the book strikingly.
    I LOVED the character of Fraser, and of course George, I have never read such an honest book, the characters felt ever so flawed and real. I found the two brothers story gripping, and totally off the wall. Saul (the strongest brother character)was the single most gut wrenching, profane, yet interesting character I have read in a book before. It was like Stand by me, on a massive acid trip!
    Gawd, I LOVED it! thank you Miss Cee for the totally fab choice and god bless you Mr Ferguson, you bloody rock! in my humblest ;D
    Right of to crawl back under the flu rock from which I crawled. See you all soon, can't wait to see what everybody else thought xxx

  2. I wqant ot join you pls point me in direction of meet ups and next books pls

  3. Hi there Becky Goddard-Hill! icklebabe_com is the creator of the bloggy book club. You can leave her a message at the link below or if you have a twitter you can tweet her @icklebabe_com. The next book on the list is "The Remains of the Day" by kazuo Ishiguro.

  4. @icklebabe_com I'm soo so sorry youb have that nasty flu! All of my aunt's friends are catching it now. It is wicked. *shakes fist fruitlessly at it*

    Saul definately was a piece of work. What fascinated me the most about him was...well he was totally the type of man that you see in history, the type that creates religions or extreme political movements or something. He kinda scared me in that respect.

    I have a funny feeling that Fraser is the one most like Mr. Ferguson himself. Check out Craig's autobiography "American on Purpose" and you'll see what I mean! :)

    Yeah, it is funny, my uncle who is a Yorkshireman has so much fun when he comes to America, because he once told me, "It's just so wild here! Things can kill ya!" I was befuddled for a moment and then I realized that things like permissive gun laws, police with guns, the death penalty, the possibility of being eaten by a mountain lion, meeting a rattlesnake or catching rabies, just don't exist over in England. For some reason that amuses him, heh, as if we're still the unwashed wild west or something.

  5. Hello, sorry for late arrival. I did read it straight away so if feels like ages ago since I finished it.

    I really shouldn't have liked this book. I mean it was full of damaged characters on a sometimes vile journey through life. But... somehow you did care what happened to them all, and maybe the two brothers were just victims of their youth.

    It's interesting that you say the church chanting & snake wrestling still go on as this was probably the most fascinating part of the book for me. Evil disguised as religion, which seems so transparent to an outsider, but obviously the 'followers' are completely sold.

    It was a very 'real' book, warts and all. I'd definitely like to read something else by Craig Ferguson, maybe his autobiography would be good as you suggested.

  6. Thanku Cara, for dropping by and posting :) I felt the same, didn't want to like..but did somehow. Sign of a true author I think, make diss-likeable characters readable! Will have to chase up everybody else...poor show bloggy book club peeps..will be sad if we give it up. I have LOVED it, so many worth while, different from my comfort zone reads XXXX

  7. Hey Cara!!

    Thanks for the comment. :) It's funny, because the first time I read the book I thought like you, that I shouldn't like it. It's so honest though that it just reels ya in.

    Hoo yeah, the snake dancing religions are good reminders to me that this country was founded with "freedom of religion" as one of the goals and...yeah...I think sometimes we get what we ask for right? XD

  8. i haven't finished it, and i'm not online much atm, but just had to say, i absolutely love this book so far. I just adore the way he writes - such wit.


  9. @marketingtomilk Yay! I'm so excited that you love it so far. He definately lets his personality shine through in his prose, like he's really proud to just lay out what he wants to say. Pretty fearless I think.