I wouldn’t have elected to read “Prince of Tides,” were it not this month’s selection for a book club at the library. Since I have no friends of my own in my area (seriously. I socialize exclusively with Rob, and friends and family of Rob), I thought a book group would be a neat way to meet some people (like me).
I sure am glad I liked the book, because the folks at the meeting last night sure were weird. The only ones close to my age were a girl in a wheelchair, who kept chiming in about her abusive ex-husband (Guess what? We’re here to talk about the abusive family in the book, not yours), and the library staffer. Nice to meet her anyway.
Going around the room, the first woman to introduce herself said she stopped reading after 30 pages because she was offended by the profane language.
Three other women either said they didn’t have time to finish the book, or didn’t want to. Even the library staffer had to turn to the audio version* because she simply couldn’t get through it.
The only other person who actually read the book was a middle-aged man with a greasy combover and missing front teeth. I scolded myself for having a negative reaction upon sight, because he enjoyed the book, and even appreciated the challenge of Conroy’s excessively florid language. He contributed mostly valid commentary during the discussion, except when he described his living situation (which he hopes will change soon) in which he shares a room with some dude who turns on the TV first thing and watches it all day.
He’s the only one who, like me, looked forward to the time of day when he could sit down with the book, and was sorry when it ended.
So, even if my new best friend isn’t in the book club, I might go back. Depending on what the selection is next time.
*I’m actually rather enjoying my foray into audio books, and don’t consider them necessarily lesser to the visual reading experience in any way. Right now I’m listening to “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” and the reader does terrific accents. I think I’m more entertained than I would be hearing those voices in my head.