Every now and then, we get to study a book that WASN’T written by one of us. That’s nice- at least someone doesn’t feel like they’re being personally victimised- but we still can’t agree on a darn thing. Arguments, complaints, whining, vitriol…and this time, it was all because of the bizarre choice of book.
Sally thought it’d be a good idea to pick this odd number, all about a man trapped up a ladder. I could tell from the prologue that it was a scathing postmodern critique on Melbourne’s aluminium ladder industry and how many folks get into ladder-related businesses only to fail because they lack the proper training and equipment. It wasn’t stated, as such…I’m just quite good at reading between the lines.
If only the rest of the writing group actually understood that, because THEY all seemed to think it was a literary ode to the life-destroying nature of deception, as well as a slight critique on how cats don’t truly care about people. And look, I can see how an amateur would look at the text and come to that conclusion. Maybe if one of the kids in my year 9 English class came to that conclusion, they might scrape a C+. But I would think that a group full of adults who CALL themselves professionals would have a deeper understanding of the major themes. If only they took the time to look deeper and question their own initial reactions they’d start to grasp the depth of this meaty subject. I mean, it’s a folding bailey ladder that causes the main conflict in the first place! And the man’s complete lack of skill in assembling folding platform steps is what causes his epiphany, which eventually leads to him changing himself in soul and career. But we can’t get to that part yet, because we started arguing over chapter one. Didn’t help that SOMEONE ate an entire bowl of Eton Mess…by herself. Seriously.