07.08 The Polysyllabic Spree

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
July 2008 Meeting

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  1. moirabbc

     /  September 9, 2008

    Although not an admirer of Nick Hornby, I enjoyed this book and he has at least inspired us to do this blog. I would have liked less of a bias towards American writers and there were far too many references to his brother-in-law, Robert Harris, the popular (and very successful) writer.
    I began to warm to Nick Hornby when he stated that Jonathan Coe is the best British writer of his
    generation. He adds, ‘unfortunately MY generation.’ However, I am not so sure that I agree; Coe is the contemporary writer I love best but I could not say he IS the best.
    The running gag about the Spree (supposedly, editors of the literary magazine) was a bit lost on our group. Perhaps it was a private joke with Robert.

  2. moirabbc

     /  September 4, 2008

    I enjoyed your comment – welcome to blogworld – none shall sleep.

  3. madeleinebbc

     /  September 2, 2008

    This book has a lot to answer for…

    Hornby has written what is essentially a book of reviews of other books, along with descriptions as to how he came to be reading them. They appear to be excerpts from a monthly American literary magazine, but then they may not. At the meeting there was some discussion as to whether this publication ‘The Spree’ existed. Hornby refers to a board of editors whose numbers seemed to vary from a handful to several hundred depending on which page you were reading, and had strict rules for their contributing writers, which Hornby struggled to bide by.

    Each chapter covers one month, and starts with two lists; Books Bought This Month, and Books Read This Month. The whole thing is a lot more entertaining than it sounds, and by the time I’d finished reading it I’d made a list of other books I wanted to read, and another shorter list of books I wanted to buy for other people.

    At the meeting someone suggeted that we could do our own individual versions of this exercise, and before you could say Polysyllabic Spree our Webblog was born and I found myself up at 0015 (on a week night!) typing in my contributions… I hope you will too…


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