Thursday, September 17, 2009

BooK club Selection for September

We chose Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith for our September discussion. The setting is Edinburgh, Scotland and the protagonist is Isabel Dalhousie, a reviewer of peer reviewed articles on Applied Ethics. The book has a great attention grabber as the opening sentence: "Isabel Dalhousie saw the young man fall from the edge of the upper circle, from the gods."

Did he jump, did he slip, or was he pushed? Isabel felt she had a moral obligation to find out. The word moral comes up a lot in this story as in moral responsibility and moral cowardice, for examples.

Anyway, Isabel discusses her concerns about the young man to her housekeeper Grace, her niece Cat and her niece's ex boyfriend Jamie. All agree that she should mind her own business. Of course, she doesn't.

Sounds like an interesting story? Well it wasn't. I would rate this 2 1/2 stars out of 5. It had lots of potential but the writer included too many irrelevant details and the end was not very satisfying to me.

Interestingly, the title is the Sunday Philosophy Club but the club, we are told, is inactive. What we got were several philosophical discussions about love, moral obligation, lying, poetry, gambing, truthtelling in sexual relationships, truthfulness in genetics, forgiveness. We also got some interesting points of view, cats are natural sociopaths for example.

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