Mar 022016
 

Liquorature #079 – “The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale Of Christmas Stupidest AngelTerror” (Christopher Moore)

Date:  December 21st, 2015

Host:  Curt (but not really)

Whisky:  Lots and lots of ’em

 

You had me at ‘zombies’.

In what we’ve dubbed a new Liquorature tradition, this was our second annual Christmas wrap-up.  We do things a bit different for this once-a-year shindig.  No hosts…no whisky purchases…none of the usual stuff.  Instead, we hold a heels party and a bit of a potluck noshing.  Everyone is responsible for bringing a bottle (or three or four) and some sort of food to contribute to the feast.  The book is shortlisted and agreed upon by majority.

In hunting through Christmas titles to follow last year’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ selection, I chances upon this little sliver of a novel by Christopher Moore.  You may recall we read ‘Lamb’ by Moore a couple years back.  His irreverent sense of…well…everything actually was quite a refreshing little break from the more serious nature of so many of our picks.  It was like plunging into a cold pool or having cask strength come out yer nostrils.  A bit of a wake-up.  And a hell of a way to engage again with the fun side of reading.

Moore is fucked up dude.  No two ways about it.  In the vein of Vonnegut, Robbins and other intellectual, yet humour-driven, authors extraordinaire.  But it’s this fucked-up-edness that makes him instantly appealing.  His stories are absurd to the point of almost becoming believable again.  Come on…we all know some pretty colorful characters in this life If we think about it.  Now just imagine a world entirely populated by those sorts.  Then add zombies and shit.  Awesome.

The b’ys loved this one.  Not an intellectual puzzler by any means; simply a great escape and an easy read for the holidays, a time in which we all struggle to make time for the little things in life (such as books).  These sorts of discussions are more along the lines of shared laughs and recollections of favorite parts than any sort of true literary dissection.  The consensus was, though, that while this was great, ‘Biff’ was better.

So…no malts to discuss.  Though we had about 25 on the table for sipping.  And the food?  A brilliant mishmash of delish.  In a way it’s like everyone is the host, as we all get to put our personal stamp on the night.  In fact, I’m already looking forward to Christmas 2016.

And with that we close out another great year.

 

– Curt

Mar 232015
 

Liquorature #067 – “A Christmas Carol” (Charles Dickens)a-christmas-carol

Date:  December 19th, 2014

Host:  Collective (at Curt’s place)

Whiskies:  Lots

 

There’s a reason the adjective ‘Dickensian’ has entered the English lexicon.  The man had a style and resonance all his own.  He was an unparalleled master in both atmospheric composition and cheeky turn of phrase.  His characters were unforgettable.  His stories: rich beyond measure.  Taking six years of Liquorature meetings to finally read Dickens seems almost unforgivable in hindsight.

We mixed things up a little bit with this meeting.  In the early years of Liquorature – in the days when many of our members’ spouses were running a parallel ladies’ book club – we used the December gathering as an opportunity to bring our better halves together and have a shared night of animated book chat.  Each sex bringing their best book from the year and trying to outdo the other side.  A couple years (and a spoonful of drama) later we let that concept fall by the wayside.  We went a calendar or two with no special December events, but when it was time to reinvigorate this monster I decided to being a little tradition and holiday spirit to a beautiful time of year.  Each December we will table a holiday-themed book for discussion.  This won’t be a typical club night in some ways, but in others it will fall perfectly in line.

The suggestion was made by a couple of members early on to not have a host, per se, but instead to allow everyone to let their personalities shine a little by contributing something to the event.  I opened the doors to my place on a snowy evening less than a week before Christmas day and each member of the Collective arrived with food and drink in hand.  Something like a potluck / heels party.  We ate…we drank (probably a little too much)…and we made another truly memorable night for the book crew.  It definitely felt like a Christmas party, which was exactly the intent.

And as to the reception to the book?  What really need be said here?  This is one of the most iconic stories of all time.  Even those that had never read it knew it inside and out from past stage adaptations, the Muppet version, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Scrooged, etc.  The story is beautiful and timeless.  The message still resonates today, and though we’re well past this Victorian age, Dickens’s visuals loom large and haunting.  And the guys let it be known that they all felt the same.  An overwhelming appreciation for this one.

Next year’s Christmas tale may again take us into the macabre.  I’ve got a l’il something in mind already.  A tale that is somewhat at the root of the formation of Liquorature.  More to come.

Random Thoughts:  ‘you may leave if you roll an 18’ … serving up some Johnnie Red … Pat bailing

Until next…

 

– Curt