Date: December 19th, 2014
Host: Collective (at Curt’s place)
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