Liquorature Gathering #013 – “Survivor” (Chuck Palahniuk)
Date: February, 2010
Whisky: Ardbeg 10 y.o., Aberlour 10 y.o., Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
Rum: Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva
Senor Ostby has some competition. Man…the chili Pat broke out for this evening was a work of art. I would venture it was discussed more than either the book or bevvies. Everything you’ve ever thought about chili…throw it out the window. Spectacular.
Pat pulled no punches for this get-together. Nice layout, great food, nice drink selection. We invaded sometime around 8:30 (give or take) on Saturday. Generally meetings fall on Fridays, but some scheduling conflicts led to us shaking it up a bit. Even so, we were missing Scott, and Bauer flew in from cactus wrasslin’ in Cali halfway through… donning a new chapeau and tequila in tow. In his words…”Clint can’t be the only crazy hat guy”.
The rest of us neatherthals circled the chili like predators over a kill, and did our best to dent the whisky and rum before Bauer’s fashionably late arrival. We had managed to kill off most book conversation within an hour or so, but came back to it a few times. When the Californian contingent arrived we re-visited the tale for one more quick recap.
So…’Survivor’. Something I’ve been waiting to see brought in to Liquorature. Well…not specifically a Chuck Palahniuk novel, but something in the way of contemporary literature. Though we’ve made our forays into contemporary writing (‘Atlantis’, ‘The Lion’s Game’), I wouldn’t exactly refer to those novels as literature. No disrespect intended to either author or person who picked it. Both were highly enjoyable in their own right. I refer to something that stylistically stands on its own, not simply due to story or plotline originality .
‘Survivor’ had an immediate impact, polarizing a couple of us in terms of writing quality and appreciation for the story itself. 85.7% of us enjoyed it (for various reasons). One or two loved it…one despised it (yes…this would be the other 14.3%, for whom I believe it was considered on par with Bob’s opinion of Blood Meridian)…and a couple were a little more moderate, but found something in it that was appealing. There was a general agreement however, that it was definitely something new on our meandering trail towards literary enlightenment.
There wasn’t a lot to discuss with this one, and though we exhausted most topics quickly, it was a relatively enjoyable conversation. The dark satire and anti-establishment/commercialism were lost on noone, so the need for deep examination was for the most part unnecessary. I know I, at least, will take a run at a couple more of Palahniuk’s books (‘Haunted’ and ‘Choke’).
Pat’s rum and whisky selections for the evening were brilliant. A big beautiful Ardbeg 10 for those of us who like the smoke. The Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban for a bit sweeter port-finished dram. Aberlour 10 was arguably the most pleasant surprise of the night, and kudos to Pat for another rum selection that was warmly embraced by all. Lance, it would appear, is winning a few over to the dark side. Should note here, being the gentleman and scholar that he is, Lance was kind enough to bring along one of his own syrupy 21 year old rums to allow us peons a taste.
Key moments tonight? Bauer’s helicopter and amusing spending habits…the most ridiculously divergent debate (and even using the word ‘debate’ is lending it a credence of respectability it doesn’t deserve) two relatively bright individuals could have about the orthodoxy of Shakespeare…Pat’s venture into expansive tasting notes…a ton of (hopefully great) photos taken…and a selection of great drinks.
Gents…look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks.
Pat pleads with Clint and Robert not to ditch the whiskey
That chili was too awesome for words. Nothing but the sound of silent mastication for a full ten minutes
Dissing the new hat. Bauer’s almost in tears: “You plebians have no fashion sense, dammit!”
The Last Hippie goes Zen and tunes out as Clint makes a forceful (if obscure) point