Vegan Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 588 comments Mod
Discuss the first half of the novel, featuring lessons 1-4.


message 2: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 588 comments Mod
Gonna be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of this book so far.

I don't think I like the way it's written - each chapter is essentially just a huge block of dialogue, and I find it frustrating. Interesting but frustrating.

Elizabeth also seems...I don't know. Pretentious? That doesn't sound like the right word. I'm on her side once we get into the animal rights stuff, but oof. She's too much.

A lot of the time, I just can't follow her, and I find myself skimming over large amounts of her dialogues.

I hope it gets better in the second half!


message 3: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Rose (deborahrose) | 18 comments Like I said on Instagram, part of me feels guilty for suggesting this novel haha. Please let me stay in the group!

I was so sure I was going to enjoy it based on the opening pages, but I agree that Elizabeth is pretentious and tiresome and it can be difficult to keep going when you don't like the character that much.

On the other hand, maybe this is a purposeful decision on Coetzee's part. In a way it examines that vegan struggle to be nice and likable while delivering our message out of a fear that people's receptivity to the message is dependent on how we're perceived by them. Also, our view of Elizabeth is largely filtered through other people - her son and his wife's cynical reaction to Elizabeth, so it's understandable that we wind up also seeing her in a slightly negative light even if we agree with what she's saying in her lectures.

I have lots more to say about the novel, but don't have the time right now unfortunately. I would say that, overall, I'm *appreciating* this novel rather than *enjoying* it. I think it makes sense for a Vegan Book Club to read it, and I can see this being taught in a university class, but I can't think of anyone else I'd recommend it to.


message 4: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 588 comments Mod
Deborah wrote: "Like I said on Instagram, part of me feels guilty for suggesting this novel haha. Please let me stay in the group!

I was so sure I was going to enjoy it based on the opening pages, but I agree th..."


That's true, about seeing her through other people. I hadn't thought of it like that. It's interesting that Coetzee would do that, having us view Elizabeth negatively, considering he himself is vegetarian. But then, at the same time, I feel like the second chapter, about the African novel, we aren't seeing her through someone else, yet she still comes off pretentious.

I agree though - definitely a good choice for VBC, but I probably wouldn't recommend this to just anyone.


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 36 comments Hi. I’m new. I was thinking about getting this book to read with you all. Also, I’d like to look you up an Instagram. Do I just search vegan book cub? Thanks. I’m looking forward to finally reading some good books with vegan characters.


message 6: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 588 comments Mod
debbicat ☮~Traveling Sister wrote: "Hi. I’m new. I was thinking about getting this book to read with you all. Also, I’d like to look you up an Instagram. Do I just search vegan book cub? Thanks. I’m looking forward to finally reading..."

It's @veganbookclub on Instagram :)


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