Thanks to everyone who participated in our first of three chats on On Beauty! If you were unable to make the chat, we invite you to read the transcript, after the jump.
6:29 PM Carla has joined
6:30 PM Amanda: Hi, Carla!
Carla: Are internet is down so I am going to being my phone
Amanda: Well, that sounds like an exciting challenge. :-P
Chris has joined
6:31 PM Amanda: Hi, Chris!
Carla: So maybe not so much comments
6:32 PM Carla: There may be a solution to my delema
6:33 PM So, Shauna is trying to connect right now, and Stephanie is not yet online. Cindy will not be able to join us this evening.
6:34 PM Shauna has joined
Amanda: Are we expecting anyone else this evening of whom I'm unaware?
So, we're just waiting for Stephanie, as far as I can tell.
6:37 PM Well, I say we get started with our chat, and Stephanie can join us when she does.
6:38 PM So, first off, thanks to everyone for participating in our book club!
Chris: Go reading!
Amanda: It's really nice to have some accountability on reading books, right?!
6:39 PM Amanda: What did everyone think of the first part of On Beauty?
I am not quite sure I liked it at all to be honest
6:40 PM Carla: At 1st didn't like that it started with emails but now can't wait for the next section
Chris: I enjoyed reading it, but I would not recommend it.
Amanda: Personally, I didn't know what to expect. I've never read anything by Zadie Smith before...
Carla: I think it was slow on character development
Shauna: Well here is the thing- I have read to page 84 so I am not quite sure if it perhaps gets better at the end of this section.
6:41 PM Chris: Well, the Kipps come to town.
Amanda: The plot thickens.
6:42 PM Amanda: Well, I was also confused by the email stuff at the very beginning, but rereading it now, it was clever.
6:43 PM Chris: There is a lot of stuff that is hinted at, but not explained until later.
Shauna: Yeah the emails were an interesting way to start introducing characters
Carla: One thing I am confused about didn't howard say Mrs Kipps was hot andnow she's not
Amanda: Yes--a lot of foreshadowing.
Well, I know Jerome described Mrs. Kipps as perfect, but perhaps that was more as a mother? I don't remember, what was Howard's description of her?
6:44 PM Carla: I will look for it
Amanda: Cool, thanks.
6:45 PM I was struck by the description of how the different family members took in the Mozart concert.
6:46 PM I found it to be very telling. Zora, trying too hard. Howard, falling asleep. Levi, not participating. Heh, Levi reminds me of my little brother.
Shauna: And Jerome cried right?
Chris: He did.
6:47 PM Amanda: Yes.
Chris: I remember it was said of Howard that he thought Mozart was one of the great unappreciated composers. Even though he fell asleep.
Amanda: And, I identified most with Kiki.
Feeling somewhat lost.
6:48 PM Carla: I think he was being sarcastic
Amanda: I think he was trying to sound like he had something to say.
6:49 PM I think Howard likes to make statements to spark conversations.
He likes to be perceived as engaged, even if he is not.
Chris: He does have that quality.
Shauna: Very professor-ish?
6:50 PM Chris: For some professors.
Amanda: Ha ha, I loved that one professor that spoke slowly, with Howard interjecting encouragingly between every few words.
6:51 PM Chris: Was this at the party?
Amanda: Before the concert.
6:52 PM What do you guys make of Carl, Levi's new friend?
Chris: He seems like a good guy.
Shauna: I agree
Chris: He is a little awkward at times, but I would be too in his situation.
6:53 PM Carla: I think he is going to have a big part latter
Amanda: Surely he must.
6:54 PM What does everyone think of Zadie Smith's writing style?
6:55 PM Amanda: I wish she did a better job of reminding me that different people have different accents.
I would love to listen to this as an audiobook.
Shauna: I find it a little choppy- she switches between very casual dialogue and the super-descriptive paragraphs of the scenery, etc
Chris: I like how it is easy to read, but I have been reading dense stuff so this is easy by comparison.
6:56 PM Shauna: What accents are they supposed to have?
British for all of them?
Carla: I think it took some getting used to but I am able follow most of the time
Chris: Kiki would have a Southern accent.
Amanda: Well, Howard and the Kipps are British, Kiki is from Florida,
6:57 PM Carla: Are my post coming up twice?
Amanda: Levi has the faux Bronx accent, and the two other kids were born in Britain but moved to the U.S.
Shauna: Nope Carla
Amanda: No, Carla, not for me.
Chris: Only one.
Carla: Okay thanks I see two but no big deal
6:58 PM Amanda: Strange.
But, yeah, I imagine that the Boston folks have accents, too, but I keep forgetting abotu it.
6:59 PM Shauna: Ok I'll be back my parents are calling me for something...
Amanda: We'll miss you!
Chris: Something is better than nothing.
7:00 PM Amanda: Heh.
Carla: I think this would work as a play then you could get your accents
Amanda: Mm, that would be interesting. The physicality of the party would be great as a play.
7:01 PM Chris: Any comments about any of the other character, the children, other college people, etc?
Amanda: What do you guys think of Howard's lie?
7:02 PM Chris: He should have come out with everything earlier, unless he wants to be divorced and remarried like his friend who told him to deny everything.
7:03 PM Carla: To answer my earlier question think I got confused with another description he says he envisioned a trophy but she isn't pg 40 (mrs kipps)
Amanda: Absolutely, Chris. Bad call on the lie. So much worse than telling the truth, even if the truth is hurtful, too.
Ah, I see, Carla.
7:04 PM Chris: If he cannot remove a condom from his pocket, he does not have the skills to pull off a string of lies.
7:05 PM Amanda: Heh, no kidding. Absent-minded professor, much?
7:06 PM Carla: It was a cover
I beleived it
Amanda: I believed it, too.
I'm trying to pinpoint when I realized who it really was.
7:07 PM Shauna: OK I'm back
Chris: I thought it was Mrs. Kipps to begin with.
Amanda: Shauna, you may want to hum loudly...
7:08 PM Amanda: lol
7:09 PM Chris: I only figured it out at the party.
Amanda: Me, too... Probably when there was that lengthy description of Claire.
7:10 PM Carla: Also I think kiki wanted to believe it was a one night stand because she did not press for more pg 110
Amanda: Yes, not asking for details doesn't seem her style... She didn't WANT to know.
Chris: Considering how well she is able to read Howard's face, she must have decided to ignore the signs.
7:11 PM Amanda: Didn't read the footnotes, as it were.
7:12 PM Shauna: As it were.
What do you think of Kiki? Of her response? Of the way she interacts with her children?
7:13 PM Chris: Her interactions seem odd, but that must be what works for her.
Carla: I like her overall
7:14 PM Shauna: I am not sure if I like her...
Amanda: She is so different from Howard.
Shauna: Her and her strange flirtatious ways...
Carla: I don't think we have gotten her full response remeber we are still at the party
I think she is unsecure to say the least
7:15 PM Chris: I don't think we are going to get any more from the party.
Amanda: Her interaction with Mrs. Kipps was interesting.
She is very insecure, Kiki.
7:16 PM But, it's hard to be in that university environment if not an intellectual, I suppose.
Carla: Maybe mrs kipps is also not a scholar or did smith say otherwise
Amanda: She is not, but...
Chris: Neither of the Mrss are scholars.
Amanda: Mrs. Kipps exudes confidence.
7:17 PM Carla: Yes I think she is materanly and has raised a family that she is proud of
7:18 PM Amanda: It made my heart sink when I read of Howard that "it was only later that brains began to mean something to him." (124) It's as though Kiki can't satisfy him intellectually. Which is lame, since he has his professorship to take care of that.
Shauna: Yeah really
7:19 PM Carla: But just look at the family of belsey one kid almost dropping out an annoying girl (that is at least what I think of zora) and a want to be ganster
Shauna: OK I actually have to leave guys! Sorry! See you in the next chat!
Shauna has left
Carla: Yeah amanda
7:21 PM Amanda: I think Zora is annoying, too.
Chris: I am not inspired by the children.
Amanda: Zora is so obsequious.
7:22 PM Well, it would be boring if the children were all perfect, I suppose. But, they aren't very sympathetic characters.
They're all a bit selfish, methinks.
Chris: When you are always in the shadow of your father at college it can be difficult to be yourself.
7:23 PM Amanda: The way they interact with one another. Utter oneupsmanship.
7:24 PM But, it's only the first part of the book. Hopefully we'll see some character development, huh?
Carla: I think she also is really mean to levi
7:25 PM Chris: Their actions will reveal their true natures.
Amanda: Yeah, no one seems willing to interact with Levi on his terms. That's why Carl will be important.
7:26 PM Carla: Yeah hope so I think the book may take an interesting turn I hope iam able to keep up with the schedule next month
Chris: I can do the reading, but will miss the next chat.
Amanda: Our next chat will be on Monday, July 26th at 6:30 pm, through the end of the second part (271).
Aw, sad day, Chris!
7:27 PM Carla: The anniversery what day is it?
Amanda: Oooh, good question!
Carla: I might be on call
Amanda: Well, if that day works for no one, we might be able to change it, huh?
7:28 PM Have to talk to Cindy and Shauna. And, Arri may be joining us.
Could the anniversary be Sept. 11th?
7:29 PM Carla: I don't know my schedule yet and yes that is what I was thinking too
7:30 PM Amanda: Well, we'll post something the week before to solicit good times.
Chris: That is a reasonable course of action.
Amanda: Thank you, Mr. Page.
7:31 PM Chris: It just hit 7:30, baring any final thoughts on On Beauty, I should make dinner.
Amanda: Me, too.
7:32 PM Chris: Ok, the question to ponder reading the next section, how does the title fit to the story?
Amanda: Mm, interesting. Will keep that in mind.
Carla: Nope good talk it is time for me to go to bed will do chris
Amanda: Well, good night, folks! Great conversations!
Chris: Have a good night and happy reading!