"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 66
Every time I end a readalong, I think, "There's no way I'm going to top that!" And I'm always right. ;-) That is, all the readalongs have been great, but for very different reasons.
Yet when the time to change direction comes, I always worry that I am wasting the gains of the previous venture. Or as brand managers might put it, confusing my target market. While I generally prefer looking for a new great adventure than continuing to chase a high which might have belonged to a particular time or experience, I'm also a big fan of continuity. But is there a balance between the enduring appeal of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd and my personal desire to keep October and November horrifying?
I gave that question a lot more thought than you can imagine, and can now say, with confidence, that I think there is!
Stay with me while I explain . . . For all a classic novel's virtues, its real value in a modern readalong is the ease with which anyone can secure a copy of it. (Hello, Project Gutenberg!) Basically, if you are able to read this blog, then you are able to find anything in the public domain. You can also find a few things which may or may not be in the public domain but float around in its waters anyway. Like vintage radio shows and classic TV.
If you vote for Radio, we will listen to and discuss thirteen yet-to-be-determined plays from Beyond Midnight, Lights Out, The Mysterious Traveler, and Quiet Please. All of these can be downloaded as mp3s or played on YouTube.
If you vote for Television, we will watch and discuss thirteen yet-to-be-determined episodes from Monsters, Tales from the Crypt, The Twilight Zone, and yes, Are You Afraid of the Dark? I feel a little iffy about this choice of medium, since all of these shows are copyrighted and probably shouldn't be on YouTube . . . but since they're already there, then I'm open to being ethically sketchy for the next two months.
Speaking of sketchy . . . I feel like I'm asking everyone to open a mystery box with me. When we choose a novel, at least we have a map to follow. We know to begin at Chapter 1 and to read all the other chapters in order. And although we might not like the destination when we finally get there, at least we didn't choose it by blindly pointing at some random direction, and the dislike is a function of our expectations at the start. This will be very different. If Radio wins, I know what the first and thirteenth shows will be, but have yet to decide on everything in between. Similarly, if Television wins, I know what the first and thirteenth episodes will be, but will choose the second to twelfth as we go along. Either way, you will have to trust me. =P
So how about it? Polls will be open for a week!
Image Sources: a) Radio listeners, b) TV viewers