Category Archives: Mark Gatiss

Our Favorite Books in 2013

This year, the book club read 4 gay books, 4 lesbian books, and 4 queer books. We voted for our favorite book of the year. 

Alaa Al Aswany's The Yacoubian BuildingGay Books

Alaa Al Aswany’s Yacoubian Building – WINNER
Mercedes Lackey’s Magic’s Price
Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Dream of the Celt
Sonya Sones’s One of those Hideous Books where the Mother Dies

Lesbian Books

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home – WINNER (tie)
Libba Bray’s
Beauty Queens – WINNER (tie)
Mia Farlane’s Footnotes to Sex
Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt

Queer Books

never mind i - edward st aubynMark Gatiss’s The Vesuvius Club
Edward St Aubyn’s
Never Mind – WINNER (tie)
Tan Twan Eng’s The Gift of Rain
Kathleen Winter’s
Annabel – WINNER (tie)

OVERALL WINNER
Alaa Al Aswany’s Yacoubian Building

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Filed under Alaa Al Aswany, Alison Bechdel, Edward St Aubyn, Gay, Kathleen Winter, Lesbian, Libba Bray, Mario Vargas Llosa, Mark Gatiss, Mercedes Lackey, Mia Farlane, Monique Truong, Queer, Sonya Sones, Tan Twan Eng

48th Discussion: Mark Gatiss’s The Vesuvius Club

51PRDXDX23LBecause of the haze, we decided to cancel the meeting. But for those who have read the book, these are some questions to consider. Feel free to comment and discuss online.

1. The start of the novel is a rewriting of Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, signaled by some keywords such as “Behold! Your immortality!” What is the intention of Mark Gatiss to do so?

2. In the beginning, Lucifer tells Everard a story of Ida’s death but we find out later that Ida is alive. Why does Lucifer lie? What does it show about him?

3. What is up with the corny names, Lucifer Box, Everard Supple, Midsommer Knight, Charles Jackpot, Creataceous Unmann, Christopher Miracle, etc?

3. Themes

Bodies:

a. There are many disabled bodies in the novel: Ida’s limbs, Everard Supple’s glass eye, Mrs Knight’s face, Prof Quibble’s wheelchair. To what purpose do the disabilities serve?

b. There are only fat or slim bodies in the novels. How are fat bodies portrayed? And how are skinny bodies portrayed?

Father Issues:

c. Both Bella Pok and Venus obviously adore their fathers very much and seek revenge for them. Father issues anyone?

gatiss-the_vesuvius_club_fcGender:

d. If we take Venus as a transwoman, how are the women portrayed, bearing in mind that Venus and Bella are the villains in the novel? Is it fair to say that women are either femme fatale or docile in the novel, showing a sexist mindset?

e. List some of the INNOCENT victims who die or suffer in the novel. How many are men and how many women?

Homosexuals:

f. What is the portrayal of homosexuals, Charles Jackpot and Lucifer Box, like?

Race:

g. What is the portrayal of Other races (other than whites)? Is it racist?

Transgender:

h. After Venus’s sex is revealed, whenever Venus is mentioned, the characters go, “Venus, that…. person,” instead of “that man” or “that woman.” This clearly shows the characters not knowing how to place Venus–male or female? But the characters also persistently use “he” as a pronoun on Venus. What does this demonstrate? Is this trans-phobic?

Class:

i. How does class issue come into play? Does it matter than Lucifer lives at Downing St?

Ecology:

j. Is there a metaphor about playing god when blowing up a volcano?

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Filed under Bisexuality, Class, Crime, Disability, Ecology, Italy, Love, Mark Gatiss, Queer, Race, Transgender, UK