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Transubstantiate - Book Club September '10


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So by now everybody knows that Richard's book Transubstantiate is out. We've all been looking forward to it.

Here's the description:

"They say Jimmy made it out. But the postcards we get, well, they don't seem...real." When an experiment with population control works too well, and the planet is decimated, seven broken people are united by a supernatural bond in a modern day Eden. Most on the island are fully aware of this prison disguised as an oasis. Unfortunately, Jimmy is on the mainland, desperate to get back, in a post-apocalyptic stand-off, fighting for his survival and that of his unborn child. Back on the island, Jacob stares at the ocean through his telescope and plots his escape, reluctant to aid the cause. Marcy tries to hide from her past sexual escapades that may be her saving grace. X sits in his compound, a quiet, massive presence, trapped in his body by ancient whispers and yet free in spirit to visit other places and times. Roland, the angry, bitter son of Marcy is determined to leave, and sets out on his own. Watching over it all is Assigned, the ghost in the machine. And coming for them, to exact revenge, and finish the job that the virus started, is Gordon. He just landed on the island and he has help. Transubstantiate is a neo-noir thriller, filled with uncertainty at every portal, and jungles infiltrated with The Darkness. Vivid settings, lyrical language, and a slow reveal of plot, motivation, past crimes and future hope collide in a showdown that keeps you guessing until the final haunting words. Transubstantiate: to change from one substance into another.

Richard and I PM'ed back and forth about doing a Book Club discussion on it. He was excited about the idea. I thought it was a great way to get this thing going again - by helping one of our own in the process.

Richard said he would be highly involved in the discussion, answering questions and asking questions.

Also, Caleb J. Ross (thirstygerbil) is going to be the discussion leader.

Anyway - the discussion is going to start in the beginning of September. That way everybody has a chance to get the book and read it. But I'd like to give you some things to think about while reading now.

I emailed Caleb and these were the questions that he sent me. I think they work well. These are just a few to keep in mind while reading and I may add to the list.

  • How does the overall structure and the narrative style inform the genre of the book? (Richard calls it neo-noir thriller)
  • How do you feel about the unusually large number of first-person perspectives? Is the book successful with handling so many characters? Who are your favorite characters? Do you dislike any of them? How does each character make him/herself indispensable to the overall narrative?
  • The Secret Shout-outs... The novel contains a lot of cool easter-egg type references to other writers, friends, and cult members. Keep track of all of the ones you can find or figure out.

Again - this thread will be open for discussion in the beginning of September.

Get to reading!