Monday, July 25, 2011

Bookclub: Joe Cinque's Consolation & A long way down

Joe Cinque’s Consolation: Helen Garner

You have just been picked up by a friend and you are on your way to a dinner party. In the car your friend tells you that the dinner part is actually a farewell, because the host of the party is planning to kill herself and her boyfriend later in the night....what do you do? This is the reality for a number of people at a dinner party hosted by Anu Singh in mid 1997. The only problem is no one does anything to stop it and Singh’s boyfriend Joe Cinque dies from a lethal drug overdose administered my Singh after knocking him out with Rophenol. Most frighteningly this is a true story.

For me this story was really gripping it was kind of an urban legend whilst doing my law degree as the crime occurred in Canberra, so this book filled in a lot of the puzzle pieces. The story follows the murder trial of Anu Singh and the co-accused. It includes interviews with the victim and the accused families. Most importantly it questions the justice system and why no one did anything when Singh had made her intentions clear to a number of people. I read this book very quickly and was just completely absorbed in the story, for a complicated legal matter it is easy to understand and regardless of the subject matter is a story most people will be compelled by.

A long way down: Nick Hornby

I was really excited when we chose this book for book club as Nick Hornby is a great author (think High Fidelity & About a boy). The book starts when the four main characters meet on the roof of Toppers House on New Years Eve all with a plan to commit suicide which is derailed when the others are there as well. They make a pact to wait until Valentine’s Day to see if things get better, and agree to keep in contact to help each other.

The main thing I like about this book is the character development, by the end of the book I felt like I really knew the four main characters and could picture them vividly in my head. I think it’s a great concept for a book but I felt unsatisfied by the ending and thought overall a lot more could have been done with the storyline. It’s an interesting read but not one I am rushing out to recommend.

I have just noticed how morbid the last two books I have read are, whoops. Have you read anything good lately? I am always adding to my "books to read" list.


  1. wow! two very interesting choices and both will be goin on my "to read" lists!

    i am reading "the immortal life of henrietta lacks" right now and loving it. it's non fiction but written as though it is a novel. FASCINATING! google it.

  2. OK I have to read Joe Cinque’s Consolation. It sounds amazing! How could people let her kill her boyfriend? That is insane!!

    I've been trying to read a lot this summer and have read a few interesting books but nothing amazing. I am actually excited to finally start The Hunger Games tonight!

  3. I am mesmerized by that first book--sounds crazy and fascinating! Right up my alley :) Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. I've been wanting to read Joe Cinque's Consolation for a long time! I remember reading bits about the case in the newspaper when it happened. Isn't it so scary and awful that nobody tried to stop her? Apparently she's doing a law degree in prison now too.

    I love Helen Garner (even if the first thing of hers I read was a description of how she watched an autopsy!) I think her first novel, Monkey Grip is one of my favourites.

  5. That top book sounds like just my kind of read. That sounds awful but I love 'morbid', true crime books! I just finished reading 'One Day' by David Nicholls which I highly recommend if you're looking for a light read -x-

  6. It may be morbid, but I love the sound of both of those books. What fascinating topics.

    x Jasmine

  7. TaT's bookclub section has been invaluable for honing down my To Be Read list after a long while abroad. Thanks for all of the ideas! Best wishes.


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