The last book club went well. There were seven or eight people there, all ready and I guess somewhat excited to discuss The Last Night at the Lobster. It was me and a few ladies in their 40s, and everyone was really kind. I liked it– people were interested in discussing even the smallest parts of the book and everyone laughed at everything I said.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Run was another such purchase– to get me into a book club and get me talking shit with a new group of people in Seattle. This time it was the new yelp.com book group, and it went well. The conversation was good, the coffee and snacks even better (Cafe El Diablo).
Take a look at the cover of Whatever You Do, Don’t Run. You don’t have to look too closely to see that the safari hat the Lion is holding on to was superimposed using MS Paint or Print Shop. It was as if they had no intention of making any effort whatsoever. I picked it up, looked at it, looked at the cost ($16, methinks), and almost didn’t buy it. It’s not as if Safari-guide non-fiction is something I was dying to read.
I got it anyway, and I guess I’m kind of glad. Peter Allison’s book is a bunch of episodes, mostly ending in bad sitcom-style jokes, about being a tour-guide in Botswana. He’s not a particularly good writer, but the he managed to pique my interest in what it must be like encounter a lion while walking alone in the Desert. Almost every story involves encounters with animals that can bite, stomp, sting, or squeeze you to death. Sometimes it reminded me of reading horror, because the danger level seemed almost unreal. At one point Allison parties with some of the guests, and one of them gets drunk and wanders off in the middle of the night. The assumption, the book has you believe, is that it is almost impossible that he hasn’t been devoured by something.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Run isn’t a book that gave this book club much to talk about, besides all of the “oh, shit” moments it inspires. Oh, shit. Lions and snakes are like zombies, waiting beyond and sometimes within the small perimeter of the safari camp to devour you.
I guess, for me, Whatever you Do, Don’t Run is the definitive summer beach read. You just read this simple book, and its over in a day. Occasionally you say “oh, shit” and you might giggle a couple of times, though I find that hard to believe. I’m going to send it to one of my rarely-reading siblings. I found it that readable.
Also, did I mention I got my job back just over a month ago? Things are better now.