Cooking with Gas – Lit Soc’s First Session

We had a bumper pupil turnout on a warm, sunny evening, which continues to be the Lit Soc tradition in early September.

Delving in to the literary treasure chest that was “What we read on our ‘olidays”, we circled the Globe when discussing the current version of Macbeth, the dystopian and visceral 1984 production at the Playhouse, and even darker theatrical goings on at the Almeida in the shape of another Shakespearean adaptation: Richard III, starring Ralph Fiennes.

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Discussion began with Amelia Bateman’s choice The Girls, which rendered her “catatonic”, unable to pick up another book for five days of her holiday. Another book that has triggered fevered debate in the Sixth Form Common Room is Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It, with its teenage protagonist narrator experiencing many of the growing pains that the age group endure.

Nicola and Sacha contributed their views on The Reader (aka Der Vorleser), which tied in with Mrs Stead’s fascinating description of Berlin and her “enjoyment” of Anna Funder’s Stasiland, originally published in 2001, which details the horrific history of living in East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down. Continuing the international theme, Messrs Conway and Humphreys waxed lyrical on the travelogue genius of Tim Butcher’s Blood River, as both gentlemen were suitably inspired by their respective travels on the African continent.

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Other highlights (too numerous to list all): Mr Sanders deep in law reports, Jenny distinctly underwhelmed by A Tale of Two Cities, a few members had bought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (“great fan fiction”), Miss Norwood enjoyed Robert Harris’ The Dictator, and Mrs Rendle-Short was really enthusiastic about Doris Lessing’s seminal The Grass Is Singing.

Time considerations prevented us from discussing Mrs Horwood’s summer reads which included The Anatomy Lesson by Siegal and The Essex Serpent which has had great publicity recently. Mrs Richards forgot to attend! However, she sent us her recommendations, which included: Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro, Frost/Nixon and Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens. And last but by no means least, Ms Huntley’s favourite Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf, a very different love story, and revisiting Dorothy Dunnett’s amazing six books that make up the Lymond Saga.

Next week is will be on the splendiferous Roald Dahl, in honour of his centenary. All welcome!

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