Well, it's that time again, Chewing the Fat's Disability Book Club. I propose that we read Zoo Station by David Downing, a book which I just finished and is a rip roaring read. It, like our last book by Mary Doria Russell's Thread of Grace, is set in World War II and deals with disability history as a major plot point. I don't like spoilers so I'll just talk a wee bit about the writing.
Many historical novels bog down because the author has a need to throw every bit of research into the text. Downing manages amazing historical accuracy (there were things here I didn't know, I'd stop and go to the computer to find out if what I was reading was historically accurate, it always was) but does not sacrifice pacing along the way. In fact this book is breathless in it's pacing, racing you along from person to person and scene to scene.
There is much to discuss here that is of interest to the disability community. While there is only one minor character with a disability - disability is a theme. The parents of a child with a disability are featured more prominently and give us a glimpse into a dark, dark time.
I flat out loved this book. It came as a surprise. I had purchased it because Joe is a huge fan of WW II literature and I read a review of the book (which oddly didn't mention the disability angle) and picked it up. As I read along I was startled after the first brief hint of disability history grew into something much more.
This is an important book, true, but it's a great read too. I hope a lot of you sign up to read along. I'm figuring that I'll wait to see if we get 6 or more and then I'll set a date.
The book is available in soft cover.
How the book club works. We all read the book and on a particular, agreed upon, day one of two things happens. For those with blogs and who wish to, they write a blog about the book and guide us to their blog via the comment section on Chewing the Fat. Others without blogs or who wish to only comment, feedback is simply left here on fat's comment section. I will, of course, blog about the book that day as well so everyone will know exactly where to comment and where to read about others reactions to the book.
Last year we were fortunate to have the author drop in with a comment. I've not been able to find a contact for this author yet, but it's still early.