The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 4

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 26th, 2016 by bill

Up next, it’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.

Let’s meet up Monday October 3 at the end of Chapter 6, where “Frustration made Norman Mushari sneeze.”

The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 3

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 19th, 2016 by bill

Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

This week is a sprint to the end of Cat’s Cradle, in which I’m sure that everyone will live happily ever after.

The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 2

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 11th, 2016 by bill

Today is 9/11. Tomorrow is 9/12. By 9/19, I hope to be at the end of Chapter 88 of Cat’s Cradle, which comes on page 131 of the American Library edition. I hope to see you there, where “…he was no good at facing the public, and neither am I.”

The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 1

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 4th, 2016 by bill

And we’re off.

Let’s meet up next Monday at the end of Chapter 43 of Cat’s Cradle, where we’ll learn that “he hadn’t murdered his son after all.”

Here’s some music to march by:

How a Deathmarch Works

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on August 31st, 2016 by bill

A few people have asked for clarification about how a Deathmarch works. So here’s the deal:

Every Monday I will post a new entry here giving the target for that week. Usually in the past we have done about 50 pgs/week, but given the relative simplicity of Vonnegutian prose, we’ll probably up that a bit this time. For instance, I think we’ll try to knock off Cat’s Cradle — 188 pages in the Library of America edition — in three weeks.

Throughout the week people will discuss that week’s reading in the Comments thread. No spoilers, please, assuming spoilage is even possible here.

If at the end of the March you have commented every week, there is some sort of prize. Sometimes it is just the knowledge of a job well done, and sometimes it is some piece of swag like a mug or magnet. This time, we’ll see how it goes.

Any other questions?

Announcing: The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on August 29th, 2016 by bill

11 years ago (!), my sibling Cecil Vortex introduced the concept of the “Deathmarch,” in which a group of brave souls work together to tackle some formidable piece of literature. In this way we conquered tomes including Gravity’s Rainbow, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote, and many (OK, several) more.

The Deathmarch has been dormant since the 2011 battle of Infinite Jest, which resulted in quite a few casualties. But I talked to Cecil yesterday and we decided it’s time.

In part this is inspired by my recent Kurt Vonnegut kick (see four posts ago), and by the fact that two…or was it three?…Christmases ago I received a lovely edition of all Vonnegut 1963-73, which has been moldering in a cabinet as I make my way through the endless Pile of the Unread.

The edition of which I speak looks like this:

And here’s an Amazon link.

You are not necessarily required to own this edition to participate. The novels covered will be:

Cat’s Cradle
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Slaughterhouse Five
Breakfast of Champions

But there are also some stories and essays at the end of the big book. I think we’ll decide whether to include these in the March when the time comes.

Of course, reading the work of Kurt Vonnegut scarcely deserves the name “Deathmarch”; his stuff goes down like popcorn compared to the weighty prose of a Pynchon or Wallace. But, you know, branding.

I’m thinking we’ll start next Monday, September 5. Who’s in?