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:
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
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?
As the saying goes, I am in like Karabekian.
I’m in. OK to invite others, degrees-of-separation style?
I can’t believe I’m going to deathmarch again, even if it’s more like deathnibbling compared to Pynchon. I read Oliver Twist this summer because I was in a stage production of Oliver!, and I was just this week trying to decide what to do next. Considered Les Miserables in keeping with aspects of time period and turned-into-a-musical that I just came out of, so thank you for rescuing me from that.
Great to have you aboard, Pete. In answer to your question, yes, the more the merrier.
Vonnegut? I’ll march.
Ooh, ooh, count me in, please! I will March further this time than the very, very short distance I logged on Bothers Kaz…
Me too, please.
I’m in–awaiting arrival of my book just ordered.
Given the name of this particular deathmarch, are Turks even allowed? It seems…unseemly.
I hadn’t considered that particular aspect of it when I chose the name. All are welcome as far as I’m concerned. Honestly I just like the sound of it, all those rolling syllables.
Or to put it another way: That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.
I have participated in other similar marches (Moby Dick, Infinite Jest) with other similar book clubs and would love to join here. Pete Gaughan invited me (in case you need proof that I am a nice book nerd).
Just kidding. But the title did pop right out. Let’s do it. I’m in!
This sounds like my kind of deathmarch – downhill only, snack breaks, cozy slippers… How can i resist!
I will have to scramble to catch up. Do slackers get beaten?
What splendid way to end the summer! A deathmarch of the Unread!
You’re not even behind yet! We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
i’m late, but in.