MAP Studio Cafe, London


Book Club

  • Date: 15th February 2017
  • Time: 19:30
  • Location: Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Venue: Book Club

Last night’s discussion was about Sugar Man. The general feeling was that this is a niche book, appealing most to those familiar with Sixto Rodriguez’s music, and interested in all the minute details around it. The book is quite repetitive – possibly because the two authors wrote separately and then amalgamated their sections? – and has a lot of information about recording sessions. The first 80 pages, where the authors are trying to find out if Rodriguez is still alive, and the last section about the making of the the Oscar-winning documentary, are the most interesting. If you read the book, skip the prologue, read the first 80 pages, skim pages 80-200+, read the last 150 or so. Or maybe just watch the documentary film!

The next book for discussion is

 His Bloody Project  by  Graeme Macrae Burnet

Review from

A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Will he hang for his crime?

Presented as a collection of documents discovered by the author, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers of Culdie, Ross-shire. They offer conflicting impressions of the accused; one interviewee recalls Macrae as a gentle and quiet child, while another details him as evil and wicked. Chief among the papers is Roderick Macrae’s own memoirs, where he outlines the series of events leading up to the murder in eloquent and affectless prose. There follow medical reports, psychological evaluations, a courtroom transcript from the trial, and other documents that throw both Macrae’s motive and his sanity into question. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s multilayered narrative will keep the reader guessing to the very end.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016, the Financial Times said about this book:

“Burnet proves that the undeniable pleasures of the crime novel can be combined with real literary value and an experimental narrative structure”

Margaret Conroy