American Clare Pettengill, newly arrived in Glasgow, starts up a book group in order to make some new friends. The group consists of three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious ...
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The footballers' ladies are clearly dissatisfied with their menfolk whilst, on the phone, Clare lies to her mother about her non-existent social whirl. In a book-shop she tries to converse with Rab ...
Clare is now living with Lachlan in a loft apartment and studying 'Don Quixote' for the group though she keeps visualizing herself as the don with Kenny as Sancho Panza. Kenny himself gets his book ...
American Clare Pettengill, newly arrived in Glasgow, starts up a book group in order to make some new friends. The group consists of three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious drug-addict student, a closet-homosexual football enthusiast, and a kind and gentle struggling author in a wheelchair. Each week they meet to read and discuss a new book, which always affects or influences each of the group's lives in some way. Written by
Though the book group met at her house, Fist didn't pick the scandalous book 'The Sexual Life of Catherine M'. Instead it was Jean, who was rooming with Fist at the time. This means Fist never picked a book during the series' run. See more »
[after reading "The Little Engine that Could"]
Barney, did you think that little engine was going to make it up that mountain?
Mm. Yes, I did, Clare. After all, 'tis an American book.
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The first season's opening credits show the characters' houses in the order they appear during the book group sessions: Clare, Dirka, Barney, Rab, and Janice; though he had picked the book, Kenny decided to have the group meet at Clare's instead and Fist hadn't picked one during the first season. See more »
Not everybody will like this type of transgressive, subtle comedy rooted in appreciation of character, but those how do will find it one of the funniest things they have ever seen.
The comedy of this show is basically about delusion. Almost all of the people in it are deceiving themselves about who and what they are. They are building castles in the air and refusing to accept their lives. The main character in the show and the butt of most of the humour is Clare, the American girl who starts the book group. Well-intentioned but also vain and naive, she looks down on the other girls for their ignorance and open sexuality, and refuses to admit to herself that her motive in starting the group is basically sex. She believes she has insight into others while in fact she has none, coming from a protected background, romancing her own life and failing completely to understand the earthy Glasgow people. The only character who is not comic is Ken, who is a paraplegic who has had to be realistic about his own life and who is turning his dreams into reality.
This comedy is also very transgressive. In one scene, Lachlan and Clare are having sex while he explains to her where her G-spot is.
But the real butt of the comedy is the audience. It asks us to re-evaluate our own intellectual pretensions and lives. This is why some people react so strongly to it. The humour arises from understanding and compassion. The Book Group is true art because it asks us to examine our own lives.
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