The Intimidating Book Club attempted to read In Search of Lost Time in its entirety
Yes, dear readers, I am talking about reading In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, which was The Intimidating Book Club's selection for April through November 2022. Despite Proust's infamy as verbose, nay, even impossibly long-winded, the intrepid members of The Intimidating Book Club rose to the occasion. Inured to tomes (and, in fact, known to court novels with outsized page counts), participants threw caution (or should I say madeleines?) to the wind and bravely tackled Proust's Swann's Way and In a Budding Grove.
Convening for seven consecutive months, meeting once a month, each discussion averaged about 15 participants and lasted approximately two hours. Participants read with diligence and discussed each section with sensitivity and a thoughtfulness worthy of the Prix Goncourt. Opening questions included the origins of taste; the nature of artifice; and lingering ruminations on beauty, love, and the enigmatic appeal of (in)famous people.
The Intimidating Book Club will move on from Proust after these two volumes, turning our attention to Les Misérables in February 2023. But fear not, prospective Proust readers and dedicated votaries alike! We have a spin-off group created specifically for you -- and this particular group intends to sally forth, unflinching and eager to take on the challenge. Learn more here. Hope to see you on the other side of Time!
Overview of The Intimidating Book Club
Intended for those who have always wanted to read that one classic novel of gargantuan proportions but never did (or didn't finish). This group will read a notoriously lengthy book widely considered a classic, section by section, and meet monthly at 6:30 p.m. ET for a minimum one-hour discussion that may last through 8 p.m.
Together, we'll get to the finish line. One word at a time.