Yeah I got a little further into it....
Finished "The Dinner" the protaganist wasn't very likable. But it was interesting, his propensity for violence was drew his wife toward loving him. But the book ended with his son implying that there were more acts of violence that had been previously acknowledged. In fact, the violence against the homeless man at the subway station wasn't even mentioned. So Peter just wanted his son: SUCCESS, that was the alpha and omega of the situation. The means proffered was pretty much irrelevant. And the author mentioned that working as a dishwasher previously allowed him to see how circumstances could make one so low on the status totem pole that people wouldn't care if you lived or die.
I found SEX AT DAWN to be a very readable, entertaining and often humorous presentation of very serious, well-documented research. Seriously recommend it to anyone who has chosen, or is planning to choose, monogamy. Not the last word on the subject, I'm sure, but the clear challenge to what have become standardized ideas about sexuality and human sociability are very much worth considering. The implications of the authors' research go far beyond the immediate subject matter, and are understood by the authors as well.
For me the most important generalization is a clear and welcome refutation of the quite idiotic point of view that one hears all the time, from people who look around at the world they live in - a matter of human-created CULTURE over a few millennia of class society, beginning with the invention of agriculture - that it can be reduced to a very simplistic formula: that 'human nature' is, at bottom, merely a matter of individualistic competition for 'the survival of the fittest', that the lives of humans before our recent wonderful creation can be reduced to Hobbes idea that it was all brutish and short, and that our inherent social nature, as inherently social beings, is in fact simply some kind of disguised war of all against all. This is dead wrong - if it were true, we wouldn't be here.
If all that sounds too heavy, read the book, there are lots of laughs mixed in with the scholarship, which is presented in a form anybody ought to be able to follow. - it's a good read, with lots of raunchy apes, including people!
The next meet will be at The Park on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6:30PM. We will have read Graham Greene's TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT.
The Kunming Book Club has a wechat group in which many regular attendees participate, but is open to all. Readings, locations and times of meets are chosen by attendees. New participants welcome.
Next book: UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, by Krakauer. It's about Mormon polygamists.
We will meet next Tuesday, 12 December, at the usual place: THE PARK restaurant & bar, at 6:30 pm
The book club will meet next on Tuesday, December 19, at The Park at 6:30PM, to discuss Henry Miller's TROPIC OF CANCER.