The Book Of Eli (2010)
The Book: The Book Of Eli
The Writer: Anon – but it’s named after the fella who’s been carrying it around (Denzel Washington)
Our Book Club Says: Should we ever have to face the post-apocalyptic wilderness, we’d be very grateful for the nuggets of wisdom we found here.
That said, the consensus amongst the group is that this isn’t all that dissimilar to a book we’ve all read before. Wouldn't be the first time a publisher tarted up an old best-seller with a new name.
Basic Instinct (1992)
The Book: Love Hurts
The Writer: Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), writing as Catherine Woolf
Our Book Club Says: Woolf’s latest steamy saga has us gripped to the end with its twisted tale of sex and murder. Ice picks? Chilling.
Where does Catherine get her ideas from? Her storylines are so convincing several of the group swear she must be some kind of criminal genius herself.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
The Book: Death And Taxes
The Writer: Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson)
Our Book Club Says: Eiffel’s latest promises to be another masterclass in elegant tragedy, as a rare mistake by a fastidious tax inspector inadvertently sets up his downfall.
However, the group felt severely let down by the book’s ending, which either signals a softening in Eiffel’s trademark attitude or suggests she’s been watching too many Hollywood comedies.
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Book: The Princess Bride
The Writer: S. Morgenstern
Our Book Club Says: What could you want from a book? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles... As you wish!
In fact, the group loved it so much nobody showed up for the discussion. They’re all too busy asking their grandfathers to read it to them.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005)
The Book: The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To the Galaxy
The Writer: Countless contributors, but the list includes Ford Prefect (Mos Def)
Our Book Club Says: Chuck away your iPhone and your e-book reader. This compact, handy guidebook is outstandingly useful - we demand Babel fish now.
The only flaw is a hint of snobbery from the authors. We're certainly none too chuffed that the Earth being dismissed with a two-word entry. ‘Mostly harmless?’ Pah.
Down With Love (2003)
The Book: Down With Love
The Writer: Barbara Novak (Reneé Zellweger)
Our Book Club Says: The ladies in the group are totally behind Novak’s manifesto to replace cuddles with chocolates and keep men only for sex.
Funnily enough, the men in the group are in complete agreement – if only so they don’t have to read any more books about love.
One thing's for sure, the lads are choosing the next book.
Donnie Darko (2001)
The Book: Philosophy of Time Travel
The Writer: Roberta Sparrow (Patience Cleveland)
Our Book Club Says: The fellas had to choose a real head-scrambler, didn't they? What's a tangent universe? Who are the Manipulated Dead? Where are we?
Cue a mass walkout from the women. Impressed though they were that Roberta was writing streets ahead of her time, the general feeling was she'd fallen into a tangent universe herself.
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (2007)
The Book: The Book of Secrets
The Writers: The American Presidents. All of ‘em. Well...maybe not Dubya.
Our Book Club Says: Woah, we really shouldn’t be reading this. The truth about the Kennedy assassination, Roswell, everything – all laid out in black and white.
Who's that at the door? Uh-oh, it's the Feds. Quick - scarper! Sorry, no time even to tell you what's on Page 47.
The Neverending Story (1985)
The Book: The Neverending Story
The Writer: Nobody’s specified – but hey, it’s a magic book. Maybe it wrote itself.
Our Book Club Says: Here’s a book with a difference. Start reading, and you become a character in the story. The group agrees it’s a delightful gimmick.
In fact, several members have got so into it that they’re currently living inside the book. One of us is getting married to a luckdragon they met in the margins.
The Book: Misery’s Child
The Writer: Paul Sheldon (James Caan)
Our Book Club Says: We've been waiting for the latest Misery Chastaine novel for a long time - we're Paul Sheldon's biggest fans.
So imagine our disappointment to find he's killed off Misery. Noooo!
We’re Googling Sheldon’s name so we can invite him to our next meeting. Let’s see if we can get him to change his mind – we can be very persuasive.
The Shining (1980)
The Book: Untitled manuscript
The Writer: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson)
Our Book Club Says: We were excited to receive this rare copy of the final work of infamous madman and murderer Jack Torrance.
Imagine our disappointment when it turned out to consist of one sentence over and over again. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? Yes it does, Jack.
Pretty typesetting, though.
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997)
The Book: Swedish-Made Penis Enlarger Pumps And Me: (This Sort of Thing Is My Bag, Baby)
The Writer: Austin Powers (Mike Myers)
Our Book Club Says: Oh. Not sure what this is doing here. We can assure you that this sort of thing definitely isn’t our bag, baby.
Seriously. Move on. Please .
Back To The Future (1985)
The Book: A Match Made In Space
The Writer: George McFly (Crispin Glover)
Our Book Club Says: Even those who couldn't bear to read more sci-fi after Roberta Sparrow fell for McFly’s quirky 50s-set romance.
The rest of us are simply in geek heaven! Finally, proof that even the wettest blanket can man-up and get the girl - er, as long as they have help from a spaceman.
Honestly, don't get false hope that you'll pull. This isn't Frank T. J. Mackey's Seduce and Destroy . That's next week.
Wonder Boys (2000)
The Book: Wonder Boys
The Writer: Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas)
Our Book Club Says: We all loved Grady Tripp’s last novel, The Land Downstairs.
So when we found a man on eBay claiming to have found the manuscript to Tripp’s abandoned follow-up, we had to buy it.
However, we were disappointed to find two and a half thousand pages of incoherent rambling. Frankly, we’re not even sure if the pages are in the right order.
In The Mouth Of Madness (1993)
The Book: In The Mouth Of Madness
The Writer: Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow)
Our Book Club Says: Cane’s frightening novels have divided the group in the past – some love them, others suffer paranoia and memory loss – so we were unsure whether to read his latest.
In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have. Half the group has now gone barking mad and reckons that mutated creatures are running amok. The rest of us are blaming it on an overactive imagination.
This sort of thing never happened before we read Roberta Sparrow.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
The Book: Old Custer
The Writer: Eli Cash (Owen Wilson)
Our Book Club Says: There are those in the group who swoon for Eli Cash and his old-school cowboy charm.
Now, sadly, everyone just thinks he's a poseur after his very silly latest, which presupposes that Custer didn’t die at Little Big Horn. Trouble is, we know he did!
Been reading Philosophy of Time Travel , Eli?
The Evil Dead (1981)
The Book: The Book Of The Dead aka Naturon Demonto aka Necronomicon Ex-Mortis
The Writer: The Dark Ones
Our Book Club Says: While we’re loathe to judge a book by its cover, since this one comes written in blood and bound in human flesh, we opted for the audiobook.
Equally bad choice. Since listening to it, half the group has become possessed and are hell-bent on eating the rest of us.
If we wanted to become zombies, we'd have chosen Dan Brown.
The Book: Handbook For The Recently Deceased
The Writer: Unknown, but it’s published by Handbook For The Recently Deceased Press
Our Book Club Says: Portentously written and badly laid-out, this really isn’t very user-friendly. Can't tell if we're halfway to heaven or halfway to hell.
Besides, we’re not sure why we’ve been sent a copy of all. After all, we’re not dead...