Need good ideas for a Group Reading
July 18, 2012 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Looking for ideas of Books that would be relatively fast reads and entertaining for group readings. I got the opportunity to participate in a reading of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas this past weekend in Aspen in celebration of the Good Doctor's 75th. It was a blast and would love to recreate that without doing the same book, but that book is perfect. A friend recommended my favorite book Confederacy of Dunces, but I think that book works because of the Character of Ignatius which may be hard to pull off in an aloud reading. But anyways, any ideas?
posted by kenaldo to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Stephenson's Treasure Island is a great book to real aloud, not only because it's a ripping yarn, but also because it's so much fun to do the pirate voices, and even the parrot.
posted by ubiquity at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2012

I love Confederacy, but I think read aloud it would break people.

I've participated in a couple of Out Loud reading marathons, with different objectives.

The first was a performance art sort of thing. About a dozen of us each chose a literary work and read it aloud from cover to cover, without stopping. I read Nineteen Eighty-Four, which didn't get nearly the attention that the girl to my left reading To Kill A Mockingbird got.

The second was a Save The Library weekend-long round-the-clock Read-In. In this situation, everyone was asked to choose a text (ANY text, in any form as long as it was words-based and not a TV show or podcast or something) and read for ten minutes. I read a chapter from Anne of Green Gables. It went over rather well.

My takeaway? You want something rather plot-oriented, ideally with a strong voice* and some humor. Confederacy has the latter two, but not the former, and is long-winded and ranty in a way that might drown out what it has going for it.

If I were choosing something, I think I'd do either Hitchhiker's Guide or something by Vonnegut.

I've always wanted to go to the marathon read of Moby Dick, but it might be a lot to pull off. Though it has the "ripping yarn" aspect, and the tone and voice stuff works well, too. It's just really damn long. And the whale science parts are boring.

*hence why Anne worked so well.
posted by Sara C. at 3:03 PM on July 18, 2012

The beats could work well. Maybe On The Road?
posted by Sara C. at 3:04 PM on July 18, 2012

Response by poster: I think I'd do either Hitchhiker's Guide or something by Vonnegut.

Yes. More like these. keep them coming :)
posted by kenaldo at 3:13 PM on July 18, 2012

Something by Daniel Pinkwater would be awesome. Like Borgel or Young Adult Novel
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:19 PM on July 18, 2012

Steinbeck, maybe? Cannery Row or Travels with Charlie.
posted by Duffington at 3:39 PM on July 18, 2012

Dare I suggest William Kotzwinkle's The Fan Man?
Although when you get to Dorky Day, it might be a bit much...
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:51 PM on July 18, 2012

I liked being read Generation X.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:30 PM on July 18, 2012

I think Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne might be a lot of fun to read out loud.
posted by Modus Pwnens at 10:39 PM on July 18, 2012

Voltaire's Candide?
posted by LarryC at 10:55 PM on July 18, 2012

A little late to the thread, but The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, maybe?
posted by to recite so charmingly at 12:27 PM on July 31, 2012

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