Monologue discussion: Almost Famous Women

With some crazy brutal week passed and two more brutal week is waiting, I have finished another book in between and comes another time for me to have a monologue discussion over the book. As usual, questions for this discussion are courtesy of LitLovers.

How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to
“get into it”?

As I have mentioned in my review, this was somewhat boring and exhausting for me. I did find some interest here and there while I was reading the book, but my initial reaction has always been that this was a boring book. The tone of the book itself felt very monotonous for me. I kind of felt bad for saying that but that is definitely how I feel.


Describe the main characters—personality traits, motivations, inner qualities.

Ah I really don’t feel like having this discussion. There are about 13 women in the book, of which almost all of them share a trait of being depressive and dark, and just generally confusing for me to understand. Up until now, I still don’t know whether any of those are intentional on the author’s part. Also, almost all of the characters seem to be motivated a lot with materialistic things, like clothes, expensive food, alcoholic beverages and what have you.

Do the main characters change by the end of the book?

Ah this is also one thing that is not easy to answered and/or discussed. The thing with short stories is that it always ended very abruptly. You’re not even prepared, but it ends anyway. So, yeah, I’ll take a pass on discussing this part.

Is the plot engaging—does the story interest you?

The first time I saw this book, the plot seems promising. I mean, it was the reason I gave this book a go anyway. But obviously, referring to how I did my review and what I gave as an answer on the first question, I can assure I finish this book with zero interest whatsoever on the plot.

Talk about the book’s structure.

What’s to say about a book’s structure when it’s a compilation of short stories?

What main ideas—themes—does the author explore?

If it were up to me, I think that the overall theme is about how these women are being portrayed in a different light that no other people had seen them like that. Thinking about it like that does made the book seems very interesting, and it is, but only to certain extend. After delving deeper into the dark and depressing lives of these women or the other women/men that surrounds them, you really can’t be entirely sure whether or not what you thought the theme was ever the original theme in the first place.

What passages strike you as insightful, even profound?

I will never understand what lives are worth saving. I know now I will never understand life, and neither will you.

This was said by the narrator on the short story about Dolly Wilde. It’s interesting to find a phrase in a book that you’re reading and it’s talking about not understanding life as you are struggling yourself to understand about your life, at 27.

Is the ending satisfying?

Out of all the 13 short stories that I’ve read, there are only four short stories that satisfy and ends up becoming my favourite stories in the book. That being said, it is clear then that overall the majority of the stories did not have any satisfying ending, if there is even an ending, a proper one at least. I’m still irked at how there is two stories that just ends when I just thought that the author was just about to build up the story. What is that?

If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?

Do you really intend this book to be so dark, depressive, and exhausting for the reader? If yes, why? If not, could you explain why am I getting the impression that some of the stories are so dark and depressive?

Has this novel changed you—broadened your perspective?

Not much, but I am more knowledgeable in the sense that I now know more about these women.

Oh God! I know that this is such a lazy attempt at doing the monologue discussion. To be fair, I am overwhelmed with so many things that must be done within the next two weeks and I really don’t know how am I going to make it. Wish me luck!


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