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House of Books will discuss two trilogies in April

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KENT—The House of Books will hold two book club events in April. 

On April 17 at 6 p.m. and April 18 at 7 p.m., the topic will be “Connecticut,” the third novel in David Thomson’s series inspired by movie genres.

In 1985, Thomson published “Suspects,” followed  in 1990 by “Silver Light,” fictions in which the characters were figures from film noir and the Western. Now a trilogy is completed with Connecticut—a celebration of screwball romantic comedies.

Why Connecticut? Because that lovely, liberal state has been set aside as the resting place for every disturbed person in the nation. At first, this seems like an opportunity for meeting up with the merry ghosts of Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, William Powell and Margaret Sullavan. The book includes glimpses of “Bringing Up Baby,” “My Man Godfrey” and “The Lady Eve.” But then the wild comedy darkens as readers realize that Connecticut itself is on the edge of a demented and cruel war that challenges all its inmates to keep seeing the comic side of mishap and madness.

The next book club event will focus on “Absolute Away” by Lance Olsen April 19, at 6 p.m. “Absolute Away” is a novel about the self, the past, the future, aging, ideas, relationships and our own mortal being(s) as transitive verbs.

The first movement tells the story of Edie Metzger, a little Jewish girl who bit Hermann Göring’s lip so hard it bled at a Nazi book-burning rally in 1933. In the second, in 1956, a grown Edie is the passenger clinging to the backseat of the Oldsmobile 88 convertible driven by Jackson Pollock, moments before it plunges off the road. In the third, the narrative embarks into an ever-unspooling universe of Edies that might have lived—Edie’s gender, past and consciousness flying forever farther apart.

The House of Books is located at 10 North Main St.

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