Insight & Analysis

Procrastination book club finally finishes first book

Published: Oct 2023

After 28 years, a Los Angeles based book club has finished its first ever book, the notoriously challenging ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ by James Joyce.

Tall stack of books

While most book clubs read a new book every month, the nicknamed procrastination book club has taken 28 years to read one book, despite it being only 628 pages in total. Reportedly, the club would meet once a month, read a single page and then discuss it for two hours.

The group began in 1995 with monthly meetings taking place at the Venice branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. The book club has been dedicated to completing its first novel, continuing to discuss via video chat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Joyce’s classic novel has a reputation as one of the most difficult novels of Western literature due to its experimental writing style and unconventional language. ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ explores several fractured storylines and blends the reality of life with the dream world. James Joyce wrote the novel over a period of 17 years.

Filmmaker, Gerry Fialka, who formed the book club insists the club is not finished but will also not be reading any other books. Instead, due to the novels cyclical structure the group plan to go back to the beginning. “No, we’re never done. The same thing will happen next month,” Gerry says. “We’ll read page three again next … there’s nothing different really.”

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