The Apes gathered at Mulligan's, as has become our custom. The setting works well, and there were no blankety blank dog lovers to interfere.
The overall concensus on Gabriel was, "Liked the book, good story, but....". Not being a but man, I don't think I followed all the commentary, but I'll try to recreate the discussion:
The opinion amongst the more literary Apes was that Durham wrote a nice story, particularly for his first book, but that he bit off a bit more than he could chew. He tried to address too broad a variety of subjects, and as a result, left some of the shrewdness unsatisfied. There were a number of comparisons to McCarthy along the lines of "McCarthy light", didn't hold together as well as a McCarthy story, etc. There was some evidence that the author had not really done his homework - "down both barrels of the rifle" - rifles only have one barrel. Do your homework!
Grousing aside, the book was quite enjoyable. Gabriel was an admirable character, God knows he had plenty of opportunity to go south. The violent scenes left most all of us squirming, some of us skipping through the more disturbing rape scenes. For myself, a little bit of this goes a very long way. A couple of scenes- looking down on the New Mexico farm, going down into the canyon before the rain storm- left most all of us thinking "this is not going to turn out well".
Glen commented about how obvious is was that Caleb was a combination of Cain and Abel. Must admit I didn't get that one at all, but it's an interesting thought. He was one bad dude, but he did after all kill Marshall in the end. Marshall's name was an interesting choice for that character.
Next up will be TC Boyle's When the Killing's Done - a bit of a clash of the ecologists story. Until then I remain...