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Introducing Broke-Ass Book Club — Book #1 — ‘Darkside’ – by Tom Stoppard

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“I want to read more.”

Who doesn’t? But for a million reasons, it just doesn’t happen. Reading is like exercise: when you’re out of practice, it can be hard to get started. There are so many distractions.

As readers (or lapsed readers), we need support. We need a book club.

What does a book club look like in 2015? 

-Shorter audio pieces that pack a punch.

-Creative means of online discussion.

-No ties to physical location.


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Broke-Ass Book Club FAQ

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Q: What the fuck is Broke-Ass Book Club?
A: It’s a book club for people who can’t afford books, who haven’t got time to read, who maybe don’t even know how to read. In short, it’s a book club for the rest of us. For now, it’s all online.

Q: How does this shit work?
A: Each week or so, we audio-curators at BAS will release a tasty bit of audio goodness —from Stephen Fry to Douglas Adams, Tom Stoppard to John Steinbeck. We’ll share MP3s when possible, or provide streaming links.

Week 1: Darkside – a play for radio by Tom Stoppard

Q: I have a feeling we’re not meeting for wine and cheese.
A: True, but you can still sip your Bordeaux as you:

– Take our QUIZ to share your thoughts about the book (and test your memory.)

– Air your thoughts on twitter, #babc #darkside

– Comment on Soundcloud files or blog posts.

Q: What about spoilers?
A: Rosebud is the sled. Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Barca, 3-1.

Q: Will listening to audio things help me read more?
A: Think of it this way: listening is reading, just with your ears.


Broke-Ass Book Club starts now.

Our tasty selection this week is a BBC radio play by Tom Stoppard. Darkside is a fantastical story about fear, philosophy, and madness.

Darkside, by Tom Stoppard

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Tom Stoppard is a bad-ass.

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He’s the cleverest writer I’ve ever read. He’s one of the funniest, too and possibly the smartest. Hearing a Tom Stoppard play on headphones is pure intellectual stimulation and pleasure.

Stoppard was born in 1937 in Czechoslovkia. Growing up amid the war, his family moved to Singapore, India, and finally, England. He quit school at 17 to become a journalist and published his first play in 1960.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead put Stoppard on the map in 1964-65. This dark and hilarious play explores tragedy, fate, and coin-tossing. (There exists a lovely BBC adaptation of it.)

Arcadia (1993) is his greatest work. With humor and sorrow it touches on chaos theory, literature, and landscape gardening, among many other topics. (L.A. Theatre Works nailed Arcadia.)

This week, we’ll be exploring more recent Stoppard.

When Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon in 1973, a friend suggested that Stoppard write a play based on the album. Now he has — 40 years later.

The result is Darkside (2013) — “a fantastical story about fear, philosophy, and madness, woven together with the original music.”

It’s a minor masterpiece and our inaugural Broke-Ass Book Club Selection:


 1. LISTEN (Soundcloud or MP3).

2.When you’re done, share your thoughts in the Google Form and air your thoughts on Twitter #babc #darkside


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“Strangely compelling…” – NPR

“I still don’t get it.” – The Telegraph

“Mind expanding … best experienced through headphones.” – The Independent

“Douglas Adams meets Dostoyevsky” – Samobrokeassstuart.com


Broke-Ass Book club is moderated by me, Samo – @sozh. hit me up #babc

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Samo is a local curmudgeon. He can be reached by carrier pigeon.