The Book Group

The Book Group

Travis DeSimone.


The Book Group is a BBC4 show that aired for two seasons from 2002 until 2003. The Book Group is an interesting blend of comedy and drama, while having funny moments I felt like it had a more serious tone. The show was written and directed by Annie Griffin who also wrote and directed the 2005 black comedy Festival. The Book Group was the winner of two BAFTA awards in Scotland.

The show follows the daily affairs of Claire, an American living in Scotland, and the group of misfits that respond to her flyer for a book group. Claire originally hosts the group because she is looking for friends, and while no one really seems to like one another within the group they continue meeting to discuss Kerouac, Marquez, and even The Little Engine That Could. The cast includes Kenny who is crippled from a mountain climbing accident, Rab who is a closeted homosexual, Barney who is a junkie and a literature snob, and Janice, Fist, and Dirka who all sort of blend together as unhappy footballer’s wives.

With lots of scandalous affairs and some drug use I wouldn’t recommend this program to the little ones, but anyone who enjoys a good britcom would love it. One problem with being such an avid fan of UK television is the lack of distribution and air time in the US, but fortunately The Book Group is available on Hulu for whoever actually reads this section.