Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

ODBODS Turns Ten Years Old

 On 23 November, 2016, ODBODS Max, Gael, Steve, Shelagh, Rebecca and Stan,  gathered at Mud Restaurant in Launceston to celebrate the Group’s tenth anniversary.


Max, Gael, Steve, Shelagh, Rebecca and Stan celebrate at Mud restaurantMax, Gael, Steve, Shelagh, Rebecca and Stan celebrate at Mud restaurant



ODBODS Turns “100”!

  Shelagh, Steve, Max, Gael, Rebecca and Stan celebrating at The Terrace restaurantShelagh, Steve, Max, Gael, Rebecca and Stan celebrating at The Terrace restaurant



On 23 November, 2015, ODBODS Max, Steve and Stan, along with supportive spouses Shelagh, Gael and Rebecca, gathered at the Terrace Restaurant in Launceston to celebrate the Group’s reading of its 100th  book (Homer’s Odyssey). The dinner doubled as anniversary dinners for two of the couples, so Stan and Rebecca brought along one of their few remaining bottles of Chateau Lafite (given to them as a princely wedding gift 21 years ago)…great company, great dinner and great wine! We’re already planning what to do when we hit 200!


Origin and Philosophy

72006 found Stan, Rebecca, Max and Gael sharing a house in Mirepoix, France, sightseeing, eating and drinking and of course indulging in holiday reading. Max was singing the praises of his current book, A Long, Long Way, by Sebastian Barry, which Stan had not read. After a few more wines and some more chat, they came up with the idea of forming a book group of two – and ODBODS was born.

 They decided on the following parameters for the Group:

  • books would be from the “literary fiction” genre

  • no specific dates would be set for meetings/discussions -  they would occur whenever both were finished reading

  • meetings/discussions would take place over lunch and a bottle of wine at different cafes and restaurants in the Launceston area

  • each book would be rated by consensus on a scale of 1 to 5 - based on criteria to be decided upon at their first meeting

  • books would be chosen by consensus.

 Steve, Max and StanSteve, Max and StanUpon returning home after the vacation and putting the model into action, they quickly realised that the discussion and selection would probably be better if there were three people in the Group rather than two, and so after reading and rating 4 novels, Richard was head-hunted to join them.

 The Group now worked wonderfully; three points of view on a book meant that each person left the discussion feeling that the book in question was in fact better than he alone had first thought. They were also reading more carefully for the Group than they might have alone because each knew he had to form opinions and defend a point of view.

Groucho MarxGroucho Marx

 After 18 more novels Richard moved interstate and Steve was brought in. It was he who thought the Group needed a name. A quote from Grouch Marx – “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read” – provided the key, and the Group became The Outside Dogs Belletristic and Oenological Debating Society, or ODBODS for short.

 ODBODS is now in its eleventh year and has read 131 works. So far, the authors have come from 38 different countries and have included 15 Nobel Prize winners.

 Books are given consensus scores based on the following considerations:

  • Use of Language

  • Quality of Story

  • Universality of Application

  • Structure

  • Atmosphere

  • Creation of Memorable Characters

  • Originality in story/language/structure

 The last four books read and scored were:


HisHis Bloody ProjectThe Quiet American
128. The Quiet American
Graham Greene UK 4.60
129. His Bloody Project
Graeme Macrae Burnet UK 4.50
130. The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James USA 5.00
131. Mrs. Osmond
John Banville Ireland 4.50

They are currently reading: The Erl-King by Michel Tournier

Click HERE for a full list of books that ODBODS has read.