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Old 02-25-2009, 09:13 AM   #46
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The way Refuge ended gives room for a sequel. If there is another story to tell, a sequel would be nice.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:40 PM   #47
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I really enjoyed it ! I thought the character Bex had a Clockwork Orange feel to him, in the sense that his concept of morality, (or rather absence of it) was relativistic. Without a system of ethics, whether from society to challenge his actions, or to another degree, from religion, which he disdains, he in a sense made up his own concept of good and evil. With the introduction of Suter into the picture, his entire "world view", with himself at the centre, was threatened. I very much enjoyed seeing this play out. Very well written !

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Old 02-26-2009, 10:38 AM   #48
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What a good read - I just finished the Refuge and am already missing the characters. I would love to read a sequel one day...

The first few chapters, with more graphical violence/sex had me wondering where the book would lead, but it turned out to be a good and interesting book. Hmmm... maybe a less graphic introduction to the book wold be a good idea, as to not scare people off?! On the other hand the violence was all in context, it gives a good description of the antagonist attitude towards "fellow" man.

A good book (and IMO worth much more than the donation you're asking for, paying that little makes me feel guilty).
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:34 PM   #49
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I'm interested to know what everyone's thoughts are regarding Suter's transition from wanting to kill everyone in the village to protect himself, to being the village's protector. I wasn't expecting him to turn his goals around quite that much.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:11 PM   #50
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I'm interested to know what everyone's thoughts are regarding Suter's transition from wanting to kill everyone in the village to protect himself, to being the village's protector. I wasn't expecting him to turn his goals around quite that much.
I got the feeling he wasn't especially serious about doing that - that he was trying to talk himself into not caring and not feeling; and/or hiding the fact he still did care and feel.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:52 PM   #51
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I'm interested to know what everyone's thoughts are regarding Suter's transition from wanting to kill everyone in the village to protect himself, to being the village's protector. I wasn't expecting him to turn his goals around quite that much.

He had been without human contact so long, his first thoughts were to protect himself.....he saw them as a threat to his safety and peace of mind.

Once he started interacting with people, and became more 'socially acclimatized', so to speak, his natural human instinct to help came forward.

Not everyone has this instinct, luckily for the village, he did.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:16 PM   #52
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I wanted to know what happened to the book that Phil compiled about the property. Presumably it burnt down with the rest of the house?
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:53 PM   #53
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Okay I just finished the book today. I actually started reading this book as soon as I recommended it but stopped once I hit chapter 2. Since I’ve always finished every book I’ve started plus it actually won the nomination I forced myself to finish.

I’m glad I did the book was great. I really enjoyed the plot, story line, and the social psychology. I will say this the details in chapter two is just not needed and added no value to the book. You continue to lose a lot of readers because of this scene and that is a shame because this book was truly excellent…. But it is your book and you will receive an donation from me regardless

BTW what is the USD rate $2.5? (never mind I found the price $1.50)

QUICK SUMMERY
-The battle of good/evil both on the physical level (Suter vs Bex) and on the spiritual (faith/faithless) was well written. The author covered both topics well in intervolved them quite nicely. Society often thinks that evil is faithless yet in Refuge, some of the most faithful where indeed evil characters.

-The suspense/battle scenes where fantastic, I was at the edge of my seat trying to read as fast as I could.

=X=

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:59 PM   #54
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Once he started interacting with people, and became more 'socially acclimatized', so to speak, his natural human instinct to help came forward.
Yea one thing I found weak in his character development was how he truly seemed like a loner, anti-social. Yet he was extremely lonely.

It's one thing if he became compulsive as a coping mechanism, but from the story line it seems he was compulsive all his life. It just didn't jive.

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Old 02-26-2009, 10:02 PM   #55
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Bob, I wonder if you want to put Richard's Information at the beginning of this thread, esp if folks who read the book wish to make a donation.

BTW Richard Thanks again.

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Old 02-27-2009, 12:30 AM   #56
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I'm interested to know what everyone's thoughts are regarding Suter's transition from wanting to kill everyone in the village to protect himself, to being the village's protector. I wasn't expecting him to turn his goals around quite that much.
I think I missed (or forgot) where he wanted to kill everyone in the village, sorry. Assuming that happened and I missed it, I could nevertheless understand the change.

His first "contact" with these surviving humans was a murdered corpse. Then he gleaned from Muriel that the village was filled with cowards (against a multitude of murderers).

And he had spent years protecting himself from dogs and whatever other threats there may have been.

And he had a full routine of daily tasks to stay nourished and healthy (like tooth care) and safe and as civilized as possible. Disruption of the routine would put his very survival at risk.

As a person, he had always been comfortable alone. And he seemed to feel deeply when he was abruptly dumped by Helen I, yet didn't seem bitter. A likable character, to me anyway.

He made this first human contact with Muriel, then only took action when he saw her life being threatened. A reckless act for one who wanted to stay safely out of the mess, but a human act by a likable, decent human. Once that was done, he was trapped into a kill-or-be-killed situation (he knew he would never feel safe or at peace again if he didn't engage fully). And he would only want to kill the real threats, Bex and his gang. The others could be useful as allies.

So in my reading I never viewed him as looking to be the "village protector." He may have gotten that role as an accidental byproduct of hunting down Bex and his men for his own reasons (his future peace and safety).

Suter's character development seemed to fit his subsequent actions very well for me. (That's not to say the story was predictable.)
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:25 AM   #57
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So in my reading I never viewed him as looking to be the "village protector." He may have gotten that role as an accidental byproduct of hunting down Bex and his men for his own reasons (his future peace and safety).
That's how it seemed to me too - which was one reason I was hoping he'd walk away at the end.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:40 PM   #58
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Finally my thoughts.. review.

(I wish I had more time to go back through the chapters and make this post more detailed. But, I have to do my taxes in fill out an FAFSA too. From now on I am going to actually use the Annotate/Clippings feature of my Kindle as I read the MRBC books. DUH!)

This book started out with a bang. Good action... a mystery and a mysterious character. I couldn't wait to turn the page (change the screen?) to see what would happen next.

Then, chapter 2 and the book crashed to the ground. Not that it was bad, it was just very different and hit you hard with religious symbolism and homosexual topics, somewhat explicit also. Not that I have a problem with this if it fits into the story.

It was hard to keep reading after chapter two... It was like I had read the first chapter of two different books. One was mostly action, very little descriptions of scenery and such. The second chapter was dripping with that stuff.

I continued on... I don't recall chapters 3&4 very much. But, the book really took off in chap 5. This is where Suter meets Muriel of course. It was back to the book started in chapter 1. Things moved quickly from that point forward.

Then, every now and then we got more of the chapter 2 book. So, I do see Dixie Gals comments about how the action scenes and the descriptive symbolism scenes were very separated. They didn't seem to merge well.

Suter to me was totally normal. Yes, he was stir crazy. He was torn between doing the right thing and doing the easy thing. Aren't we all? He didn't want to get involved. Which giving the gun to Muriel he knew he was doing. When he killed the first gang member he didn't enjoy it. He didn't even know why he did it.

Suter, was not perfect. He made mistakes. But luckily he overcame this.

The towns people were a bit cowed, yes. But, there were some that were ploting to fight back. But, it isn't easy to defeat a gang of 8 with weapons. Also, they are like most people, they trusted they were keeping their leader safe by not fighting back. However, after several of their own were killed they needed to understand that their leader would rather have sacrificed himself if it saved his people.

Remember, everyone had just been through a huge ordeal. The plauge was not long over. It was in everyones memory. The death and suffering was very real and not yet healed. This was true for Suter and the towns people.

Frienihough was wanting to fight back. As were others. They were being carefull and making their plans. Suter's apperance accelerated it. They were lucky he arived when he did.

Bex was an interesting charater. We are not sure if he belived his drivel or not. At times I thought he was a complete lunatic and really thought he was an agent of satan and that Suter was an angel. Then there were moments when I thought Bex knew exactaly what he was doing. Even keeping his chief lutenient (I can't recal his name) guessing.

I feel bad for Shaeums. He was a pawn. He didn't want to die nor did he want to be involved. He was one of the weekest personalities in the book. I was hoping that he would man up and end up assiting Suter in the coup. But, I guess not. Not supringly he got what he got because he never took his own future in his hands.

At the end of the book I feel that Suter did see Helen. Not his dead ex but Helen that he saved. The women just didn't know that she had been in his room. That he saw her as his ex just went to show how sick and disoriented he was. Once again, I didn't ever consider that he was not sane. (Maybe the author had different ideas about this.)

Bottom line, I enjoyed this book. I paid for it. And I will be getting back to this author to see what else he has instore for me. As someone else put here very well... I missed the book when I was done reading it and thought about it for quite a bit.

Well, that's it. Much more than I expected to remember/type.

Would love to hear reaction to my thoughts and comments.

BOb
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:55 AM   #59
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Thanks for all your comments. Jon and June, there will be no sequel to this; though my take on the story is that Suter and Helen, despite the age difference, will indeed end up together. Both of them are damaged, but their respective problems are complementary, so a healing partnership is on the cards. Not that I think Suter would fit in very well with people like Goddard!

Fledchen and ShortNCuddlyAm, he was never really serious about shooting all the villagers. He is essentially a civilized and peaceful guy. jj2me is right -- what worried him most, at first, was the prospect of losing his house. Most of his efforts were expended in making sure that didn't happen. Once the episode at the hospital was over, he was planning just to go home and leave the villagers to their fate. But underneath all this selfishness something else was at work: his social sense. That's what the book is about, the conflict we each feel between needing both personal freedom and a place in society. Hence his feelings for and about Muriel -- he was wracked by guilt for ignoring her plea.

lilac_jive, the book would have burned, and just as well, perhaps: it was time to make a fresh start.

=X= and BOb, one of the technical problems involved in writing a novel is to get the reader to identify with, or at least understand, the characters. The only way to do that is to provide background info, but this bogs down the action. It's a bit chicken-and-egg: action without background is uninteresting, but so is background without action. I tried to make the first chapter as arresting as possible and to make the reader sufficiently curious about Suter (and the whole set-up) that he/she would be able to accept the heavy background in Chapter 2. Chapter 2 was necessary because Bex is such an unusual and horrible creature that he needs careful explanation. Without that, the horror of what had befallen the village would have been less interesting to the reader in the chapters that follow. I was aware of this, and also the overloading of detail in Philip Davies's musings about the plague, but I hoped and thought the reader would forgive it. Plainly, in some cases, I was wrong!

And BOb, Bex really did go out of his mind at the end. That's what can happen when you start playing around with the occult -- look at the example of his loathsome hero, Aleister Crowley.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:59 PM   #60
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I'm late to the party, but just finished reading Refuge.

Unlike many other Mobileread denizens, I didn't find the sex, violence, or guns excessive at all. In fact, I found the descriptions, especially of violence, to be very mild considering what happened. In fact, I think the descriptions were almost methodical and studied (like Suter's character I suppose).

When I first started reading, I thought it would be another I Am Legend but I was pleasantly suprised as I read further. In fact, the book continued to do so (the "suprise and delight" beloved of marketers ) as I read along.

For example, I thought I would be bored by the religious beliefs of the characters, but Mr. Herley put an excellent, new spin on the subject. Same again for the gay and rape themes. The only thing I found conventional or cliched was the protagonist as superhuman, action hero (in deed) but at least he was uncertain and afraid (in thought).

I was a little confused about exactly what Suter planned to do when he attempted to ambush the men following him away from the village (hear/see them trigger the tripwire, then what? he couldn't really snipe without long range rifle and good line of sight), but other than that I enjoyed the book much more than I expected to.

Edit: I felt incredibly sorry for Suter when he realized he would lose the safety of his house forever. Meeting the new Helen wouldn't come close to making up for it.
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