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Old 05-19-2011, 01:36 AM   #61
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I think I understand what beppe is saying. The Road also recreates a very harsh world, but then there is that tender relationship from the father and his son. They are fighting to have a better life. There are brief reasons for hope. In Blood Meridian the characters themselves are the main reason the world is so brutal. They don't fight against their circumstances; they make everything worse. Even the kid doesn't seem to be different.

I have no doubt this guy is a great novelist, but I won’t be in any hurry to read any other of his books.
You understand it very well.

I found a similar effect of total negativeness and despair in the short Wyoming stories of E. Annie Proulx, with the famous BrokenMountain. The Shipping News, although knitted with the stories of born losers, has registers that are mostly sunny, and a happy ending
It is a good book that I reread several times. It is written with generosity of details and several characters are given full depth, with well crafted writing art. There are episodes and details, from far away "places", that activate the readers' imagination, through a mixture of strange facts and quasi dreams with the hard life of Newfoundlanders. Often the inhabitants of harsh places develop a sense of magic and arcane like a yeast to leaven their hardships, and somehow to be detached by the unavoidable material pains and sufferances. An antidote to despair and frustration. The novel catches this with humor and literary grace.

I find it very entertaining, at every reread.

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #62
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I was pleasantly surprised to see others enjoying Jane Gardam's works - IMHO she's one of the finest "minimilast" writers today - how she can pack so much of an emotional punch into her spare unadorned prose just amazes me ... She deserves to be much more widely known & read in the US.

and speaking of unreliable narrators it was fascinating to compare the story lines in "Old Filth" with "The Man in the Wooden Hat" - what a difference a point of view makes.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:00 AM   #63
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Often the inhabitants of harsh places develop a sense of magic and arcane like a yeast to leaven their hardships, and somehow to be detached by the unavoidable material pains and sufferances.
The Shipping News is a personal favorite as well, partly for the writing, partly for the reasons you mention – its drawing on local legend and tradition to create a sense of myth-in-the-making, with the harsh environment and unexpected situations acting as catalysts for positive change within the characters. Seemingly hopeless characters find hope in spite of themselves, usually because of inner resources they didn’t realize they had.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #64
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I was pleasantly surprised to see others enjoying Jane Gardam's works - IMHO she's one of the finest "minimilast" writers today - how she can pack so much of an emotional punch into her spare unadorned prose just amazes me ... She deserves to be much more widely known & read in the US.

and speaking of unreliable narrators it was fascinating to compare the story lines in "Old Filth" with "The Man in the Wooden Hat" - what a difference a point of view makes.
eee by 'eck - a yorkshire lass ....
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:10 PM   #65
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I just finished The Savage Detectives on the train home, and all I can say is: read it! It's indescribable but definitely a great book. Though it took me some time to "get into it" because of all the different stories, people and viewpoints (I am easily confused and find it hard to keep track of characters, who's who and who did what), but that's what makes it a great book I think. All those different stories that somehow intersect and somehow make sense, but never completely. A true slice of life, with all the attendant frustration and mystery.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:57 PM   #66
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[QUOTE=FlorenceArt;1545186]I just finished The Savage Detectives on the train home, and all I can say is: read it!/QUOTE]

Will definitely give it another go.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
I was pleasantly surprised to see others enjoying Jane Gardam's works - IMHO she's one of the finest "minimilast" writers today - how she can pack so much of an emotional punch into her spare unadorned prose just amazes me ... She deserves to be much more widely known & read in the US.

and speaking of unreliable narrators it was fascinating to compare the story lines in "Old Filth" with "The Man in the Wooden Hat" - what a difference a point of view makes.
I really liked the character of Albert Ross (or "Loss" with his Chinese accent). Filth mentions that Betty loathed him, so that ought to be interesting, if explored.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:01 PM   #68
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I really liked the character of Albert Ross (or "Loss" with his Chinese accent). Filth mentions that Betty loathed him, so that ought to be interesting, if explored.
Yes! I'd love to see a third book from his point of view - observing the marriage!
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:26 AM   #69
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I just finished The Savage Detectives on the train home, and all I can say is: read it! It's indescribable but definitely a great book. Though it took me some time to "get into it" because of all the different stories, people and viewpoints (I am easily confused and find it hard to keep track of characters, who's who and who did what), but that's what makes it a great book I think. All those different stories that somehow intersect and somehow make sense, but never completely. A true slice of life, with all the attendant frustration and mystery.
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Will definitely give it another go.
To be honest it wasn't until about halfway through the book that I started to really love it. Before that it was OK, but I was wondering what all the fuss was about. But your mileage may vary I'm sure.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:32 AM   #70
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:10 AM   #71
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There is a one week initiation process. Strip to your skivies, take a picture, and make it your avatar.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:57 AM   #72
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:05 AM   #73
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Go confirm Hamlet53's selection for November!

ETA: Seriously, since you asked, all are welcome; just jump in. Go to the Book Club subforum (link above) and youll find the threads relating to the literary book club. And while you're there, confirm the book for November.

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:21 AM   #74
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Go confirm Hamlet53's selection for November!

ETA: Seriously, since you asked, all are welcome; just jump in. Go to the Book Club subforum (link above) and youll find the threads relating to the literary book club. And while you're there, confirm the book for November.
is it a general club, or you are reading just mystery and crime books
because
i am reading just mystery and crime books about ten years...
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:47 AM   #75
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