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Old 02-06-2015, 11:16 PM   #1
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Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

This is the MR Literary Club selection for February 2015. Whether you've already read it or would like to, feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time! Guests are also always welcome.


GoodreadsAmazon AUAmazon CAAmazon UKAmazon USKoboAudible


So, what are your thoughts on it?


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Old 02-06-2015, 11:26 PM   #2
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I have the audiobook narrated by Peter Marinker queued up and ready to go once I finish the one I'm currently on.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:56 AM   #3
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Looking forward to it! I put in a request with my library which usually takes a few days. That's ok. I've got two books to finish over the weekend anyway.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:19 AM   #4
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If all the positive reviews and the Orange Prize etc are anything to go by, we have a wonderful book to read this month.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:13 AM   #5
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I'm in the middle of another book at the moment, but I've put Fugitive Pieces next on the list. That's a nice cover, sun surfer.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:01 PM   #6
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It will probably be late March at least before I can obtain this. But I will read it after so many positive things already said about it.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:34 PM   #7
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From what I understand, the prose is heavily poetic which may be a plus or minus depending on your perspective. I know, for me, there needs to be a balance between poetry and narrative. So I'm interested to see if Anne Michaels finds that balance.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
From what I understand, the prose is heavily poetic which may be a plus or minus depending on your perspective. I know, for me, there needs to be a balance between poetry and narrative. So I'm interested to see if Anne Michaels finds that balance.
It seems readers are divided over its style. That should probably contribute to some interesting discussion!
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:56 PM   #9
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Still waiting for my request to come in. My requests seem to be taking a while. Two of them have been saying in transit for a week now.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:54 PM   #10
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Thank you for the links, I'll take note to have this. A lot of pending reads for me, but I'll try to purchase this one if it's already viable on my end.. (I'm looking for ward to see all your reactions though, that usually keeps me excited)
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:38 AM   #11
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From what I understand, the prose is heavily poetic which may be a plus or minus depending on your perspective.
I've only through the first few pages, but until now for me her style doesn't work. I hope I get accustomed to it or it gets better when there is more action. I'm very interested in the topic, in the general story of this book.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:03 PM   #12
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It's a pretty tough read.

That's not to say I don't like it. I'm finding the prose really impressive and I do feel a terrible sense of loss at times. However, I tend to read in public transport to and from work. People in trains are noisy beasts and in the morning I start off quite tired. This doesn't impact me as much with a gripping narrative, but it can make it difficult to focus on a book like this.

One thing I really do like in this book is the way memory is woven into the narrative: the fact that Jakob overlays the memories of another with his own; the entering of his family into his dreams; the way different characters honour or bury memories; the whole geological metaphor being used throughout; the reference to Nazi Germany's attempt to create new memories to suit its agenda. It's impressive and evocative - hence my emotional response in parts.

Prose poetry is a tough gig. It can be a hard sell for people not reading in the right atmosphere and/or at the wrong time. It quickly becomes work instead of an escape (not that all reading should necessarily be an escape). I just wish I could give it the focus it deserves.
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:21 AM   #13
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I have just finished it. I feel for you Caleb, trying to read in such distracting places. I deliberately read it during quiet times where there were no disturbances and I could concentrate on the language and the feelings.

To me it was a beautiful meditation on love, loss, grief and pain. I loved the way that music was woven through the story, though I can imagine this could be difficult for people who don't know/don't like the music of Brahms. For me it is beautiful, passionate and often quite sad music that fitted perfectly with the dark story and the beautiful language with which it was told.

I loved this sentence from near the end of the book:

Quote:
Truth grows gradually in us, like a musician who plays a piece again and again until suddenly he hears it for the first time.
This echoed the ending of T S Eliot's Four Quartets which we read last month:

Quote:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:56 AM   #14
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Did you like it when Jakob met Michaela? I was mesmerised by that whole section. I was lucky to be home and having my morning coffee so I got to read it distraction free. It was magical. A great part of the story to read on Valentine's Day.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:18 AM   #15
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Yes, an absolutely beautiful section. You felt that Michaela brought Jakob peace and quiet happiness after a life of stress, difficulty and pain.
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