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View Poll Results: Poor farmers or robots? Vote for your choice.
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov 19 38.00%
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton 31 62.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:50 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I just wanted people to know what sort of book Ethan Frome really is and that it's not really appropriate for December. I have to say that I love the fourth review quote I pasted. The person who wrote it is oviously quite intelligent and has a very nice way with words.

I, Robot is a much more upbeat book that is just a much better read for the holidays. But it seems it won't win just because it's science fiction. But, at least it's not dreadful.

So on one hand we have science fiction and on the other we have dreadful. We got gypped with Cloud Atlas as that wasn't science fiction and now we'll get stuck with dreadful. I hope those of you who voted for dreadful find it dreadful because it's your fault it's going to win.

I think we could use some Sharpe overrides at times like these.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #77
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Are you trying to get me crucified?
If the crucifix fits.

But seriously, would you allow say Ethan Frome to be nominated for science fiction because others feel it's science fiction? Sometimes a stand has to be made in the case of a book that's incorrect for the given month's category.

And I do think a warning about a book like Ethan Frome should have been given based on the fact that it's the holidays and it's s severely depressing book. Even reviews that liked it said it's depressing. The description we got says nothing about the true nature of the book and I think that should have been brought to people's attention. Instead what got brought to the forefront was how short it is and that is why (IMHO) I think it got the votes it did.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #78
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Can I put in an early vote for "The Dictionary" for some time soon?

I know it's not that interesting, so you don't have to read all of it, in fact I'd just like Jon to read the definitions of two words; "opinion" and "fact" (and maybe "synonym", thinking about it).
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:05 PM   #79
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Can I put in an early vote for "The Dictionary" for some time soon?

I know it's not that interesting, so you don't have to read all of it, in fact I'd just like Jon to read the definitions of two words; "opinion" and "fact" (and maybe "synonym", thinking about it).
FACT: we got OPINIONs saying that Cloud Atlas was science fiction.

FACT: It's not science fiction.

There, I just proved I know the meaning of those two words.

P.S. FACT: Ethan Frome is a very depressing book regardless if you like it or not.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:08 PM   #80
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FACT: we got OPINIONs saying that Cloud Atlas was science fiction.

FACT: It's not science fiction.

There, I just proved I know the meaning of those two words.


Well, I tried
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #81
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Well, I tried
You missed my edited version of the post you quoted. I put in one more FACT.

But seriously, if it was any of the other books against I, Robot, I would not be campaigning so hard against the other book. Heck, if it was any of the other books against Ethan Frome, I would still campaign against Frome as I do feel it is a very inappropriate book for December and the holidays.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #82
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You missed my edited version of the post you quoted. I put in one more FACT.

But seriously, if it was any of the other books against I, Robot, I would not be campaigning so hard against the other book. Heck, if it was any of the other books against Ethan Frome, I would still campaign against Frome as I do feel it is a very inappropriate book for December and the holidays.
No, I saw your edit. I don't think it detracts from anything I said. If anything, it supports what I said.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:31 PM   #83
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If we are posting Goodreads reviews selected for supporting a point of view regarding Ethan Frome . . .

Quote:
If you're looking for a punch in the gut that matches the solar plexus thumping you got from "Of Mice and Men," this is where you want to be.

Reading the other reviews that are listed here, I'm glad I never got assigned this in school. That apparently ruins the book.

Spoiler:
Ethan's easy to judge. He's not perfect, and he blames fate for his situation when he should be blaming himself. Sure, he grew up on the Baltic-Avenue part of the board, and he has to farm, and his wife's a witch and stuff. But nobody forced him to marry her. What's interesting is that Frome's imperfections don't seem to be there to make some moral point. Here's a novel from 1911 that's not a morality play. His humanity works to make something better than perfect - to get all in-your-face intellectual jerk about it, Wharton wrote a wabi-sabi character - he's better than perfect for his imperfections.


It's like, MacBeth is all ambitious to show us that's wrong and that's why he dies, Hetty Sorrel is all slutty to show us that's wrong and that's why she dies, the camp counselors were all not-virgin-y to show us that's wrong and that's why they died. Ethan Frome's all put-upon and not pro-active, but it just is. It doesn't feel constructed - he feels organic.

Or maybe I just really related to Ethan Frome. Either way, it's a great read, and you learn that 'sledding' used to be called 'coasting.


Quote:
Edith Wharton is certainly one of my favorite author. I remember I was first captivated by her short story called “Roman Fever” and then amazed by “The age of Innocence”. What fascinates me about her is how well she narrates her story. The language may seem easy compared to other works in her time, but is certainly beautiful and flowing. Her works is always a fast-moving page-turner for me.

Spoiler:
I just love how she describes the bleak-winter-rural area of New England in "Ethan Frome". The atmosphere she describes reflects Ethan’s inner conflict. To some people this story maybe very depressing, but I guess she masterly tries to deliver her point about how unhappiness can be caused by the conservative-social convention in her time. Ethan, from the beginning is a character who just could not extricate himself from these moral-social conventions. The ending was pretty shocking, but this again got me wondering in thoughts. Ethan still could not escape his wife which can be seen as a metaphor for that conservative convention she—Wharton was trying to picture.


This book is interesting to read for those who are interested in experiencing a different atmosphere in Edith Wharton’s works. From the New York high society in The Age of Innocence, to a European ‘air’ in Roman Fever, I found myself still enjoying this rural-wintry scene in Ethan Frome. Very satisfying indeed. I’ll be looking forward in reading her other works.
Also I would have to comment that the reviews that Jon posted that compare Ethan Frome to Lord of the Flies or Wharton to Nathaniel Hawthorne, well that just tells me that Wharton is an excellent author and that Ethan Frome is indeed a classic. At least I here stated from the beginning that Ethan Frome was a view of the depressing life of a man who lived a life of quiet desperation, but it is a well written view of that. It would not have been my first choice—my first three choices in order would have been: Quo Vadis, Cold Comfort Farm, Little Women—but my last choice would have been I, Robot.

I know Jon feels that he was cheated when Cloud Atlas was voted the selection for the SciFi month, but it is more SciFi than I, Robot is a classic. Speaking of which here are some selected Goodreads reviews of I, Robot:

Quote:
This rarely happens to me: I just could not finish this book. I found it unbearable and about half-way through I really did not care about how these stories would continue. In my opinion, it is incredibly poorly written and frankly, I found these robot stories dull and boring content-wise as well. I read that this is supposed to be one of the classics of sci-fi. I don't have a lot of experience with that genre but if this book is supposed to be one of the best, I doubt the genre is for me.
I'll now go back to Kazantakis' 'the last temptation'. This, for once, is a very well written and inspiring story... more my cup of tea, I must say!


Quote:
this old chestnut of the genre is as unevenly a mixed bag as most multiple-author short story anthologies usually are. though there are plenty of interesting ideas and not a few literary gems stashed in here, time isn't being kind to this collection. stories get rather repetitive if read back-to-back: I don't actually need an explanation of the laws of robotics in each one, and many characters' voices sound very much the same. female characters are few and far between, and when one has a position of authority, she's either a "cold, unattractive spinster," or "just a poor woman" doing a job no man would want. if you think the 50s-ish idiom is quirkily cute, this has to be a fun romp, but for those of us that think it's hokey, well, let's hope Asimov got better with future installations.

So anyway all whining aside, Ethan Frome won by a convincing margin. I read this book recently enough that I feel I can participate in the discussion without having to read it again. So once I finish The Desert of Love I will start on Quo Vadis.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #84
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Ok, this is driving me nuts.
I'm going to read Ethan Frome now. It's so short I should finish tonight, unless I fall asleep too much.

(I'm in the middle of a book about Edward II, and since he's been a major character in the last 6 books I just read, and his life is such a depressing story itself...it's a good time for me to switch out.)
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:46 PM   #85
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If we are posting Goodreads reviews selected for supporting a point of view regarding Ethan Frome . . .
The best review against I, Robot is because it's different then the movie version and Will Smith's character is not in the book.

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I am currently reading this book with my son as part of his summer reading list, (new school, therefore he has to do his summer reading during school session) and as I was reading, I discovered that this book is so different from the movie version of I, Robot starting Wil Smith. Usually there are differences between movies and books, but in I, Robot there is are significant differences, such as no mention of Wil Smith's character. My son and I are slightly in the middle of the book so maybe later in the book they will mention his character, hmmmmmmmm- maybe. I'll keep reading to find out and let you guys know.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:55 PM   #86
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I just finished the preamble of Ethan Frome, which comprised 13% of the book. It's actually kind of perfect at this time of year for those us who at heart harbor a secret and unspoken "Bah, Humbug" behind each of our cheerfully smiling utterances of "Happy Holidays!"

Which reminds me....

Happy Holidays to one and all! See you in the discussion thread on the 20th of December.

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:54 PM   #87
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I'm completely won over by comparisons with Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies. These are two books that I read in high school that I absolutely loved.

It looks like Ethan Frome is more for me than I thought it was going to be. I've put in line after my current book. Looking forward to it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:06 PM   #88
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It looks like December's Bookclub is going to be dreadful. Don't say you've not been warned when you find Frome to be awful.
I, for one, can't wait to dive into Ethan Frome. I expect it will prove to be a cheering and uplifting experience in comparison to this multi-post diatribe.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:14 PM   #89
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I, for one, can't wait to dive into Ethan Frome. I expect it will prove to be a cheering and uplifting experience in comparison to this multi-post diatribe.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:32 PM   #90
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I, for one, can't wait to dive into Ethan Frome. I expect it will prove to be a cheering and uplifting experience in comparison to this multi-post diatribe.
This ^^^^
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