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Old 11-19-2020, 08:20 PM   #31
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Regarding the idealized hero nature of Gamache, I seem to recall from several of her afterwords that she had her husband in mind, a man she explicitly viewed as her own personal hero and savior from her alcoholism. Gamache was a sort of an idealized tribute in many ways, if my memory serves.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:36 AM   #32
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For me, Gamache is what makes the book work (and subsequent ones as well.) And yes, Victoria, that first chapter was horrible and needed the hand of a solid editor.

I stopped reading this series somewhere around the 4th or 5th book. The story for that book just felt wrong and I started and stopped it a half dozen times before giving up. And somehow never tried the next one. I'm going to have to try re-reading up to that point, and see if I can get by it.
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:02 PM   #33
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Please note that this is the final month I will be facilitating the New Leaf Book Club. I want to personally thank issybird for helping start this, and facilitating before me. And I want to thank each and every one of you, the people who came here every month (or most of them, anyway), read the books, discussed them, and helped make this a community that I was proud to be a part of.
I’d like to thank both Charlie & issybird for facilitating NLBC on our behalf! It’s been great fun, and I appreciate all your hard work to make that happen.

A big thanks as well, to everyone who participated! Hearing your thoughts and reactions has been fun, and really enriched my enjoyment of the books.

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....once the dust settles, I’d like to think that there would be a place for a less formal book club, something along the lines of a glorified group read on occasion. If that appeals to anyone, keep it in mind. In any case, I feel as if the NLBC had an excellent run.
I think we had a good run too, and should celebrate that! I’m ready to say goodbye to the formal monthly commitment of the club, because I’m keen to tackle my own tbr list for a while. But, that said, I’d definitely be interested an occasional group read.

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Regarding the idealized hero nature of Gamache, I seem to recall from several of her afterwords that she had her husband in mind, a man she explicitly viewed as her own personal hero and savior from her alcoholism. Gamache was a sort of an idealized tribute in many ways, if my memory serves.
That’s interesting! I wonder if Beauvoir is stand-in for Louise Penny in some way? We see most of Gamache’s idealized qualities through his eyes. And it may just be a coincidence, but it would nicely fit with ‘beau’ ‘voir’.
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Old 11-22-2020, 03:17 PM   #34
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That’s interesting! I wonder if Beauvoir is stand-in for Louise Penny in some way? We see most of Gamache’s idealized qualities through his eyes. And it may just be a coincidence, but it would nicely fit with ‘beau’ ‘voir’.
Now that is an interesting thought that hadn't occurred to me. I'm going to have to go back and look at their interaction through that lens. Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:41 PM   #35
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I finished Still Life and I did enjoy it. There were some parts that were a little slow, but they were not too long. I liked Three Pines and some of the residents.

It was nice how they came together for Jane.

One thing I thought was a bit off was Clara going to Ben and asking if he killed Jane without telling anyone ahead of time. That was not a smart thing for Clara to do at all.

Overall an enjoyable read.
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Old 12-06-2020, 09:11 AM   #36
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One thing I thought was a bit off was Clara going to Ben and asking if he killed Jane without telling anyone ahead of time. That was not a smart thing for Clara to do at all.

Overall an enjoyable read.
Agreed, I thought so too. It wasn’t very likely, and it just seemed to be a way to artificially amp up tension. I’ll give Penny a pass, as a new author.

However I think far too many mystery writers throw their characters into the deep end towards the end of the book. I find it a very annoying convention, because it’s usually either out of character, or a ridiculous risk for anyone to take. It interrupts the story, so I usually and skip past the scene, so I can get back to the actual book.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:33 AM   #37
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Agreed, I thought so too. It wasn’t very likely, and it just seemed to be a way to artificially amp up tension. I’ll give Penny a pass, as a new author.

However I think far too many mystery writers throw their characters into the deep end towards the end of the book. I find it a very annoying convention, because it’s usually either out of character, or a ridiculous risk for anyone to take. It interrupts the story, so I usually and skip past the scene, so I can get back to the actual book.
In this case, it's not possible to skip the scene as it's the ending and if you miss it, the book doesn't make as much sense.

But yeah, making characters do stupid things just to amp up the tension isn't a good idea.

I will be reading the second book.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:10 PM   #38
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In this case, it's not possible to skip the scene as it's the ending and if you miss it, the book doesn't make as much sense.

But yeah, making characters do stupid things just to amp up the tension isn't a good idea.

I will be reading the second book.
Yes, that’s true. I plan to read the second book as well.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:12 PM   #39
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I've read the second and third books, and enjoyed them. But I think it was the fourth or fifth book that stopped me. My intent is to skip over those two and pick up at #6 and see how that goes.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:07 PM   #40
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I've read the second and third books, and enjoyed them. But I think it was the fourth or fifth book that stopped me. My intent is to skip over those two and pick up at #6 and see how that goes.
I’ve done that before and it worked out well. There was an Inspector Lynley that I stalled against. A few years later, I just skipped ahead in the series, and it was fine. Once you know the main characters, you can pick up any missing pieces from the context.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:19 PM   #41
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I’ve done that before and it worked out well. There was an Inspector Lynley that I stalled against. A few years later, I just skipped ahead in the series, and it was fine. Once you know the main characters, you can pick up any missing pieces from the context.
For me, it would depend on how far into the book I was when it stalled.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:47 PM   #42
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I’ve done that before and it worked out well. There was an Inspector Lynley that I stalled against. A few years later, I just skipped ahead in the series, and it was fine. Once you know the main characters, you can pick up any missing pieces from the context.
Hah! I’m betting it was the one where Helen was gunned down on the front steps and the rest was about the shooter. I bailed on that one and never went back (but I’d already had issues with the series, so it was in the nature of a final straw).
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Old 12-17-2020, 02:43 PM   #43
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Hah! I’m betting it was the one where Helen was gunned down on the front steps and the rest was about the shooter. I bailed on that one and never went back (but I’d already had issues with the series, so it was in the nature of a final straw).
Yes - outrageous . I had issues with the series too, and eventually gave up. The books became disjointed, and were not at all true to the characters. She started churning out provocative plots, rather than deal with the gaps in the writing. It almost felt like a different author had taken over.
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:02 PM   #44
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Yes - outrageous . I had issues with the series too, and eventually gave up. The books became disjointed, and were not at all true to the characters. She started churning out provocative plots, rather than deal with the gaps in the writing. It almost felt like a different author had taken over.
I found that I could no longer read[ the series, but could happily listen to the audio books. Not sure why, but they seemed to work better for me. Of course, eventually I let them fade away as well, but well after the one where Helen is shot.
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