Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-16-2019, 01:08 AM   #16
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,400
Karma: 34187113
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I think he lays it on a bit thick at times. Which is not to say any particular incident is exaggerated, but the sheer concentration of incidents obscures the real payoff that exists in farming, the reason why people keep doing it. I think he does try to convey that, but it's not as clearly presented as the hardships.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Given his education and wider experience, I suspect cleverness. This book is a neatly put together assembly of linked essays that mingle time in a way that never really gets confused but contrasts different parts of his life while still offering a forward progression. That much, I think, is real and intentional, and very well done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
For me, the down side of the book was Rebanks' writing style, which should have been sorted out, at least to some extent, in the editing process.
I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars, marking it down for the points that both of you make. I really liked the format and how it was structured in a creative take on time (one of the main themes of the book). I think that Rebanks had enough talent that with the publisher's help he could have taken the book to an even greater level of writing than it achieved. While Helen MacDonald said "It's Bloody Marvelous," I don't think that the book was on the same quality level as her memoir, H is for Hawk.
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 01:33 AM   #17
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,400
Karma: 34187113
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
gmw and Victoria, thanks for sharing your personal experiences! My grandparents had a small farm in the Eastern US where they raised pigs and cows which they sold for food purposes. We only visited annually in the summer, and I was mostly scared of the animals so I did not spend much time in the barns or pastures. I stayed inside the farm house with a book and being with my grandma in the kitchen. My brother, on the other hand, liked to follow my grandpa around outside. A missed opportunity that I now wish I had experienced more of the outdoor activities or could even remember more about those days.
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 09-16-2019, 02:00 AM   #18
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,367
Karma: 101333161
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura One & H2Ov2, Sony PRS-650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I have mixed feelings about this book also. On the plus side, I was interested to read about the life the farmers in Cumbria lead. Also, some of Rebanks' descriptions of the natural world are lovely:
Yes, these were definitely some of my favourite parts. It has to include, too, his father catching the leveret (baby hare). They are gorgeous creatures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I also enjoyed the sense of a way of life being handed on through the generations:
I felt as though he laid this on pretty heavily, but then it goes along with thoughts about memory being 3 generations (a conversation with issybird on another thread), and about traditions being quite fluid. So as he speaks of using antibiotics he has on hand (to be misused as antibiotics so often are), and of the quad-bike and more, the idea of carrying on the good old days felt a bit stretched to me.

And I can see that previous paragraph comes over excessively critical. I do like that they are attempting preserve as much of this lifestyle as is feasible, and I do like that he makes connections to the past ... but a little bit acknowledgement of reality would be good too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
As for his behaviour as a boy at what sounds to be a pretty horrendous school, I find more fault with a system that labels children as non-achievers, and apparently turns a blind eye to violent bullying, than with the rebellion of those children to being so labelled. Tell people they are stupid and worthless and should "aim to be more than just farmworkers", and they believe it and behave accordingly.

While I don't condone his bad behaviour, I can understand it.
The 13yo I can (now that I'm well past school age) forgive. I am much less forgiving of a 40yo trying to blame his behaviour on the teachers. Maybe it was an awful school, but I'm not about to take the word of a 13yo thug, nor a 40yo adult who won't allow that at least some of the teachers might have meant well even if his 13yo self couldn't see it.

James might have been the only son of a generation that left things only to sons, and so his future may have been secure (although he learned later it wasn't), but didn’t he know any kids that were the youngest of many sons? Kids who were always going to have to find a living somewhere outside the shelter of this tiny community? Surely he must have known some. And what if James had had an accident as a young man and could no longer work the farm? (It almost happened to his grandfather.) So his 13yo self was not just selfish, but stupid too. That’s okay, most 13yos are, but how can the 40yo James not look back and see this, and accept that maybe the families of the area should own up to their responsibilities. Generations of ignorance and prejudice is no reason to perpetuate the problem.

In fact he does seem to make it part way there near the end, as he talks about his own children, but if he truly does see this, I wonder why he left the start of the book as it was. There is quite a lot that feels like personal development between the start and tend of the book, which again has me wondering if this was an intentional progression - if so it ran (and hit with me) the risk of alienating the reader from the start.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 02:53 AM   #19
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,367
Karma: 101333161
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura One & H2Ov2, Sony PRS-650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
gmw and Victoria, thanks for sharing your personal experiences! My grandparents had a small farm in the Eastern US where they raised pigs and cows which they sold for food purposes. We only visited annually in the summer, and I was mostly scared of the animals so I did not spend much time in the barns or pastures. I stayed inside the farm house with a book and being with my grandma in the kitchen. My brother, on the other hand, liked to follow my grandpa around outside. A missed opportunity that I now wish I had experienced more of the outdoor activities or could even remember more about those days.
The trouble will be getting me to shut up about it. (Like James Rebanks, I'm proud of my rural upbringing even if I didn't remain on the farm.)

I think we all have missed opportunities from our childhood. My father used to take us around the places where he grew up and tell us stories of what farming was like in those days, and what it was just being a kid in the country of those times ... and now he is gone and so are most of those stories. But I remember enough of them to recognise how different it was for me - which, perhaps unfairly, has me distrust claims of following too closely in the footsteps of our fathers. Times change and we change with them, even if we don't always see it in ourselves.

I said "perhaps unfairly" because one of the drivers of change where I grew up is in trying to make a living from the farm. But if you're farming in a protected enclave then I suppose it may be possible to retain more of the past in what you do. But even then, change never really stops, and we see that quite clearly revealed in this book.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 08:30 AM   #20
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,888
Karma: 100209563
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Yes, these were definitely some of my favourite parts. It has to include, too, his father catching the leveret (baby hare). They are gorgeous creatures.

-----

The 13yo I can (now that I'm well past school age) forgive. I am much less forgiving of a 40yo trying to blame his behaviour on the teachers. Maybe it was an awful school, but I'm not about to take the word of a 13yo thug, nor a 40yo adult who won't allow that at least some of the teachers might have meant well even if his 13yo self couldn't see it.

James might have been the only son of a generation that left things only to sons, and so his future may have been secure (although he learned later it wasn't), but didn’t he know any kids that were the youngest of many sons? Kids who were always going to have to find a living somewhere outside the shelter of this tiny community? Surely he must have known some. And what if James had had an accident as a young man and could no longer work the farm? (It almost happened to his grandfather.) So his 13yo self was not just selfish, but stupid too. That’s okay, most 13yos are, but how can the 40yo James not look back and see this, and accept that maybe the families of the area should own up to their responsibilities. Generations of ignorance and prejudice is no reason to perpetuate the problem.

In fact he does seem to make it part way there near the end, as he talks about his own children, but if he truly does see this, I wonder why he left the start of the book as it was. There is quite a lot that feels like personal development between the start and tend of the book, which again has me wondering if this was an intentional progression - if so it ran (and hit with me) the risk of alienating the reader from the start.
Yes, that was a lovely passage about the leveret. I think the contrast between the early part of his life and his thoughts about his children was indeed to show his development.

Indeed, if you go back and look at the early pages, he is acknowledging very early in the book that, for example, tourism is hugely important to keeping the place going: "More than half the employment in the area is reliant upon tourism ..." Later in the book of course he talks about "... the upside to new people coming into a community ...", though of course he also writes that "two worlds that didn't understand each other were colliding".

At the same time, his 13 year old self felt that the teacher was looking on the lives of his family and the families of his fellow students with a lack of respect. And really, if someone shows no respect for you and your way of life, why would you respect her different value system?
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 09-16-2019, 08:36 AM   #21
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,888
Karma: 100209563
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars, marking it down for the points that both of you make. I really liked the format and how it was structured in a creative take on time (one of the main themes of the book). I think that Rebanks had enough talent that with the publisher's help he could have taken the book to an even greater level of writing than it achieved. While Helen MacDonald said "It's Bloody Marvelous," I don't think that the book was on the same quality level as her memoir, H is for Hawk.
I agree with you Bookworm_Girl: H is for Hawk is a wonderful book, and so that quote on the cover from Helen MacDonald jumped out at me. The book certainly didn't strike me as being "bloody marvelous".

I gave it three stars, as I did enjoy it. I gave MacDonald's book five stars, which I do only rarely.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 04:16 PM   #22
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 713
Karma: 8859354
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
The trouble will be getting me to shut up about it (Like James Rebanks, I'm proud of my rural upbringing even if I didn't remain on the farm.)
Ditto, especially the shutting up part

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
gmw and Victoria, thanks for sharing your personal experiences! My grandparents had a small farm in the Eastern US where they raised pigs and cows which they sold for food purposes. We only visited annually in the summer, and I was mostly scared of the animals so I did not spend much time in the barns or pastures. I stayed inside the farm house with a book and being with my grandma in the kitchen. My brother, on the other hand, liked to follow my grandpa around outside. A missed opportunity that I now wish I had experienced more of the outdoor activities or could even remember more about those days.
Bookworm_Girl! I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in her kitchen as too. We were very close, so I treasure those memories. She was famous for her baking, which amazes me now when I think that she just had an old wood stove and a hand pump to the well for water. I wish now that I’d learned more from her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
The 13yo I can (now that I'm well past school age) forgive. I am much less forgiving of a 40yo trying to blame his behaviour on the teachers. Maybe it was an awful school, but I'm not about to take the word of a 13yo thug, nor a 40yo adult who won't allow that at least some of the teachers might have meant well even if his 13yo self couldn't see it.
Agreed. I reread the passages and didn’t see anywhere where he took some responsibility. He expresses no remorse for the boy they bullied, who later killed himself, or for the teachers who were attacked. He brags about being good at smashing very expensive equipment. Lots of kids are capable of an occasional outburst, but he describes years of ongoing violent and abusive behaviour.

Even if he had other experiences he hasn’t disclosed, that are at the root of whatever was going on, there should be some acknowledgement by the time he’s 40 that it wasn’t acceptable to hurt people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
At the same time, his 13 year old self felt that the teacher was looking on the lives of his family and the families of his fellow students with a lack of respect. And really, if someone shows no respect for you and your way of life, why would you respect her different value system?
Teachers do have a huge impact on kids lives. But even if they were all terrible, would the values he learned at home condone violence, aggression, and property destruction? His mother at least didn’t seem like she would. I didn’t get the sense his hardworking father would either. Nor does that behaviour seem consistent with the shepherding and farming community values he lauds.

But even if that was the Northern culture he was steeped in, it seems like an omission, as a grown man and father himself, not to say he regrets his participation. (Unless I missed something, which I sometimes do).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I really enjoyed this book. It's one of my favorite books that the club has selected.
That’s wonderful. I consider it one of the most engaging books I’ve read in a long time, despite my many quibbles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I really liked the format and how it was structured in a creative take on time (one of the main themes of the book).
I enjoyed his take on time too. I’ve read that writing in the first person can be very tricky to pull off. It must be more so, if you veer a bit from a straight linear path. I was thrown off initially, when the voice would shift in time. But once I figured out what he was doing, I enjoyed it, and thought it was creative for him to try. Maybe reading the passages slowly, as you did, is a good match for a vignette approach like his.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 05:23 PM   #23
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 713
Karma: 8859354
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Now I’m second guessing myself, in terms of the school issues. Maybe as an author, Rebanks was trying to strictly maintain a thirteen year old’s voice in that chapter. In that case, he wouldn’t offer his reflections from an adult perspective, even if he was uncomfortable and felt regret.

Last edited by Victoria; 09-16-2019 at 05:26 PM.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 05:39 PM   #24
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,888
Karma: 100209563
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
Now I’m second guessing myself, in terms of the school issues. Maybe as an author, Rebanks was trying to strictly maintain a thirteen year old’s voice in that chapter. In that case, he wouldn’t offer his reflections from an adult perspective, even if he was uncomfortable and felt regret.
I think that is exactly what he was doing, Victoria. And I don’t think he was telling us about it because he was proud of his behaviour. He was giving us a “warts and all” picture of his life and also his behaviour.

In the same way, he wrote of his conflict with his father when he was some years older than the schoolboy.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 05:45 PM   #25
CRussel
Grand Sorcerer
CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.CRussel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
CRussel's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,326
Karma: 59066474
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
Device: 10th Gen Paperwhite, Oasis, Voyage, original Paperwhite, Fire HD 8
You might be right, Bookpossum, but it didn't feel like that to this reader. And definitely got me off on the wrong foot with the book. While I ultimately liked the book, if this hadn't been a book club read, I'd have walked away from it well before I got to the parts I could enjoy.
CRussel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 06:25 PM   #26
Victoria
Guru
Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Victoria ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Victoria's Avatar
 
Posts: 713
Karma: 8859354
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Device: ipad, Kindle PW 4, iphone 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I think that is exactly what he was doing, Victoria. And I don’t think he was telling us about it because he was proud of his behaviour. He was giving us a “warts and all” picture of his life and also his behaviour.

In the same way, he wrote of his conflict with his father when he was some years older than the schoolboy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
You might be right, Bookpossum, but it didn't feel like that to this reader. And definitely got me off on the wrong foot with the book. While I ultimately liked the book, if this hadn't been a book club read, I'd have walked away from it well before I got to the parts I could enjoy.
I felt that way at the beginning too, and would have called it quits, if not for the club.

But hearing other perspectives I can see how he could feel it’s more honest and honourable to own up to the resentful boy he was without flinching.

So again, the vigorous discussion issybird touts has enriched my reading experience.
Victoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 06:43 PM   #27
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,400
Karma: 34187113
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I think that is exactly what he was doing, Victoria. And I don’t think he was telling us about it because he was proud of his behaviour. He was giving us a “warts and all” picture of his life and also his behaviour.

In the same way, he wrote of his conflict with his father when he was some years older than the schoolboy.
I agree. This is the way that I read the sections too.
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 09:03 PM   #28
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,888
Karma: 100209563
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
You might be right, Bookpossum, but it didn't feel like that to this reader. And definitely got me off on the wrong foot with the book. While I ultimately liked the book, if this hadn't been a book club read, I'd have walked away from it well before I got to the parts I could enjoy.
I think it made him more genuine and I trusted what he had to say later in the book because he had been honest about his younger self. After all, how many of us were perfect little angels all our lives? I know I wasn't, and I certainly loathed school, though my rebellion was to do the least amount of work possible in order to pass each year so I didn't have to repeat a year and prolong the agony.

I probably have more sympathy for Rebanks than others do. It took me ten years to get over hating school and realise I wanted to go to university. So I could empathise with his situation, even though I have otherwise lived a very different, suburban, life.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 11:29 PM   #29
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,367
Karma: 101333161
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura One & H2Ov2, Sony PRS-650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
[...] Later in the book of course he talks about "... the upside to new people coming into a community ...", though of course he also writes that "two worlds that didn't understand each other were colliding". [...]
In that paragraph about new people he says: "But, aged twenty, I could only see what was being lost." This is an explicit message to the reader: I can see it differently now. (The reader gets a similar explanation with regard to the arguments with his father.) There was nothing similar in the opening pages. I wasn't looking for a grovelling apology, just a hint that our narrator was aware of the impropriety of his behaviour as a 13yo. This was the opening of the book - the closest it gets to an introduction - so I think the reader is entitled to a little bit of direction if things are other than they seem.

That the author gives us such direction later and for other things suggests they are not that way in the opening. Everything he does and says through the book seems to try and affirm the "we are different" message in the opening - even, it seemed to me, if he had to turn his head away to make sure he never saw anything that upset his worldview. When he begrudgingly went back to school, he seems to deliberately avoid the company of those that might spoil the picture he had built for himself. He never opens himself to the possibility that there are others out there recognisably the same as he without being connected to the Lake District, and that there are others that are different but whose value does not depend only on what they can contribute to the Late District. I found his perpetual isolationism very wearing.
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 11:52 PM   #30
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,888
Karma: 100209563
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
In that paragraph about new people he says: "But, aged twenty, I could only see what was being lost." This is an explicit message to the reader: I can see it differently now. (The reader gets a similar explanation with regard to the arguments with his father.) There was nothing similar in the opening pages. I wasn't looking for a grovelling apology, just a hint that our narrator was aware of the impropriety of his behaviour as a 13yo. This was the opening of the book - the closest it gets to an introduction - so I think the reader is entitled to a little bit of direction if things are other than they seem.

That the author gives us such direction later and for other things suggests they are not that way in the opening. Everything he does and says through the book seems to try and affirm the "we are different" message in the opening - even, it seemed to me, if he had to turn his head away to make sure he never saw anything that upset his worldview. When he begrudgingly went back to school, he seems to deliberately avoid the company of those that might spoil the picture he had built for himself. He never opens himself to the possibility that there are others out there recognisably the same as he without being connected to the Lake District, and that there are others that are different but whose value does not depend only on what they can contribute to the Late District. I found his perpetual isolationism very wearing.
Well, my ebook starts chapter 1 on page 14. Chapter 3 on page 18 and following says:

Quote:
Later, I would read books and observe the other Lake District, and begin to understand it better. ... Above all, I learned that we are not the only ones who love this place.
How is that section, in the opening pages, not an acknowledgement of a different way of understanding things? And I think he was perfectly well aware of his bad behaviour at the age of 13.

As for the criticism of his "perpetual isolationism" in writing about his life and the life of his family and the other farmers of the area: well, surely that's what he was setting out to do, and I can't see anything wrong with that. He was writing about what he knows, as is only to be expected in a memoir.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Leaf September 2018 Discussion • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro issybird Book Clubs 163 10-18-2018 03:26 PM
MobileRead September 2015 Discussion: Candide (spoilers) WT Sharpe Book Clubs 16 09-27-2015 12:38 PM
Short Fiction Hogg, James: The Shepherd's Calendar Volume I (of II). v1. 15 Oct 2013 crutledge Kindle Books 0 10-15-2013 09:46 AM
Short Fiction Hogg, James: The Shepherd's Calendar Volume I (of II). v1. 15 Oct 2013 crutledge ePub Books 0 10-15-2013 09:45 AM
Short Fiction Hogg, James: The Shepherd's Calendar Volume I (of II). v1. 15 Oct 2013 crutledge BBeB/LRF Books 0 10-15-2013 09:44 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:23 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.