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View Poll Results: Whose debut will we witness in August?
The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin 2 33.33%
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 3 50.00%
Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym 2 33.33%
I Am a Cat by Soseki Natsume 5 83.33%
Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout 3 50.00%
Every Day is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel 2 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-28-2019, 06:49 PM   #31
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I normally skip Introductions because of spoilers. However I decided to read it for this book because of my lack of knowledge about Japanese culture and history.

Also the Intro says that at Chapter 3 the cat’s voice becomes more human-like because he didn’t think he could carry the same cat voice through the whole book without being too distracting from the overall satire objective. Another point that makes the book start awkward is that Chapter 1 was originally published as a short story. That was meant to be the final end of the cat’s story. So, he had to find a way to blend the beginning into the entire collection of chapters.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:05 AM   #32
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Yes, much appreciate the confirmation that it should get better. I just started, so will need to buckle down and get serious. (Though my page numbers, from Goodreads, have it at 482, which I believe includes the introduction. Long, but not impossible. Though it would help if there were an audio version.)
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:02 AM   #33
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I'm entertained thus far and now I'm encouraged that it will be more than just a succession of catty comments (couldn't resist) which would have staled eventually.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:20 AM   #34
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I've finished the first two volumes, which puts me just over halfway through. I enjoy it, but I've had to pace myself just the same. I'm curious about how others are faring. Where are we all?
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:29 AM   #35
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I rarely abandon a book, but at a bit under the halfway mark, I am about to give up. I think a (severely) abridged version might have been enjoyable - something I usually can't abide - but I am finding the book unfunny, padded out to an unbearable extent, and overall a very tedious experience.

I hope others are getting more enjoyment out of it than I am.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:25 AM   #36
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I haven't given up yet. I'm about a quarter of the way through.

Charlie.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:50 AM   #37
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I'm going out on a limb and if I've misinterpreted the situation I'm sorry, but I tend to infer that people not checking in here means they're struggling. (What I can see from those who are my Goodreads friends also is a factor.) So I thought I'd float the suggestion that the August discussion be downgraded in a sense, to remove the onus of having to participate and engage in a conversation on a set date. I could unlock the thread early and those who have or would to give up can post their reactions while they're fresh and then let it go, without feeling they need to finish the book or engage in a conversation beyond their interest. Alternatively, those who are enjoying it wouldn't have to press to get it done on time (it's long!) and could comment at their leisure.

I'll add the personal element, which doesn't affect the situation as far as I'm concerned. I'm quite enjoying it myself; I'll save further comment for the discussion thread proper, but I also feel I would benefit from a break. For me, this is a good example of a book published in installments which would be better read as such. I'm also going to be away on vacation next week and won't be able to engage to the extent I'd like although I'll be around.

I hope people will weigh in with their opinions here. Should we kick back on this one as it's August after all, or should we be full steam ahead?
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:04 AM   #38
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I'm unsure what the lack of response means, though I would have thought that if people are still actively reading the book, they would post briefly to say so. I am wondering if maybe people haven't started it, not realising how long it is.

I would have liked to hear from Dazrin and astrangerhere as the nominator and supporter (along with Charlie) of the book, but perhaps they are both on holiday.

I think the suggestion of a less "formal" discussion for those who have something to say about the book, whether or not they have finished it, is a good one. Thanks for that, issybird. I can certainly discuss general impressions of the book as I have read about half of it.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:07 AM   #39
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Not sure if it was already obvious or not, but I basically opted out of last month and this month due to overload here on multiple fronts. So I've not even attempted this book ... and I doubt if I will any time soon. So I'm not struggling, or not with this book anyway.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:17 AM   #40
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Not sure if it was already obvious or not, but I basically opted out of last month and this month due to overload here on multiple fronts. So I've not even attempted this book ... and I doubt if I will any time soon. So I'm not struggling, or not with this book anyway.
You and Catlady explicitly opted out. It happens, but a loss to us; two prolific posters. I thought this could be a one-off in terms of scaling back expectations, as it seemed bad timing on a lot of fronts: you and Catlady, a long book, summer doldrums (for most of us).

So, I do hope things become more manageable for you and that you can kick back, but you were already excused for August.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:15 PM   #41
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I was actually excited for this, as I have read it before. I was hoping to listen to it in Japanese again, but have been having a HORRID allergic reaction to something I touched. I have been on steroids and Benadryl and anything else that might help every inch of my skin not burn and itch .

That being said, I have been reading a lot, but much less serious reads. I finished the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evenlyn Hardcastle last night and am starting Catheryne Valente's Space Opera today. I really can't handle anything else heavier right now. It's all I can do to get through my caseload in court.

Once everyone finishes, though, I hope to jump into the conversation.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:35 PM   #42
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I'm in progress but the going is slow. The difficult book plus being super busy at work and with personal projects has reduced my time here overall. July was my second lowest page total since I have kept records and the lowest number of books. This month is looking worse so far.

I was not around for the vote so was very surprised that this won when I got back, while I nominated it I really didn't know anything about it other than some blurbs that I found. It still sounds interesting but I think it is just too far out of my knowledge base and is going WAY over my head. I think I would get a lot more out of this if I had some knowledge of early 1900s Japanese society.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:38 PM   #43
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Thanks, everybody. My sense was that most if not all of us were finding this a challenge and that the timing was difficult for many, also.

I'm going to go ahead and open the book thread now and people should feel free to post their thoughts as they read, or if they've given up on it discuss that. I'm just past the halfway mark myself, at the end of volume II. Let's take the long view and just this once not focus on an unfortuitous start date.



astrangerhere, how very miserable for you! I hope you recover soon. Perhaps you could give us a little historical background and your own overall perspective in the discussion thread since you've read it, please?

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Old 08-06-2019, 07:21 PM   #44
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Commiserations astrangerhere. That sounds absolutely wretched and apart from being bad during the day, must make it hard to sleep at night.

Like issybird, I too would appreciate any thoughts you have about how the book reflects on the time and place. I’m sure I missed a lot.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:22 PM   #45
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Commiserations astrangerhere. That sounds absolutely wretched and apart from being bad during the day, must make it hard to sleep at night.

Like issybird, I too would appreciate any thoughts you have about how the book reflects on the time and place. I’m sure I missed a lot.
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