ALWD Question #26 ~ The END!

by Nick Hornby

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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ALWD Question #26 ~ The END!

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 04, 2005 11:23 am

We have come to our final question for A Long Way Down... :bawl: after another great discussion! :cool: Thank you, Noodlemantras as always for your wonderful insights and ideas! :thanks!: Okay, last one...

What did you think of the way Hornby ended the story?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Bix » Sun Dec 04, 2005 11:40 am

:bawl: I hate last question day! Thank you once again, DITHOT and Liz for great tidbits and questions and ONBCers for wonderful insights and answers.

I really liked the way Hornby ended the book. He didn't bring in any knights in white armor (or would angels be more appropriate? :lol: ) miraculously to turn around each person's life and provide a happy ending. But our four are still together, still interacting, still searching for their own answers. When JJ suggests they give it six more months, I see that as very hopeful. I believe each will continue to make small progress and that they will not lose touch with the others.

I appreciate that you gave us the tidbit about the London Eye, DITHOT, because it wasn't there the only time I've been to London and I would have had no idea what they were talking about at the very end.
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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:29 pm

Thank you, DITHOT, and Liz, for their wonderful moderatin' skills, and thanks to Noodlemantras for a great discussion!

I generally liked the way it ended. Maureen was the last voice right? She got the last word as it were? I think that was interesting, maybe it was a coincidence, or did he do that on purpose? Or am I reading too much into it?

Hannah
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Rosevelt

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 04, 2005 4:08 pm

bix, I wasn't sure what the London Eye was either when I read the end of the book. Not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to ride it either!

Hannah Bannah, here are the last few lines of the book and they are from Maureen's perspective...

"Yeah," said JJ. "I'm sorry I was just wondering, you know. Why we're all still here."

"Thanks," said Martin. "Thanks for that."

In the distance we could see the lights on that big Ferris wheel down by the river, the London Eye.

"We don't have to decide right now anyway, do we?" said JJ.

"Course we don't," said Martin.

"So how about we give it another six months? See how we're doing?"

"Is that thing actually goikng round?" said Martin. "I can't tell."

We stared at it for a long time, trying to work it out. Martin was right. It didn't look as though it was moving, but it must have been, I suppose.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Dec 04, 2005 4:36 pm

The ending was quite satisfying to me as the four were being mighty feisty--giving it back and forth and taking it. It seemed to me they were saying that, yes, life will keep throwing up negatives, but there are positives, too. As with the symbolism of the London Eye, they may not look like they're moving along but they are just by hanging in there and trying. (Of course, I personally would have ruined this ending by having Jess's sister found... :blush: )
Thanks so much, Liz and DITHOT, for your usual excellence!! :applause: Lookin' forward to the next one! :grin:
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Unread postby cait » Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:13 pm

This was my first ONBC discussion. I really enjoyed the questions and talking about the book. Hope I can join another discussion soon! I need to read the next book first though.

The ending - I liked it. I was happy that it had a hopeful ending instead of the perfect ending where everything comes to a close and all loose ends are tied together. It wouldn't have suited the characters to have all of their problems solved. It was more believable and realistic.
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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:22 pm

I agree, Cait. The hopeful ending was better than the 'YAY we didn't committ suicide' angle. It was real and relateable.

Thanks for the excerpts, DITHOT. I hope I get my book back soon, and then I re-visit the Favorite Passages thread and actually post my favorite passages.


I actually want to open up the floor a bit for another question, assuming of course this is alright with the Moderator posse?


Hannah
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:36 pm

I thought the ferris wheel analogy was very nice. Life moves forward whether we perceive it happening or not, and in the end we are better off if we climb aboard and try to enjoy the ride.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the ride this book gave me, it hasn’t stayed with me like other Hornby books—High Fidelity or About a Boy. Those books ended with characters not changing much either, but they had each found a piece of themselves that made them a better person—not only in their own eyes, but everyone else’s (including the reader). I only saw a glimmer of that in Martin in ALWD, Maureen, Jess and JJ just erased some the their own self-absorption. One women’s opinion.

It goes without saying… thanks to Liz and DITHOT for making reading an even more pleasurable experience. Can't wait to start talking about the Earl.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:41 pm

I liked the ferris wheel analogy as well, Betty Sue and dharma. Onward and forward as it were...and cait, I agree it didn't need to have a happy ending tied up in a neat little bow. We're glad you participated in your first discussion. We hope you will get reading and join us for the next one!

Hannah, we usually have a spare question which is...Is there anything we didn't bring up that you would like to discuss? So the floor is yours!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:25 pm

YAY, ok, my floor...*looks at floor* I'd like to discuss Hornby's style of writing. Did everyone like the three part system and the character naratives? As opposed to third person? (I hope this wasn't discussed already)

Hannah
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:22 pm

Good question, Hannah! I didn't really think much about the three part system but generally do like books to section off parts. With my short attention span I liked the short chapters and did like having each character get a chance to speak. I felt we really needed to get inside each brain to try to understand why that person might want to commit suicide and might be able to go on living instead. Such an intimate topic needed first hand information! And it was interesting to hear first hand what their take was on each of the others. I felt we got to know the characters better by having them do their own narrative.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:15 pm

Hannah, did I mention you have to sweep that floor? :grin:

I liked hearing from the different characters. It brought different perspectives instead of just one third party omniscient point of view and let us get to know the characters better.

Betty Sue, I like those short chapters too, I feel like I can always read just one more...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:19 pm

Thanks to all the Noodlemantras who participated in the discussion. It was interesting that there were many different points of view on this one. :thumbsup: :applause:

Cait, we enjoyed having you participate in your first discussion here at ONBC and look forward to the next one with you. :bounce:

To answer the question at hand, I have to say that the ending would have left me flat if not for the ferris wheel. It was a nice analogy, and I tend to enjoy a lot of symbolism. You must understand, though, that I am very hard on endings. :eyebrow: It's the most important part of the story, you know. :mort1:

I like your question, Hannah. Thanks for asking it. In general, I like Hornby's style very much. I think the three parts made sense in terms of what was happening in the story and I loved the different points of view. It was easier to understand where the characters were coming from and also made the story more colorful and alive for me.
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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:31 pm

I think I vaguely remember coming to the end of the story and saying "Huh?? That's it???????" :-O But after I moved away from it and had a chance to think about it, I like the ending. The characters are moving on, and let's face it, the ending mirrors real life far more than a Cinderella ending. I liked that. The issue of suicide, and all the situations these characters were in, would not have played well if they had all been tied up in a neat bow and put on a shelf somewhere. For those of us who find our lives have issues that go on and never really come to a neat conclusion, that was comforting.

I did like Hornby's style of writing. It took me a bit to catch on, but once each character had an identity in my mind, I loved hearing how each one perceived things. It added so many layers of meaning and understanding to the story. Gave it life, as it were; third person would have been dead reporting, all the characters speaking, and the part division, gave it life.

DITHOT and Liz, you know I love you and all the work you do here. This is the coolest place on the internet! Cheers all around to all the moderators and members of ONBC -- we rock!!!! :bounce:

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Unread postby KYwoman » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:46 pm

:applause: A BIG THANKS :thanks!: to Liz and DITHOT for being such great moderators and providing us with a wonderful place to discuss books. Also, thanks to the Noodlemantras for providing interesting points of view in the discussion of ALWD. I read the book, but was a lurker :shhh: on this one. I enjoyed this book enough that it got me to read another of Hornby's books, with more on the way. Can't wait to see what Johnny does with this one. :bounce:

BTW DITHOT, you'd like that London Eye ride....it's not scary and has a great view.
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