Inamorata Question #12 - Inspired By True Events

by Joseph Gangemi

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Inamorata Question #12 - Inspired By True Events

Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:41 am

What do you think of Gangemi’s way of integrating historical fact with fiction?
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Larkwoodgirl
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Unread postby Larkwoodgirl » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:28 am

I think he did a pretty good job of it. Although I think that GDR did a much better job with Shantaram.

Since Liz and Dithot did such an amazing job with the tidbits, we have an excellent perspective on the historical facts. Gangemi wove the fiction pretty tightly around the facts.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:38 am

I love learninga little history along with my fiction. And then it even got better when the tidbits further developed this! I started getting a little mixed up while reading the Scientific
American tidbits along with the book so set them aside while I scanned the book again. I'm looking forward to rereading them after the discussion. So I think both Gangemi and our hardworking moderators did a great job of painting in some interesting and informative historical background! :cool:
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:48 am

Thanks, Larkdwood and Betty Sue! This was certainly a tidbit rich book, my favorite kind! :reader: Gangemi really did his homework on people and places.
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:20 pm

It eventually becomes confusing for me as a reader, as has been reflected in some of these questions where we comment "I can't remember if I read it in the tidbits or in the book" because they are so very similar but yet different in a way that makes the two "facts" not the same at all. The original case was interesting.....why not just use that as a jump off point and create a completely new story......or why not just write a completely accurate factual book? this weaving of truth and fantasy into a whole tapestry makes it hard to know what to believe.

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:48 pm

nebraska wrote:It eventually becomes confusing for me as a reader, as has been reflected in some of these questions where we comment "I can't remember if I read it in the tidbits or in the book" because they are so very similar but yet different in a way that makes the two "facts" not the same at all. The original case was interesting.....why not just use that as a jump off point and create a completely new story......or why not just write a completely accurate factual book? this weaving of truth and fantasy into a whole tapestry makes it hard to know what to believe.


The more we discuss this book the more I am convinced that might have been his goal, Nebraska. He wanted us to wonder what to believe. I thought it was very interesting how he interwove the facts around the fiction--using similar names and real people, but changing a few things. I wonder, though, if the average person picking up the book would realize that it is inspired by true events. I had never heard of Margery prior to this book.

Thank you Larkwood & Betty Sue for your kind words. I really enjoyed working on these tidbits.
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:07 pm

Betty Sue wrote:I love learning a little history along with my fiction.

Me too.

I really like books that mix real historical characters with fictional ones. If the author does his homework, I think that fiction allows a good writer to collapse years of events into a handful of defining moments the capture the true essence of the person. In 80 pages Stephen Jefferies gave me a far better sense of John Wilmot than Graham Greene (an excellent writer) did in over 200.

I wish that Gangemi had done more with some of the supporting cast… the real figures like Houdini, Doyle, and Boo Boo Hoff (protected estates maybe?) as well as the characters that seemed thinly veiled like Patterson the attorney. I think it was the strongest part of the book. Just when I got intrigued by one of ‘em, they disappeared.

I think Gangemi was able to make the central characters much more interesting by fictionalizing them to a greater degree.
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Unread postby Theresa » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:27 pm

Liz wrote:I wonder, though, if the average person picking up the book would realize that it is inspired by true events. I had never heard of Margery prior to this book.

Thank you Larkwood & Betty Sue for your kind words. I really enjoyed working on these tidbits.

This average person had no idea that the book was based on real events until you and DITHOT started giving us the tidbits. Which, by the way, were fantastic!

I liked the way that Gangemi kept the story fictional, but tightly interwoven with facts. And even the open-ended mystery of her supposed powers was historical in that the Scientific American never completely proved or disproved the whole phenomenon.

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Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:39 pm

theresa wrote:
Liz wrote:I wonder, though, if the average person picking up the book would realize that it is inspired by true events. I had never heard of Margery prior to this book.

Thank you Larkwood & Betty Sue for your kind words. I really enjoyed working on these tidbits.

This average person had no idea that the book was based on real events until you and DITHOT started giving us the tidbits. Which, by the way, were fantastic!

I liked the way that Gangemi kept the story fictional, but tightly interwoven with facts. And even the open-ended mystery of her supposed powers was historical in that the Scientific American never completely proved or disproved the whole phenomenon.


And this average person would have never known if I hadn't emailed Gangemi.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:30 pm

I agree, db. There was some room to make those side characters more interesting. Maybe he had to worry about protected estates with some of the real characters. I can certainly see the Houdini or Doyle heirs protecting the name but I don't know that for a fact.

theresa, that thought crossed my mind too. If Gangemi was using the real story of Margery he couldn't neatly tie up the ends since the real story behind Margery was never known and the magazine never came to a conclusion either.
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Unread postby SamIam » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:12 pm

I hadn't really thought about it until I read this thread and I read through some of the tidbits, but I do think he did a pretty good job. There are some books that don't weave it in very well, but Gangemi did a very good job with it. The 1930s stuff He did very well with.
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Unread postby fansmom » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:51 pm

I think the author did an excellent job of weaving together the fact and the fiction. As I said on an earlier thread, I never felt he was forcing his research upon us. But I must admit that I enjoy historical fiction (hey, "Out of Africa" is on my TV right now, and the last book I read was "Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets" by Jude Morgan, about the wives and mistresses of Byron, Shelly, and Keats).

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:07 pm

I'm with you there, fansmom. I'm a fan of historical fiction myself. I think Gangemi did a great job of bringing us the feel of the city of Philadelphia during that time period. I even tried to do a tidbit on what was in Mina's powder room but couldn't come up with enough information to make a full tidibit! :lol:
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby suec » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:27 pm

Liz wrote:
theresa wrote:
Liz wrote:I wonder, though, if the average person picking up the book would realize that it is inspired by true events. I had never heard of Margery prior to this book.

Thank you Larkwood & Betty Sue for your kind words. I really enjoyed working on these tidbits.

This average person had no idea that the book was based on real events until you and DITHOT started giving us the tidbits. Which, by the way, were fantastic!

I liked the way that Gangemi kept the story fictional, but tightly interwoven with facts. And even the open-ended mystery of her supposed powers was historical in that the Scientific American never completely proved or disproved the whole phenomenon.


And this average person would have never known if I hadn't emailed Gangemi.


My goodness, Liz! It's a good job that you did contact him then. Congrats for being so thorough. :applause2:
I thought he did a good job weaving the fact and fiction, really.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:24 pm

suec wrote:
Liz wrote:
theresa wrote:
Liz wrote:I wonder, though, if the average person picking up the book would realize that it is inspired by true events. I had never heard of Margery prior to this book.

Thank you Larkwood & Betty Sue for your kind words. I really enjoyed working on these tidbits.

This average person had no idea that the book was based on real events until you and DITHOT started giving us the tidbits. Which, by the way, were fantastic!

I liked the way that Gangemi kept the story fictional, but tightly interwoven with facts. And even the open-ended mystery of her supposed powers was historical in that the Scientific American never completely proved or disproved the whole phenomenon.


And this average person would have never known if I hadn't emailed Gangemi.


My goodness, Liz! It's a good job that you did contact him then. Congrats for being so thorough. :applause2:
I thought he did a good job weaving the fact and fiction, really.


And he was so gracious and generous to respond back--and almost immediately, I might add.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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