TPAOL Question #32 - Your Final Answer

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TPAOL Question #32 - Your Final Answer

Unread postby Liz » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:49 am

Well, Noodlemantras, it's that time again.....the end of the discussion. :tear:

We've gotten pretty deep on this one. I bow down to your brilliance. Thank you, Noodlemantras, for making it a discussion I will never forget. :notworthy:

So without further ado, I give you the final question:



What did you like best about the book? Least? Would you recommend it to anyone?
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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Unread postby suec » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:07 pm

Wow, the end of another one!
What I liked best: that it made me think - but that is also down to the questions and discussions. Thank you Liz and DIDHOT for all your hard work and thought. :thanks!: I also liked the style. Wonderful descriptions. I have recommended it to friends and already given one a copy. What I liked least: probably the Matula chapter.
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:29 pm

Wow! The end already! I am so sorry I have not been able to take part more in this discussion. I guess what I liked least about the book is that I obviously failed to follow a great deal of the plot. I was in way over my head when the questions started coming! :bawl: But I have read most of the discussion and I have saved a hard copy of the tidbits, my second reading will be so much richer because of the discussion here at ONBC. As always, Liz and DITHOT provided much to think about! Thanks for your fearless leadership! And to all of you who were able to answer the questions, thank you so much for giving me a deeper understanding of this book.

What I liked best was the fabulous writing. The scenery, the characters, all of it was so beautifully written, the words flowed, the words painted picutres and brought out strong feelings. In spite of getting a little lost and confused in the story line, I really admired the writing.

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Unread postby gemini » Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:41 pm

What did you like best about the book? Least? Would you recommend it to anyone?

Personally I liked the setting and learning so much about Russia. Obviously a lot of what I learned came from our tidbit discussions. Thank you DITHOT and LIZ for being so thorough and Angelina for helping out. The maps and history of each group was very helpful.

Yes I would recommend it to others and I thought it was a very educating and thought provoking book.

What I liked least was the vivid description of the battles. A bit too graphic for me. I realize they were to make a point of what drove Balashov to his fate but it was very hard to read.

Thanks Noodlemantras for your contributions which made me change my mind many times again when seen from a larger prosective than my own.


Edit: I just went over and reread the last paragraph thread again and there is one more thing I want to add to the things I like least. The ending. I don't see any point in the last paragraph except to make the story end with Mutz and the Albino. I would rather as Depputante said that the ending be Samarin.
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Unread postby Charlene » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:22 pm

I agree with what everyone above has said, the kind words for all the hardwork DITHOT & Liz do, Meeks beautiful words that painted such a portrait, and most of all the layers, of the story. I think I went back 3 times and reread that part about the horses falling off the bridge and Sam's movements, and was amazed how he wove story points in, that at first read seemed odd, but later became vital to the story.

Favorite part? Hmmmm, the love story btwn A & B.

Least favorite? The Albino....I believe one of you said he reminded you of Golum in LOTR...that's all I could think of too.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:16 pm

I would recommend the book to others but I think I would give them some of the historical background. That definitely helped me to appreciate it on many different levels. As I got to the end of the book it was like a light bulb going off in my head when I realized how the author had woven so many pieces together without the reader being aware of what he was doing and where the story was going. I thought it was a very well told story and the descriptive writing and character development is just superb.

Special thanks to Angelina for her expertise in helping us understand the background of the novel! :angel: As always many thanks to our Noodlemantras for a challenging and interesting discussion. :notworthy: You all never fail to make me see our books in a different light and give the old gray matter a work out! You are all the best!
:thanks!: :bouquet:
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:17 pm

Suec, my brain cells probably got more of a workout from this book than any of the others.

Nebraska, I’m glad you participated when you had a chance. Your insights are always welcome. And I agree with you about his writing. That is probably what I liked best.

Gemini, I agree with you and Depputante that I would have preferred to see Samarin walking down the railroad tracks as the book's ending.

Charlene, I wasn’t much on the Albino either, except for his part in cluing us in on the Mohican.

A mega thanks to Angelina for sharing her knowledge and viewpoint. What a gift it was!

I’m considering choosing TPAOL when it is my turn to host the discussion for my hometown book club in April. So I guess that means I would recommend it. :lol: I’m just a little concerned about the cannibalism and castration issues. :freaked:

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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Unread postby Linda Lee » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:34 am

I enjoyed the imagery and the setting of the book. I learned about the time period and some Russian history, which is very interesting.
The thing I liked least were some of the gaps of time, I wanted a little more information on Samarin and what really happened in that 8 year gap. :-O
I have already recommended it to my daughter and I will probably recommend it to some of my friends.

I am adding my thanks to DITHOT and Liz :bouquet: for all your preparation starting with the tidbits and continuing throughout the discussion, for your thought provoking questions, and your thoughts. Thank you Angelina for your additions and comments on the tidbits. And as gemini said:
Thanks Noodlemantras for your contributions which made me change my mind many times again when seen from a larger prosective than my own.


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Unread postby Depputante » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:29 am

What did you like best about the book? Least? Would you recommend it to anyone?


Well, I liked Samarin and the Shaman the best. I wish the shaman had more input into the story.

Least, I'd say that I had difficulty with the Anna background, and the Reds, although they make the story fufilling, I didn't really have fun reading the book. And of course the last paragraph, could have been alot smoother.

I enjoyed the book. I'd give it a 6.5 or 7 out of 10. I would recommend Shantaram or On the Road first. Therefore, no, I would not recommend TPAOL, unless a person had nothing else 'good' to read. It's 'good', but not great.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:04 am

I'm sorry too I haven't been able to join in the discussions but I've always been bad at analysing the deeper meaning in books, so the questions were way over my head :lol:
It was a beautifully written book, which totally drew you in. I'm not sure there was anything in it which I could put my finger on and say I least liked. I had thought it would be a tough read and a subject that I wouldn't like but I was totally compelled by it and I think I have already recommended it to others who have not read it yet.
Thanks DITHOT and Liz :cool:

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Unread postby Endora » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:02 pm

Thanks for organising those challenging questions for us, Liz and DITHOT. They really made us think about what we thought we understood.

About the book:

Best? The landscape and mood descriptions. I thought they were outstanding, beautiful, originally done.

Worst? Maybe the writing about Anna. I thought he wrote her more superficially then the male characters.
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Unread postby Parlez » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:15 pm

I think we've all arrived at a very special place...the END of this book discussion!! :bounce:

I recommended this book to my sister, with the caveat that she wait and read it in the summer because both the setting and story will make her shiver. brrrrrr!
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Unread postby KYwoman » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:07 am

Thanks to Liz and DITHOT for another job well done with the discussion and tidbits. The tidbits especially really helped on this one, as I was not that familiar with Russian history.

Which leads me to what I liked about the book, the fact it was about people and places I was not well versed in. Like a lot of Johnny's literary choices, this one took me 'outside the box' of my typical reading material, which is a nice bonus to reading works related to Johnny's interests. I really got the sense of time and place with this novel. What I had issue with, was what I felt was a lack of depth to the story and characters. I don't want to get into a long narrative about it here, but I felt the affects of the writer's early training as a journalist in his story telling.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:36 am

KY, I agree his journalistic training shows through. I thought it paid off in some aspects, his descriptions of setting for example and he did make me feel like I was there in some of the scenes. On the other hand it is less personal but it worked for me.
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Xaxis » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:40 pm

Pardon the lateness of the response...I want to add my thanks to everyone :cool: for this little adventure.
Of course most of all to DITHOT and Liz! You did an amazing job, everyday! :cool:
For me, it was much more than I'd ever imagined when we set sail together, way back when.

I enjoyed the trip through the book and I felt everyone and everything within the story collectively made for an astonishing work of art. I would not for one moment find fault with any of it. It was a cold and crispy captivating twisted yet, holy adventure. Reading it was like being hypnotized by watching steam puffing from a horse's nostils on a freezing cold winters day, for which my thanks goes to it's author/creator. :cool:
I only now have one desire concerning this book, that is to reach that day when I could recommend,
The People's Act of Love.... the movie!
As though I needed any more reason to want to see a Johnny Depp movie, I find it amusing to add this aspect of want to it. Were the picture ever to be made, I'd love to rejoin up with all of you fine ONBC ladies and talk about the film.
Thanks again, one and all!
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