Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

by Gordon Dahlquist

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bluebird
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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby bluebird » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:27 pm

Liz wrote:
bluebird wrote: I can't imagine my reading life without Tom Robbins and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates (and further reading on my own of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and others)... and Shantaram! Wouldn't have missed reading that one for anything! and, and, and... the list goes on...
bluebird

I was surprised that Hunter and Robbins had stayed under my radar for most of my life. I can't imagine going through life without having read them. What a loss that would have been!


I should have mentioned HST, too, Liz... I'm with you... although I knew who Hunter was, I really hadn't read much more than some of his columns... I'll repeat what you said "What a loss that would have been!"
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby gemini » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:16 pm

I am sort of at a loss of how to answer this question. This book for me was not an easy read. To be truthful, I stopped reading it so many times that I nearly read most of Anne Rice's vampire chonicles in between when I started and when I finished. I can't say that the fiction or science fiction turned me off because I like to read both. ( I loved Fierce Invalids) I must say that I have read many books that I would not have, just because of ONBC and I was always glad that I did. As some of you know, I love the connections to reality in many of our book discussions and that does appeal more to me than this did.

The suspense ,desperation, and the odds getting more impossible all the way to the end, made me a frustrated reader and I found myself telling Dahlquist to get on with it. Unlike Jackslady, I wanted to hit him over the head while reading some of his descriptive passages. I think I like books with a basis in reality for discussion and fiction just to read for enjoyment without analyzing it. To this books credit, the strangeness of the fiction itself made it different, but the story didn't hold my interest like some books do..
Last edited by gemini on Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:19 pm

I just love the start of a new discussion and reading all the differing replies and ideas! I can't wait to get into the questions in more detail. Sometimes I have mixed feelings before I pick up one of our books but I always end up enjoying the read (some more than others) and the discussion.
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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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:45 pm

I am not sure how much of a departure this book is from books like Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates and Perfume the Story of a Murderer. Yes, those books relied a few facts in telling the story - like the way fragrances were bottled in old times and oddities like a clay lick for the birds - but those two stories were hardly what I would consider reality-based. :-/ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was fantasy. And Inamorata, while based on "real" facts, had an air of uncertain, quasi-fiction to it. Public Enemies was a recitation of pure facts....but even books like Shantaram, which was based on a true story, cautions us to consider it a work of fiction.

And like most of the books Johnny has guided us to, I think Glass Books was very well written. From the first paragraph, I was hooked. I didn't always like where the story took me, and sometimes I had trouble keeping all of the characters straight, but overall I thought the writing itself was superb. My mind was filled with mental pictures all the way through, both with regard to scenery and characters. I could see a virtual movie in my mind while I read! My copy has a lot of post it notes marking "favorite" passages. There were some great passages.

I think there are some really strong moral currents under the surface. Once or twice I saw something beyond what was written on the page and I thought "Oh! That's what Johnny saw!" That will be fun to explore as this discussion goes along.

So I guess my answer is that this was an interesting choice for ONBC and it was different but it wasn't out of place with the rest of the books we have read. Thank goodness there are many dimensions to Johnny Depp's interests.

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby gemini » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:09 pm

nebraska wrote:I am not sure how much of a departure this book is from books like Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates and Perfume the Story of a Murderer. Yes, those books relied a few facts in telling the story - like the way fragrances were bottled in old times and oddities like a clay lick for the birds - but those two stories were hardly what I would consider reality-based. :-/ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was fantasy. And Inamorata, while based on "real" facts, had an air of uncertain, quasi-fiction to it. Public Enemies was a recitation of pure facts....but even books like Shantaram, which was based on a true story, cautions us to consider it a work of fiction.


I think you summed up the mix we have read of fiction and reality pretty well. It was really more of a mix than I thought. Yes, Johnny is a multi dimensional reader. Some of the books were true fiction with mention of real life characters or places which add to the story for me. I also think the humor in some of them like Fierce invalids helps when its fiction. Dahlquist, at least for me, was pretty dry for humor. I think the only realism we can see in the Glass books was more in personal fortitude and what people are made of or can become given the right circumstances. Maybe this is what Johnny saw in it.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers



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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:15 pm

As far as reality goes Glass Books certainly didn't lend itself to many tidbits! :reader: :perplexed:

It really is interesting to look at the variety of books, topics, genres...certainly a :hatsoff: is warranted to our inspiration for keeping things diverse and interesting!
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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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby Jennak » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:25 pm

I am nearly finished, and I must say I love this book. I do like fantasy and science fiction, though. So it is really my kind of story. I guess that from the first minute they introduced Chang, I visualized him as Johnny...and that probably helped to propel me through the parts that got a little slow. Also, I like it that Johnny always chooses different types of books, to "round out" the reading experience. I sometimes secretly wonder if he chooses books for us to read, by just being seen with them...knowing we will eagerly pounce. :lol: Wouldn't that be incredibly cool? :cool:

I am really excited about this discussion...and am reading really fast so I can finish in time for the discussion. :bounce:

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby teacher » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:35 am

gemini wrote:I wanted to hit him over the head while reading some of his descriptive passages.

:highfive: Sometimes, especially when Chang got to Harchmont, some of the passages reminded me of this and I wondered if Dahlquist was paid per word. A good writer, no doubt, wonderful imagination and all, but I think the editor should've been stricter.
Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. - Tom Wingfield, Glass Menagerie

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:51 am

:lol:
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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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby bluebird » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:37 pm

teacher wrote:
gemini wrote:I wanted to hit him over the head while reading some of his descriptive passages.

:highfive: Sometimes, especially when Chang got to Harchmont, some of the passages reminded me of this and I wondered if Dahlquist was paid per word. A good writer, no doubt, wonderful imagination and all, but I think the editor should've been stricter.

Love that blog!!
I agree that Dahlquist needed a good editor! I do remember thinking the same thing when reading Shantaram. However, I also was willing to forgive Gregory David Roberts for his excess because I loved it so much!! I'm not quite as willing with Dahlquist. :eyebrow:
bluebird
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:36 pm

bluebird wrote:
teacher wrote:
gemini wrote:I wanted to hit him over the head while reading some of his descriptive passages.

:highfive: Sometimes, especially when Chang got to Harchmont, some of the passages reminded me of this and I wondered if Dahlquist was paid per word. A good writer, no doubt, wonderful imagination and all, but I think the editor should've been stricter.

Love that blog!!
I agree that Dahlquist needed a good editor! I do remember thinking the same thing when reading Shantaram. However, I also was willing to forgive Gregory David Roberts for his excess because I loved it so much!! I'm not quite as willing with Dahlquist. :eyebrow:
bluebird

:lol: I felt that a couple of times. But over all, I wasn't bothered by his being so long-winded. And that is not typical for me. I think it is because he tends to write like I do......loooooooong sentences broken up by dashes, etc.
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Re: Glass Books Question #1

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:33 pm

Jackslady wrote:I had actually bought it a long time ago (and before we knew there was a Johnny connection). I confess I was attracted by the elaborate art work/illustrations that were included with the UK hardback version - this even included a paper mask for use as a bookmark...the whole thing just intrigued me



I think the illustrations and artwork would have added a great deal to the experience! A paper mask for a book mark! What fun!

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby Theresa » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:37 pm

I rather like long descriptive passages. I've gotten bogged down a few times by the number of people to keep track of, but even that hasn't been too bad.

As for being a departure from ONBC's usual read, it really isn't all that far off, style-wise...but I sure missed having tidbits to read and enjoy. I'll bet Liz and DITHOT didn't mind too much, though -- especially right after the Christmas rush!

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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:13 pm

I love the tidbits but no matter how hard I looked I just couldn't find anything on that blue clay! :reader: :lol:
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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Re: Glass Books Question #1 ~ A Departure

Unread postby Lucky13 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:25 pm

This is not a book I would have chosen to read on my own. The length (pages) wasn't really a deterrent ( I absolutely LOVED Shantaram and we all know how long that was!!). I'm not usually into "mysteries", but I certainly am intrigued ... still reading and finding it harder to put it down.

As other have mentioned, I think it's great that Johnny has introduced us/me to some unusual books. Another reason to just adore him even more, if that's possible ! :cloud9:
~ Yah, I wanna take that ride with you!

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