Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

by Gordon Dahlquist

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teacher
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby teacher » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:40 am

I think it added much more depth to the book, looking at the same events through different perspectives, although it was a bit of a challenge for me at times. After the first chapter or two I found myself being curious as to what that particular string of events would bring for the other characters.
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 #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby suec » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:29 pm

Liz wrote:
suec wrote: The way the different narratives work reminds me of POTC.

How so, suec?


Liz, a few ways, now I've started to think along those lines. But with regard to this particular question, I would say a core of 3 characters, one of them a young woman. The story begins with her; there are times when the 3 main characters are together and times when they're not and the story switches between them. And there's a blend of adventure and fantasy in the stories too. But to add, Celeste strikes me as being reminiscent of Elizabeth in some ways, with her character arc. Set in the past, a young woman who is in a life that she maybe fnds restrictive and or sheltered who gets invoved in a sequence of adventures that take her from innocence and naivete to - something else. I suppose a lot of characters might fall into that summary. But she is plucky and feisty, quick-thinking and intelligent in a way. (Also more reckless.) But some of the particular adventures stand some comparison. Both taken captive, etc. I prefer POTC and its characters. And then some. But I also think Chang might stand a bit of comparison with You Know Who - sadder, darker, but also intriguing and with a dubious moral centre, shall we say. Obviously there are significant differences between the 2 texts and characters as well so a comparison could only stretch so far.

I would like to add, I agree with the comments about the length. It seemed to me to be about twice as long as I would have liked. And I had forgotten certainly one instance where I could have done without the characters separating again.
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:02 pm

teacher, once I realized how the story was going to unfold I wondered the same thing. Where was this or that character and what were they seeing that this character wasn't. I did find that intriguing.

suec, I like your comparison. The three main character types do fit your comparison as do some of the villains.
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby Jennak » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:27 pm

I saw a play in Toronto a number of years back that was constructed in a similar manner. It was really cool, as it was done in a big old victorian house. The play started in the great room, with the audience standing around like guests, drinking wine or tea. Then, as the characters moved off, you could choose which one to follow. When that character joined up with another character, you could again make a choice of who to follow. Everyone came together again at the end. As a result, you could go to the play multiple times, and find out new things about both the characters and plot each time.

This would make a great play! I really enjoyed it, although it was very confusing at first.

Edited to add: the play was called Tamara.
Last edited by Jennak on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby fansmom » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:51 pm

Jennak wrote:I saw a play in Toronto a number of years back that was constructed in a similar manner. It was really cool, as it was done in a big old victorian house. The play started in the great room, with the audience standing around like guests, drinking wine or tea. Then, as the characters moved off, you could choose which one to follow. When that character joined up with another character, you could again make a choice of who to follow. Everyone came together again at the end. As a result, you could go to the play multiple times, and find out new things about both the characters and plot each time.
What an amazing concept. It sounds like it could either have been fascinating or totally bewildering.

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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:20 pm

fansmom wrote:
Jennak wrote:I saw a play in Toronto a number of years back that was constructed in a similar manner. It was really cool, as it was done in a big old victorian house. The play started in the great room, with the audience standing around like guests, drinking wine or tea. Then, as the characters moved off, you could choose which one to follow. When that character joined up with another character, you could again make a choice of who to follow. Everyone came together again at the end. As a result, you could go to the play multiple times, and find out new things about both the characters and plot each time.
What an amazing concept. It sounds like it could either have been fascinating or totally bewildering.

That is a really unique idea. :cool: I can also see that play as being one that could have a cult following....like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:24 pm

suec wrote:
Liz wrote:
suec wrote: The way the different narratives work reminds me of POTC.

How so, suec?


Liz, a few ways, now I've started to think along those lines. But with regard to this particular question, I would say a core of 3 characters, one of them a young woman. The story begins with her; there are times when the 3 main characters are together and times when they're not and the story switches between them. And there's a blend of adventure and fantasy in the stories too. But to add, Celeste strikes me as being reminiscent of Elizabeth in some ways, with her character arc. Set in the past, a young woman who is in a life that she maybe fnds restrictive and or sheltered who gets invoved in a sequence of adventures that take her from innocence and naivete to - something else. I suppose a lot of characters might fall into that summary. But she is plucky and feisty, quick-thinking and intelligent in a way. (Also more reckless.) But some of the particular adventures stand some comparison. Both taken captive, etc. I prefer POTC and its characters. And then some. But I also think Chang might stand a bit of comparison with You Know Who - sadder, darker, but also intriguing and with a dubious moral centre, shall we say. Obviously there are significant differences between the 2 texts and characters as well so a comparison could only stretch so far.

Aye, now I see it. It seems so obvious to me now. :blush: Elizabeth, the privileged young lady, arranged marriage and all, rebelling against propriety—becoming a pirate. Jack, the pirate, but “a good man”. And Will, the moralistic one. And Barbosa looking for his transformation back to life and being able to feel again.
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby Jackslady » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:18 pm

I've been away on holiday for a few days so forgive me for getting rather behind with the discussions! I shall try to chip in a little where I can, I'm still trying to finish the book!

I quite like the "parallel" style used for this story, but I confess I do often become confused and keep having to re-read sections to remember what's happening (particularly if I haven't been able to read the book for a couple of days!). I find the writer's style variable - some passages are quite wonderful, so vivid and scary they make my hair stand on end, whereas I confess I have found some scenes a bit tedious. The detailed description of Miss Temple's meal before she meets the Contessa at the hotel, for example..almost two pages long!
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby Liz » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:06 pm

Glad to see you back, Jackslady. I hope you enjoyed your holiday.

I found myself going back to re-read certain passages also.
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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby Beatrix » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:08 pm

I think it was difficult getting used to the parallel stories. I thought it was interesting to see the story from different points of view. Like nebraska said, since the three heroes spent so much time apart, I don't know what other method the author could have used to tell the story.

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Re: Glass Books Question #10 ~ Parallel Stories

Unread postby fansmom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:57 pm

Beatrix wrote:I think it was difficult getting used to the parallel stories. I thought it was interesting to see the story from different points of view. Like nebraska said, since the three heroes spent so much time apart, I don't know what other method the author could have used to tell the story.
I think that third person omniscient would have worked as well. Think of the way the Harry Potter stories are written (and no, I'm not really comparing Glass Books to the Harry Potter books, even though both are intricate, epic, good-vs-evil serial fantasies with one female and two male protagonists--oh, wait, maybe I am comparing them).

I can understand why Dahlquist chose not to make the POV's omniscient--to heighten the suspense--but it did make re-reading of some sections necessary. "Wait, does Miss Temple know that?"


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