Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekly Geeks #12 Pt 2 The Answers

Here are my answers to some of the questions I received from other WG participants in WG 12. I am holding back on all of the questions pertaining to The Historian and A New Earth as I think they both need full posts of their own and I am already working on reviews for them. I intend to incorporate my answers into those reviews and will let the questioners know when I post them.

Thanks to all who left questions and all who answered mine, some of whom I still need to visit or return to leave a comment where I stopped by to read the answers on the fly. The book giveaway ate up a lot of my time and attention this past week.

Care of Care's Online Bookclub asks:

re: The People of the Book. After reading on amazon what this is about - I wondered HOW LONG but under 400 pages is good for me. Do you feel the length was appropriate? not too long, got everything in that was needed? etc. Thx, Care

The length worked for me. I was able to read it in about five or six moderate to long sittings. But the structure of the book would allow for taking more time and taking more breaks. The protagonist of the framing story is a book conservator expert in repairing ancient books and manuscripts and preserving them from destructive elements. She can also acquire many hints about the book's history from her knowledge of the materials used in its making and the history of book making. Certain things she discovers in the ancient hagadah give clues as to where it has been in its 400 odd years. Those clues are extrapolated upon in separate stories inserted between scenes of the protagonist's 21st century story. Each of these stories read like stand alone short stories which can all be read in a single sitting. Whenever I stopped it was usually at the end of one of them. When I could resist moving ahead to the next present day scene. The framing story was a bit of a suspense story along with a tense mother/daughter relationship story and it was sometimes hard moving from a kind of cliffhanger into a brand new story in a brand new setting.

Bybee of Naked Without Books asks:

Is this the first play you've read by August Wilson? Is this part of a series? Is it a period peace? How do you feel about reading plays as opposed to reading novels?

The Piano Lesson is the first play by August Wilson I have read. As far as I know it is not part of a series. It is a period piece if you consider settings in the American depression era of the 1930's period pieces and I suppose they ought to be thought so. It is a quite different place in time with a distinct ambiance.

I am fairly new at reading plays. Other than Shakespeare that is. I have set upon the task as an exercise in learning how to write better dialog that carries its own weight in the story and how to give individual characters their individual voices.

I find all the elements of storytelling distilled to an essence just short of poetry in a play. I do think something is probably lost in not having the stage settings and the actor's voices adding pacing and nuance.

I like the quick pace of reading a play. It is a bit like watching a tennis match. I liked being able to read a complete story in a sitting too. I want to add more plays to my TBR. But I won't be giving up novels!

Alessandra from Out of the Blue asks:

I'm curious about The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman. Which was your favorite character, and why? How does the portrayal of the Amazons in this book compare to their mythological image?

My favorite character was the narrator and protagonist, Rain. But I was extremely fond of both Io her adopted sister and Deborah the priestess. As supporting cast they were well drawn and compelling.

I thought the portrayal of the Amazon culture fit well with what I remember of my encounters of them in myths but it has been awhile so I wouldn't be able to identify discrepancies or imaginary extrapolations from the 'facts' known from mythology and legend.

0 tell me a story:

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