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Author Topic: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)  (Read 1710 times)

Offline Jmack

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Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« on: November 19, 2015, 04:48:41 PM »
It's early, but if anyone is already reading Nation, feel free to post your thoughts before they run off to a sunny climate and start ordering fizzy drinks.  ;D 8)

Just remember: no spoilers for future sections in earlier sections.  :P
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Jmack

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 03:08:53 AM »
Okay, this really lovely. No surprise. This is Pratchett after all.

I think what I like the most is the way that grief continues and must be worked through. I often find that incredible losses are treated quite briefly by authors. This happens. I am sad. But I move on.

And even when the author tries to retain that long term sense of loss, I somehow don't buy it.

But watching Mau trying to work through his grief and his rage at the gods for what they allowed to happen... it's so well done. It's the fundamental problem of life: what does it mean? What is important if shit just happens?

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for Daphne to become more than a sort of usual spunky young lady. I'm not finding her an original character much yet. Though the section about going to scientific meeting did give me some of that. But if she was that type of girl,Bryan would she have allowed herself to be so unpractical in her knowledge ?  But she still works in the story even if I want a bit more.

Finally, I'm enjoying that more people will be coming. It takes the story from some sort of Adam and Eve or Robinson Caruso tale to something that should be much more interesting.

I said finally, but I also have to comment on the wonderfully strange scene at the docks in the first book as everyone walks around in outfits meant to protect them from catching the Russian influenza. Great stuff

Onward!
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Raptori

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 08:09:22 PM »
I loved the prologue, thought it was a great play on how absurd so many religious creation stories are. I couldn't help thinking that Creation Stories would be an excellent theme for the short story contest.  :P

Going from that to the first chapter was a bit of a jolt, so it took me a little while to get back into it. Once I got to the Mau section I started to enjoy it more though, and really liked the setup there. Think I'd have preferred for that to be the real opening of the book, especially because it would've followed much more naturally from the prologue, but I'm just picky. The other three chapters were good - Mau's grief was beautifully depicted, their early attempts to communicate and misunderstandings were fun.

Overally it was a good start, but after that prologue I felt a little disappointed that the rest of the beginning didn't sweep me off my feet.

I think what I like the most is the way that grief continues and must be worked through. I often find that incredible losses are treated quite briefly by authors. This happens. I am sad. But I move on.

And even when the author tries to retain that long term sense of loss, I somehow don't buy it.

But watching Mau trying to work through his grief and his rage at the gods for what they allowed to happen... it's so well done. It's the fundamental problem of life: what does it mean? What is important if shit just happens?
Yeah, lasting and meaningful grief in fiction is surprisingly rare in my experience. The best one I can think of is Fitz in the Tawny Man trilogy, and he still hasn't recovered from that loss in the new trilogy. Nation obviously doesn't have the same passage of time as the Fitz books, but it shows the early stages of that process really well.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for Daphne to become more than a sort of usual spunky young lady. I'm not finding her an original character much yet. Though the section about going to scientific meeting did give me some of that. But if she was that type of girl,Bryan would she have allowed herself to be so unpractical in her knowledge ?  But she still works in the story even if I want a bit more.
Yeah I remember thinking that too - Mau was interesting pretty much from the beginning, Daphne less so. I think that might be partly because he has a more interesting internal conflict for me, and a cultural background less similar to mine.  ???
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 02:52:36 AM »
You guys are making me want to start already!
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Offline Jmack

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 03:04:50 AM »
You guys are making me want to start already!

Starting December early it just what we do isn't it?
Christmas music at the mall...
Candy cane decorations on the town light posts...
 8)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2015, 07:06:33 PM »
This is my first time reading Pratchett.
I heard so much praise for the guy I thought i would be disappointed because of the expectations.
But after the Prologue and Chapter 1, damn... well done. Read almost 30 pages with a smile on my face.

I think a lot of people think about his prologue, but can't properly organize the thought, much less write it down. Holy... feels like I could write essays about that.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Still Imo was not satisfied, and he said: I have been like a child playing in the sand. This is a flawed world. I had no plan. Things are wrong. I will rub it in my hands and make a better one.

But Locaha said: The mud is set. People will die.

Imo was angry and said: Who are you to question me?

And Locaha said: I am a part of you, as are all things. So say to you, Give me the mortal world, and go make your better one.

This passage made me pause in wonder. All the gods only allowing their subjects to the good world after suffering and dieing in the imperfect one is so... common in the religions. But to be put in this way. Well done, sir Terry.

The pressure of the rite of passage to manhood was funny too. How he wouldn't have respect and be left with ugly, toothless women, or not even that, if he wasn't seem like a proper man.
I liked the signal MEN HELP OTHER MEN and that everyone goes there scared on how they will complete the rite and find an axe that a previous guy left behind.

The importance we give to ourselves when Mau thinks how everyone absolutely NEEDS to be there to see him returning.

And then when he makes a mistake and thinks "eh, well, not a man yet, so all is forgiven!", showing just how much those cultural rites of passage can't make anyone an adult:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Mau jumped out, and remembered just in time about the sacrifice. It should be a red fish for a sucessful journey, and this journey had to be called a success, even if it was a very strange one. He hadn't got a red fish but, well, he was still a boy, and the gods excused boys many things. At least he'd thought about it. That must count.
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

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Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 01:27:27 AM »
Read chapter two.

Poor Mau. He even thinks he's the one dead to lessen the pain.

Granddad Nawi was awesome as well. Even if it felt too optimistic. And the part he laughed just to continue to be a part of the group. Who didn't?

And now there's a girl. A boy and a girl alone in a desert island.

Oh please, don't let it turn into a comical Blue Lagoon. 
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

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Offline Jmack

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2015, 01:30:17 AM »
"Oh please, don't let it turn into a comical Blue Lagoon. "

No worries.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2015, 09:14:22 PM »
Read chapter three.

Pratchett is awesome. Religions not explicating different cultures and people, absurd manners, different sexes expectations/education and much more, done with humor, without preaching and easy, fluent prose.

Spoiler for Hiden:
So there are still rules, he thought. I brought them with me. They're in my head...
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

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Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2015, 08:01:03 PM »
Mau and Daphne attempting to communicate was hilarious, especially the drawing part.

More grief from Mau that was exceptionally well done. I love how Pratchett does it without making the character look like a whining kid. That surely will be an inspiration.

Glad some other people joined them. We will see what role Pratchett will make the priest play. Probably more like the common ones judging from "ah, why star move, why it rains, etc".
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Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2015, 01:21:18 PM »
Okay, a quick reply...

So far it's been enjoyable and good, but not quite excellent.

What I liked:
-language is very readable
-lots of funny moments (I laughed out loud when Mau (mis)interpreted the drawing on the invitation card  ;D )
-Mau is interesting because he sees the world in a very different way (and even Daphne/Ermintrude has potential)
-more people came to mix things up (though Mau and Daphne could have been by themselves a little longer to form a little stronger connection, maybe)

What I didn't like but didn't really hate:
-I think the prologue and the beginning of chapter one were kind of unnecessary (or the info in them could have been included to the story some other way)
-some of the description and exposition felt a tad verbose (though can't remember, off the top of my head, any specific point where this was the case  ::) )
-chapters are too long for me because I'm a slow reader and like to read one chapter (or full chapters) on one sitting  :P

One thing that bothered me WAY more than it should have was that Mau never introduced himself to Daphne, but she still called him by name. Though it's entirely possible that I just missed it somehow.  :-\

But yeah, looking forward to see what happens next with the expanded group.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Prologue to Chapter 4 (week 1)
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2015, 03:02:37 PM »
You are actually right.

Daphne introduced herself, and Mau thought she was talking about her clan or the island she came from and he doesn't say anything back.

Much later she says a "Good morning, Mau".

But that is also after that scene when they laugh about table manner in a beach, and they spend a long time together, even sleeping out there. Maaaybe he told her off-screen during that.

It's possible, but unlikely, considering he didn't got it the first time they talked. Did Arcane just got a mistake?  ;D Gods, and authors get only like 15%, supposedly because they have access to major editing and proofreading by the publisher.
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

Lanko's Year in Books 2017

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