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Deltadawn
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

Thanks for the update! Just received my copy in the mail today - looking forward to reading it AND to the discussions here! :smileyhappy:
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Everyman
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

I started the book today, and found the first chapter extremely disturbing.   Without revealing anuy spoilers, are there folks here who have read further into the book than that who can tell me whether this theme continues to be a significant element in the book?  If so, I should probably return it to ande and let her send it to another reader; I would find the book very hard to discuss objectively.
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moeh
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

I agree, Everyman.  I would also like to know if the story takes a different turn. Can someone let us know?
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IBIS
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

[ Edited ]
There are fair warnings in the quotes on the inside the cover: "Nothing is sugar-coated here". ...This is a "stunning, dark story"...

I'm halfway through the book, and I must admit that it's not for the faint hearted. Some passages are emotionally very intense which may make some readers uncomfortable. What I find pulls me deeper and deeper into Sooky's life is her unique perspective.. as one quote on the cover says, "the hidden corners of the lives she portrays."

There are very very clever patterns of imagery, and a very deep level of understanding... here is Sooky, a child with amazing insight. She reminded me a lot of Scout, the young Southern girl in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

I think tRhyll McMaster's insight into 1950's Brisbane is worth the ride. This really is a story with lots of meat on its bones. IBIS
Message Edited by IBIS on 08-06-2008 10:58 AM
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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ande
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

[ Edited ]
Thank you for the encouraging words, IBIS. I guess all I can add is that some books are disturbing because they reflect events and issues that are disturbing. One hopes that the author has the ability -- and Rhyll McMaster certainly does -- to take readers by the hand and lead them forward into the larger story.
I just read Mudbound, which has a scene so graphic and repulsive I almost put the book down, but in the end I am glad I read the book. I encourage you, as IBIS has, to continue reading. And if you decide it isn't your cup of tea -- no harm done. No need to return it. Just donate it to your local library or give it to a friend. Rhyll McMaster has won a ton of awards for this book including a very prestigious one for illuminating social issues affecting girls and someone will connect with it.
Ande
Message Edited by ande on 08-06-2008 11:41 AM
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Everyman
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

It's not that I'm unfamiliar with or incapable of thinking about the issue that starts the book -- after all, I've spent 20 years as a family law attorney dealing with broken familes, damaged children, rescuing children from brutal environments (both parental and foster care), representing parents accused of all sorts of behaviors that are difficult to deal with, working with psychologists, therapists, and government agencies on investigating allegations of abuse which make this chapter almost innocent by comparision.  If this incident had been placed deeper in the book where it could be placed within perspective, it would be less disturbing, at least to me. But given the great care any author exercises when deciding where to introduce the reader to their characters and stories (trial lawyers know all about the issues of primacy and shock value), when an author starts a book with an episode such as this, that seems a clear indication that they are going for a fairly brutal shock effect right at the outcome and a statement that, if the book is to be realistic and not fantasy, a character who will be scarred for the rest of her life. 

 

But I'm getting ahead of the discussion, so I'll wait until the right time and then hear what others have to say.  Meanwhile I'll soldier on at least a bit longer and see what develops. But I recognize that I have been warned from the outset that this is not going to be a pleasant or enjoyable read.

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Liz_25Joey
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

I received my copy Monday, and started reading it today b/c I had to finish the book I was already working on. I'm into it so far, yes it is very disturbing and that's only going by the first couple pages. I will continue reading and seeing how it all turns out....
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ande
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

[ Edited ]
Everyman:
All good points. And very good ones for discussion particularly from someone like yourself with real-world experience. I hope you'll hang in there and keep reading. My guess is that there will be a variety of opinions about whether or not the author made the right choices re: where she placed specific events in the book and if the way she unveiled information about the characters was done in the most effective manner.
Many thanks.
Ande
Message Edited by ande on 08-06-2008 05:02 PM
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pjpick
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

Haven't been able to get to the book yet (probably not until the end of August before the discussion starts) but it sounds like it already has the workings to become a good book for discussion. Interesting...
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LollySirk
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

Hey, Fellow Explorers ~  Received my copy of Feather Man, and after reading all your replies I must say that my curiosity is certainly peaked.  Let's read!!

 

 

 

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therapist
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

I'm back from vacation now and my last week's worth of mail will be delivered tomorrow --my copy of Feather Man should be in the pile!!! I can't wait to start reading it!!
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debbook
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

[ Edited ]

I am having a bit of difficulty with the subject matter. I had to stop yesterday as by page 87 I realized this book was making me very irritated. I yelled at my dogs, felt bad and decided to set the book aside for the rest of the day. I think I am going to skip ahead some to when Sooky is older. Rhyll McMaster is an excellent writer, that's not the problem. I am loathing the characters I have met so far, excluding Sooky.

For a change of pace I switched over to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which is B&N's recommended read for September. It's very good.

Message Edited by debbook on 08-11-2008 06:05 PM
A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
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Everyman
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

I notice that Feather Man has gotten numerous prizes, but also notice that some readers here are quite uncomfortable with the book.  (I'm one of those.)

 

When we get into the discussion of Feather Man, I hope we can spend a bit of time discussing why certain books win literary prizes, what the prize criteria seem to be, whether there is (I admit my bias is a probably yes to this question) a disconnect between what most readers consider to be a good book and what the prize awarders consider to be a prizeworthy book, and if so, why. 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

i just finished the gathering which won the man booker prize in 2007 and its subject matter was also disturbing. hmmmm, interesting question you posed...

twj


Everyman wrote:

I notice that Feather Man has gotten numerous prizes, but also notice that some readers here are quite uncomfortable with the book.  (I'm one of those.)

 

When we get into the discussion of Feather Man, I hope we can spend a bit of time discussing why certain books win literary prizes, what the prize criteria seem to be, whether there is (I admit my bias is a probably yes to this question) a disconnect between what most readers consider to be a good book and what the prize awarders consider to be a prizeworthy book, and if so, why. 


 

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ande
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

Everyman:
I like the way you framed the issue. So I have no problem at all making that part of the conversation we have in September. Everything is open to discussion here in book Explorers (within reason).
Ande
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IBIS
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

ande, your input would be invaluable re what publishing professionals like yourself look for... i know your focus are not primarily for awards, but why do you and LVF pick certain books to promote.. and not others.

IBIS
IBIS

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ande
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

[ Edited ]
Oh, my. It's so subjective. It starts with needing to love the book, of course. But, for me, so much of the decision-making is gut-related. I have an extremely experienced gut but like anyone else can get sweep away.
 
I think there may be different considerations involved when evaluating a book's worthiness for attention depending on whether you're a book reviewer, a book review editor, a book-award judge or even a literary foundation. Maybe I will ask some of these decision-makers to join in the conversation.
 
Ande
Message Edited by ande on 08-12-2008 03:49 PM
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thewanderingjew
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

i must say that the book's subject matter is really hard for me to take. i find it almost painful to read. the reviews were so glowing that i didn't look further into it. i keep wanting to scream at the characters or jump into the book and do some heavy duty rescuing.

i had a foster child who was sexually abused, i took in a young adult who was sexually abused and physically abused, i was a school teacher in a special service school where aberrant behavior was the norm, my minor was in psychology, i started a guidance program in the days when it was not status quo, but i am still really uncomfortable with the graphic nature of the descriptions and the images they conjure up in my mind. perhaps i am too old fashioned or perhaps i don't like seeing all that nastiness in print without any hope of doing something about it. i dread the turning of each new page.

i feel so angry about what is happening because i know it is happening in the real world. i have only to think of that poor austrian woman to bring the issue into the here and now.

i will try to finish it but if i can't, i will participate in the portion of the book i can get through.

twj 

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debbook
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

Ande, will we get to discuss the book with the author?
A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
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Everyman
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Re: #25 Feather Man, by Rhyll McMaster. Update: Giveaway copy offer is over! Thanks to all.

I can see, WJ, how this must strike more deeply for you than for most of us.  But I will be interested in your answer to one question (well, many, I'm sure, but this as one of them) when you're done.  Do you feel that the detailed graphic content was necessary to accomplish the book's goal?  Or could the same result have been met with a somewhat more sensitive and less graphic treatment of the issues?

 

Actually, that question is probably fair game for all of us, but WJ's background may offer special insights.

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.