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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Who makes you squirm?

So many of our first impressions of these characters are balanced on the humor of their weaknesses. Are you growing attached to anyone? And a much harder question (or at least for me): Who makes you squirm?

For me it is certainly Marina. I somehow identify with her in the most uncomfortable way, although I don't have any of her immediate qualities--looks, charm, famous family, etc. but the passages that expose her make me feel silly also. Does anyone do that for you in these pages?
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bobzyeruncle
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Registered: ‎09-25-2007
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Murray made me squirm today, with his internal monologue about Danielle and whether or not to send the email. So calculating and borderline lecherous, eh? And then his recommendation to Marina on what to do with Pope ... it made me laugh out loud at lunch this afternoon, in a "I can't believe this" kind of way. I do love a dark comedy.

Speaking of calculating ... the description of Julius trying to make David fall in love with him was wonderfully squirm inducing. My friends and I have always said there's not much of a difference between 30-something gay men and 14-year-old schoolgirls. Julius' "how do I play this" machinations are an excellent example of this.

And, as Bootie notices, schoolgirl behavior is hardly limited to Julius ...

He hadn't been party to such conversations since his sister was in high school -- the endless, fruitless analysis struck him as deeply female, uncomfortably intimate, like lacy underthings.


I wonder how much Bootie will squirm when he meets Julius.
:: :: ::

Bob
www.bobzyeruncle.com
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Rachel-K
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Something wonderfully satisfying about being able to "see into" the characters is the fact that we leave (or I do) most of our "lesser" thoughts a bit cloudy in our own heads--don't really fully recognize the smaller, flitting, unflattering ideas that pass through our minds before they're gone--but in a novel, we can see all of it laid out.
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Walrus
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎09-28-2007
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Ludo definitely is weird and makes me squirm. His description physically is unattractive yet two women are interesred in him and his personality is passive aggressive. I don't trust him at all in anything he does and wish him no good.
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Popper19
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Registered: ‎07-24-2007
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Murray makes me squirm. I do not like how he takes advantage of everyone around him, ecspecially his wife. I don't care for him at all. He seems like the typical dirty old man to me.
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IBIS
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Actually, Bootie's grand plan to "educate himself" makes me squirm. I too have a master plan. I recognize the ludicrousness of what I've set up for myself.

Like Bootie, I have grand plans to educate myself, and established gargantuan book lists. They're CLASSICS, and I want to read them ALL. They're authors whose books I absolutely can't stand reading (James Joyce, Proust and Virginia Woolf). I know, and everyone knows, that I will start, and stop, and start again, and stop.... in short, I can't, and I can't, and I can't finish them.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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bobzyeruncle
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Re: Who makes you squirm?



IBIS wrote:
I have grand plans to educate myself, and established gargantuan book lists. They're CLASSICS, and I want to read them ALL. They're authors whose books I absolutely can't stand reading (James Joyce, Proust and Virginia Woolf). I know, and everyone knows, that I will start, and stop, and start again, and stop.... in short, I can't, and I can't, and I can't finish them.




I've found that, now that I'm ... ahem ... middle-aged, I like some of the old ones a bit more. It took me four tries to really dive into "Middlemarch" and I'm truly loving it this time. Jane Austen worked so much better for me in my thirties than in my teens. Could the classics be wasted on high school seniors doing AP English?

That said, I did my best with "Infinite Jest" and just couldn't get through it. So good on Bootie for that.

Here's another squirmalcious moment ...

"I didn't realize my renter was fat." (I don't have the text in front of me, so I'm probably paraphrasing. Oh J, are you really so shallow and horrible (and I think the answer must be yes)?
:: :: ::

Bob
www.bobzyeruncle.com
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IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

just love the word "squirmalicious"
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Popper19
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Re: Who makes you squirm?



bobzyeruncle wrote:


IBIS wrote:
I have grand plans to educate myself, and established gargantuan book lists. They're CLASSICS, and I want to read them ALL. They're authors whose books I absolutely can't stand reading (James Joyce, Proust and Virginia Woolf). I know, and everyone knows, that I will start, and stop, and start again, and stop.... in short, I can't, and I can't, and I can't finish them.




I've found that, now that I'm ... ahem ... middle-aged, I like some of the old ones a bit more. It took me four tries to really dive into "Middlemarch" and I'm truly loving it this time. Jane Austen worked so much better for me in my thirties than in my teens. Could the classics be wasted on high school seniors doing AP English?

That said, I did my best with "Infinite Jest" and just couldn't get through it. So good on Bootie for that.

Here's another squirmalcious moment ...

"I didn't realize my renter was fat." (I don't have the text in front of me, so I'm probably paraphrasing. Oh J, are you really so shallow and horrible (and I think the answer must be yes)?




Yes, I just read the part about the renter being fat and Julius just stared at him. How awful! Very much made me squirm.
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Bernice
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-29-2007
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Booty makes me squirm. And when David attacked Julius it made me squirm - too much blood and gore - gratuitous violence.
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Katelyn
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Ludo makes me squirm. I don't trust him. I don't find his character particularly attractive, even though multiple women in the book fall for him. His insights have a coldness about them. I am not sure what makes him tick. His perceptions while penetrating and sometimes accurate also seem to have a bad faith about them. He is the eye that sees, but which cannot see himself -- a cold clinical eye that dissects things. The only time I remotely like him is when he is with Marina. With her he shows a genuineness and even vulnerability at times. He also gives her a strength that allows her to believe in herself and finish her book.

I am not sure if he is really as as independent minded as he seems; I am not sure Danielle's perceptions about him are accurate either however (although I like her as a character and think she is generally clear sighted). It is not clear to me if he is in some way using Marina as Danielle believes or if she has an ax to grind. I need to look at Ludo further to figure him out.

I think it is good to have a character that some people don't like in the book however; it makes things more interesting. Also, who knows....by the end of the book my opinion may change. I need to evaluate the way he challenges the other characters and whether I think his challenge is valid, that is whether it has a sound intellectual basis.
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Peppermill
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Who makes you squirm?


Katelyn wrote:
Ludo makes me squirm. I don't trust him. I don't find his character particularly attractive, even though multiple women in the book fall for him. His insights have a coldness about them. I am not sure what makes him tick. His perceptions while penetrating and sometimes accurate also seem to have a bad faith about them. He is the eye that sees, but which cannot see himself -- a cold clinical eye that dissects things. The only time I remotely like him is when he is with Marina. With her he shows a genuineness and even vulnerability at times. He also gives her a strength that allows her to believe in herself and finish her book.

I am not sure if he is really as as independent minded as he seems; I am not sure Danielle's perceptions about him are accurate either however (although I like her as a character and think she is generally clear sighted). It is not clear to me if he is in some way using Marina as Danielle believes or if she has an ax to grind. I need to look at Ludo further to figure him out.

I think it is good to have a character that some people don't like in the book however; it makes things more interesting. Also, who knows....by the end of the book my opinion may change. I need to evaluate the way he challenges the other characters and whether I think his challenge is valid, that is whether it has a sound intellectual basis.
Or sound emotional basis? Not that they can't meld, just that we frequently evaluate them separately.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Rachel-K
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Re: Who makes you squirm?



IBIS wrote:
Actually, Bootie's grand plan to "educate himself" makes me squirm. I too have a master plan. I recognize the ludicrousness of what I've set up for myself.

Like Bootie, I have grand plans to educate myself, and established gargantuan book lists. They're CLASSICS, and I want to read them ALL. They're authors whose books I absolutely can't stand reading (James Joyce, Proust and Virginia Woolf). I know, and everyone knows, that I will start, and stop, and start again, and stop.... in short, I can't, and I can't, and I can't finish them.


The grand plan! Maybe we learn to be more discreet about that as we get older? I love my TBR list and dream of finishing it the way my girls dream of being princesses, but I certainly don't show it off. I'll read Proust in French (thanks, Julius), never mind that I can barely make it through a menu, and I'll get around to understanding Heidegger, really.
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Pat_T
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎09-05-2007
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Marina makes me squirm in recognition when it comes to her book. As I recall, she'd been working on the book for 5 years and didn't seem much closer to finishing than when she'd started.She kept starting over and looking for excuses to distract herself until those around her, while seeming to encourage her, didn't really think she'd ever finish. I also have worked on mastering the art of procrastination! Fortunately, though, I usually have deadlines which keep me more or less on schedule.

The other character who makes me squirm is Bootie. As the novel began, he seemed to have the most potential. By the end of the novel, I cringed at every scene in which he appeared. In contrast, Marina, began, for me, as the most vacuous character, but later came to have some strength and interesting qualities. The novel seems to be filled with "pairs" of characters who either develop some understanding and maturity or go downhill fast.
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Fozzie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Who makes you squirm?

Literally, every character made me squirm at one point or another. However, the one who made me jump out of my seat in disgust is Julius. Inviting an unknown man over to David's apartment for sex and then, later, hooking up with another unknown man in the bathroom of a bar were too much for me. That is just plain stupid behavior, not once, but twice, and Julius is too smart to excuse it. I think that behavior shows just how trapped David made him feel and how desperate he was to end the relationship and be free again.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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