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beetledriver2
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

Image and social status is everything...especially in New York.  I sense characters that are trying so hard to avoid being like the older generations.  I see Beth and Sadie going so far as trying to escape where they came from, to avoid the stereotypes.

 

I think we can all relate to that.  How many of us made it clear, we did not want to be like our parents.  And how many of us, find ourselves acting just like our parents.  Even Sadie noticed that things she hated about her mother, she found herself doing the same thing.

 

I also sense the bitterness between the characters that worked for peanuts to the "trust-fund kids."  I loved the dot com craze in the book as well.  Everyone was going to get rich quick. 

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kzoowoman
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-29-2008
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

my computer has been down since Christmas and this is the first time that I have been able to read the posts or to post anything.  I agree with you, canterbear, I found it very difficult to feel as though I knew the characters in any depth at first. With all of the jumping around between characters and story lines, it felt like  a waterbug skittering across the water instead knowing anyone in depth.  But as the story progressed, certainly, I began to have a better feel for the characters.  But it seemed to take a while.

canterbear wrote:

There is a story here, but I feel I am having to weed through all the flashback type memories to find it.

There is so much character switching and not letting the reader in on the process of events that are happening in the current time of the story.

I found myself passing over parts just to get back to the main story, with the main characters.

It really needs to be tightened.

All the "memories" tend to pull us away from the flow of the story.

 It does not seem either strong character driven nor plot driven.

 I really would like more of the story and less of the frills.

 


 

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kzoowoman
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-29-2008
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age


eileen100 wrote:
I'm wondering if this "fortunate age" is portraying the infamous Gen-Xers. Someone please clue me in. I'm a baby boomer myself, and I find that this novel's stereotype of the group's boomer parents as pot-smoking, liberal-thinking hippies is a far cry from the average 60s person I went to college with. This makes me wonder if the members of the group are being stereotyped as well: as shallow status-seekers who can't seem to make up their minds about anything important.

I agree with you.  I felt that for most of the book, this group was pretty self indulgent for a far longer time than many of us baby boomers were allowed in our time of moving from adolescence to adulthood.  Nobody seemed really invested in life or to have a passion for anything. Even the friendships seemed to drift and not be anchored. Changes occurred within the individuals that caused them to drift apart, but it seemed to take them awhile to move into the fullness of life and out of the stereotype of what life "should" be.

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

Do you remember where the reference was for Rhinebeck, NY? I must have missed it. That is where I met my husband umpteen years ago, I think. Was there ever a dude ranch there? I had been assaulted in the school where I taught and I decided to go away with two friends (against my brother's advice because he and his friends said only a certain kind of girl went to those places and I had a sheltered life and had never gone away with friends before) because I figured, what else could happen to me? Little did I know that the best was yet to come...
twj

Vermontcozy wrote:
I am also a baby boomer(49)..and relate well to all the characters,because my life centered around NY,Brookyln,Family in Scarsdale..etc.The Familes want their children to do well,and do well in every aspect of their life....they feel thats its a reflection on how they raised them...they are torn though(Lil has so many issues with her parents)which is common in that circle..The stage is set the rest of the book will probably be so dynamite,no matter who u are,where u were raised .The references to street names,subway stations, is also part of the Radkoffs plan(I think)The reference Rheinbeck,NY also intrigued me..they have the most outstanding juried Craft Fair(Next of couse to Vermont Juried Shows)..So lets read on and see how it unfolds. NOTE TO Maria.......Thanks

 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

pg88,last paragraph.beginning withTrue.brief,it gave us a look inside the Green-Golds,really Rob..Was the "Dude"Ranch The Rocking Horse Ranch,its kind of bet New Paltz and Rheinbeck...After that weekend,you became the women you are today...vtc
Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

Interesting, my daughter's inlaws met at Rocking Horse. We always thought it was funny that both sets of parents met at a dude ranch! We met at a different one, maybe Rhinecliff??? I can't remember the name but I do have a scrapbook with pictures from then and when I get back to Cape Cod, I will check it out.

I remember it was near a train station because that is how we travelled there. Maybe the name has been changed. The property was so pretty. They had volleyball courts, tennis courts and of course riding trails.

Walking to my room, I saw my future husband on the volleyball court and told my friends he was for me. Through an amazing series of coincidences, among which were "six degrees of separation," we were atually almost thrown together.
The rooms were simple, nothing glamorous or luxurious. My friends and I stayed in one of two basement rooms. As luck would have it, my husband was in the room next door.

twj


Vermontcozy wrote:
pg88,last paragraph.beginning withTrue.brief,it gave us a look inside the Green-Golds,really Rob..Was the "Dude"Ranch The Rocking Horse Ranch,its kind of bet New Paltz and Rheinbeck...After that weekend,you became the women you are today...vtc


 


Vermontcozy wrote:
pg88,last paragraph.beginning withTrue.brief,it gave us a look inside the Green-Golds,really Rob..Was the "Dude"Ranch The Rocking Horse Ranch,its kind of bet New Paltz and Rheinbeck...After that weekend,you became the women you are today...vtc

 

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smileydq
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-30-2008
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

I had such a hard time getting into this book, and was never able to relate to any of these characters.  It was difficult even to finish this book which is rare for me.  I found most of the characters rather shallow caricatures of their various eras which was disappointing given how excitedly I approached this book.
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

I kept hoping that the characters and/or their stories would be a little more developed. I don't think the relationships were as well developed as I would have liked. I wanted to know more but they were dealt with superficially. The story jumped from time and place and character to another time and place and character before I fully got to know the one I was reading about and it left me wanting! Even the tragedy at the end was dealt with on the surface. I wanted more details about why Lil was so neglected by everyone.

I was struck by the seeming selfishness of most of the characters (except for Emily and her husband who was, of course, in an altruistic field) and how that characteristic never seemed to morph into anything else resembling true compassion, even as they matured. They had their moments but for the most part, they pursued their own single minded purposes without very much thought of others. They always seemed a bit jealous of each other or bitter about each other's success or lack of same, as well. Also, they seemed unhappy with themselves and seemed to covet what others had or achieved. I hope that there are huge numbers of the generation, addressed in this book, that are not truly like that! It is sad to never really be content.

twj

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Zeitgeist of the Fortunate Age

MMMM,Can't think of another one..We lived in Cornwall,and traveled all over the Hudson Valley..so many "Dude Ranches"  I have  "Six degrees of Separation" in my life as so many others do,moving to Vermont has really made me a believer...have u been reading any of the posts to Joanna Smith Rakoff..I think you will know which ones I am referring to..She does such a great job responding to those posts...with class..Have a Good Day..vtc
Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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