02-23-2009 09:14 PM
When I iniitially got into friendships, I was almost angry. As a white person I have never been around friends that talk about "black people", make fun of black people or infer anything about black people. I thought that these "friends" lended towards a stereo type that I traditionally do not consider.
After thinking for awhile, I found that 20 years ago, things were different. People were moving if blacks moved into the neighborhood, suburban living was "more white".
Now, I find that these friends are like any other "high school" type friends. Amazingly they are close, stimulating and "affecting" yet they are the very rock of adult hood.
I find that the envirnoment these young men grew up in is privelaged. Not every child whte or black gets the chance to spend the summer in such a carefree envirnoment.
This book is encouraging and enlightening. Not something I might have chosen but something that I am truly enjoying.
02-26-2009 05:30 PM
when Benji & his friends meet up with each other in the beginning of summer they behave as if they have not been separated. It seems as if their "other" life - which takes place during the rest of the year - ceases to exist - and they immediately want to know who else is out .
They are mostly a comfort to each other because they are so familiar with each other and they fit in with each other so well. Of course there are the competitions and challenges of their youth- the "put downs" and the handshakes etc. -- but I think there is comfort in the challenges to a point, too.
I think he is more in sync with his friends in Sag Harbor - he most definitely has more in common with them.
How do Benji and his friends interact when they meet up with eachother each summer at Sag Harbor?
Are the friends more of a comfort or a challenge to each other?
How is status determined in these friendships?
Can you compare Benji's Sag Harbor friends with his private-school friends at home?
03-01-2009 03:42 PM
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
03-02-2009 08:37 PM
I agree. During the school year, Benji is the minority. He gets invited to Bar Mitzvahs because the parents think it is interesting to have him there. He does not really feel like a part of his group.
During the summer, he seems to have the same group of friends that seem to relate to who he really is.
I still think he gets confused at times, especially when he talks about not being able to keep up with the handshakes and slang. In some ways he feels stuck in the middle between who he is and who he wants to be in both places but Sag Harbor seems more true to who he is.
03-02-2009 08:44 PM
I think that Clive and Marcus are stereotypical examples of kids in high school. Clive is the great athletic one that everyone looks up to. Marcus is the kid that everyone loves to have around so they can pick on and tease to make themselves feel better.
I felt really better for Marcus when the made him ride his bicycle to the beach because there was not enough room in Randy's car. He is never given the chance to ride in the car even though everyone else has.
03-08-2009 02:40 PM
Their friendships seem to pick up where they left off the previous summer. The rankings amongst the boys seem to be revised early on each summer - depending on things that happened the previous summer and the new things they bring to the group for this particular summer. For example - the boy that goes from being a scrawny little guy one summer to inches taller with muscles might just jump up several levels in their ranking.
The guys seem to all have different experiences when they are back in the 'world' during the school year and that has to make things interesting at the beginning of the summer as they compare their experiences over the fall/winter/spring.
Benji seems to be more at home with these boys - although after only reading two chapters so far - I have only seen a small bit of his life in the city.
03-10-2009 10:41 AM
A note to others in this book club that were also in the previous one, if we thought AFA was disjointed, this one to me seems even more so. For I feel as thou I could end one chapter and then skip ahead several chapters, start reading and still not really grasp where this book is going. In AFA, the chapters were like a brief visit to each characters diary the chapters in this book feels like an on-going paragraph you'd find on the back of the books cover. You know the one that tells you to read the book to figure out what the book is about.
I completely agree with you. This book is not exactly what I thought it would be.
While I was completely numbed out with the disjointed chapters of AFA, I do not feel that way about this one. This story takes place over one summer. AFA was 6 years, and lots of things went on inbetween and it was hard to figure out the story.
Sag Harbor is more compact. The author is showing the different things that happen in a summer in a contained environment. The book shows the growth and maturing process of Benji. The reader gets into the mind of Benji, not all the characters. We don't get confused by seeing life through six or more different people. It is all from Benji's perspective. I have enjoyed this book.