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Rachel-K
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The Great Outdoors

[ Edited ]

 

Our group recently read another very different novel set in the outdoors in similar territory. How does the Maine wilderness play a role or take on character in this story?

 

What is the description of the bear like?

 

How would you describe Paul Doiron's writing style? If you've been with First Look for some time, is his writing voice different from other novels we've been reading?

 

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jbg78
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Role of the wilderness

 

In Poacher's Son the land was something you protected or fought for your own use and gain, while in Eternal you became one with the land wanting to preserve it for everyone to enjoy.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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Vermontcozy
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Re: The Great Outdoors

For me The Maine Wilderness is like going to a different country..Similar to Vermont..It has its own set of rules,in a way,and the Wardens and other law enforcement are highly sensitive to the Local's needs.The tourist industry is a huge part of of New England,so it is very much set in stone what is expected from so called"Flatlanders"...The bear and its antics,did remind me a bit of"Eternal on the Water",be careful,be respectable,and shoot only if necessary......Paul's writing style is tightly written,which for me had been the style of"Eternal on The Water",and just recently "Before I Fall'.The pleasure of reading both books,and now "The Poachers Son',has been the visual elements,putting myself into the book to gain more,to learn more..Paul has taken us to "Maine",he has also peaked our curiosity,wanting to know,not reading on schedule,a great Mystery for me..I am trying to read on schedule,but have gone a bit further...Vtc Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Becktrek
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Re: The Great Outdoors

This is my first FL book, so I can't compare it to your other selection, "Eternal on the Water", however I loved the imagery of "Poacher", i could feel myself in the wilderness and came to feel very protective of it as well.  The actions of the new paper company were very upsetting to me and I really identified with the hostile feelings of the inhabitants of that region.

 

I loved the description of the bear and it's actions.  I was distressed by the eventual outcome, and did wonder what had made it act the way it did.

 

Paul has a very descriptive writing style.  It was easy to follow and as I said above I was able to put myself IN the space he was writing about.

 

Really enjoyed this book!

 

Becky in IN

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pen21
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Very good points.

The Poachers Son is a book that I can relate to. Living in Minnesota, all the elements in the book are something I can clearly visualize from his writing and picture in a place I know. So many elements in the book, hunting, poaching, game wardens, lodges, remote areas, etc are things I know. So I can see what Paul is writing and then how it would look in Minnesota. The pictures in my mind of Maine and Minnesota have similarities and stark differences. Great book. pen21

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

For me The Maine Wilderness is like going to a different country..Similar to Vermont..It has its own set of rules,in a way,and the Wardens and other law enforcement are highly sensitive to the Local's needs.The tourist industry is a huge part of of New England,so it is very much set in stone what is expected from so called"Flatlanders"...The bear and its antics,did remind me a bit of"Eternal on the Water",be careful,be respectable,and shoot only if necessary......Paul's writing style is tightly written,which for me had been the style of"Eternal on The Water",and just recently "Before I Fall'.The pleasure of reading both books,and now "The Poachers Son',has been the visual elements,putting myself into the book to gain more,to learn more..Paul has taken us to "Maine",he has also peaked our curiosity,wanting to know,not reading on schedule,a great Mystery for me..I am trying to read on schedule,but have gone a bit further...Vtc Susan


 

 

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momofprecious1
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Our group recently read another very different novel set in the outdoors in similar territory. How does the Maine wilderness play a role or take on character in this story?

This is only the 2nd book I've read for First Look, "Before I Fall" being the 1st one.

 

What is the description of the bear like?

He was described as a big black, hungry bear. Mike believed him to be a medium sized bear about two hundred pounds or so. I was laughing when Mrs. Hersom said that the bear took the thighmaster, not what you think of when you think of a bear...lol.

 

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Vermontcozy
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Re: The Great Outdoors

VtCozy wrote:  I agree bear with thighmaster was a funny sight...Susan.
momofprecious1 wrote:

Our group recently read another very different novel set in the outdoors in similar territory. How does the Maine wilderness play a role or take on character in this story?

This is only the 2nd book I've read for First Look, "Before I Fall" being the 1st one.

 

What is the description of the bear like?

He was described as a big black, hungry bear. Mike believed him to be a medium sized bear about two hundred pounds or so. I was laughing when Mrs. Hersom said that the bear took the thighmaster, not what you think of when you think of a bear...lol.

 


 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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ssizemore
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: The Great Outdoors

This is an interesting question!  I loved the descriptions of the Maine wilderness in both books.  What comes across to me is a love for the area and a deep reverence for keeping the land as it is.  The characters in EOTW revel in their time on the river, at the camp, in the woods.  Their enjoyment is a part of their life in a special way.  Mike is responsible for keeping both the people and the wilderness safe and pristine.  His enjoyment came from an early age, however, Mike's relationship with the wilderness is different from that of his father.  Since Mike's father participates in poaching as a way of life, Mike's response could have been the same.  Instead he chooses to do the opposite--that is to protect the land and live their in harmony with the animals and the landscape.  I do know that Maine is one of the states that is most concerned with the conservation of resources and the actual beauty of the state.  This idea is central to both books.

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Vermontcozy
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Vtcozy wrote: Thanks pen,you bring up Minnesota as having similar elements to the book.I have heard that before,and that the people are just as 'quirky"in a very good way..I have never traveled to Minnesota,but have seen pictures that a are quite beathtaking..The weather we share is almost the same..i just saw a slide show of "Ice Shanties on Medicine Lake".which were so beautifully built,I think the same project would be great in Maine,.Vt....

 

 


pen21 wrote:

Very good points.

The Poachers Son is a book that I can relate to. Living in Minnesota, all the elements in the book are something I can clearly visualize from his writing and picture in a place I know. So many elements in the book, hunting, poaching, game wardens, lodges, remote areas, etc are things I know. So I can see what Paul is writing and then how it would look in Minnesota. The pictures in my mind of Maine and Minnesota have similarities and stark differences. Great book. pen21

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

For me The Maine Wilderness is like going to a different country..Similar to Vermont..It has its own set of rules,in a way,and the Wardens and other law enforcement are highly sensitive to the Local's needs.The tourist industry is a huge part of of New England,so it is very much set in stone what is expected from so called"Flatlanders"...The bear and its antics,did remind me a bit of"Eternal on the Water",be careful,be respectable,and shoot only if necessary......Paul's writing style is tightly written,which for me had been the style of"Eternal on The Water",and just recently "Before I Fall'.The pleasure of reading both books,and now "The Poachers Son',has been the visual elements,putting myself into the book to gain more,to learn more..Paul has taken us to "Maine",he has also peaked our curiosity,wanting to know,not reading on schedule,a great Mystery for me..I am trying to read on schedule,but have gone a bit further...Vtc Susan


 

 


 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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LindaEducation
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Re: The Great Outdoors

[ Edited ]

The bear was a big hungry formidable animal that swooped up Pork Chop the pig with little effort.  It was really so sad though, and i felt for the pig owner. 

 

I learned more of what a Game Warden is. I didnt realize all they do.  Loving the wildnerness and wanting to find out more, I find myself really drawn to the book, and have read a little more than is scheduled.  Paul's writing makes me feel like I am right there, and working right along side with Mike.

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. -- Paul Sweeney
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dhaupt
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I think the Maine terrain in this novel will be a main character just as it was in Eternal on The Water as it so far is right out in front with all the other characters.

 

The bear is so far an enigma and I'm interested to see if the author keeps us updated on his activities and if he plays a part later on in the novel.

 

I like Paul's writing style, it's less prose than let's say Sarah Blake author of The Postmisstress.  Paul's writing style is more direct, he takes on a more authoratative style right off with his characters and more on the lines of the great crime writers like Michael Connelley or Ridley Pearson. And I think it goes well with the kind of story he's trying to tell. His characters are harder than those of Joseph Monninger but just as earthy.

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tennisgirl3194
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I traveled to Maine last summer, so I already had a picture of Maine's wilderness sitting in my head. Paul Doiron's writing style, however, helped to emphasize the details and shows how the wildlife plays a huge part in the daily lives of people living there. Because of this I can imagine every scene perfectly.

=] =] =]
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maxcat
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I think the Maine wilderness in this book is the same as in Eternal on the Water. However, in ETOW, it was more about being one with the waters of Maine. In this book, you learn more about the widerness, about the people who are survivng and trying to hold on to their piece of land that a timber company wants.

The bears in ETOW were playful and full of legend. Here, the bear represents fear and being careful around it. Respect it and it will leave you alone.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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maxcat
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I think also that there is a difference in Paul Doiron's writing as opposed to joe Monning. Doiron's writing represents a mystery that is building as you read. The plot thickens so to speak. Joe Monning's writing was flowing as the river did in ETOW. He presented a good story about Huntington's disease, Which I did not know existed. His style made me Google the disease to find out about the devastation it causes. I like both men's writing as they are quite different to me and both have peaked my interest in both books.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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krb2g
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Maybe my bear comment would have been better in this thread than in the chapters 1-7 thread. I'm trying to figure out why the bear's here. I think it's probably more than just a detail to emphasize the fact that the story takes place in Maine and the protagonist is a game warden, but I'm not sure what that reason is yet. It's definitely weird to me to think of a bear getting one's livestock, though we have bears in Virginia too (I saw one on the Blue Ridge parkway once!).

 

I think the book's beginning to set up a contrast between Mike's father's way of living in the great outdoors (Mike is the poacher's son, as the title tells us) and Mike's own relationship with nature--although he has definitely aligned himself with the law through his career choices, he seems to enjoy being out in nature.

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ruthieWW
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Re: The Great Outdoors

How does the Maine wilderness play a role or take on character in this story?

I enjoyed the descriptions of the Maine wilderness so much. Paul Doiron took great precautions in the legitimacy of his accounts of the land, the residents, the wildlife. His visions were captivating to me. I grew up in a rural area, with hunters, fishers, trappers and their respect (or lack of) for nature and for game wardens. The introduction of his idea concerning the progressive new generation with their modern approach to civilization truly intrigued me and I could relate to his deep-seated anxiety. The wilderness came to represent his roots, the basic fundamentals of existence. The wilderness became personified, to be faithful and loyal to, to respect, admire, to stand in awe of...But also to be victimized, plundered, polluted, destroyed and abandoned. Yes, it is remarkable to me how well Mr.. Doiron represented that subject.

 

 What is the description of the bear like?

The character Mike was deeply respectful of this bear...recognizing its strength, its power and its mentality. Mr. Doiron describes wildlife in its natural habitat...its own home, doing exactly what bears are meant to do. The bear is a magnificent creature who survives on his turf by his instincts. Mike has a camaraderie with this bear. I love it.

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LadyMin
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Although both books take place in the Maine wilderness the outdoors play a different role.

 

In ETOW the river was the wilderness and the characters were tied to the water; the water directed their lives. In Poacher, Mike is the caretaker and protector of the wilderness.

CAG
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CAG
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I thought the description the Maine Wilderness was vivid. I could see it, smell it, feel like I was there.

 

I also felt the frustration of the locals because of the new paper company.Their love for the Wilderness was easy to identify with because of this writer's skill.

 

The description of the bear and the events that followed helped me understand the main character, his love of the Maine Wilderness and all that lived there. It is also provided a glimpse at his job and the local people. Paul is very talented and I was caught up in the story from the beginning.

CAG
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thewanderingjew
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I posted this in the Community Room but I don't know if many people saw it. I found this really interesting.
This little article from 1944 might interest some readers. Also, if you have an interest in the historical maps of the area in which the book takes place, visit this link too.
Since I posted that I found a couple more interesting sites about the area mentioned in the prologue of the book. These pictures are of the area in the book from the late 1800's and also of pows.

Some eighth graders discovered a prison camp that was kept secret at Spencer Lake.

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Peppermill
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Re: The Great Outdoors

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

I posted this in the Community Room but I don't know if many people saw it. I found this really interesting.
This little article from 1944 might interest some readers. Also, if you have an interest in the historical maps of the area in which the book takes place, visit this link too.
Since I posted that I found a couple more interesting sites about the area mentioned in the prologue of the book. These pictures are of the area in the book from the late 1800's and also of pows.

Some eighth graders discovered a prison camp that was kept secret at Spencer Lake.


 

Thanks for this post.  Lots of interesting information.  The statement in one about no POWs in ND caught my eye.  I saw an exhibit once saying that Germans were detained in Lincoln, ND, but they may have been citizens, not POWs.

 

"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