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jb70
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Registered: ‎07-06-2009
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Re: The Great Outdoors

tennisgirl3194 wrote:

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.

 

I've never traveled farther than Conn. when going to the north, but all the books I've read set in Maine make it sound so beautiful.  Every since I can remember one of my goals for traveling is to one day visit each of the states at least once.  Of course I can never decide if an airport layover counts towards having been to a state, technically you are there but all airports look pretty much the same so I could go either way.  I've been to Chicago and Atlanta, but only their airports so maybe I still need to make another trip.  Actually I later drove through Illinois so that one I count as having been to.

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jb70
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Re: The Great Outdoors

krb2g wrote:

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.

 

Whenever we take out kids to walk in woody areas they are obsessed with trying to see a bear, and no matter how much I try to explain that meeting a bear in the woods would not be a good thing that is the first thing they talk about every time!  I hope to never meet a bear and only see them at zoos or on TV, but maybe I am a scaredy cat!  I did see a coyote once right near a mall in Las Vegas, it was in the middle of the city pretty much and I thought that was so spooky (and was glad to be in a car!)

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jb70
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Re: The Great Outdoors

DSaff wrote:

I loved the bear and the thigh master. too funny!  :smileywink:

 


momofprecious1 wrote:

 

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.

 


 

 

 

I agree, it made me think of a dog with a bone or a chew toy.  I kept seeing a teal thigh master (don't know if the color was given or if I just added that detail myself!)

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becke_davis
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I always think of Maine as cold, so it's kind of thrown me off with the references to heat. Not just average heat, but serious, sweat-inducing heat. Then I remembered the last time I spent any time in Massachusetts it was in the mid-90s the whole time I was there. Is this normal for summers in New England? I'm a Midwesterner, where we're used to frying eggs on the sidewalk in summer.

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jb70
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Re: The Great Outdoors

maxcat wrote:

I lived up in Philadelphia for 19 years as a kid/teenager. The snows we had were big, such as 17' or so. We never had the snows like you're experiencing. I talked to my aunt who lives in Ridley Park, a burb of Philadelphia in between two storms. She had 28" the first storm and they were predicting another 2 feet that night. Felt sorry for her as she is 90 but is sharp as a tack and gets around but certainly couldn't do the shoveling. She hired the kid next door to shovel her sidewalk and driveway.

 

I live about an hour from Philadelphia and we have had so much snow this winter, out front yard still has a pile taller than my three year old, actually probably still as tall as my 6 year old.  It really took the allure of snow away, kind of wish we still lived out west where we only saw a dusting or two each winter!

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thewanderingjew
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Check this out! It will tell you about blizzards that have occured. I actually remember the storm of '47 and '50 when I was a little girl (i can't believe I am that old!). I don't remember which one it was but my dad had to climb out a window to clear the snow. It was so high we couldnot  get out of the house. We had storm doors which opened outward!

I visited Maine last summer also. I went to Acadia National Park and then drove on up to Quebec. It seemed vast and undeveloped except for the road.

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PinkBaby
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Re: The Great Outdoors

well so far it has been a very interesting book.:smileyhappy:  and it does have some humour in it.like talking about the great outdoors when mike  went to answer a call about the bear from this woman. i thought it was funny even the way doiron describred her. i dont know if  it was meant to be funny but it was. i think mike has a dry sense of humour.

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Peppermill
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Re: The Great Outdoors

[ Edited ]

 

jb70 wrote:

I don't know if it ever crossed my mind that Game Wardens were trained as Police Officers, it makes sense but I had never made that connection before.  I love learning new facts imbedded in fiction, makes them so much more memorable too! {Bold added.}

The responsibilities of a game warden as a police officer are part of what troubled me in EOTW about the protagonist telling his story to the game warden.   Just what were the oaths of office she had taken?  Could she reasonably remain silent to the story she had heard?

 

 

"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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Peppermill
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Re: The Great Outdoors

The last time we were in North Carolina, we also saw a black bear along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

 

Then, less than two weeks later, I saw another black bear standing by the sign for a condomium complex here in Morris County!  It was so surreal, I wondered if I was seeing things!

jkrb2g wrote (excerpt):

....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!).

"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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Temolly
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I've never been to Maine before but after reading the book, I can now appreciate how vast it is.  Lush and beautiful.  "The Great Outdoors" is well portrayed in this story.  It is the battle between man vs. nature, the old ways vs. modernization and development.  It reminds us of how living in the wilderness where people still have a great respect for nature is still in existence, for many of us confined to concrete and commercialism.  It is a necessary setting for Jack to thrive in and to be able to evade the authorities.  In a way, it is almost as if there is a war between Jack's wilderness smarts and Mike's.

 

Of course, the bear symbolizes the wilderness and how development encroaches upon the many natural ecosystems of the woods and tries to conquer nature but cannot tame it.  The bear is only acting upon its instincts, confused by the new elements introduced into what was its home.  It is this dynamic that Mike tries to preserve, as game warden.

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Vermontcozy
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Re: The Great Outdoors

[ Edited ]
Peppermint wrote:

 

jabs wrote:

I don't know if it ever crossed my mind that Game Wardens were trained as Police Officers, it makes sense but I had never made that connection before.  I love learning new facts embedded in fiction, makes them so much more memorable too! {Bold added.}

The responsibilities of a game warden as a police officer are part of what troubled me in TOTE about the protagonist telling his story to the game warden.   Just what were the oaths of office she had taken?  Could she reasonably remain silent to the story she had heard?

 

 

VtCozy Wrote;Funny that you bring that up,Pepper.I had the exact same thought,in EOTW.Could't  the Game Warden open an investigation,?,Guess not.Really just can't put the  TPS down,although I am reading slower than usual.I see Bear tracks right outside my door,a few times a week.They are just crossing over to the woods.The Bear by the Condo in Morris Co.,now that is something...Susan

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

I remember a blizzard hitting NC back in 1993. Mt Mitchell had 50" of snow, the highest recorded until this year. In Charlotte, what was rain turned quickly to snow and my birthday plans were cancelled and everything comes to a halt as southerners can't deal with a lot of snow. We only received 4" as we were on the edge of the storm, but it grew in intensity as it moved up the east coast. It was the storm of the century.

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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trschi
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I really think that the Maine wilderness is a quintessential part of TPS.  You could have a story about a father and son in any location, but it would not be the same story.  The rich description of the setting adds so much to the book, and especially the characters.  The location becomes part of the characters - part of who they are and how they came to be.  

 

I enjoy the direct writing style, and I think this makes the book accessible to a wide audience.  The descriptions are vivid, yet not bogged down in details.

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trschi
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I grew up in Chicago and live in New England now.  The Midwest summers were hotter and more intense (100+ days with 90%+ humidity for days on end!) than out here, though we still have our fair share of hot and humid days.  You certainly have those sweat-inducing days, though within a couple of days the weather may change and it become downright chilly! To answer your question - normal, yes, as long as it doesn't last too long!

becke_davis wrote:

I always think of Maine as cold, so it's kind of thrown me off with the references to heat. Not just average heat, but serious, sweat-inducing heat. Then I remembered the last time I spent any time in Massachusetts it was in the mid-90s the whole time I was there. Is this normal for summers in New England? I'm a Midwesterner, where we're used to frying eggs on the sidewalk in summer.

 

 

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AnnahE
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Re: The Great Outdoors

This is my first time in this book club so I can't compare this one to others.  I loved the bear.  The part about the thighmaster cracked me up!  I live in Wisconsin and stories of bears playing with unusual objects surface all the time.  I like how he brought this personality trait to the bear.

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historygirl2008AS
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Re: The Great Outdoors

This is my frist FL book too so I cant compare it to the other book. The Maine wilderness sounds like going someplace foreign to me and kind of a way of life but thats just my interpretation. I loved the part about the bear too.

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melisndav
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Re: The Great Outdoors

Maine, in this book, plays a role more so with the scenery of Maine and the changing landscapes due to progress and technology.

 

The author makes tha bear sound like it may be rabid and a threat to society, especially if it is attacking livestock.

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becke_davis
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Re: The Great Outdoors

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Peppermill
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Re: The Great Outdoors

It does vary on where in the Midwest.  My experience was further from the Great Lakes and more reflective of the semi-arid conditions of the Plains, so there was a lot less humidity on those hot summer days with all those towering thunderheads forming in the afternoons.

 

Even in Vermont, where the snow was deep and the winters long, the cold did not seem as severe, however. When I moved to the mid-Atlantic area and people around me were complaining about the cold weather, I usually laughed, then they would say, but you didn't have the humidity.  I still laughed.  Minnesota et al is COLD in the winter, at least most years.

trschi wrote:

I grew up in Chicago and live in New England now.  The Midwest summers were hotter and more intense (100+ days with 90%+ humidity for days on end!) than out here, though we still have our fair share of hot and humid days.  You certainly have those sweat-inducing days, though within a couple of days the weather may change and it become downright chilly! To answer your question - normal, yes, as long as it doesn't last too long!

becke_davis wrote:

I always think of Maine as cold, so it's kind of thrown me off with the references to heat. Not just average heat, but serious, sweat-inducing heat. Then I remembered the last time I spent any time in Massachusetts it was in the mid-90s the whole time I was there. Is this normal for summers in New England? I'm a Midwesterner, where we're used to frying eggs on the sidewalk in summer.

 

"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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Anna_Louise
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Re: The Great Outdoors

I agree about the thighmaster...I had to laugh when I imagined what a 200 lb bear would do with a thighmaster! :smileyhappy:

 

Anna Louise