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Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7 (My thoughts)

I'm generally surprised by the writing.   Not being familiar with the genre, I was expecting sort of a gumshoe style, which I don't like.  I love the setting an I love the voice.  I found it quite funny the man walking around in chapter one with a beer in one hand and a hunting rifle in the other.  That made me laugh.

 

Was anyone else surprised to find the main character was only 24?  Up until that was revealed, I was imagining a sun-worn 40-something.

 

The imagery in the book is great.  I can fully see what's going on as the writing is so descriptive but in a subtle and concise way.

 

Chapter 2

 

Is that bar fight realistic?  It seemed like a scene out of a silly western movie farce.  However, much about the dad is revealed in this short chapter.

 

Chapter 3

 

I find it interesting how the story, thus far, is broken down into tidbits of information.  In the first chapter we meet and learn about Mike (the prologue shows us the father/son relationship).  In Chapter 2 we learn about Jack; chapter 3 we learn about the Wendigo land past/present.  I can't remember reading a book (non-fiction) so clearly broken down like this.  Doiron makes me think of Stephen King - particularly the characters:  how they are introduces and developed, the setting is also very King-ish.  Even the way the plot is beginning to unfold.  I know they are different genres, I"m more referring to writing style.

 

Chapter 4

 

Now a chapter about Mike's job.  The confrontation between Mike and the man with the boat had me so tense.  I can't imagine having to do that on a regular basis.

 

Chapter 5

 

As much as this chapter was used to introduce Kathy, the plot is taking over and the book is trotting right along with a nice flow.  I'm going to have to force myself to stop after Chapter 7!

 

Chapter 6

 

Funny thing how this father/son with basically no relationship are willing to risk their lives for each other.  Jack in a bar fight and Mike on his way to the jail.

 

Chapter 7

 

Oh!  I so hate to put this down.  I'm feeling much like Mike at the moment - What's going on??!!  The element of suspense is fantastic.  I love that i have no clue what's happening.  So often the reader can predicts how the story will unfold or end, but not this time!

 

Amanda (who had her contractor cut her internet line and is writing from a library computer so all mistakes are totally not my fault this time!)

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ruthieWW
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎01-07-2010

Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like?

Mike is a very likable guy, honest, dedicated to a job he enjoys, helpful and compassionate. He has followed his heart into a career that many people fail to understand. But with all the accolades from his peer and supervisors, he still yearns for the approval of one person..his father. How is it, that the one person who treats us so badly, is the one we long to give us the nod of approval? This characterization between father and son reinforces the importance of how we treat our children. It really does have a lasting effect upon them. With all his efforts, determination, and hard work, Mike still has a hole in his heart. It makes me sad for him, because he seems to be such a good guy. But he is almost self-destructive even in his relationship with his wife.

 

 

What about his father? Jack Bowditch is a character with deep-seated issues. He may have come through a horrible war experience, but we can't continue to blame our past for our endless reckless behavior. No matter what we have endured, we have to come to grips with it...seek some help or therapy or counselling. But Jack seems unable to overcome his destructive lifestyle. While his love for the forests and wildlife is admirable; his disrespect as a poacher is disturbing. And it seems he takes advantage of the wilderness; just like he takes his son for granted!

 

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katieIam
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Registered: ‎02-01-2010
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I find Jack to be the most interesting character in the book - despite my better senses, I like him.  Doiron does a great job of conveying Jack's appeal while still showing his true character. 

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LadyMin
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎11-29-2009
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I don't really see Mike as lonely. He is alone, yes, but he has conscioulsy chosen to be a warden knowing full well the type of life he would lead. Some people are happier by themselves rather than trying to interact with others.

Mike was relieved when Sarah left him. I don't think he ever intended to go to law school. It was easier to say he would than to explain why it was wrong for him. Until he is honest with people in his relationships he will continue to fail. She was the wrong woman for him but he wouldn't make that decision, he let her do it.

It was difficult for me, too, to put down this book after seven chapters. The writing style is wonderful and I am having no trouble visualizing scenes and characters.

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Fl_bookworm
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-03-2010
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Normally within the first few chapters of a book, I can pretty much figure which path the author is taking.  So far this book has left bread crumbs, but the path is still unclear.  I have just started chapter 7 and I already don't want to but this book down.  I need to know what happens to Mike, is his father guilty, is there any connection to the escaped German solider and what about that bear! 

 

It's already clear that while Mike doesn't want to be like his father, he wants his fathers approval/attention.  In some ways he's a lot like his father, but does his father love the wildness because he loves the outdoors or is it that the wildness has camouflaged him from life.  I can't wait to find out.

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ambika22
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎08-31-2009

Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I couldnt help it and stopped reading at chapter 10! anyway i tried to do my comments spoiler-free (i check everything twice before answering)

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike is a very solitary person. I think that his job as a warden its just perfect. He has a lot of time to be by himself and think. We know that he always liked nature and the happiest moments he spent with his father were there. Their relationship is a little bit complicated, but i dont really think his father is a bad man, he likes and protects Mike his own way.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

The romantic relationships described so far doesnt end very well. We know that Mike and Sarah have sepparated. I didnt like Sarah because she try to push him to do something he didnt want. She knew how he was and what he liked, and still wasnt able to be with him.

 

For the rest of the things that appear in those chapters...i also want to know what happened to the POW. I really hope the author explains it later. I like the way the things are going and i cant wait to read what happens next.

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Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7


What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

I think Mike is decent and loyal, a kind man. I can't get past the trapping flashbacks with Jack to like him though. Trapping way way back in  history I can kind of understand, but people who do it this century kind of disgust me.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

I like Sarah just fine and Mike too. I don't think they ever really knew each other or were madly in love. They wanted different things from life and married young before they knew how important that was.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

He seems pretty passive and non-judgemental to me, but I expect there is a lot of judging and anger underneath that.

 

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 

I expect Mike to find and save his Dad from being tried/found guilty and them to find the real killer in  some dangerous scenes. I'm not sure what to expect from their relationship.

 

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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7 (My thoughts)

Amanda -- I love your synopsis -- it is so complete and largely non-judgmental about the characters!

 

I could not have done your comparison with Stephen King on writing style.  I am wondering whether others here will agree, disagree, or expand on your comments.

 

I read the first six chapters in a single sitting several days ago, so now that discussion has started, will need to go back and re-read.  I am glad I had a number of books on my plate at that time, otherwise I would have wanted to stay with the story.  

 

Thanks for reminding me that the narrator is only 24.  I do sense that we are probably relying on an unreliable narrator -- since that is almost inherent in a tale told in the first person from a single viewpoint.  We shall see how much that is sustained or varied. 

 

So far the female game warden is the most gratuitous character for me.  She seems almost like the obligatory inclusion of the handicapped et al in so many stories today.  But, I shall try to suspend that attitude until the story has unfolded further.  I want to restrain myself from pat cliches about who and why and give the author the benefit of doubt that he is not indulging in them either.

 

 


Amanda-Louise wrote:

I'm generally surprised by the writing.   Not being familiar with the genre, I was expecting sort of a gumshoe style, which I don't like.  I love the setting an I love the voice.  I found it quite funny the man walking around in chapter one with a beer in one hand and a hunting rifle in the other.  That made me laugh.

 

Was anyone else surprised to find the main character was only 24?  Up until that was revealed, I was imagining a sun-worn 40-something.

 

The imagery in the book is great.  I can fully see what's going on as the writing is so descriptive but in a subtle and concise way.

 

Chapter 2

 

Is that bar fight realistic?  It seemed like a scene out of a silly western movie farce.  However, much about the dad is revealed in this short chapter.

 

Chapter 3

 

I find it interesting how the story, thus far, is broken down into tidbits of information.  In the first chapter we meet and learn about Mike (the prologue shows us the father/son relationship).  In Chapter 2 we learn about Jack; chapter 3 we learn about the Wendigo land past/present.  I can't remember reading a book (non-fiction) so clearly broken down like this.  Doiron makes me think of Stephen King - particularly the characters:  how they are introduces and developed, the setting is also very King-ish.  Even the way the plot is beginning to unfold.  I know they are different genres, I"m more referring to writing style.

 

Chapter 4

 

Now a chapter about Mike's job.  The confrontation between Mike and the man with the boat had me so tense.  I can't imagine having to do that on a regular basis.

 

Chapter 5

 

As much as this chapter was used to introduce Kathy, the plot is taking over and the book is trotting right along with a nice flow.  I'm going to have to force myself to stop after Chapter 7!

 

Chapter 6

 

Funny thing how this father/son with basically no relationship are willing to risk their lives for each other.  Jack in a bar fight and Mike on his way to the jail.

 

Chapter 7

 

Oh!  I so hate to put this down.  I'm feeling much like Mike at the moment - What's going on??!!  The element of suspense is fantastic.  I love that i have no clue what's happening.  So often the reader can predicts how the story will unfold or end, but not this time!

 

Amanda (who had her contractor cut her internet line and is writing from a library computer so all mistakes are totally not my fault this time!)


 

PS -- did you have your contractor deliberately cut your Internet line, or is it one of those things that happened to you?   Hope it is all the way you want it soon.

 

"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
CAG
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CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I think Mike is a good man who seems somewhat lost. I think he is still stuck on the childhood experiences that shaped him. He wants his father's acceptance and love. He is closed off emotionally with those he cares about. Yet he loves his job and the kind of life he has because of it. He is interesting and complex. I like him.

 

Mike's dad seems to be a difficult man. He is totally into himself and shows little concern for others. I think his problems stem from the war. I don't like him or at least I don't like the way he lives his life.

 

The romantic relationships so far have been negative. Mike is still recovering from his breakup with Sarah and having a hard time understanding what she really needed from him. I think he is very lonely. His parents didn't have a healthy marriage.Their divorce was probably for the better but it has left Mike with certain feelings that are hard for him to deal with-fear of betrayal, trust issues, closing off his emotions, etc.

 

My early expectations for the story are will Mike be able to mend his relationships with Sarah and his father. I want to know more about his father and wonder if he will ever accept Mike for who he is. Mostly I am just curious about the story line and where this is going.

CAG
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TiffanyLynn
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Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I think Mike is lost looking for guidance.  He thinks he wants to be a Game Warden, but I think it just wants to be the opposite of his father.  He doesn't know what he wants to be. 

 

 

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nhawkinsII
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike Bowditch as the game warden is capable, self-suficient, aware of his environment and the vulnerabilities of a "man in the woods".  His observations and tracking of the bear attack on Bud Thompson's pig indicates Mike is very much aware of the risks in his job and accepting of the responsibility of the position.

 

However, Mike Bowditch the man grew up in a household with an alcoholic father scarred by war...a family environment of discord and discontent. Even so in the Prologue Mike tells he "couldn't understand why {his father} wasn't fighting to keep {us} together {as a family}."  Yet he realizes at the conclusion of his Dad's story about the German POW that his father's greatest wish is "to vanish in the woods and never return".

 

As an adult, Mike is trying to keep all relationships at a safe distance...observe and react, but don't share and don't reveal your true feelings...it's safer.  In my opinion Mike feels "safe" in the woods...his job as game warden is his "escape" to a place where he feels safe and comfortable.

 

The incident with DeSalle and his son provide valuable insights about Mike's relationship with his own father. DeSalle is belligerent and bullying...he doesn't value the time spent with his son...And Mike tells us as the pair drive away after the citation "the boy was pressed down in the seat...shoulders hunched against his father's barrage of words.  It wasn't hard for me to imagine what the rest of the day was going to be like for that kid."   

 

Regardless of his bravery in Vietnam, I think Mike's father Jack has surrendered all personal values and decided to remove himself from his family and his son...no contact...no contamination...Life in the woods and logging camps...speaking with his fists...controlling his relationships...dodging responsibilities and by all means, keeping his social needs, self-esteem (or lack of) away from everyone. 

 

At this point in the story I am very interested in Mike's reaction to his father's phone call.  Hearing from him for the first time in two years only means one thing...trouble...yet Mike seems ready to locate his father and to help in the murder investigation...Is this the reaction I would have expected? 

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kleeGA
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

-- Mike is sure in his work, but not in himself.  He knows that his love for his job is what destroyed his relationship with Sarah.  Mike’s father is cruel at best and is at his worst when he has been drinking which seems to be most of the time.  He cares for no one but himself.  This largely contributed to Mike’s uncertainty of self.  

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 -- Mike has a strained relationship with Sarah.  He seems to want to be with her, but refuses to compromise his work to allow her in.  He has, in a way, created the same relationship with Sarah that his father did with his mother.  The only other relationship given any detail at this point is of Mike’s mother and father which did not turn out well either and turned her to another more stable man.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 -- He is a no-nonsense type of person when it comes to the rules.  He believes that right and wrong is as clear as black and white with no exceptions.  When those lines are crossed, it infuriates him.  He feels that he knows what is right and does not like to listen to others trying to tell him differently.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 -- My early expectations for the story are medium. I would like to see some kind of a big twist at the end.  So far, it seems that the story is set up to prove Mike right in thinking that his father didn’t kill anyone, but I would like to see him proven wrong.  I think Mike’s refusal to budge on issues that he feels are right is going to play a huge part in the rest of this story.  I wonder what part the POW story is going to play in the final section.

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BLong
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Registered: ‎12-02-2009
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I found it really hard to put the book down.  I have read all of it but I will stick to the first 7 chapters of the book.  I like Mike he was an adult who has a ruff and sensitive side.  I liked it when he asked DeSalle for licences and registration.  Mike was looking out for the boy.  And felt he could relate to the kid because of the way his own father had been.  You could tell that Mike looked up to his Dad even though he was not a very nice person.   I could picture myself being in the wooded area of Maine with the forest and lakes bordering Canada.  So far I am drawn to the Mystery unfolding and if Mike's dad commited the murders or not.

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PiperMurphy
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7


katieIam wrote:

I find Jack to be the most interesting character in the book - despite my better senses, I like him.  Doiron does a great job of conveying Jack's appeal while still showing his true character. 


Katielam, I agree with you. I like Jack also. He's very complex and compelling. I think he will turn out to be a decent person despite his outward  appearance. There is more to him than we think.

 

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

[ Edited ]

 

Rachel-K wrote:

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 

Mike seems to want to make up for his father's shortcomings. While his dad flaunts the law, Mike upholds it. He has become a game warden which is described as a cop of the forest. Mike is the product of a broken marriage and his own marriage has recently failed. He does not seem to communicate his feelings well and therefore prefers to be alone and follow his own lead. He wants few material things out of life and in that way is also like his dad, although his dad takes that idea to an extreme. Mike's wife Sarah leaves him for almost the same reasons his mom left his dad. Sarah loves Mike but wants more out of life than Mike does.
Mike and his mom left his dad when he was around 9 years old when his mom realized her life was not going to get better if she stayed. His mom married someone upwardly mobile, who helped raise him. Although he still thinks of his dad, they are not close and rarely see each othe. Only occasionally do they have contact since his dad has no phone or any way to communicate with him except through messages sent through others.

Mike's dad is a Viet Nam war vet who has been pretty messed up by the experiences of that war. His relationship with Mike is superficial. He assumes no responsibility for his well being or upbringing. At one point, his neglect and irresponsibility wind up putting Mike in the hospital with pneumonia. Yet, Mike, like many kids, still wants to have a relationship with his dad. His dad makes him jump through hoops to be with him.  He does not want to follow any rules, so he makes up his own. His war experiences have made him a ne’er do well who drinks too much and likes to defy authority. His marriage broke up because of it. He lives a life totally without creature comforts.
The narrative style is so engaging that I expect this story will be exciting and easy to read. I am eager to discover what happens next and don't think I will be able to pace myself since I have already read ahead.

 

 

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EMILY7W
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-04-2010

Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I totally agree with you, RuthieWW.

I also have to add that I don't really like the "tidbits of info" chapters. I think these 7 chapters could have been condensed down to a few. For me the only part that seemed to be really interesting and made me hopeful was the confrontation with the man & his son over their boat in chapter 4.
And the elusive bear thing... I'm hoping it'll eventually all come together.

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Peppermill
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 


EMILY7W wrote:

I totally agree with you, RuthieWW.

I also have to add that I don't really like the "tidbits of info" chapters. I think these 7 chapters could have been condensed down to a few. For me the only part that seemed to be really interesting and made me hopeful was the confrontation with the man & his son over their boat in chapter 4.
And the elusive bear thing... I'm hoping it'll eventually all come together.


 

 

Emily -- do  know that the Quote option (upper right) allows you to copy a post to which you reply.  That helps the rest of us in not having to trace back to figure out to what someone is referring.

 

Welcome to these discussions!  I see that you are a new participant!

 

Pepper

"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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jabrkeKB
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I was surprised when I found out Mike was 24, I don't know why, but I expected him to be older. Mike seems to know what he wants from life-a simple exsistence in the Maine woods.  He likes his job so much that he was willing to let Sarah leave-but he is counting the days since she left, hmmm. I do get the sense that he is a "good" guy and wants his father's approval and love.

 

Jack's life is a full of baggage-memories of the war, wife leaving and getting remarried, estrangement with his son, doing the bar scene, and now he has assaulted an officer.

 

I agree with other posters that it was hard to stop at Chap. 7!! I am enjoying this book!!

 

 

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Rebz
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike Bowditch is a man whose main priority is his work. Everything else isn't as important. He wants to give everything involved with his work 100% no matter what results from this determination.  Sure relationships are important, but not nearly as important, at the moment, than the Maine Warden Service.  His father is kind of like the polar opposite of Mike.  His father is lazy and I don't think he really cares about proper "work" he'd rather do his own thing on his own time. Other's opinions of him really don't matter.


What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

The relationships so far have been a MESS! Absolutely disasterous! Work and/or the lack of work/determination has ruined these relationships.  Mike still loves Sarah, but because of the determination I addressed in the first question, the relationship fell apart.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

Mike, like most of the other Maine Game Wardens, is very determined and dedicated to his job and doing it right.  Unlike most other characters, at the very end of the 7th chapter, Mike begins to disagree with the other characters about his father's innocence or guilt when he first learns of the shootings and his father's "involvement" in the shootings.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

I think that I expect this story to be very compelling with cliff hangers and kind of "distorted" reality.  I think this is because we get the story from the point of view of Mike who has very strong convictions and opinions of what happens.  We may or may not be getting the full story from Mike.

 

 

-Becca
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Bonnie_C
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎08-07-2009

Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike is a good guy.  He is a very real and to me a very likable character.  He is only 24 so he is still learning the ropes of not only the role of game warden but also relationships with his father, women and the people of the town.  He handles himself very maturely but yet he confesses that he blushes easily.  He recognizes that he does not have that "one with nature" sense that comes with being a seasoned game warden.  But he seems to enjoy what he does and he does it to the best of his ability.

 

Jack seems to be a more complex character.  He was described at one time as being a gifted student and a promising athlete.  He became a changed man after 2 tours in Viet Nam.  He unfortunately turned to drinking and women instead of looking to his family for help.  But let's hope that there is still some of the good guy left under all the crust.

 

Mike and Jack's relationship is not warm and fuzzy.  It is quite complicated.  Jack seems to care for Mike, but just does not know how to reach out.  Mike again is very realistic about the complexity of their relationship.  He admits that he has spent his entire life being either embarrassed by Jack or trying to win Jack's approval.  He even says that he became a game warden to compensate for some of the things Jack did. 

 

The romantic relationships in this story so far are not poster material for the "Love Boat".  Mike's mom left his dad, Bud Thompson's wife up and left him and Sarah has left Mike.  Although I know he misses her, I wonder if Mike really loved her.  At the bar when Jack asked Mike if he really loved Sarah, he replied "Yeah, I think I do."    I also wonder if Sarah really loved Mike or was she just hoping for a potential lawyer that would make a lot of money and raise her social status in life?  Also, did they actually get married or did they actually just live together?  Not that it really matters.

 

I am so looking forward to some of the secondary characters being developed.  I think some of them might become a bigger part of the story.

 

Loving it so far.