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Stephanie
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Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

What do you make of Paul's connection to -- and willingness to rely on his Uncle Sosh? Is Sosh a trustworthy figure, given his past? What do you think of Sosh's characterization of his own past -- as a participant in a "silly game"? Is there more there than meets the eye?


Note: This discussion topic is particularly suitable for readers who have only read the first part of The Woods, through the end of Chapter Ten. If you wish to discuss plot elements introduced later in the book, consider posting in a separate thread.

Click on "Reply" to post your thoughts about this discussion topic, or click "New Message" on the main page to start a new topic thread.
Stephanie
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vivico1
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

Some of what Sosh says up to this point, makes sense about what they had to do to get out of Russia, some of the things he says, well heck you know theres more going on there than meets the eye. And as for his business, theres got to be tons going on there that Cope either doesnt want to know about or hasnt admitted to at this point in the book but you know if they are talking about checking for bugs every week, lol, something's going down. As far as family matters, i dont know how trustworthy he is right now to at least talk about them. He knows more than he is saying and I think Cope has to rely on him for that. Besides, who else does he have familywise to rely on for that kind of info, they are all gone!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Andeka
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

I like Uncle Sosh :smileyhappy:

I think he's the perfect go-to guy for Paul, as I sense the things he has to deal with, with his past, require some "reliable" underground connections, which someone in Paul's position can't openly have. Ya have to fight fire with fire sometimes...

And I do think Paul can trust Sosh; with that kind of history between them, I think the loyalty to each other is solid. I think Sosh downplays the "silly game" he's engaged in, in order to protect those around him. I suspect Sosh is a very powerful player.
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kiakar
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh



Andeka wrote:
I like Uncle Sosh :smileyhappy:

I think he's the perfect go-to guy for Paul, as I sense the things he has to deal with, with his past, require some "reliable" underground connections, which someone in Paul's position can't openly have. Ya have to fight fire with fire sometimes...

And I do think Paul can trust Sosh; with that kind of history between them, I think the loyalty to each other is solid. I think Sosh downplays the "silly game" he's engaged in, in order to protect those around him. I suspect Sosh is a very powerful player.




Yeah, I really want to believe Uncle Sosh, that is I hope he is being honest and truthful with Paul about the past. He seems to be! But I know, we will have to wait and see!
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Wrighty
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

I don't know what to think of Uncle Sosh just yet. He does seem very protective of Paul but I don't know if he's exactly trustworthy. It seems like the kind of relationship where there are a lot of suspicious things going on but nobody ever asks about it because they don't really want to know. I picture this big bear of a man but with a James Bond character kind of background. The whole KGB, mafia, hitman, spy, etc. kind of stuff. There is definitely more to this guy. :smileywink:
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LizzieAnn
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Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

Uncle Sosh is intriguing, but we really dont' know enough about him. There's no reason to think that he would truly be trustworthy. After all, he's really not Paul's uncle and he was also in the KGB. Would he protect Paul at his own risk? He also seems to be trying too hard with Paul, that one can't help but wonder what he isn't saying. He's too vague & cryptic, and he does try to stop Paul from digging any further.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Stephanie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

Uncle Sosh was an enigma to me- I wanted to trust him - on the surface, I did like and trust him, and I wanted Paul to have someone to go to. But there was that air of mystery about him, and as Liz said, the things he was not saying were speaking a tad louder than the things he did say.
Stephanie
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kiakar
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh



Stephanie wrote:
Uncle Sosh was an enigma to me- I wanted to trust him - on the surface, I did like and trust him, and I wanted Paul to have someone to go to. But there was that air of mystery about him, and as Liz said, the things he was not saying were speaking a tad louder than the things he did say.




I do not know why. But I have this eery feeling that there is a reason and it may not be a good reason, that Uncle Sosh knows so much about the past. He has answers for any question Paul puts to him.
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vivico1
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh


kiakar wrote:




I do not know why. But I have this eery feeling that there is a reason and it may not be a good reason, that Uncle Sosh knows so much about the past. He has answers for any question Paul puts to him.


You get the feeling to that Sosh is much more powerful than the rich kid's father who hired the MVD to investigate him and he does have power and influence. But you get the feeling Sosh could handle them all if he needed to, with his contacts.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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KathyS
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

As far as what I've read, it was like reading between the lines with "uncle" Sosh. There is information revealed that leaves more questions to the imagination. And Paul trying to get this information out of him, was like pulling teeth. I wanted to know more, and was waiting along with Paul. The information Sosh finally reveals, has told me more to this story than I had anticipated.

I also feel he has a stronger bond with Paul, than Paul has with him, and I imagine it's all because of his family ties and history with Paul's family. The KGB mafia influence. But with this new information, Paul is now tied to something new, the mother of this past.

This relationship is all starting to intrigue me. Sosh knows more than some old guy sitting in an armchair - wearing slippers, a robe - and smoking a pipe, watching Days of Our Lives on TV!

LizzieAnn wrote:
Uncle Sosh is intriguing, but we really dont' know enough about him. There's no reason to think that he would truly be trustworthy. After all, he's really not Paul's uncle and he was also in the KGB. Would he protect Paul at his own risk? He also seems to be trying too hard with Paul, that one can't help but wonder what he isn't saying. He's too vague & cryptic, and he does try to stop Paul from digging any further.


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Stephanie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

Kathy S.

Good points about Uncle Sosh- he does seem to have a vested interest in Paul, doesn't he? I can't help but wonder what he knows- surely there are secrets there, more than he tells to Paul. Why wouldn't he just be up front and honest? After all, Paul is a grown man.

All: Just after meeting Uncle Sosh this first time, would you guess that he's going to help Paul or not?
Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

I think part of Uncle Sosh's 'secretive' nature, is just that, his nature. It's what he does best, what he's trained to do - hide the truth, and no one gets hurt, sort of attitude. He lives in shadows. He's protecting someone, maybe himself, Paul's mother (if she's still alive), or Paul and his daughter. I don't know yet. I sensed it was difficult for Sosh to reveal these truths to Paul, there is an emotional tie. I, personally, do feel he will help Paul, if only indirectly.

Stephanie wrote:
Kathy S.

Good points about Uncle Sosh- he does seem to have a vested interest in Paul, doesn't he? I can't help but wonder what he knows- surely there are secrets there, more than he tells to Paul. Why wouldn't he just be up front and honest? After all, Paul is a grown man.

All: Just after meeting Uncle Sosh this first time, would you guess that he's going to help Paul or not?


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kiakar
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh



KathyS wrote:
I think part of Uncle Sosh's 'secretive' nature, is just that, his nature. It's what he does best, what he's trained to do - hide the truth, and no one gets hurt, sort of attitude. He lives in shadows. He's protecting someone, maybe himself, Paul's mother (if she's still alive), or Paul and his daughter. I don't know yet. I sensed it was difficult for Sosh to reveal these truths to Paul, there is an emotional tie. I, personally, do feel he will help Paul, if only indirectly.

Stephanie wrote:
Kathy S.

Good points about Uncle Sosh- he does seem to have a vested interest in Paul, doesn't he? I can't help but wonder what he knows- surely there are secrets there, more than he tells to Paul. Why wouldn't he just be up front and honest? After all, Paul is a grown man.

All: Just after meeting Uncle Sosh this first time, would you guess that he's going to help Paul or not?







I don't know about this. I am leaning toward a big surprise for Paul. Something he is not expecting at all. And he could be upset with Uncle Sosh about it. But I guess we have to wait and see. What else can we do!
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Wrighty
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh


KathyS wrote:
I think part of Uncle Sosh's 'secretive' nature, is just that, his nature. It's what he does best, what he's trained to do - hide the truth, and no one gets hurt, sort of attitude. He lives in shadows. He's protecting someone, maybe himself, Paul's mother (if she's still alive), or Paul and his daughter. I don't know yet. I sensed it was difficult for Sosh to reveal these truths to Paul, there is an emotional tie. I, personally, do feel he will help Paul, if only indirectly.

Stephanie wrote:
Kathy S.

Good points about Uncle Sosh- he does seem to have a vested interest in Paul, doesn't he? I can't help but wonder what he knows- surely there are secrets there, more than he tells to Paul. Why wouldn't he just be up front and honest? After all, Paul is a grown man.

All: Just after meeting Uncle Sosh this first time, would you guess that he's going to help Paul or not?







Uncle Sosh is definitely a mysterious man with lots of secrets. A whole life of secrets. His character is introduced and then we don't hear much about him for some time. I get the impression that he is very loyal, but to what, or who, exactly? It's hard to tell how much he will be willing to reveal to Paul about the past. I did wonder (unless I missed it) why Paul hadn't asked more questions of Uncle Sosh before now.
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cindersue
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

Uncle Sosh is definitely a mysterious man with lots of secrets. A whole life of secrets. ...

I think the characters are all mysterious and intriguing. I'm waiting for someone to pop up and say they are Gil and Paul's sisters daughter. OMG The mother has had to do something too. Everyone is suspect. Awesome story!
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LizzieAnn
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Early Chapters Discussion: Uncle Sosh

I think that Uncle Sosh is going to help Paul - up to a point. He may have a vested interest in keeping certain things quiet. After all, it's probably not in anyone's interest to learn about these ex-KGB agents living & prospering here.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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KathyS
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Uncle Sosh - Chapter 30 - Savages?

[ Edited ]
As I read Sosh's thoughts on survival - one thought came forward, reminding me of what Greta's situatation was in wanting to save her family from being destroyed.

Sosh said --
"Those who believe that we are anything other than animals are blind. All humans are savages. The ones who are well fed are just lazier. They don't need to kill to get their food. So they dress up and find so-called loftier pursuits that make them believe that they are somehow above it all. Such nonsense. Savages are just hungrier. That was all."

"You do horrible things to survive. Anyone who believes that they are above that is delusional."

Are we all "savages" as Sosh puts it? Will we do anything to save our families, or those we love? Or are we capable of allowing a loved one to die, to save ourselves? What are your thoughts along these lines?

KathyS

Message Edited by KathyS on 05-20-200711:31 AM

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kiakar
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Re: Uncle Sosh - Chapter 30 - Savages?



KathyS wrote:
As I read Sosh's thoughts on survival - one thought came forward, reminding me of what Greta's situatation was in wanting to save her family from being destroyed.

Sosh said --
"Those who believe that we are anything other than animals are blind. All humans are savages. The ones who are well fed are just lazier. They don't need to kill to get their food. So they dress up and find so-called loftier pursuits that make them believe that they are somehow above it all. Such nonsense. Savages are just hungrier. That was all."

"You do horrible things to survive. Anyone who believes that they are above that is delusional."

Are we all "savages" as Sosh puts it? Will we do anything to save our families, or those we love? Or are we capable of allowing a loved one to die, to save ourselves? What are your thoughts along these lines?

KathyS

Message Edited by KathyS on 05-20-200711:31 AM







I really do not think a person knows what she or he would do in any situation until he has to live it. We love our family and we say we would, but what would we really do in the spur of that moment we really do not know until... I have ran out in the street to block my child when they ran out in the road, didn't get hit but almost. We catch on to kids when they are in the front of the car with us and if that will save them. KathyS., that is a tough one.
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vivico1
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Re: Uncle Sosh - Chapter 30 - Savages?


kiakar wrote:


KathyS wrote:
As I read Sosh's thoughts on survival - one thought came forward, reminding me of what Greta's situatation was in wanting to save her family from being destroyed.

Sosh said --
"Those who believe that we are anything other than animals are blind. All humans are savages. The ones who are well fed are just lazier. They don't need to kill to get their food. So they dress up and find so-called loftier pursuits that make them believe that they are somehow above it all. Such nonsense. Savages are just hungrier. That was all."

"You do horrible things to survive. Anyone who believes that they are above that is delusional."

Are we all "savages" as Sosh puts it? Will we do anything to save our families, or those we love? Or are we capable of allowing a loved one to die, to save ourselves? What are your thoughts along these lines?

KathyS

Message Edited by KathyS on 05-20-200711:31 AM







I really do not think a person knows what she or he would do in any situation until he has to live it. We love our family and we say we would, but what would we really do in the spur of that moment we really do not know until... I have ran out in the street to block my child when they ran out in the road, didn't get hit but almost. We catch on to kids when they are in the front of the car with us and if that will save them. KathyS., that is a tough one.


I dont think we are all savages tho. I think we all have a spark of God in us. I think what Sosh saw was humans put in inhuman circumstances and once dehumanized, who knows what we will do. As you say kiakar you would do anything to save your children and thats that parental spark in you, but the reverse is proffered here, would you let or allow someone you love die for YOU? (Or even kill them so you would live) I can't imagine letting someone die for me, if it was them or me. I would hope I wouldnt and that spark would kick in and raise me from beyond the savage. I would also hope that I would never be put in the position to have to decide WHICH of my loved ones would live and which would die. Did you ever see the movie with Meryl Streep called Sophies Choice? Its one of my all time favorites. In it, in the one scene where you find out what her real choice is about, not about one man or the other, (this is THE spoiler if you havent seen the movie lol) she recalls when she first got to a concentration camp. She spoke up to say she was not even jew but her speaking out made the officer mad anyway and so he made her decide which of her two children, the little boy or the little girl, would go to the gas chamber and which would live. She said she would not do such a thing, he tells her choose now, choose now or I will send them both! He starts grabbing at them, and in screams and sobs, she says take my girl! Imagine living with that one. Still, she was not savage, she didnt do it for herself but to give maybe the stronger one of her children a chance to live vs both dying.

Man is not inherently savage. He is actually inherantly good having "inherited" that spark of God.But evil does exist and there will always be those who chose evil. Our lives are made up of the choices we make and this book is one big suspenseful journey made up of the choices people made and how they affected the lives of others. Thats the thing about our choices, they are never made in a bubble, they always affect more than just ourselves.
Vivian
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KathyS
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Re: Uncle Sosh - Chapter 30 - Savages?

Linda,
You mention saving a child when they run out into the street, or reach out to them when you're in a car, or save then from some other impending disaster. I know those spur of the moment, instinctual situations. It's not that I've never experienced these situations, myself, but I made myself think hard on this other question, the long term question.

I've thought about it before, this isn't the first time, when it's a life-death situation - Will it be my life, or someone elses. And during those times, the only place I could search was my heart, not just relying upon my gut instincts.

The question was always, who do I love more, or who's life is worthy, or worth more? Is it mine, or the person I love? I know we may all have different or varied feelings on this subject, that's why I've deliberately left it unanswered.

Harlan has asked a number of thought provoking questions....this is just one of them.

Kathy S.
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