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Jessica
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Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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First Impressions

Reply to this message to share your first impressions of this book.
 
Have you read other Stewart O'Nan books? If so, let us know how they compare to this one.
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LizzieAnn
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First Impressions

This is the first of the author's books I've ever read.  It struck a sad & mournful note.  Another thread mentions Steinbeck & Cather & their connections, and I can see a similiar one with this book.  All the endings - of relationships, of the store & it's being a home base, of hopes & dreams, of the economy in this community. 
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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Librarian
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: First Impressions

[ Edited ]
Hi-----I have never read any of Stewart O'Nan's other books. The description of this book captivated me. So I bought it and read it quickly. I loved it!!!!!! The literary voice in the story is excellent. My son is a restaurant manager and I am going to give  him this book. Besides any nostalgic or sad feelings brought about in the story, I could also see a lot of humor there. And it  connects even more if you or someone close to you knows the restaurant business in and out!!!
Librarian


Message Edited by Librarian on 03-03-2008 04:08 PM
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malinpgh
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Registered: ‎03-03-2008
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Re: First Impressions

This is my third or fourth Stewart O'Nan book. A long time ago I read "Prayer for the Dying" and recently, after reading "Lobster", I read "The Good Wife". None of the fiction I've read is a happy read but oh what care he takes to put just the right word down, one after the other. He is not a pretentious writer - you don't have to sit there with a dictionary, and I don't find myself stopping on a phrase or losing myself in the prose - but what a fine observer he is and how carefully and patiently he constructs the plot.

Like another post-er here, we gave "Lobster" as a gift to a relative working in the food service industry. I swear, the author must have been in her workplaces, with her co-workers. Although this is not a happy optimistic tale, I must say it's a little brighter than the other books I've read of O'Nan's. But I read him because I love his writing, not to read a "feel good" book.
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Jessica
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Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Re: First Impressions



LizzieAnn wrote:
This is the first of the author's books I've ever read.  It struck a sad & mournful note.  Another thread mentions Steinbeck & Cather & their connections, and I can see a similiar one with this book.  All the endings - of relationships, of the store & it's being a home base, of hopes & dreams, of the economy in this community. 


Hi Lizzie,
 
I feel the same way. The overall tone of the book seemed to be "resignation" -- endings, but unwanted ones, under circumstances that the characters had no control over.
 
And yet, there's no big tragedy here. It's a situation we've all probably experienced (unfinished relationships, jobs ending). But O'Nan has a gift for magnifiying the small, important moments in these characters lives.
 
(Which is exactly the reason I love My Antonia!)
 

 
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Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Re: First Impressions



malinpgh wrote:
This is my third or fourth Stewart O'Nan book. A long time ago I read "Prayer for the Dying" and recently, after reading "Lobster", I read "The Good Wife". None of the fiction I've read is a happy read but oh what care he takes to put just the right word down, one after the other. He is not a pretentious writer - you don't have to sit there with a dictionary, and I don't find myself stopping on a phrase or losing myself in the prose - but what a fine observer he is and how carefully and patiently he constructs the plot.

Like another post-er here, we gave "Lobster" as a gift to a relative working in the food service industry. I swear, the author must have been in her workplaces, with her co-workers. Although this is not a happy optimistic tale, I must say it's a little brighter than the other books I've read of O'Nan's. But I read him because I love his writing, not to read a "feel good" book.

Hi M--
 
Right? I'm always more impressed when stories are written simply, yet don't lose an ounce of the seriousness of the story.
 
And I've recommended this book to every single person I know who has ever worked in a restaurant. (I'm one of the few who never did their time in the food industry, and even I felt like I was a part of it...)
 

 
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malinpgh
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-03-2008
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Re: First Impressions

"Lobster" and "My Antonia" - an interesting comparison and one that I hope O'Nan would be impressed with - and Cather as well.

Coincidentally - or maybe not - both Willa Cather and Stewart O'Nan share Pittsburgh Pennsylvania roots, and more precisely in the East End neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. O'Nan grew up in or around Point Breeze (where I presently live) and Willa Cather spent some time in the adjacent Squirrel Hill neighborhood, on Murray Hill Ave in the McClung house. This links to her obituary in the now-defunct Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph (http://www.clpgh.org/exhibit/neighborhoods/northside/nor_n111.html).

Restaurant work - never done it, but I'm a nurse and some of the dynamics are the same in any service industry.
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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First Impressions

Thanks for the link. How interesting about O'Nan and Cather! I think it is true that you can grow up in the shadow of a famous reputation by sharing a bit of geography. It has been a long time since I've read Cather and I can't speak to the connections in their writing. I'd love to hear other comments on those connections.
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