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Melissa_W
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THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

Please use this thread for discussion of the Prologue and Chapters 1 through 10.

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
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Fozzie
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

I found it hard to get the characters, times, and places straight when I first began the novel.  I ended up reading the first 35 pages a couple of times, and then things started gelling for me.  As you get into the book, the time and place changes seem less frequent.  Hang in there if you are muddled at first.  I am halfway through and enjoying the book very much, a bit to my surprise to tell you the truth.  :smileyhappy:

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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streamsong
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

I'm glad to hear that things become clearer. I thought about pulling out pen and paper to keep characters straight, but have not yet done so.

 

I always think of this writing style as being like focusing an old SLR camera.  Everything is fuzzy to start with. Something bad happened to people we don't know. Slowly the camera focus tightens and we begin to see details.

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optic_i
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

The Prologue, well that got my attention. The Jesuit scientists" went so they might come to know Gods other children."  Then "They ment no harm." The story has two time periods before 2019 and after 2059. That was interesting the the back and forth the ups and downs and the Ideals and debates. I found myself getting caught up in all of it.   

Melissa_W
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

I run hot and cold on Prologues - I don't seem to mind ones that give background but ones that tease or "give away the ending" drive me nuts.  The books seem to drag for me.

 

It's the last line of the Prologue that gets me - "They meant no harm."  Now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the whole thing to go off the rails and I can't get to that point fast enough.

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
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optic_i
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

Same here Milissa, I loved the premise of this story. I have often wondered what the implications of our actions would be. Even with the best intentions.  I found it interesting that the United Nations required years to come to a decision that took the Jesuit Priests ten days. Venturing into the unknow is what the Jesuits have a history in. For them it wasn't a matter of if they should go. Just how soon can they get there. I have also wondered about the Voyager probe that was sent out years ago. They thought at the time it was a good idea, to send all of our human info along with it. Perhaps it was but who knows .     

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optic_i
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

Well in 1-10 ,  Follows Emilio Sandoz life. before and after something bad happened. He is released from an isolation ward at a hospital in Rome in the middle of the night and transported in a bread van to a Jesuit Residence near the Vatican. A Jesuit spoksman issued a short statement. To an angry media mob and said " To the best of our knowlege Father Emilio Sandoz is the sole surviver of the jesuit mission to Rakhat." Not good news, and he hasn't told them what happened. I thought what a burden for him to carry.The whole world wants to know what he can't tell them.  

 

 

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streamsong
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

There's obviously going to be a  spiritual journey as well. I found the following paragraphs spoke to me so strongly that I copied them into my file of quotes:

 

“ ‘Do you experience God?’ Sandoz asked him without preamble.

 

Odd, how uncomfortable the question made him. The Society of Jesus rarely attracted mystics, who generally gravitated to the Carmelites or the Trappists, or wound up among the charismatics. Jesuits tended to be men who found God in their work, whether that work was scholarly or more practical social service. Whatever their calling, they devout themselves to it and did so in the name of God. ‘Not directly. Not as a friend or a personality, I suppose.” John examined himself. ‘Not, I think, even ‘in a tiny whispering sound.’  He watched the flames for a while. ‘I would have to say that I find God in serving His children. ‘For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you cared for me, imprisoned and you came to me.’  

 

The words lingered in the air as the fire popped and hissed softly. Sandoz had stopped pacing and stood motionless in a far corner of the room, his face in shadows, firelight glittering on the metallic exoskeleton of his hands. ‘Don’t hope for more than that,  John,” he said. “God will break your heart.’ And then he left.”

 

Ch 6 pg 49 & 50.

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optic_i
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

Yes your right streamsong, so much of this book is about Father Sandoz's relationship with God. I have the bennefit of reading this a second time now. And what surprised me was how many times Sandoz's hands are mentioned. Before they were mutilated on Rakhat. Also on page 17. ( Nook) Emillio is reflecting on his life and wonders " He had also discovered the outmost limit of faith, and in doing so , had located the exact boundry of dispair. It was at that moment that he learned ,truly, to fear God."

 

So he really is feeling forsaken. He has lost all of his friends. People he loved like a family. I have never used my high lites more  than in this book. The author put so much for the reader to think about in this book. If the lead character was not a jesuit and say a military person. Then it would have been only half  as complex. I really liked the other characters as well. Dr. Ann, her husband George, Jimmy Quinn, D.W., Sofia, All very interesting people and all became friends with Sandoz before Rakhat.  

 

 

 

 

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Fozzie
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10


Melissa_W wrote:

 

It's the last line of the Prologue that gets me - "They meant no harm."  Now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the whole thing to go off the rails and I can't get to that point fast enough.


Yes, and then to find out the condition that Sandoz was in, and that he was the only one to survive, made me very motivated to read to find out what happened.  

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10


streamsong wrote:

There's obviously going to be a  spiritual journey as well. I found the following paragraphs spoke to me so strongly that I copied them into my file of quotes:

 

“ ‘Do you experience God?’ Sandoz asked him without preamble.

 

Odd, how uncomfortable the question made him. The Society of Jesus rarely attracted mystics, who generally gravitated to the Carmelites or the Trappists, or wound up among the charismatics. Jesuits tended to be men who found God in their work, whether that work was scholarly or more practical social service. Whatever their calling, they devout themselves to it and did so in the name of God. ‘Not directly. Not as a friend or a personality, I suppose.” John examined himself. ‘Not, I think, even ‘in a tiny whispering sound.’  He watched the flames for a while. ‘I would have to say that I find God in serving His children. ‘For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you cared for me, imprisoned and you came to me.’  

 

The words lingered in the air as the fire popped and hissed softly. Sandoz had stopped pacing and stood motionless in a far corner of the room, his face in shadows, firelight glittering on the metallic exoskeleton of his hands. ‘Don’t hope for more than that,  John,” he said. “God will break your heart.’ And then he left.”

 

Ch 6 pg 49 & 50.


The spiritual journey part of the book was very well done, I thought.  I'll comment in the whole book thread.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10


optic_i wrote:

 

So he really is feeling forsaken. He has lost all of his friends. People he loved like a family. I have never used my high lites more  than in this book. The author put so much for the reader to think about in this book. If the lead character was not a jesuit and say a military person. Then it would have been only half  as complex. I really liked the other characters as well. Dr. Ann, her husband George, Jimmy Quinn, D.W., Sofia, All very interesting people and all became friends with Sandoz before Rakhat.  

 

 


 

So true!  Without the spiritual journey, the book would have been "much flatter." 

 


 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10


Fozzie wrote:

Melissa_W wrote:

 

It's the last line of the Prologue that gets me - "They meant no harm."  Now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the whole thing to go off the rails and I can't get to that point fast enough.


Yes, and then to find out the condition that Sandoz was in, and that he was the only one to survive, made me very motivated to read to find out what happened.  


And then the well-placed little teasers throughout the book, like this one on page 11:

"He killed a child.  He should be in chains."   (Voelker talking about Sandoz)

 

Who could hold back on reading after such a teaser?!?

 

 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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optic_i
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Re: THE SPARROW: Prologue and Chapters 1 - 10

I thought that was the case too. When I first saw he was accused of killing a child. I thought oh Father sandoz was framed, or it's all a misunderstanding. After all he was on another planet. Then I find he has not denied it. I kept thinking it can't be how they say it was. Something is missing. It was clever of the author to use our emotions and our minds. She really did throw alot at us in small doses. I keep thinking I have to find out what really happened.  

Melissa_W
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Sofia

I was thinking about the character of Sofia and her backstory.  The system of indentured servitude that Russell created for the book is interesting.  It's immediately recognizable as a form of intellectual slavery but it also creates another layer that says "This book is not really like the near-future real world you, the reader, exist in."

 

(Similar to the indent system Ernest Cline created for Ready Player One)

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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optic_i
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Re: Sofia


Melissa_W wrote:

I was thinking about the character of Sofia and her backstory.  The system of indentured servitude that Russell created for the book is interesting.  It's immediately recognizable as a form of intellectual slavery but it also creates another layer that says "This book is not really like the near-future real world you, the reader, exist in."

 

(Similar to the indent system Ernest Cline created for Ready Player One)


I am so glad you brought up Sofia and what her past was like Melissa. She was such interesting character at one point on pg. 70 ( nook) Ann is thinking " Sofia an emotional anorexic" she diagnosed privately. She was so smart and beautiful. And also an intellectual slave. So Sofia had to work all the time. She had no family left and kept her emotions tightly controled. I was so glad when I found out Ann & George bought out her contract and freed her. Also I was happy that she did find love with Jimmy and were married on Rathat. And they were going to have a baby on Rakhat. The first human born on Rakhat. 

 

I hope indent systems in the future won't happen too..  

.Any form of slavery is slavery. Before it was about the body and how healthy and strong a slave is. More work longer life = more profits. In the future I do hope it will be about Robotics and A.I. and not humans. (But that's a whole  different story I am sure.) I have heard about "Ready player One" I would like to read it too. 

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Fozzie
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Re: Sofia


optic_i wrote:

Melissa_W wrote:

I was thinking about the character of Sofia and her backstory.  The system of indentured servitude that Russell created for the book is interesting.  It's immediately recognizable as a form of intellectual slavery but it also creates another layer that says "This book is not really like the near-future real world you, the reader, exist in."

 

(Similar to the indent system Ernest Cline created for Ready Player One)


I am so glad you brought up Sofia and what her past was like Melissa. She was such interesting character at one point on pg. 70 ( nook) Ann is thinking " Sofia an emotional anorexic" she diagnosed privately. She was so smart and beautiful. And also an intellectual slave. So Sofia had to work all the time. She had no family left and kept her emotions tightly controled. I was so glad when I found out Ann & George bought out her contract and freed her. Also I was happy that she did find love with Jimmy and were married on Rathat. And they were going to have a baby on Rakhat. The first human born on Rakhat. 

 

I hope indent systems in the future won't happen too..  

.Any form of slavery is slavery. Before it was about the body and how healthy and strong a slave is. More work longer life = more profits. In the future I do hope it will be about Robotics and A.I. and not humans. (But that's a whole  different story I am sure.) I have heard about "Ready player One" I would like to read it too. 


As I read the book, I thought Sofia's case was extraordinary.  In other words, I didn't realize that the author intended to indicate that this form of slavery was prevelant at the time.  It wasn't until I read an interview with the author about the book that I realized her intention.  I guess I just couldn't imagine that the form of slavery was common place.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.