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Amanda_R
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Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting

[ Edited ]

Stormy Weather, like Jiles's previous novel, Enemy Women, makes use of historical facts. Did you know anything about the setting (the Dust Bowl, the Texas oil industry of the 1930s, quarter horse match races) before you started reading the novel?


How accurately or effectively do you think Jiles reflects the time period in her writing?




Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."


Note: This topic refers to events through Chapter Seven. Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are referring to events that occur after Chapter Seven please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!




Message Edited by Amanda_R on 06-06-2007 10:40 AM

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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting


Amanda_R wrote:

Stormy Weather, like Jiles's previous novel, Enemy Women, makes use of historical facts. Did you know anything about the setting (the Dust Bowl,
the Texas oil industry of the 1930s, quarter horse match races) before you started reading the novel?



How accurately or effectively do you think Jiles reflects the time period in her
writing?




I did not know much about the Dust Bowl. I did read Grapes of Wrath in high school, but don't remember much about it. It deserves to be reread. I knew nothing about the Texas oil industry of the 1930's or quarter horse match races prior to starting this book.

I think Paulette does an excellent job of including not only big items in the time period, such as the Dust Bowl, the oil industry, and the quarter horse match races, but also including the small items. The text is sprinkled with lots of tidbits that put me right there, in Texas, in the 1930's, in the Stoddard home. I relish small details in books like this and always learn so much. For instance, I had always thought that REO Speedwagon was a rock group. Now I know that a REO Speed Wagon was a predecessor to the pickup truck.

Paulette's inclusion of period details reminds me of Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh. Jennifer did for western Pennsylvania coal country during the 1940's and 1950's what Paulette did for Texas oil country during the 1930's.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
jd
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jd
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting

I found the book to be very accurate. The historical setting was true. Oil rewrote Texas. -jd
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting


Amanda_R wrote:

Stormy Weather, like Jiles's previous novel, Enemy Women, makes use of historical facts. Did you know anything about the setting (the Dust Bowl,
the Texas oil industry of the 1930s, quarter horse match races) before you started reading the novel?




How accurately or effectively do you think Jiles reflects the time period in her
writing?




Jiles seems to be very detailed and accurate with her details so far. I am just beginning the novel. As far as the Dust bowl and the Texas oil industry, my comments would echo those of Fozzie's and jd's. I did not know much about quarter horse match races and still don't; but I imagine that this will change as I step through the chapters of the book. I am just getting into the novel and its details. I do find it interesing and love a novel that blends history into the story line. So I am sure that I will learn a lot more before the novel is done.
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Surviving the Dust Bowl


Amanda_R wrote:

Stormy Weather, like Jiles's previous novel, Enemy Women, makes use of historical facts. Did you know anything about the setting (the Dust Bowl,
the Texas oil industry of the 1930s, quarter horse match races) before you started reading the novel?




How accurately or effectively do you think Jiles reflects the time period in her
writing?





Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."


Note: This topic refers to events through Chapter Seven. Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are
referring to events that occur after Chapter Seven please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!




Message Edited by Amanda_R on 06-06-2007 10:40 AM





Thought the PBS special Surviving the Dust Bowl might help with imagery, etc. There are interviews and other audio segments that are very illuminating.

The url is:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dustbowl/filmmore/index.html
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Oil and Gas Industry in Texas

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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Greatest Match Race of the Century

Thought this url might be of some interest:

http://horseracing.about.com/od/history1/l/blseabis.htm
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Surviving the Dust Bowl

This PBS site is great! I think I read the whole thing! The pictures of the dust storms are unforgettable.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Surviving the Dust Bowl



Fozzie wrote:
This PBS site is great! I think I read the whole thing! The pictures of the dust storms are unforgettable.




Fozzie, when I saw those pictures I realized that I had not even come close to how bad it must have been. What a time period for those poor people; one disaster after another.

Glad you enjoyed the url.
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Oil and Gas Industry in Texas

I didn't read this thoroughly, but did notice that in a town called Borger, "after it developed the reputation of being a wide-open settlement sheltering legions of moonshiners, gamblers, prostitutes, and hijackers, the Texas Rangers arrived in force, and drove scores of miscreants out of town, much as they had done in other parts of the state; they repeated the performance in Wink in 1929."

I bring this up because of some talk about whether Jack's bad habits were typical of men of his time and place. Clearly, they weren't uncommon.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Oil and Gas Industry in Texas



Fozzie wrote:
I didn't read this thoroughly, but did notice that in a town called Borger, "after it developed the reputation of being a wide-open settlement sheltering legions of moonshiners, gamblers, prostitutes, and hijackers, the Texas Rangers arrived in force, and drove scores of miscreants out of town, much as they had done in other parts of the state; they repeated the performance in Wink in 1929."

I bring this up because of some talk about whether Jack's bad habits were typical of men of his time and place. Clearly, they weren't uncommon.




Agreed; that was what I thought. It sounds like the Texas Rangers had their hands full.
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Dust Fact

The book states on page 245:

"Up at Lubbock the dust is drifted so high the stock is walking right over the fences."

Can you imagine?!
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: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting-Another Dust Fact-SPOILER

SPOILER

Page 314 talks about Jeanine and Ross being caught in a dust storm and waiting it out in a railcar.

"He told he not to touch anything because the static electricity could carry enough of a charge to set something on fire."

As if dust on everything, struggling to breathe, and hoping to survive were not enough, there was also danger of fire! Wow!

And on page 315:
"She had seen the photographs but it was the electricity that surprised her, the feeling of being a live wire humming with static."
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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bentley
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Dust Fact



Fozzie wrote:
The book states on page 245:

"Up at Lubbock the dust is drifted so high the stock is walking right over the fences."

Can you imagine?!




Pretty scary..that is why Ross wanted to get Jeanine out of the car..I guess he felt that they might be buried alive.
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pkjiles
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: Oil and Gas Industry in Texas

The Texas Rangers were called out many times in Texas during oil strikes; Borger, Wink, and the most famous was in Kilgore in the big strike in East Texas in I think 1932. The town was in a state of anarchy, and criminals were preying on the oil workers, and gangs of oil workers would retaliate by smashing up gambling halls, restaurants or whatever. A big problem was that were was no jail where offenders could be incarcerated.

The Rangers sent one man, a ranger named Gonzuales. I forget his first name. He was called 'Lone Wolf'. That was the beginning of the legend, 'One riot, one ranger'. i.e. all it takes to quell a riot is one ranger.

Gonzuales solved the jail problem by handcuffing miscreants to a long chain until they could come before a judge.

I have visited the 'town' of Wink --- actually it is only a few buildings. And there in the middle of a sandy, sage-brushy couple of acres the town jail is still standing, a little one-story stone building with steel bars for a door and more steel bars for windows. I imagine that when the Rangers arrived the little building was stuffed full.
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flynn31
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting

Stormy Weather, like Jiles's previous novel, Enemy Women, makes use of historical facts. Did you know anything about the setting (the Dust Bowl, the Texas oil industry of the 1930s, quarter horse match races) before you started reading the novel?

How accurately or effectively do you think Jiles reflects the time period in her writing?

I didn't know much about the Dust Bowl, Texas oil industry of the 1930's, and quarter horse match races and I hope to learn more from the book and I have. I was aware of horse races in the dirty thirties because my grandpa lost the farm betting on them in the 1930's.
I think Jiles did an excellent job portraying the era.
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting



flynn31 wrote:
I was aware of horse races in the dirty thirties because my grandpa lost the farm betting on them in the 1930's.




Oh no!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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pkjiles
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Re: Early Chapters Discussion Topic: A Historical Setting

Something tells me there is more to this story. Don't keep us in suspense.
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