Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Random thoughts...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Martin
    replied
    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
    Martin , thought you might find this of interest…coming in a couple weeks, THE WORLD PLAYED CHESS:

    Bestselling author Robert Dugoni returns with an emotionally arresting follow-up to The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.

    In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son leaving for college, the lessons of that summer—Vincent’s last taste of innocence and first taste of real life—dramatically unfold in a novel about breaking away, shaping a life, and seeking one’s own destiny.
    Thank you! I have been waiting on his next Robert Jenkins book but it isn't out until next year. Somehow I completely missed this one.

    Leave a comment:


  • mulleins
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    That is one reason I essentially disengaged from social media. I had so many author "friends" voicing their opinions that it just ruined my day and in some cases changed my outlook on supporting their work. Heck I even left a book collecting forum because I couldn't get away from political/societal stuff.

    So now I am only on FB with no friends and only subscribe to a few book collecting groups. My feed is mostly drama free.



    Amen! I did the same.

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    Martin , thought you might find this of interest…coming in a couple weeks, THE WORLD PLAYED CHESS:

    Bestselling author Robert Dugoni returns with an emotionally arresting follow-up to The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.

    In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son leaving for college, the lessons of that summer—Vincent’s last taste of innocence and first taste of real life—dramatically unfold in a novel about breaking away, shaping a life, and seeking one’s own destiny.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sock Monkey
    replied
    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post

    Well put. I am familiar with Nathan Ballingrud -- his own work is quite good, and I've had the pleasure of communicating with him a few times on Twitter -- but agree that with the sentiment here that his contemporary critical assessment on a decades-old book and subsequent suggestions for improvement though a progressive perspective is, I think, both inappropriate and way off-base. An introduction should be either (or both) a celebration of the work and/or a way to put the characters and themes in a larger context, but a context that is framed by the author's intended perspective and the time in which he wrote the work.

    A novel is not written in a vacuum, but neither should it be judged on what it lacks according to the time in which it was wrote or the time in which it was set. In the case of BLACKWATER, it was written in 1983 and is set in 1919, so a plot that puts black characters in a secondary role is not a puzzling authorial decision...and it was the author who decided what characters he chose to write about and the events and themes in which these characters were involved, and an introduction should respect those decision and address the book as it is, not in the way the introducer feels it should be, especially when using a modern perspective to find fault, to find something lacking. Any book is a snapshot in time, and it should be allowed to portray that snapshot in the fashion that the author originally intended.

    R.e. that last point...like Sholloman, I had some passing interest in the S/L of THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER, but after reading about the changes to the book, I decided to pass. I understand that unlike the BLACKWATER instance, it was the author himself who decided to make the changes, but his reasoning behind it was, to my mind, a concession to woke sensitivity and the start of a slippery slope that I just can't support.
    I don't think I could have put this better myself. I agree with every point made.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    That is one reason I essentially disengaged from social media. I had so many author "friends" voicing their opinions that it just ruined my day and in some cases changed my outlook on supporting their work. Heck I even left a book collecting forum because I couldn't get away from political/societal stuff.

    So now I am only on FB with no friends and only subscribe to a few book collecting groups. My feed is mostly drama free.


    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post

    I know what you mean. I’m ordinarily able to separate the art from the artist, but when they’re ceaselessly barraging their Twitter account with hyperbolic and/or snarky sociopolitical posts, it makes them come off as small and intractably intolerant of opposing perspectives. I don’t see how one can write with any keen understanding of human motivation and emotion when one seemingly lacks the ability to envision multiple truths and empathize…it increasingly makes their work feel false and artificial.

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post

    I miss the days when I knew nothing much about an author. Social media has kind of ruined my appreciation for a number of authors.
    I know what you mean. I’m ordinarily able to separate the art from the artist, but when they’re ceaselessly barraging their Twitter account with hyperbolic and/or snarky sociopolitical posts, it makes them come off as small and intractably intolerant of opposing perspectives. I don’t see how one can write with any keen understanding of human motivation and emotion when one seemingly lacks the ability to envision multiple truths and empathize…it increasingly makes their work feel false and artificial.

    Leave a comment:


  • c marvel
    replied
    Have the winners of the Chasing the Boogeyman contest from late last week been announced?


    Cap

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    Someone found for me the discussion and shared it. Thanks!

    I miss the days when I knew nothing much about an author. Social media has kind of ruined my appreciation for a number of authors.

    Leave a comment:


  • sholloman81
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    Where did you read about changes to Those Across the River? I don't remember seeing that or discussing it. I don't see any mention of it on Midworlds website.
    It was in one of their direct emails/newsletters to subscribers. I wish I could find the email but I think it expired from my deleted items folder. If I remember correctly, the author decided to edit some of the racially charged language and scenes in the book as, to steal a line from RonCLinton, a concession to woke sensitivity. Much like RonClinton, I also find this to be a very slippery slope that I want no part of. If we start down that path, I'm sure that we will soon be seeing edited versions of of classics like Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. just because they contain racially charged language and scenes. To my mind, books should be published as they were originally written, warts and all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    Correct me if I'm wrong here...But aren't these books horror and serve to display some violence, death, murder, and other very unpleasant things. How are these okay compared to other things? The answer is they are not.

    Just a thought and random comment in regards to how we can choose to overlook some awful things but condemn others.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    Where did you read about changes to Those Across the River? I don't remember seeing that or discussing it. I don't see any mention of it on Midworlds website.

    Leave a comment:


  • RonClinton
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    I am also strongly in the camp of not invalidating the story as the author told it. There have been a few small run productions lately of public domain books which are editing out the authors voice. However wicked that voice may sound in today's world I strongly disagree with removing it from the work.

    So coming from that perspective an introduction that serves to invalidate some of the language or story is frustrating to me.

    Let the reader read the damn story in all of it's ugliness. Then the reader can determine their own thoughts, gather their ideas, and form an honest opinion of what they just read.
    Well put. I am familiar with Nathan Ballingrud -- his own work is quite good, and I've had the pleasure of communicating with him a few times on Twitter -- but agree that with the sentiment here that his contemporary critical assessment on a decades-old book and subsequent suggestions for improvement though a progressive perspective is, I think, both inappropriate and way off-base. An introduction should be either (or both) a celebration of the work and/or a way to put the characters and themes in a larger context, but a context that is framed by the author's intended perspective and the time in which he wrote the work.

    A novel is not written in a vacuum, but neither should it be judged on what it lacks according to the time in which it was wrote or the time in which it was set. In the case of BLACKWATER, it was written in 1983 and is set in 1919, so a plot that puts black characters in a secondary role is not a puzzling authorial decision...and it was the author who decided what characters he chose to write about and the events and themes in which these characters were involved, and an introduction should respect those decision and address the book as it is, not in the way the introducer feels it should be, especially when using a modern perspective to find fault, to find something lacking. Any book is a snapshot in time, and it should be allowed to portray that snapshot in the fashion that the author originally intended.

    R.e. that last point...like Sholloman, I had some passing interest in the S/L of THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER, but after reading about the changes to the book, I decided to pass. I understand that unlike the BLACKWATER instance, it was the author himself who decided to make the changes, but his reasoning behind it was, to my mind, a concession to woke sensitivity and the start of a slippery slope that I just can't support.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Staad
    replied
    All very valid points. Glad I brought the topic up. I think I agree with Sock Monkey that this introduction, or at least a portion of it, would have served better as an afterward.

    I am also strongly in the camp of not invalidating the story as the author told it. There have been a few small run productions lately of public domain books which are editing out the authors voice. However wicked that voice may sound in today's world I strongly disagree with removing it from the work.

    So coming from that perspective an introduction that serves to invalidate some of the language or story is frustrating to me.

    Let the reader read the damn story in all of it's ugliness. Then the reader can determine their own thoughts, gather their ideas, and form an honest opinion of what they just read.

    Leave a comment:


  • sholloman81
    replied
    Originally posted by mhatchett View Post
    The world we live in right now. I ordered a book that was published years ago and is being reprinted and the Author/Publisher felt compelled to write an apology for some of the terms, language, etc used. The book was set around 1915-1920. At least they left the text intact......
    Not sure if you are referring to "Those Across the River" that is being published by Midworld Press or not; however, I passed on purchasing the reprint of that book from Midworld for that exact reason. While I believe that an author has the right to do whatever they want with their work, I personally don't believe that harsh language or harsh scenes need to be altered or apologized for if it works within the context of the story/character/or setting of the story. I also don't need any sort of trigger warning pointed out to me. I don't agree with them for films and other art and I sure don't agree with them for literature. If I find something that is too upsetting to me in art/movies/books/etc, I just set it aside and know it's not for me. I don't need or ask that the upsetting things be censored. I think about a story like Joe Lansdale's "Night They Missed the Horror Show" which had a major impact on me as a reader and can't imagine what it would read like if the author was to go back and soften the harsh language or remove the racially charged scenes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sock Monkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Staad View Post
    So I want to be sensitive here, and not create drama, but I sat down and read the introduction to my copy of Blackwater last night. The introduction was written by an author named Nathan Ballingrud who I am not familiar with. I was struck by a few things with the introduction and it was fairly off putting.

    The author specifically, at least from my perspective, interjects their activist agenda by including, as their first note on Perdido, AL that "It helps, for example, if you're white." in regards to the town portrayed in the story. This author does note the story takes place in the early 20th century.

    This author then goes on to state as a flaw of the novel, which may have lead to it's lack of popularity at the time of initial publication, was the fact that the African American characters "...are all relegated to the background..,only to venture forth to perform folk magic or to react to the actions of their white employers.It's a disappointing omission, especially as their inclusion would have only deepened the impact of an already multi-layered novel.".

    Again, I am not trying to create drama here, as we all have our own opinions, ideals, viewpoints, and all of those are valid and worthwhile.

    What I am getting at is is seems odd, as an introduction, that this author would choose this moment to flavor the story with their opinion and ideals and to go as far to state, what they consider to be flaws, to the story. They are essentially providing a little backhanded commentary on the title they are introducing while interjecting a negative narrative that could sour the story for some.

    Maybe I'm off base here. I don't know. Is it normal to point out flaws of a story you are introducing?

    I should also state the introduction did note (not verbatim here) that this is a wonderful and sadly overlooked masterpiece of a novel from the early 1980's.

    Thoughts anyone?

    Ben, I think you bring up an interesting question about the purpose of an introduction and the impact it could have one's reading experience of the book itself. In my opinion, an introduction to a book should provide context or historical information on the book or author's history for the reader without spoiling any plot points or go too far into critical analysis. As a reader, I want to experience the book on it's own terms and make my own decision first. Afterward, I love to read some thought-provoking critical analysis, even if I disagree with it.

    As for Mr. Ballingrud's introduction to Blackwater, I can only go off what you posted as I haven't read it myself, and from what you posted, it seems that Mr. Ballingrud went into "critical analysis" territory in his introduction. I can definitely understand the irritation as reading criticism about the book prior to actually reading the book highlights those issues and could possibly lessen the enjoyment of the book for the reader.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X