I heard the author discuss this book in a podcast from the Pritzker Military Library and it sounded interesting; so far it is. I probably will not reaI heard the author discuss this book in a podcast from the Pritzker Military Library and it sounded interesting; so far it is. I probably will not read the entire book, since I don't get time to sit and read straight through anymore but it's the sort of book that you can jump around and pick up lots of information. The index in the back of the book is well done and covers most topics so if you have an interest in a specific person, place or thing you can find and read about it.
In saying the book sounded interesting I will refer to a piece of the story he talked about and which I read in the book. It involves a Jewish man married to a non-Jew. After managing to make it through the war without ending up in a concentration camp he sees the allied occupation forces in the city. He describes that on one level he knows that they are the reason he need no longer live in fear...at the same time he feels the native sting of German defeat. The source materials provide a rich harvest of these type of feelings across a host of topics. Unlike the American Civil War the Allies purposefully drove the war until utter defeat. There was no room left for 'if only' or 'what if' scenarios in the mind of the German people by the end and so the reckoning of their own sins of omission and commission are different from the American South's. The research captures the manner and complexity of dealing with the knowledge of collective guilt by individuals in the aftermath of that defeat....more
Well written (I don't think I'm the first to opine that). It held my interest but isn't my favorite type of book so I only gave it the 3 stars. It wasWell written (I don't think I'm the first to opine that). It held my interest but isn't my favorite type of book so I only gave it the 3 stars. It was a great character book in that you com eaway feeling like you know the characters very well by the end of the book...and that's really what it is, a character book. I did like the descriptions and feel it gave for life on the prairie/frontier/old days and the revisiting of those sites over time as the book progressed.
Got this as a CD for the kids in the car. Like the Little House On The Prairie CDs we've listened to these are not literary masterpieces...BUT they areGot this as a CD for the kids in the car. Like the Little House On The Prairie CDs we've listened to these are not literary masterpieces...BUT they are worth reading (or in this case listening to).
By the end of this my middle son, aged 6, was keeping a rough count of the number of deaths. Not a bloody tale, no attacks or even disease ravaging the wagon train; just random death. What is so striking is that there were no grief counselors or really even time to work through the deaths. They were matter of fact parts of life. Some of them were touching in the description of burying a child by the side of the trail, never to even know where that little grave was located once the wagon train moved on. Some were sort of morbidly funny. None led to a lawsuit or jail time, lynching, or feud. Life moved on and people moved on or perished. It becomes clear that there was an intimacy with death that we have lost in ensuing generations. This is both good and bad. Good that we die less randomly and youthfully, bad that we don't really deal with death anymore. Just from family history and stories and from the same of those around me growing up it seems to me that people in the past grieved in their own private ways and moved ahead, damaged but determined and vindicated themselves in accomplishment rather than miring down in the questions and uncertainty of death itself.
The kids like these types of CDs because they are based on real lives and, after talking with them about why they like them, because these stories tell how to do things. Simple everyday things are described in these type stories - from building a fence or top for a Conestoga wagon to putting a chimney on a cabin and digging a well. Granted the reasons were mainly supplied by the boys but our 4 year old girl likes them because there are always animals in them and a lot of these stories are from diaries of girls so they have a viewpoint she appreciates as well....more
I can't believe this book was a sensation in it's day. readable but not compelling. Never read anything by Wilder before, saw the book and felt I shouI can't believe this book was a sensation in it's day. readable but not compelling. Never read anything by Wilder before, saw the book and felt I should read at least something by one of the American greats. Supposedly one of his best books...I may never read anything by him again given that. There are lots of other great authors I feel I ought to at least touch on reading that I have not, so given that long list and another choice by Wilder I don't think I'll re-do Wilder.
I did notice a slight (in style only) similarity with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whom I like, so maybe it's one of those instances where an author is considered important because of breaking ground that was later cultivated into full bloom by others. I don't know and I don't have time to care about the academic side of what I'm reading at this point in life. maybe someday I will....more
Listened to this on CDs in the car with the kids. It wouldn't be a bad read without listening because of the kids. It's well written from a 13 yr oldListened to this on CDs in the car with the kids. It wouldn't be a bad read without listening because of the kids. It's well written from a 13 yr old girl's perspective and moves along well. The story is predictable except that the ending where things are wrapped up...and everything does get wrapped up, was a little surprising to me.
Now, I may have missed some hints or foreshadowing because listening in the car with the kids can lead to that. I may have been yelling 'shut up' or managing the cookies and driving at a high rate of speed simultaneously; there might have been loud outbursts during some critical time on the CD. So I could have missed it but I don't think so. Maybe it won't surprise most people or maybe, like me with The Sixth Sense, they won't see that it matters all that much to the overall meaning of things in the story.
I could have gone with a 4 star but I don't like to discount the value of a 4 star rating....more
Good story. I like the way the author writes. It's sort of reminiscent of Hemingway in that he writes about action and writes in a direct manner. A goGood story. I like the way the author writes. It's sort of reminiscent of Hemingway in that he writes about action and writes in a direct manner. A good book for boys. We went out and shot some arrows in the yard after listening to this book. We'll probably camp out in the yard one of these nights too just to keep the boys interested in stuff like the book is about.
The story is about a boy, 13 yrs old I think, named Brian. He is stranded in the forest in British Colombia on his way to Alaska to see his father. His parents have recently divorced and that is touched on as far as how it makes him feel. More important is that he is forced to survive and do and accomplish in order to make it. As awful as his situation is it helps form him. The book is not preachy but it gets the point across very well to kids that they grow and mature through their actions and how they respond to what is thrown at them. I liked the book for our oldest especially because he is entering those formative years and this got him thinking without me trying to feed it to him....more
Interesting guy. We listened to it on CD in the car...which I now consider 'reading'. He tells a good story. The content here led me to get the CD forInteresting guy. We listened to it on CD in the car...which I now consider 'reading'. He tells a good story. The content here led me to get the CD for his book Hatchet at the library. We just finished listening to it. The boys liked it a lot, Samantha likes most stories we listen to in general so she liked it well enough too.
It's a good story for boys. We are in a more rural area and we recently went to Alaska so some of the stuff in the book is relevant to recent activity....more