Q&A with Josh Lanyon discussion

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Book of the Month Club > April Read 2011: Dash and Dingo: In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger

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message 1: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Coming soon to a month near you!


message 2: by Bubbles Hunty (new)

Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions  (Vapidbubbles) :)


message 3: by Lora (new)

Lora | 76 comments I see we ended up with a tie for the April read. Will there be a runoff?


message 4: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Lora wrote: "I see we ended up with a tie for the April read. Will there be a runoff?"

Darn it. Okay. Yes. I'll put it up now and we have till the end of Sunday to vote. Not to be a tyrant, but I figure the people who check in the most often are probably the most vested in the selection.


message 5: by Merith (last edited Mar 27, 2011 12:06PM) (new)

Merith | 373 comments Josh wrote: "Lora wrote: "I see we ended up with a tie for the April read. Will there be a runoff?"

Darn it. Okay. Yes. I'll put it up now and we have till the end of Sunday to vote. Not to be a tyrant, but ..."


I like that both books are about neck and neck. Still time left for voting. But, it's very encouraging to see how well received either story will be.

What is interesting is that they're both very different stories, but both very good reads (and yes, this group will find all the nit-picky things about them to discuss, because there are some in each book). I think Dash and Dingo will appeal to a wider audience, but Self Preservation will find deeper emotional ties with readers.


message 6: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Merith wrote: "Josh wrote: "Lora wrote: "I see we ended up with a tie for the April read. Will there be a runoff?"

Darn it. Okay. Yes. I'll put it up now and we have till the end of Sunday to vote. Not to be a t..."


I'm sure I'll enjoy either one. And they'll definitely be a change of pace for those who felt FZ was too heavy.


message 7: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne (ysareader) | 152 comments It might be helpful to provide a link to the new runoff poll.


message 8: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Yvonne wrote: "It might be helpful to provide a link to the new runoff poll."

http://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/34...

Hopefully that works


message 9: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments So, Dash and Dingo by a vote? :)


message 10: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments That's it! Dash and Dingo for April. That should be a fun one.


message 11: by Mariana (new)

Mariana (mearias) | 43 comments I need to set an alert for these pages... I totally forgot about the Finding Zach discussion :( Is there a scheduled date for when this will be discussed?

Thankfully, I've already read Dash and Dingo :) I'm more interested in everyone's opinion.


message 12: by Lora (new)

Lora | 76 comments Mariana wrote: "I need to set an alert for these pages... I totally forgot about the Finding Zach discussion :( Is there a scheduled date for when this will be discussed?

Thankfully, I've already read Dash and D..."


Finding Zach is in discussion now. We started over the weekend. Just look in the March Read folder


message 13: by Mariana (new)

Mariana (mearias) | 43 comments Thanks Lora, I meant the April discussion. I wanted to know if the date for that was set, so I can add to my calendar :)


message 14: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments I'd say we should pretty much always figure it starts the weekend before the end week of the month? So we have at least a few days to discuss, since inevitably some of us will have to work weekends.


message 15: by Merith (last edited Apr 23, 2011 10:42AM) (new)

Merith | 373 comments Since no one else has begun the discussion, I will offer my opinion of this month's story. Probably quite a bit different than what others are saying in the 'what are you reading' topic.

First, I liked the book. I liked the premise. I liked the characters. I liked how Henry evolved from his downtrodden self to an adventurous, self-confident and self-reliant man.

At times, Jack's character was a bit more larger than life, a bit too much to take in than I cared for. But, he proved himself by the end. Dingo was rather a grown-up kid, full of bravado but edged with uncertainty. He had such a vulnerability about him, one that resonated with Dash, one that made Dash stand taller and equal in more aspects than he did standing alone.

One problem I did see in the story was at times it seemed the story didn't quite gel. Like parts written by one author didn't quite mesh with parts written by the other. Nothing jarring enough to toss the book, but there all the same. There are times when Sean's brand of humor shines through, and times when you see Catt's writing show. Some of the reviews have issue with the amount of detail and history written about the thylacine. I didn't have a problem with it, but then, the two characters involved were so passionate about the animal, it made me passionate about it.

I didn't mind the violence at the end so much, though it felt a little too extreme. Hodges deserved to have done to him what he'd done to others, but... a little too vivid for my taste.

I do hate that it is book 1 of what is supposed to be a series, and book 2 hasn't come out yet.


message 16: by Mariana (new)

Mariana (mearias) | 43 comments Merith wrote: "I do hate that it is book 1 of what is supposed to be a series, and book 2 hasn't come out yet. "

I felt very much like Merith did and with the final statement the most :) I did enjoy these characters a lot and especially liked reading about the thylacine. It made me want to do my own research into the subject as it was something new to me. It also made me so sad for those creatures...

I read this book when it first came out last year and I'm still waiting for book 2.


message 17: by Dev (new)

Dev Bentham | 1018 comments Thanks Merith for starting the discussion. I liked the book as well. Jack really was larger than life but he felt to me so early 20th century, very Teddy Roosevelt. I also thought she did a pretty good job of weaving in the political issues (endangered species and racism). It can be difficult to make serious subjects flow easily into fiction and I thought she did it well. There were a couple of moments that jarred me out of the times (were shit and fuck common swear words in the twenties?) but mostly I sat back and enjoyed the ride. It was violent at the end but that seemed in keeping with the period piece exotic adventure.


message 18: by Sylvia (last edited Apr 23, 2011 11:24AM) (new)

Sylvia | 374 comments I loved this romantic, adventurous and original story. The opposing and funny characters were very endearing to me and their enthusiasm was very contagious. I found myself worrying about the Tasmanian tiger.
description


message 19: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments Mariana wrote: "I read this book when it first came out last year and I'm still waiting for book 2. ."

The story came out a couple of years ago. :( But, I know both Catt and Sean have had other projects they've been working on since. I do hope it's on their horizon to create the second book. Henry's sort of hanging there by his unemployed self.


message 20: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments Sylvia wrote: "I loved this romantic, adventurous and original story. The opposing and funny characters were very endearing to me and their enthusiasm was very contagious. I found myself worrying about the Tasman..."

It was rather like a twist of the odd couple. They each had their own ways of doing and thinking but managed to mesh them together fairly well.


message 21: by Mariana (new)

Mariana (mearias) | 43 comments Merith wrote: "The story came out a couple of years ago. :( But, I know both Catt and Sean have had other p..."

You're right! It was 2009... I'm so out of it lately.

Well, I really enjoyed the characters and how they interacted with each other. It seemed genuine and special. The adventure those two went on kept me glued to the book.


message 22: by Cleon (last edited Apr 24, 2011 06:58AM) (new)

Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments I just finished the book. I think the first third of the book is moving too slowly. I don't mind the thylacine details, history, and the bit about racism. However, the part before they went into the jungle was too long and slow moving. The pace picks up after they entered the jungle and where the best part of the book really is. I also find Henry's personality change at Thailand a bit abrupt.

I almost cried when the tiger's cub was killed. I was ready to feed Hodges to the wild animals that instance. So, good riddance. He got what was coming to him. As for the violence, after reading James Patterson's novels, this is nothing in comparison. (and yet James Patterson's novels are widely available despite their vulgar sadism, while a bit of M/M romance classified books as adult or erotica. UGH!)


message 23: by Josh (last edited Apr 24, 2011 12:10PM) (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Dash and Dingo: In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger

So...to begin with, I love the fact that this book was even written. I relish the idea of more m/m adventure stories in the tone of the old pulps. Such a fun concept and so many possibilities.

I found the characters engaging, and I was touched (even a little depressed) at the plight of the thylacine -- since we all know what ultimately happened. And I thought it was very original to tackle the story from the viewpoint of two men trying to protect and preserve as opposed to the typical thing we would expect of the era -- hunting it down.

But the very thing I liked about it is also one of the weaknesses of the book, in my opinion -- that being the anachronistic attitudes, mindset, and language of the characters.

The authors tried to head some of this off in the foreward by pointing out that there were advanced-thinking men of the era, and that's certainly true. The problem with this kind of 20/20 hindsight in historical characters is that no one is forward thinking in all ways, and so while I happily swallowed the eco-friendly, conservationist mindset of our protags, their politcally correct thinking on all matters -- and the politically correct thinking of friends and family -- really messed with my suspension of disbelief.

The other problem -- actually it's part of the same problem -- was these two, Henry and Dingo, did not sound or act like anyone from the 1920s. Certainly not Britain in the 1920s. I'm not familiar enough with Australia to make a judgment call there, but despite all the considerable research (and kudos there again), I regretfully have to say that I don't think the authors nailed that elusive "being there" quality that the best historical fiction captures.

On the other hand, it's pulp fiction! It's adventure and romance and really how much does the rest of it matter? It's a solid blend of fun and history. I wasn't aware of the thylacine at all until I read D&D, and I love a book that can teach me something new.

I also really enjoy stories about complimentary opposites -- Odd Couples, as someone mentioned above -- where each man learns and grows through association with a very different character and personality.

I had no problem with the level of violence. They could have taken the action and violence a lot further without disturbing me. :-)

I also had no particular problem with the writing itself. I'm somewhat familiar with Sean's work -- Catt's not at all -- but I didn't pick up any awkwardness in the meld of voices. Writing with a partner is difficult thing to do, so I give them extra credit for that too. It seemed seamless to me.

I did think the pacing was off. I'd have liked a lot more time spent on their actual travels and adventures versus the very long set up and preparation for the trip and then the lengthy (and I thought dull) period with Dingo's family.

So in short, I enjoyed it and I would certainly read another in the series if it materialized. Dash and Dingo  In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger by Catt Ford


message 24: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments I do hate that it is book 1 of what is supposed to be a series, and book 2 hasn't come out yet.

I feel your pain. It's one reason why I'm often tempted to wait before beginning a series until the series is finished. Of course that could mean waiting years and years!


message 25: by Cleon (new)

Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments Hmm.. I just remember other thing that rather bugs me. There is not enough Dingo's voice in the book, especially in the first part. He is a very fascinating character, and yet I, like Dash, am confused by his action many times.


message 26: by ns (last edited Apr 24, 2011 03:30PM) (new)

ns (vedi) Given the positive reviews here, I feel strangely compelled to post my thoughts on the book. One, I do feel it will balance out, and I'm not piling on. Two, I do feel a bit surreal, as though I were in a parallel universe, and I'd like to know if there is anybody out here with me.

As this post is open to search engines, I'm assuming this will sooner or later find itself in an author's sights. If you are the author, please stop reading now, or please keep in mind this is an extreme review from someone with special needs, and should not be taken to heart! It's intended (sincerely) to represent the infinitesimally small minority of readers who think and feel as I do.

I had two immediate visceral reactions to this book: ugly writing and grade-school tone.

Tedious sentences. There was nothing there - no color, no texture, no sound, no smell. Like I had been asked to sit down for a meal and there was no food on the table. There was no rhythm, no cadence, no melody. It was so devoid of any prettiness that desert and brush metaphors seemed apt in their wrangling.

Dingo and Dash had paragraph after paragraph of the kind of prose one normally finds in sixth grade summer reports of what one did on one's summer vacation. Sentence after sentence of "this happened, that happened, this happened, that happened," as though there had been a fire sale on verbs, while adjectives and any literary flourishes had been priced out of use.

My visceral response to writing varies - it can feel rich, cold, warm, deep, orange, tight, electric, wide, wavy, blue, rolled-up, sugary, sour, purple, loose. Impossible to describe these mappings between the quality and characteristics of what I read to what I feel. Great writing is tight, clean. There are no awkward sentences. There is no clutter, no unnecessary accounting. How does one explain color to a blind person? It was not quite all a long fingernail down a chalkboard, but it was dry and tedious, a long car trip in hot sun with no air conditioning and the music system busted.

Immediate attraction between Dingo and Henry seemed rather unconvincing as well. What would Dingo see in a weak and regimented Henry? Dingo seemed to bounce around in his characterization, and while the authors made an effort to show Henry had grown, both protagonists still felt a shade cardboard-like. The authors succeeded in drawing flawed characters who deserve sympathy, but they failed to endear them to (at least) this reader.

Tension and conflict made a late appearance towards the end of the book, as did any consequence whatsoever. It would have been germane to the premise of the book to emphasize the stakes in the quest - which seemed woefully shortchanged. What was the quest? And what was the consequence of the failure of the quest? Two overarching structural questions that didn't really get the attention they needed until the last part of the book. There were no compelling hooks to make one read forward. Tension renders the reader's angle downhill - you don't have to do any work to keep one moving forward, it builds inherent momentum. Dingo and Dash seemed an uphill struggle all the way.

Having lived in Australia for three years, and also being fanatically devoted to the cause of animal conservation in general and the tiger in particular, this story was actually something I had looked forward to. The premise, context, territory and background were all rich with potential. It just could have all been so much better!


message 27: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments ns wrote: "Given the positive reviews here, I feel strangely compelled to post my thoughts on the book. One, I do feel it will balance out, and I'm not piling on. Two, I do feel a bit surreal, as though I wer..."

I can't recall (I read the book about two weeks ago). Do you have examples?


message 28: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Josh wrote: "ns wrote: "Given the positive reviews here, I feel strangely compelled to post my thoughts on the book. One, I do feel it will balance out, and I'm not piling on. Two, I do feel a bit surreal, as t..."

Okay, now that's odd. I thought I was replying to Cleon.

However, since I'm actually replying to NS, I would say that I attributed the simplistic writing style to a deliberate attempt to emulate those old adventure books? They have a certain sort of Boys Own Adventure rhythm, which I thought the authors were trying to capture.

I agree with you about the conflict, but since I'm always complaining about conflict, I thought perhaps I'd give it a rest. I'm starting to think I have some dysfunctional desire to see everyone in the world locked in emotional mortal combat.

I tend to have trouble with love at first sight stories although I've written a couple.


message 29: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments By the way, I do think it makes for a richer book discussion when we get a variey of opinions, so no one should feel hesitant about voicing their thoughts on a work.

The only objection I would have is if somehow the conversation devolved into personalities or the authors themselves. But I don't see that ever happening here.


message 30: by ns (new)

ns (vedi) Josh wrote: "Do you have examples? "

Of the prose, you mean? I'll try. I'm opening at random and starting from the top of the page (although how much it serves to convince or convey the flavor of what I was saying I'm not sure):

"Henry realized he had been lost in his own thoughts and may have even been staring at Dingo while doing so. He pushed his glasses back up his nose hurriedly and tried to look as blank as possible. "Yes."

"Did you even hear what I said?"

""Of course I did." Henry checked his watch and was relieved to see that it was almost nine. "I have to go. One of the geology classes is coming in for a tour, and I have to show them our igneous collection." [dialog...snip]. Henry wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but he felt he would lose face if he had to ask, so he nodded and left one bemused Australian in his wake.

(Any transcription errors mine)


message 31: by ns (new)

ns (vedi) In looking at what I typed up, it hardly seems objectionable, does it? It's possible it's just how it all accumulated in my brain, and admittedly, my review/experience of the book is a cumulative one.


message 32: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments ns wrote: "In looking at what I typed up, it hardly seems objectionable, does it? It's possible it's just how it all accumulated in my brain, and admittedly, my review/experience of the book is a cumulative one."

It certainly doesn't capture the "voice" of characters from the 1920s, so I'm with you on that. I think if the flavor of the dialog had been more in keeping with the era, a lot of what bothered you might have been automatically resolved?


message 33: by Cleon (new)

Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments I need to sleep. Will try to find parts where I think Dingo's voice is preferable tomorrow, or today afternoon, actually. lol.


message 34: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments ns wrote: "In looking at what I typed up, it hardly seems objectionable, does it? It's possible it's just how it all accumulated in my brain, and admittedly, my review/experience of the book is a cumulative one."


Rather how any number of things could accumulate and irritate any one of us. Like the over use of dialogue tags.


message 35: by ns (new)

ns (vedi) Josh wrote: "I think if the flavor of the dialog had been more in keeping with the era, a lot of what bothered you might have been automatically resolved? "

Yes, certainly that would have cleaned it up quite a bit.


message 36: by ns (new)

ns (vedi) Josh wrote: "However, since I'm actually replying to NS, I would say that I attributed the simplistic writing style to a deliberate attempt to emulate those old adventure books? They have a certain sort of Boys Own Adventure rhythm, which I thought the authors were trying to capture.

I'm not that familiar enough with them to have caught that (although I admit to being devoted to Tom Brown's Schooldays), but I wish they had taken a more adult approach (adult as in sophisticated, not um, pornographic ;)). This could have been so richly mined in the hands of a skilled mystery-adventure writer. Trying to get Harrison Ford out of my head as we speak...

I agree with you about the conflict, but since I'm always complaining about conflict, I thought perhaps I'd give it a rest. I'm starting to think I have some dysfunctional desire to see everyone in the world locked in emotional mortal combat.

Are there different rules in this genre? Because in every other genre that I've read, some amount of conlict/tension/quest/compelling obstacle is understood to be minimally required as a story-telling mechanism. And a pox on those who insist otherwise! Romeo marries Juliet? Does the father-in-law at least go bankrupt over their lavish wedding? I mean *something*!!!

I tend to have trouble with love at first sight stories although I've written a couple."

It really is entirely a question of how skilled the writer is -- does he flesh out two characters who could believably fall in love at first sight? It's all a matter of whether the author can get the reader to suspend disbelief (if they don't believe in LAFS as a concept) and in particular, make us believe that *these* characters would experience LAFS, assuming the author can get us to care about them to begin with (not something the Dash and Dingo authors managed).


message 37: by Dev (new)

Dev Bentham | 1018 comments I agree about love at first sight (although I'll always buy lust at first sight). But it's really difficult to write those "I loved you from the moment..." scenes without sounding too cheesy. I'm wondering if the way around the dialogue issue would have been to watch a gajillion hours of early movies. It might not have ended up with characters who really sounded like they belonged but might have convinced us they sounded like we think they should sound (oh my, that was a convoluted sentence, maybe I should go take a nap, too.


message 38: by Mariana (new)

Mariana (mearias) | 43 comments Isn't Sean Kennedy Australian? I would think his experience may lend to the different "voices" in the story. I'm not sure where Catt Ford is from, so I may just be talking nonsense. Personally, I know nothing of the dialects/slang of Australia, so I can't say there were any lapses in the character/speech. Was the dialog of the 20's distinctive enough that they can be reproduced so easily? And made to feel different?

I felt that there was enough conflict to keep the story going. I guess, for me, when the entire story is nothing but conflict it wearies me. I just finished Breathe by Sloan Parker and all I kept thinking was "Really? Again? Still?!" I was just so done by the end and not in a satisfying way.


message 39: by ns (last edited Apr 24, 2011 05:37PM) (new)

ns (vedi) Since I've done a lot of ranting about ugly sentences without it necessarily being very helpful, I thought I'd try and flesh that out with examples of authors who do write well - what I consider beautiful writing, at any rate. Forgive me the length of this post.

Take the opening sentence of Tamara Allen's Whistling in the Dark:

"Fifty cents secured the last private room at the 41st Street hotel, but the musty sheets and the brazen frolic of mice under the bed left Sutton thinking he should have saved the change and slept on the sidewalk."

Wow. What an incredible opening line. It's dense with information, playful, funny, sad. It gets the urgency of the protagonist's dire straits across swiftly, dramatically and infuses the reader at once with the atmosphere of "down and out in NY". It's a refreshing sentence -- no cliched phrases, not a sentence you've seen a thousand times before. It really takes your breath away, gives you a sudden tight feeling that this is a maserati you're getting a ride in, not some rusty old pick-up.

...

"This wasn't the New York he remembered from the handful of trips taken in the shelter of family and friends--nor the one that had been a passing rush of color, light and noise on his way overseas. The trip home from France was only a memory of endless parades; even now, he could see traces of confetti in the gutters and the cracks. This New York was bigger and faster than the one he knew. Neither the troopship nor the crowded campe where he'd trained had seemed so rampant with life and movement. It brought to mind the enormous beehive he and the neighbor boys had once knocked out of an oak at his grandfather's farm. It had been a wild race back to the house and he'd still been stung. His grandfather had joked that it was a lesson in doing unto others. His father had said in all seriousness that if you thwart a fellow's industry, you can expect to bear his wrath. Sutton remembered being astonished that so many creatures could dwell in such close quarters and still carry on as if they had all the room in the world."

Wow. Just wow. That's what I mean by color and smell and sound and energy. The above was all tight dark, electric blue prose for me, like an exciting electric guitar riff. The richness of Ms Allen's prose is simply unforgettable in places.


Or the opening line of Harper Fox's Driftwood:

"Thomas walked slowly on the edge of the world, to discover what the sea would bring him."

Oh god, if you need me to tell you that's a heart-breakingly beautiful sentence, I'll give up now.

...
"He had come out to walk his dog, just as he did every morning, same time, same place, part of a rigid routine whose component parts could be fitted together, end to end, to form a normal day. The lunatic would be fine. Anyone who could surf like that could surely swim with equal power. He would survive, even if the wave whose belly he had threaded was still in the process of breaking, a mountain of water thundering down, rolling and roiling into its own roots. Thomas knew how that felt. No surfer himself, he had once loved the sea, and you didn't grow up around here without learning the force of those green-grey Atlantic monsters that swelled in, heaped themselves up on the continental shelf, and expended their momentum with bruising, crushing vigour on human limbs."

God, how lovely is that! The cadence in that paragraph alone makes it dance, and the author makes the effort to paint so beautifully with words...rich black forest cake, whipped cream, lemon meringue, mango apertifs and an excellent Pinot Noir. That's what I feel here, as opposed to 2 day old stale bread with no butter.


message 40: by Cleon (new)

Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments I'd love to read how Dingo first viewed Henry, the geeky stuck up guy he just met, who he had to bring to the jungle. I want to know what made Dingo fell in love with Dash because I couldn't see it at all and then suddenly Dingo was serious with Henry. Was the attraction there at first? Or the flirting and teasing were just typically Dingo?


message 41: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments Cleon wrote: "I'd love to read how Dingo first viewed Henry, the geeky stuck up guy he just met, who he had to bring to the jungle. I want to know what made Dingo fell in love with Dash because I couldn't see it..."


See, I thought Dingo's teasing was just him being Dingo. As if it didn't matter to him who it was he was teasing with. But, I think the more he was with Dash, it did become more than teasing. By the time they were in the Dean's office, it seemed that Dingo was seeing more to Dash than he had before. Not instant love, but a spark of something that could be.

I also think he might have been a little in love with him from just the exchange of letters. Sharing a passion with someone, it's easy to transmute feelings especially if it's intense.


message 42: by ns (new)

ns (vedi) Merith wrote: "I also think he might have been a little in love with him from just the exchange of letters. Sharing a passion with someone, it's easy to transmute feelings especially if it's intense."

Wait, Dingo didn't exchange letters with Dash at all, right? Or am I misremembering? In fact he gets the letter from his Australian friend/contact introducing Dingo just the day he arrives...


message 43: by Cleon (new)

Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments ns wrote: "Merith wrote: "I also think he might have been a little in love with him from just the exchange of letters. Sharing a passion with someone, it's easy to transmute feelings especially if it's intens..."

Nope, just read this yesterday so I am pretty sure Dingo never exchanged letters with Dash until he met him. Dash exchanged letters with Gordon Austin.


message 44: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments ns wrote: "Merith wrote: "I also think he might have been a little in love with him from just the exchange of letters. Sharing a passion with someone, it's easy to transmute feelings especially if it's intens..."


You're right. It was Gordon (had to go back and read that section again), but I thought there was a confession of sorts, by Jack about how he sought out Henry on purpose because of those letters. That Gordon had shared Henry's letters with Jack to sort of manipulate the situation. Maybe I got it wrong.


message 45: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments ns wrote: "Since I've done a lot of ranting about ugly sentences without it necessarily being very helpful, I thought I'd try and flesh that out with examples of authors who do write well - what I consider be..."

Beautiful samples, both of them.


message 46: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Mariana wrote: "Isn't Sean Kennedy Australian? I would think his experience may lend to the different "voices" in the story. I'm not sure where Catt Ford is from, so I may just be talking nonsense. Personally, ..."

I thought the writers did a good job of making sure that Henry and Dingo had distinct voices. Dingo definitely sounds Australian. And Henry definitely sounds like he's supposed to be English.

The early 20th century had such a distinct style of patter -- both written and oral -- and I felt that was lacking a bit here. But maybe I've just spent way too much time reading the wrong kind of fiction.


message 47: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 15023 comments Merith wrote: "You're right. It was Gordon (had to go back and read that section again), but I thought there was a confession of sorts, by Jack about how he sought out Henry on purpose because of those letters. That Gordon had shared Henry's letters with Jack to sort of manipulate the situation. Maybe I got it wrong...."

Oh, what a great idea, though! This shared passion through letters, the anticipation of finally meeting this other like-minded person, and then the other person turns out to be totally unlike what you expected -- maybe too brash and larger than life, and that insightful, sensitive side doesn't seem to be there at all! How crushing. Almost as though the other person you were unconsciously falling in love with had died. But then, as they get to know each other, seeing that the other person is simply a part of this big, brash Aussie. And that the entire package is even better than the paper man.


message 48: by Merith (new)

Merith | 373 comments Josh wrote: "Oh, what a great idea, though! This shared passion through letters, the anticipation of finally meeting this other like-minded person, and then the other person turns out to be totally unlike what you expected -- maybe too brash and larger than life, and that insightful, sensitive side doesn't seem to be there at all! How crushing. Almost as though the other person you were unconsciously falling in love with had died. But then, as they get to know each other, seeing that the other person is simply a part of this big, brash Aussie. And that the entire package is even better than the paper man. "

Kind of like 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, but with both parties being male, single and interested in more than a long distance friendship. ;)


message 49: by Calathea (new)

Calathea | 3451 comments I’m late to the discussion of Dash and Dingo  In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger by Catt Ford but I’ll try to word my opinion of the book. That’s not easy because I feel quite ambivalent about it.

I liked Henry a lot. He’s got a lot of passion for his favourite subject the thylacine. He’s a scholar and therefore accumulated knowledge about Tassie without ever seeing one. And although he has no experience as an adventurer he is brave and doesn’t hesitate to jump into that flash flood to save Dingo’s life.
He feels like a real person to me and not only because he gets cranky when tired. ;-)
I also liked the exotic location. The Tasmanian jungle isn’t something you come across every day (even in a book). I don’t think I’ve ever heard about the Tasmanian Tiger before so everything about it was new to me.

I can’t say anything about the writing but it felt like an adventure should feel to me.

The pacing was a problem for me. I would have liked more of the actual adventure in Tassie land and less of the journey to Australia and visit with the parents. And I would have liked more obstacles in their way in the jungle. The villain didn’t feel like one because he only showed up at the very end. He wasn’t really present as a threat all the time.

I might be the only one here but: I can’t bring myself to like Dingo.
In the beginning I tried because he was obviously intended to be likable but the further they got into the woods the less I liked him. Not only did he withhold knowledge and information he also made Henry feel inferior. In the last third of the story it happened more often and he riled me up to the point of calling him names. ;-)

There are scenes like the following:


"Dingo sounded smug and pleased with himself, which irritated Henry,...",
"A low chuckle made Henry feel almost embarrassed,..." or
“Once again, Dingo hadn't shared his plan,(...)because apparently his opinion of what they ought to be doing next made no difference whatsoever as it had not been solicited."
All topped by “Face it, Dash, I've been right about everything every step of the way,” Dingo said smugly.


Lines like these make it really hard for me to understand why Henry fell in love with him.

So in the end I liked one main character, the story, location and Tassie but on the other hand missed some adventure and can’t like the other main character.


message 50: by ns (new)

ns (vedi) Calathea wrote: "I’m late to the discussion of Dash and Dingo  In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger by Catt Ford but I’ll try to word my opinion of the book. That’s not easy because I feel quite ambivalent about..."

I agree on a lot of your points. I didn't think Dingo was all that lovable either (I certainly didn't love him the way I tend to fall in love or at least empathize greatly with the Lanyon cast), although I didn't think he was as negative as you felt. He just wasn't as well-defined and knowable for me, at any rate.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Dash and Dingo: In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger (other topics)
84, Charing Cross Road (other topics)