Cecilia Barnard

I think making the number of words or pages written conform to a determined pattern to somehow enhance the novel's appeal is just that: a gimmick. I, too, am a big fan of Dickens, and to this end, I dislike the novel's post-modern ending, where the final possibilities are left hanging. How do others feel about this?

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Cecilia Barnard I agree, Barb. I'm not dissatisfied with the way the author deals with the murder, at all. Actually, it was Moody and Ryan the 'walking off' into 'the sunset' near the end. There seemed so much more to resolve about Moody, the protagonist, but in that brief chapter, he became inconsequential. Is there going to be a sequel?
Barb I was not impressed by the structure of the novel or the link to astrology. First, I'm not familiar enough with astrology to see the connection, and second, I don't care. I also became very frustrated during the last 100 pages, as the structure accelerated. After such a long, drawn-out development of the interconnection between the characters and the plot, I expected a tidy, clever end to wrap it all up.

SPOILER ALERT: I think Te Rau Tauwhare killed Francis Carver with the "patu pounamu" (the greenstone club). Look at the chapter "Aries, Ruled by Mars" in Part Six. Te Rau Tauwhare felt guilty about leading Francis to Crosbie. By the end of the trial (see chapter "Crux" in Part Four), he learns more about how Francis betrayed Crosbie. He is not a witness, so he is the only major character not held in the court, as the other witnesses were, when the murder took place. In fact, he was invited by the sergent, Drake, to come along with him to transport Carver to the gaol. He declined, but read the chapter...

What I'm still missing is the timeline of the "aberration" Moody saw on the Godspeed. I assume it was Emery Staines, but I can't get the timing to work out...
Andrew Forrester Except that Dickens too had to make his word-counts conform to a determined pattern, as his chapters were published serially in his own literary periodicals . . .
Kate Cudahy I had a similar feeling - I'm all for complexity in plot and structure if I can see the point. Here I had the sense that this was literary extravagance for the sake of it. And I think you've just answered the question I was about to ask - because (spoiler alert) who killed Francis Carver??? If she left that one hanging for post modern effect then I feel cheated. And if there was something missing from the plot that I failed to notice I just feel dumb :(
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