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Those Across the River
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Chaos Reading Bookclub > DISCUSSION -- 2017 TRANSFORMATION Group Read. Those Across the River

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Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod


That's right, it's time for another Chaos Group Read!

The theme for this one will be TRANSFORMATION.
Transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.



Lyncanthropes, gender re-assignments, your-interpretation-of-transformation... all are welcome!

Nominations will be open through the 10th of February:
- Each member may nominate 2 books
- Please provided a GR link to the books you're nominating
- Have fun, be creative, foment chaos




message 2: by Jiří (new)

Jiří (myfyriwr) | 4 comments Interesting one.
The first candidates that came to mind were classics: The Metamorphosis, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and even The Picture of Dorian Gray. However, as you said, let's be creative!

Too bad it has to be physical transformaton, Flowers for Algernon would be a perfect candidate.

That being said, my two choices are:
A Dog's Heart and Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions


Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
Jiří, Despite the definition above, we're not going for a strict interpretation of "Transformation"... So, Flowers for Algernon is perfectly acceptable. Let us know if you'd prefer that as one of your two nominations and thanks for kicking things off!


message 4: by Jiří (new)

Jiří (myfyriwr) | 4 comments Glad to hear that!
Well, if that's the case, I would like to choose Flowers for Algernon and A Dog's Heart


message 5: by Whitney (last edited Feb 01, 2017 06:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Flowers for Algernon is a fine example of Transformation! And, technically, there was a physical transformation by way of brain surgery.


message 6: by Jiří (last edited Feb 02, 2017 06:23AM) (new)

Jiří (myfyriwr) | 4 comments I guess that's true. What I meant to say is, that it is not exactly a "thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance". I am somehow new to this group and I was not sure how strict are the gudelines for these things.


message 8: by Whitney (last edited Feb 02, 2017 07:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Totally. Risking splitting the werewolf vote, I have two that are getting rave reviews and are at the top of my TBR:
The Devourers by Indra Das, and Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones.

I've heard good things about the McCammon book as well. Maybe I need to do an immersive werewolf read this year.


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Jiří wrote: "I guess that's true. What I meant to say is, that it is not exactly a "thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance". I am somehow new to this group and I was not sure how strict are the gudel..."

For sure, it never hurts to ask. We generally try to avoid rigid definitions, as leaving it a bit open tends to bring out the creative suggestions (such was yours).


message 10: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
I'll go with Octavia Butler's Fledgling (amnesiac girl wakes to find out she's a genetically modified 53 yr. old vampire) and Hideaki Sena's Parasite Eve (when liver cells take on a life of their own).


message 11: by Jennifer (last edited Feb 02, 2017 07:31PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer Whitney, they both sound good, I have added them to the ever growing TBR.

I also will add Those Across the River for consideration.


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Whitney, they both sound good, I have added them to the ever growing TBR.

I also will add Those Across the River for consideration."


That sound good, too. One GR reviewer wrote "If Tennessee Williams wrote horror fiction this is what it would read like. "Those Across the River" is old school horror written by a poet." How can you say no to that? How do you see it fitting the theme of transformation?


Jennifer Whitney wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Whitney, they both sound good, I have added them to the ever growing TBR.

I also will add Those Across the River for consideration."

That sound good, too. One GR ..."



Well, one must read the book.


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Well, one must read the book. ..."

Ah, you have inside information! Now I am really intrigued.


Jennifer Whitney wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Well, one must read the book. ..."

Ah, you have inside information! Now I am really intrigued."


Even if it is not picked as one to read I highly recommend it. Actually I have read two books by this author and both were well written and have a very different vibe. He is one that if I see a book by I would just get it, not knowing anything about the book.


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
A great selection so far. Anyone else with any last minute nominations?


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Okay, the nominations are closed, and the poll is up, here: Transformations, and from the homepage.

Fantastic assortment of books! Even though there are several dogs among them <*rimshot*>.

Poll open until the 18th, discussion will start about a month after the poll closes. Now go vote! Remember the bad things that happen when people don't vote!


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Vote, people! Haven't we all learned the horrible things that happen when you don't vote????


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Well, thanks to low voter turnout, the winner is Trump: The Art of the Deal!

Just kidding. But for real, all those people are going to be bummed they missed out when the announcement for the book goes out. Last chance!


Jennifer There are some really good choices. too bad. Maybe we can read all the books that got votes...


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
There is now unanimity among all the voters! What are the odds???


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
And the winner in a unanimous landslide vote is:

Those Across the River!!!

To give people a good 30 days, we'll shoot for a discussion date of March 25th.


Jennifer I am excited to re-read this one.


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
I'm excited for the 'transformation' reveal. Seriously, this book looks great. Any opinion on how it might fare on audio?


Jennifer Whitney wrote: "I'm excited for the 'transformation' reveal. Seriously, this book looks great. Any opinion on how it might fare on audio?"

I suppose it depends upon the reader..and they accent they use. I am not into audio books so I don't think I can answer that question well.


Cathie (cathiebp2) | 10 comments Will have to get a copy and join in the read!


message 27: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
Glad you can join us, Cathie! I just picked up a copy at the library and hope to start it this weekend.


Jennifer Is there a separate link for the book discussion?


message 29: by Whitney (last edited Mar 05, 2017 04:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Plan is to start last week of march. We'll probably just open up the discussion on this thread. Fine to post background and general stuff anytime, just no plot discussion.

I've read about 10% and so far really liking it.


Cathie (cathiebp2) | 10 comments Just got my copy from the library...will begin this tomorrow!


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Yay!


Jennifer Where is everyone in reading the book?


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
I finished yesterday. Have been huddled in a corner hugging my knees and rocking back and forth since then.

Would a start date of March 25th work for people?


Jennifer Whitney wrote: "I finished yesterday. Have been huddled in a corner hugging my knees and rocking back and forth since then.

Would a start date of March 25th work for people?"


I hope it is a good rocking back and forth. I really enjoyed this novel. It was just...unexpected. All of. I really enjoyed the point of history we were in as well.


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Unexpected indeed. How did it compare to his other book(s)?


Jennifer Whitney wrote: "Unexpected indeed. How did it compare to his other book(s)?"

I also really enjoyed The Lesser Dead.


message 37: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
I was planning on being ready by the 25th, but I can finish before then if that's helpful (I haven't started yet, but I cleared a lot of other books out of the way in preparation).


Cathie (cathiebp2) | 10 comments So...have to share. There is mention of the Cicero racetrack - it was the former Speedway...it was torn down to make way of a wine and spirits distributor where I now work.

I am about a quarter of a way through...taking my time on this one.


message 39: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
That's a pretty unique connection to the book, Cathie!


Jennifer The author mentions the fruit farms in Benton Harbor Michigan, my family has fruit farms in Benton Harbor to this day.


message 41: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
It's a family book after all. :D


Jennifer Marc wrote: "It's a family book after all. :D"

Why yes. Yes it is...


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Hopefully not TOO much...


Jennifer I am looking forward to everyone's thoughts!


message 45: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Roman | 38 comments Will there be a discussion group opened for this title? I got my copy from the library today, and I am ready to start reading. :)


Jennifer I believe that we are going to use this thread to talk about it.

Did you all feel the heat and humidity while reading this? I loved the place in history it takes place in. (view spoiler)


message 47: by Marc (last edited Mar 25, 2017 08:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc (monkeelino) | 637 comments Mod
With the flick of the wrist and a few keystrokes, this nominating thread has been turned into the discussion thread [cue sonorous gong sound]!!!

This thread is now live to discuss the book. Karen, if you're just starting, you may want to be wary of spoilers in this thread. Thank you, Jennifer for getting us started and using the spoiler tag!

Buehlman did a fantastic job of creating a very real sense of place. From the heat to the foreboding woods, you really could feel and see the town. Although this was his first novel, I understand he's written poetry and plays before, performed as a comedian, and now has a handful of other novels out.

What did others think of the way he employed humor throughout this story?

Feel free to share your overall and/or first impressions of the book.


message 48: by Jennifer (last edited Mar 25, 2017 08:23PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer I appreciated the humor, it was dark, but I like that.

I felt the dust while reading this. Everything came alive to me. The place and the people. Can we talk about our character's? I find myself thinking about them from time to time.

When the time comes and I get a new cat I will name him/her Eudora. I just looked up the meaning of it...


Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I believe that we are going to use this thread to talk about it.

Did you all feel the heat and humidity while reading this? I loved the place in history it takes place in. [spoilers removed]"


Yes, for sure. Let us discuss! Please spoiler tag anything that happens later in the book until most people are caught up!

I did like the time and the setting. I don't recall a lot of passages with descriptive details, but still had a clear image of the town with the river at the edge and the dense forest past that. How do you think the time contributed to the story? Would it have been different if it was set in the 50's? (view spoiler)

Who all is along for this ride? Jennifer, do you remember how you first discovered Buehlman?


message 50: by Whitney (last edited Mar 25, 2017 11:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Oops, I missed the above posts from Jennifer and Marc when I posted the above. So, to the sense of place, I'll add a "me too", also to the humor. I thought the edge it had to it was in keeping with two people who are in pretty dire straights but are doing a good job of putting on a brave face on.


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