Books Stephen King Recommends discussion

Jul-Aug 2017 The Fireman > Books 1 & 2: Carrying & Let Your Dim Light Shine (Spoilers)

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message 1: by Almeta, co-moderator (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 1092 comments Mod
Comment on Books 1 & 2: (Approx. 188 pages)

message 2: by Larissa (new)

Larissa | 270 comments Prologue: Lit
I love Harper's idea of a joke--the radish and potato as better than chocolate. She's good with the kid.

The Mary Poppins thing is an unexpected character detail. I wonder if the author grew up loving it or knew someone who did. I don't remember much about it other than a couple songs.

We have confirmation that this is Joe Hill: the burning man by the elementary school.


message 3: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 55 comments I attended a book signing for this book and Hill brought sing-a-long lyrics and kazoos. We all sang Chim Chim Cheree from MP and Hey Jude. It was awesome. I don't remember him saying he was ever particularly fond of MP, but he did say that he thought Harper's growth through the story went to perfectly with the MP image that he couldn't resist.

message 4: by Larissa (last edited Jul 16, 2017 09:40AM) (new)

Larissa | 270 comments 1 Carrying:

Jakob seems like a nice boyfriend--awful jokes aside. I don't know why the K in his name irks me. I think my subconscious keeps trying to connect him to some Scandinavian characters I've read, or even to the K names in the podcast S*Town (Kabram, Keefe, Kendall, etc).

Then the Seattle Space Needle. It was only a handful of paragraphs but I felt the panic and dread of watching that on the television. Reminded me of the complete WTF?!??! horror of watching people try to escape burning in the Twin Towers: this can't be real.

Sorry, Glenn Beck.

But then a mysterious British fireman shows up, and Harper, who like many of us associate that accent moreso with Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes than any real live human being, is intrigued.

So we have a deaf kid who gets his appendix out and then disappears from the 3rd floor window--and we're to think the Fireman got him. This has to come back up later!

A description of the hospital and the people working there just reinforces for me how much nurses and doctors give of themselves. This scene makes them seem like soldiers fighting a war.

We meet Renee, who runs a book club, currently reading The Bridge of San Luis Rey. I had heard of the title many times but had no idea what it was about other than a bridge falling. After looking it up, I have to add it to my TBR list--it's not what I thought at all and the description reminds me of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I like Renee and how she runs toward danger-- again, more of the soldiers in a warzone vibe, but strong woman rather than the usual macho club.

"A fat, frumpy tigress. Like if Catwoman got really out of shape." Hahahahahahha you go, girl! The description of Dragonscale is really beautiful, I will agree. Too bad you die about as horribly as can be imagined. Fire: officially my least preferred way to go.

I WAS GONNA BE PISSED THO.... if Renee died, but thank you Joe Hill for keeping me from damaging my e-reader by throwing it across the room. Renee leaves because she's GLOWING like a lighthouse (but she already did that, right? #TeamRenee)

"Don't mind me, boys, I'm just gonna go explode outside." OH RENEE YOU'RE MY FAVORITE!

message 5: by Larissa (new)

Larissa | 270 comments With the hospital burning, it seems like Harper is getting more numb to the horror--maybe not numb, so much as an extended state of shock.

"A National Guardsman...held his hands over his head as if he were surrendering to the enemy."

"How are we supposed to live our lives when every day is Sept. 11?"

Jakob is sweet caring for Harper. Wait, he has a "Gallic sense of the absurd" and performed as a mime in college---did I miss a French connection? And now I'm sensing a rift will be in their future, as Harper mentally critiques his super-earnest talk in the middle of him bathing her.

The stress of finding Dragonscale on Harper turns Jakob pretty mean. Had he never shown his cruelty to her before? Dude, I think you are criminally underestimating the influence of Harper's hormones and survival instincts if you think she's going to kill herself now that she's pregnant. Jakob's character shift is so sudden, which seems implausible in fiction, but probably isn't all that uncommon in reality. Maybe there are clues before now that he's not going to be a good guy, maybe he likes control too much... he was willing to commit suicide painlessly together, and it seems to throw him that she's sick and he's not showing signs of it--to the degree that he seems incapable of considering that he might not be sick. What a strange thing--he doesn't even want to consider that she could be the only one sick.

Ok, Science Break: Harper says there are studies that show Dragonscale doesn't breach the placental barrier, but it can get everywhere else. Is that normal? I thought things would get through the placenta before they went through the blood-brain barrier. What can cross those and what cannot? I'll need to do some digging, I guess, if I want those answers.

message 6: by Larissa (last edited Jun 25, 2017 12:51PM) (new)

Larissa | 270 comments Ummmmmm the affairs in Jakob's book--DID HE OR DIDN'T HE?????? <.<

Ok, I officially hate this guy: "A woman who got teary over commercials for the ASPCA could not be expected to wrestle with the deeper despair of being human in a crass age."

HIT LIST: 1. Jakob. 2. His book.

And now the beginning of death squads and people willing to mow down women and children, all from fear. Joe Hill is just as good as his dad and others like Bradbury who illustrate the dangers of our own society.

I have already read the whole book, but this still puzzles me. When the kids in the masks and the smoking guy show up to her house, how do they know she needs prenatal vitamins or even who she is? [edit: rereading the next chapter answered this]


And then we see the salty British Fireman come do his thing---oh I like this guy! How in the world is Jakob still alive after that???

message 7: by Larissa (new)

Larissa | 270 comments 2 Let Your Dim Light Shine:

[Rereading some of this book so I can make comments makes me realize that I just skip over many descriptions of what people look like. I knew Allie shaved her head, but also Carol with the one black lock like a comma. Michael, young but with an orange-red Vikings beard. And I guess I also missed Ben Patchett being 25 years older than Harper. Why do I skim over physical description of characters?]

message 8: by Tom (last edited Jun 27, 2017 06:40AM) (new)

Tom | 52 comments Finished this section last night and Larissa you did a fantastic summation, It helped me pull it all together. I am really liking this so far. a little weirded out by the Shine, Kind of like the drug Ecstasy back in the '90's, I am wondering what the down side is. I am also interested in the warnings about Carol and to stay on her good side, I am wondering if they will be able to start harnessing the Scale to use a weapons like the Fireman can and what the implications will be.

message 9: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Brown | 1 comments Larissa wrote: "Prologue: Lit
I love Harper's idea of a joke--the radish and potato as better than chocolate. She's good with the kid.

The Mary Poppins thing is an unexpected character detail. I wonder if the au..."

Haper loves julie andrews

message 10: by Joel (new)

Joel | 12 comments Hi, everyone. I am back after a hiatus due to a hectic work schedule. I've read 20th Century Ghosts and Heart Shaped Box so I am pretty stoked about this choice. Just read the intro and I am creeping up on the first chapter. So, I look forward to reading what everyone will say. I just finished a Michale Connolly (SP?) so the difference in narrative voice is a little jarring, but here we go...

message 11: by Almeta, co-moderator (last edited Jul 07, 2017 06:38PM) (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 1092 comments Mod
I'm going to write my thoughts down here, without reading everyone else's, and then go back to hear everyone else's comments.

I am not stopping at every chapter. Don't want to interrupt the flow.

Book 1, Chapters 1 thru 6

The radish and the potato (view spoiler)

Despite Jakob's (view spoiler)

Dragonscale (view spoiler)

So is this THE(view spoiler)

I'm pleased to be introduced to some fairly strong (view spoiler)

message 12: by Larissa (new)

Larissa | 270 comments I liked Renee and Harper the best of all the females. :)

message 13: by Almeta, co-moderator (last edited Jul 16, 2017 12:55PM) (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 1092 comments Mod
Book 1, Chapters 7 thru 15

Now we find out (view spoiler)

Love the idea (view spoiler)

Those not (view spoiler)

What's with the (view spoiler)

The book page in Chapter 14 (view spoiler)

Does everyone understand the reference to (view spoiler)

message 14: by Almeta, co-moderator (last edited Jul 16, 2017 02:01PM) (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 1092 comments Mod
Book 2, Chapters 1 thru 13

One of the side effects (view spoiler)

Is there more to John Rookwood's (view spoiler)

It was touching that ALL(view spoiler)

Apparently (view spoiler)

message 15: by Almeta, co-moderator (last edited Jul 16, 2017 03:23PM) (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 1092 comments Mod
Larissa wrote: "We have confirmation that this is Joe Hill: the burning man by the elementary school..."

Hey Larissa where did you hear about this? I don't find a reference. An interesting profile if so!

Larissa wrote: "Ok, Science Break: Harper says there are studies that show Dragonscale doesn't breach the placental barrier, but it can get everywhere else. Is that normal? .."

Did you find out any more about this? I would have thought that unborn babies were very susceptible to viruses from their mothers.

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