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Group reads > I Heard the Owl Call My Name - October 2017 group read (spoilers)

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message 1: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
This is my review. This book was obviously very special for me.

This is a fifty year old book (published first in 1967 in Canada), and I know it has sold a few million copies and that I am coming to the party late. However, this book touched me profoundly. It's where I am in my life presently - longing for a simpler, more meaningful existence, making a spiritual connection with people and the world I live in. There is a sadness that permeates this material - it anticipates and mourns the passing away of old ways and traditions, and looks ahead with resignation if not optimism. I fell in love with the characters. Marta and Jim, and especially Mark Brian the vicar. The novel gives it's gifts quietly - they are not store bought or wrapped up in pretty paper - they are the greatest gifts: faith, hope and love - and I would add acceptance.


message 2: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 01, 2017 04:47AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8 comments I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I was browsing groups and noticed that you are reading one of my favourite novels from high school as a group read. Now when we read I Heard the Owl Call my Name at school, the teacher called it a short novel, but I can well consider it a novella, as it definitely seems to fit the criteria for a novella and is actually considerably shorter than many novellas I have read since. Now because the review I am posting is really quite involved and does contain some spoilers, I am going to use spoiler tags for those who are reading the book but do not want my considerations about I Heard the Owl Call my Name influence their reading experience, their perception.

(view spoiler)


message 3: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "I was browsing groups and noticed that you are reading one of my favourite novels from high school as a group read. Now when we read I Heard the Owl Call my Name at school, the teacher called it a ..."

Thank you for posting this review. I'm glad you found us. This is only day one - but this is a great start.


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8 comments Ivan wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "I was browsing groups and noticed that you are reading one of my favourite novels from high school as a group read. Now when we read I Heard the Owl Call my Name at school, the te..."

Which is one of the main reasons, I decided to use spoiler tags, Ivan; I did not want to give too much away.


message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 70 comments Manybooks wrote: "I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I was browsing groups and noticed that you are reading one of my favourite novels from high school as a group read. Now when we read I Heard the Owl Cal..."


Welcome! This is a great group. I always enjoy the discussions. I know that this is one of your favorites. It seems to be a pretty big deal in Canada. I'd love to read it. We'll see if I can fit it in.


message 6: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 01, 2017 05:06AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8 comments Phil wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I was browsing groups and noticed that you are reading one of my favourite novels from high school as a group read. Now when we read I..."


Thanks for the welcome, Phil. I do really love this book, Phil and because I loved it so much as a teenager, I can and do easily ignore some of the, at least from a modern perspective, more problematic issues, namely that (view spoiler).


message 7: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 70 comments I'm deliberately not reading your spoiler tags because I haven't read the book.

Does this book have authenticity issues like The Education of Little Tree?


message 8: by Ivan (last edited Oct 01, 2017 06:33AM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Phil wrote: "I'm deliberately not reading your spoiler tags because I haven't read the book.

Does this book have authenticity issues like The Education of Little Tree?"


The question of authenticity is addressed by Manybooks in "spoilers." I haven't read The Education of Little Tree so I have no point of reference. However, to me Margaret Craven was very particular in her portrayal of the tribe in this specific village - she simply relates the events and the people encountered as experienced by the new Vicar. I sensed no false notes - or overreaching on the part of the author. I never felt she was attempting to make a grand statement about indigenous people or their culture. You'll pardon the pun, but I didn't feel that this was a preachy novel.

(view spoiler)


message 9: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8 comments Phil wrote: "I'm deliberately not reading your spoiler tags because I haven't read the book.

Does this book have authenticity issues like The Education of Little Tree?"


No it does not, and it actually got a very positive review in A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children.


message 10: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I am picking this book up at the library tonight. I'm looking forward to it.


message 11: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Lora wrote: "I am picking this book up at the library tonight. I'm looking forward to it."

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


message 12: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I've requested it at my library. They'll notify me when it gets to my branch. It's next on my list, right after I finish this paranormal romance my spouse talked me into reading, or vampire porn, as I call it.


message 13: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (lifeasabooknerd) | 6 comments I just picked this up at my library today. Excited to dive in tonight.


message 14: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 04, 2017 06:56PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8 comments I Heard the Owl Call My Name has supposedly also been made into a movie. Has anyone seen it?


message 15: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "I Heard the Owl Call My Name has supposedly also been made into a movie. Has anyone seen it?"

Yes. I had to watch it on YouTube. I think it was made for television in the 1970s. I thought it was well done.


message 16: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I'm about a third of the way through the book. I have to say, it feels far more authentic than The Education of Little Tree. And I like this author's narrative tone, too. It fits the geography of the place she's writing about. There are undercurrents within this book which I appreciate. The sparse dialog, the mentions of looks behind the eyes, it's pretty neat.


message 17: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) I'll be looking into that movie, too.


message 18: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Oh, the incident with the ancient mask broke my heart. So symbolic of the toxic confluence where two different cultures clash.
Then the bit where Mark happened to look out the window and see the people wending their way to the vicarage for church? Lovely. It reminded me strongly of the scene in the first Fantasia film when the Christian worshippers carrying torches made their dreamlike passage through the trees to their church. It's in the 'Ave Maria' segment, at the very end.


message 19: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAoIY... - this is not the best quality, but it's all there is.


message 20: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
OK, I have an admission to make....I never saw Fantasia. Clips. bits and pieces...but never actually saw it.

This work has been criticized for being too simple [it is, in fact, often lumped in with young adult fiction - and is read in High Schools across the USA). However, I felt Craven got everything just right. It is the simplicity which lends it authenticity. Mark's interest in and feelings for the villagers is genuine, which they perceive and which is why they accept him as one of their own. It all felt natural and germane to me. The love and acceptance was palpable for me - I wanted to live in the village and attend services at the vicarage. It was spiritual for me.


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8 comments Ivan wrote: "OK, I have an admission to make....I never saw Fantasia. Clips. bits and pieces...but never actually saw it.

This work has been criticized for being too simple [it is, in fact, often lumped in wit..."


I have also found the very simplicity what makes the story so special, although a number of GR friends did not at all enjoy [book:I Heard the Owl Call My Name|106931] precisely because they wanted more character development and intensity which I though think would have rendered I Heard the Owl Call My Name much less special and more artificial.


message 22: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
This is a case of "less is more."


message 23: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) Oh, yes. It retains the quiet dignity.


message 24: by Haaze (last edited Oct 28, 2017 06:43PM) (new)

Haaze | 4 comments Great idea for a reading group, Ivan. However, it would be nice to have a few more folders with "meet&greet", "rules/goals", "upcoming reads etc" kind of threads! :)

So, the Yellow Wallpaper is next I presume?


message 25: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Yes


message 26: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 4 comments Although the current particular novella seems intriguing. I am completely unfamiliar with it, but I did find a copy on archive.org. I will try to check it out.


message 27: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments Ivan wrote: "OK, I have an admission to make....I never saw Fantasia. Clips. bits and pieces...but never actually saw it.

I have fond memories of seeing Fantasia as a child, and of taking our children to see it. We got the DVD for our grandson. How many four-year-olds hum Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor?


message 28: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 568 comments I sort of knew the story of I Heard the Owl call My Name before I started it from having read about it. There is a passage that caught my eye near the beginning: "...the talking bird, the owl, who calls the name of the man who is going to die." Kind of an 'ah ha' moment. (view spoiler) This is a book that makes me want to read it again, or at least parts of it, but alas I returned it to the library because I will be out of town when the loan expires.


message 29: by Ivan (last edited Oct 31, 2017 10:48AM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Buck wrote: "Ivan wrote: "OK, I have an admission to make....I never saw Fantasia. Clips. bits and pieces...but never actually saw it.

I have fond memories of seeing Fantasia as a child, and of taking our chil..."


"How many four-year-olds hum Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor?"

I wish more did Buck.


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