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message 1: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (last edited Oct 15, 2017 07:21AM) (new)

Diane | 12832 comments Start discussion here for A Man Was Going Down the Road by Otar Chiladze.

**This book can be read for free for members of Kindle Unlimited and may possibly be part of the Amazon Prime Lending Library.**

message 2: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12832 comments About the Book (Goodreads description)

Set in Vani, the semi-legendary capital of Colchis (as western Georgia was called in antiquity), Otar Chiladze’s first novel of 1972 explores the Georgian ramifications of the myth of Jason, the Golden Fleece and Medea, weaving his own inventions with Greek myth and history. (Daedalus and Icarus, as well as King Minos play a part in the story, too.) At the same time, the novel explores very modern predicaments of the idealist who unwittingly destroys his family. The mythical Greek intervention in Colchis is subtly told by Chiladze as an allegory of Russia’s and the Soviet Union’s subversion and conquest of Georgia.

About the Author (from Wikipedia)

Otar Chiladze (Georgian: ოთარ ჭილაძე) (March 20, 1933 — October 1, 2009) was a Georgian writer who played a prominent role in the resurrection of Georgian prose in the post-Joseph Stalin era. His novels characteristically fuse Sumerian and Hellenic mythology with the predicaments of a modern Georgian intellectual.

Chiladze was born in Sighnaghi, a town in Kakheti, the easternmost province of then-Soviet Georgia. He graduated from the Tbilisi State University with a degree in journalism in 1956. His works, primary poetry, first appeared in the 1950s. At the same time, Chiladze engaged in literary journalism, working for leading magazines in Tbilisi. He gained popularity with his series of lengthy, atmospheric novels, such as A Man Was Going Down the Road (1972–3), Everyone That Findeth Me (1976), Avelum (1995), and others. He was a chief editor of the literary magazine Mnatobi since 1997. Chiladze also published several collections of poems and plays. He was awarded the Shota Rustaveli Prize in 1983 and the State Prize of Georgia in 1993.

Chiladze died after a long illness in October 2009 and was buried at the Mtatsminda Pantheon in Tbilisi, where some of the most prominent writers, artists, scholars, and national heroes of Georgia are buried. His elder brother Tamaz Chiladze is also a writer.

message 3: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12832 comments Discussion Questions (adapted from Reading Group Guides)

1. What made you want to read the book? Did it live up to your expectations? Why or why not?

2. Did you think the characters and their problems/decisions/relationships were believable or realistic? If not, was the author trying to make them realistic, and why did he fail? Did Chiladze draw realistic male and female characters? Which character could you relate to best and why? Talk about the secondary characters. Were they important to the story? Did any stand out for you?

3. How was the book structured? Did the author use any structural or narrative devices like flashbacks or multiple voices in telling the story? How did this affect the story and your appreciation of the book? Do you think the author did a good job with it? Whose voice was the story told in (from whose point of view is the story told)? How do you think it might have been different if another character was telling the story?

4. Was the language appropriate to the story? Was it more poetic or vernacular? Did it stand in the way of your appreciation of the story, or enhance your enjoyment of the book? If poetic, did the characters speak in vernacular language, or in the poetic language of the author? Was the dialogue realistic sounding? Was there a rhythm to the authors style, or anything else that might be considered unique about it?

5. Was the author fairly descriptive? Was he better at describing the concrete or the abstract? Was Chiladze clear about what he was trying to say, or were you confused by some of what you read? How did this affect your reading of the book?

6. What was more important, the characters or the plot? Was the plot moved forward by decisions of the characters, or were the characters at the mercy of the plot? Was the action believable? What events in the story stand out for you as memorable? Was the story chronological? Was there foreshadowing and suspense or did the author give things away at the beginning of the book? Was this effective? How did it affect your enjoyment of the book?

7. What were some of the major themes of the book? Are they relevant in your life? Did Chiladze effectively develop these themes? If so, how? If not, why not? Was there redemption in the book? For any of the characters? Is this important to you when reading a book? Did you think the story was funny, sad, touching, disturbing, moving? Why or why not?

8. What do you think will be your lasting impression of the book? What will be your most vivid memories of it a year from now? Or will it just leave a vague impression, and what will that be? Or will you not think of it at all in a year's time?

9. Was the setting important to the story? Was Chiladze's description of Colchis (Western Georgia) a good one? Was the time period important to the story? Did Chiladze convey the era well? Did the author provide enough background information for you to understand the events in the story? Why or why not for all of the above? Was pertinent information lumped altogether, or integrated into the story? How did this affect your appreciation of the book?

10. Finally, what else struck you about the book as good or bad? What did you like or dislike about it? Did this book make you want to read more work by this author?

message 4: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 616 comments I knew going into this book that it is a retelling of Jason and the Golden Fleece and that magical realism is the genre, which I don't care much for. But I wanted to read a native Georgian author, so I decided to give it a try. I am 43% through on my Kindle and I am throwing in the towel. I understand what is going on, but I feel little connection to any of the story or characters. I do see the beginnings of a correlation between Soviet-occupied Georgia and Greek-occupied Vani in the story. For fans of magical realism, I think this would be a good choice despite my personal dislike.

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