Di & D Reading Group discussion

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message 1: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) Nitsua suggested it and so Nitsua can lead us through it. :)

Mind that bus...


message 2: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 43 comments This is why you keep an eye on that Fiddleback. He may have a delightful voice, but one must take into account that he chose to take the name of a spider...


message 3: by Nitsua60 (new)

Nitsua60 | 11 comments "Nitsua can lead us through it. :)"

Okay: start on p.1. Let us know when you get to the end. Or don't. I'll survive.


message 4: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) Sneaky...

Nitsua60 wrote: ""Nitsua can lead us through it. :)"

Okay: start on p.1. Let us know when you get to the end. Or don't. I'll survive."



message 5: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments Up to chapter 3 and already getting into this work. Great stroke to give both protagonists insatiable curiosity. Although nominally fantasy, it takes on the typical POV of great science fiction, i.e. looking at humanity from an alien point of view.


message 6: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) Good, good. We're off to a better start.

Engineer27 wrote: "Up to chapter 3 and already getting into this work. Great stroke to give both protagonists insatiable curiosity. Although nominally fantasy, it takes on the typical POV of great science fiction, i...."


message 7: by Cameron (new)

Cameron (xphile) | 3 comments Book should be arriving any day now, so I'll likely plow through it this weekend!


message 8: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) Cool. It's turning out to be quite interesting.

Cameron wrote: "Book should be arriving any day now, so I'll likely plow through it this weekend!"


message 9: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments OK, so this book is kind of a slow burn. I'm hoping that the multipage tangents about the rabbi and the ice cream maker are going to pay off at some point.

Really enjoying the Djinni's backstory, though. The back-and-forth-ing between that and the late 19th century is the kind of flipping that might have made the last book somewhat more interesting.


message 10: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Schultz | 2 comments Engineer27 wrote: "OK, so this book is kind of a slow burn. I'm hoping that the multipage tangents about the rabbi and the ice cream maker are going to pay off at some point.

Really enjoying the Djinni's backstory, ..."


It's definitely a slow burn. I'm still enjoying it, especially because it started to feel like things are happening, but that only happened about a third of the way into the book.


message 11: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments Well, it's appropriate for "Digressions..."


message 12: by Jan (new)

Jan | 5 comments I have to say that I originally didn't want to give it a look but than the 5 minute listen on audible got me. I'm only two hours in and what I already love is the natural reaction of the tin smith to the jinn.

Not: "Magic? I never heard of magic, explain to me like I'm as old as I act right now..."

, but: "Oh, so magic is real. to what degree and in what form, mind you?".


message 13: by Nico (new)

Nico Suarez | 3 comments Somewhat enjoying the book, currently just got through chapter 2. One thing stuck with me so far though--the Jinni was afraid to touch iron but not steel...


message 14: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments Nico wrote: "Somewhat enjoying the book, currently just got through chapter 2. One thing stuck with me so far though--the Jinni was afraid to touch iron but not steel..."

I noticed that as well. I guess, go read the PHB on "Cold Iron".


message 15: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) It's definitely been an....interesting book, so far.


message 16: by John (new)

John Cousen | 6 comments I found it a fun read, a bit outside my normal reading sphere. Nothing too heavy.
Book one though?


message 17: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) So it seems. Book two isn't out yet so we're safe.
John wrote: "I found it a fun read, a bit outside my normal reading sphere. Nothing too heavy.
Book one though?"



message 18: by John (new)

John Cousen | 6 comments Phew


message 19: by Jan (last edited Jun 02, 2018 11:29AM) (new)

Jan | 5 comments The book made me think that maybe the sliding scale we measure RPGs with: railroad vs sandbox and Game vs Storytelling. I never thought of RPG stories as being focused on character or on plot and that you take away from one, to fuel the other. I am really enjoying this one so far (halfway through).

It is exploring human feelings, I needed that right now.

favorite line so far
(view spoiler)


message 20: by Sean (new)

Sean Laurvick (mastershizzle) | 4 comments Just finished. I was having an amazing time getting to know the characters and seeing the golem and jinni's personalities bounce off of each other.

But sweet steaming Gruumsh... the last third of the book got REALLY intense, REALLY fast. Wonderful stuff.


message 21: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) I like what I'm hearing. And what I am reading.

But goodness there's a lot of stuff keeping me from reading as much as I want right now.


message 22: by Nitsua60 (new)

Nitsua60 | 11 comments Brian wrote: "I like what I'm hearing. And what I am reading.

[kicks back and basks in the blame]


message 23: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) How many of you have finished this one?


message 24: by Nitsua60 (new)

Nitsua60 | 11 comments Brian wrote: "How many of you have finished this one?"

I read it back when it came out; picked it up again Tuesday and am about 1/3 through.


message 25: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) Well I HOPE you read it before recommending it....

Nitsua60 wrote: "Brian wrote: "How many of you have finished this one?"

I read it back when it came out; picked it up again Tuesday and am about 1/3 through."



message 26: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments I'm just past the 1/2-way point.


message 27: by John (new)

John Cousen | 6 comments Yup, took a few days, but all done and dusted.
What's next?


message 28: by JeroenH (new)

JeroenH | 3 comments In the final stretch so far enjoying it still


message 29: by Nico (new)

Nico Suarez | 3 comments Just finished the book. I enjoyed it a lot, the last stretch especially. It's a much slower-paced book than a lot of the recent ones I've been reading, but I find that it's very satisfying.


message 30: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) Excellent.

So, just so you are aware, due to shifts in Scott's schedule for the week and the stuff going on with Dad, we had to record next week's show on Wednesday last week. And we screwed up....

We forgot to discuss the book. Which is okay because what with one thing and another I haven't actually finished the book yet. (shame on me).

So, with that said, how about we all have an extra week to read while I get all my ducks in a row and pretend I know what's going on?


message 31: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments How often do I get a week's extension on anything?

I'll take it!


message 32: by Jan (new)

Jan | 5 comments Uh, uh, I'm done too :P Though I cheated with audible.


message 33: by Nitsua60 (new)

Nitsua60 | 11 comments Done. It's just as compelling and enjoyable on second read. Without getting too much into the climax and denoument, I'll say that

+ I really like magical realism. As much as I like "pure" fantasy, it's also nice sometimes to have a story that has one or two fantastic elements in it and doesn't linger too long on them. Someone mentioned earlier that they liked Arbeely's fairly measured reaction to "oh, there's a person popped out of that flask," and I feel like that's kind of how the whole world Wecker created reacts to these two magical creatures. (If you, too, like magical realism I'd suggest Italo Calvino's work, even though it tends to be more fabulist than realistic.)
+ I feel alone a lot of the time, so I really appreciate a main/major character who is truly *alone*, reaching out and making tenuous connections. I (personally) don't need a full-blown novel of manners with endless social complexity: limiting the character palette to a half-dozen major and another half-dozen minor works well for me.
+ And I'm always a sucker for stories told in multiple timelines. Iain Pears' *Dream of Scipio* is a good one for this: three stories in the same location spread across provincial Gaul, medieval France, and WWII Resistance France.
+ I'm thankful Wecker put us in the time and the culture with plenty of unobtrusive details---clothing, the elevated dead-ending at 59th St., streetcars and errand-boys---rather than through verbal signifiers. Too many authors would have thrown ten Yiddish or Arabic words onto each page and called it "immersing the reader."


message 34: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments Nitsua60 wrote: "...plenty of unobtrusive details..."
I loved that the people at the wedding drink araq. And how high-quality araq really does turn cloudy white when you put regular water in it.
There were a few minor misses, though.


message 35: by Brian (new)

Brian (fiddleback) I finished it!

And enjoyed it. More details to follow on the show and after it airs.


message 36: by Engineer27 (new)

Engineer27 | 15 comments OK. Finally finished.
Thought: The central theme of this book is whether you can act against your true nature? And, if you can't, should you take responsibility (or credit) for any of the outcomes?

Various characters find their own answers to this question, but the author does not seem to judge between them.

Other thought: The book was so sprawling and detailed, it didn't so much end as run out of story.


message 37: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 43 comments Engineer27 wrote: "Other thought: The book was so sprawling and detailed, it didn't so much end as run out of story."

Thing is, with that thought, she's got a sequel coming out. Which I will not be reading. The book didn't offend me - I liked it, but it was kind of...vanilla-feeling. I just tend to have an unnecessarily antagonistic relationship with sequels that I think are wholly unnecessary. But I am likely wrong.
And totally rambling.


message 38: by Questor (new)

Questor | 5 comments Bit late to the party, but I struggled to get through to the end.
I liked the ideas behind the book, however, it the plot moved so slowly and subsequently, the ending felt rushed and incomplete.
Not one for the re-read pile.


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