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BotM Discussion - FANTASY > The Library at Mount Char/ Overall Discussion / *****Spoilers*****

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message 1: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments Start of the BoM for The Library at Mount Char


message 2: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments Well - all I can say is this was one weird book. I have to say, I almost put this one down and marked it a DNF but the author did a great job of developing the main character. I am very glad I continued on. It's not that the book was my usual fodder but I thought the author did a really good job of developing the story around the main character and her motivations. This was not a book that I could say - yeah ok - it really took me from hating the character to really seeing the character motivations grow and develop. Can't say that this was a character I could relate to but the story really brought out some page turning - didn't want to put it down - have to put it down jumps. I will be very interested to see what others think.


message 3: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 1164 comments I have the audiobook on stand-by, but I want to kill Penny Dreadful first. It will be a re-read for me, but the ending was so intricate, I am hoping to get more out of it with the second consumption.


message 4: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments I actually listened to the book, didn't read. I thought the audio was well done but I also thought it was very dark.


message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick It is dark. It's also one of the best books I've read in the last several years.


message 6: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 112 comments I thought it was amazing. I could never guess where the story was going. It has what feels like a big high-action ending about 2/3 through and then it switches to a quieter story for the rest.

A few of the violent scenes were hard to take.

This is the only book this guy has published. I wonder what he's up to now.


message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 47 comments Very weird, and very excellent! A wide-ranging, eclectic book with great writing. And yes, really dark.

The novelty would be hard to capture in a sequel but if he writes one I will certainly give it a go.


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 641 comments This has been on my TBR for ages so I'm looking forward to finally reading it.


message 9: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 112 comments Mark wrote: "The novelty would be hard to capture in a sequel ..."

I don't want him to write a sequel. But if he published another book, I'd likely try it.


message 10: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 1164 comments He wrote several non-fiction computer coding books before this. ..


message 11: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 112 comments He is working on another book! And it has talking dogs!

http://www.shawkins.net/index.php/faqs/

Here's where I'm at: I had one false start after Mount Char that got abandoned. The working title was That Isn't a Giraffe. The first chapter wasn't too bad, but I never did figure out where I was going with it. I gave up at about the sixty page mark and moved on to something else.

Fast forward about two years. In October 2018, I turned in a draft of something called The Lost House. It's a new story, independent of Mount Char. I talked about it in a couple of interviews--it was sort of a noir take on Scooby Doo. The gist was that a very hard-boiled monster hunter who happened to be a dog came into town to stir some shit.

It got as far as a completed draft, read by four people: my wife, my agent, my editor and me. I liked it okay. Other people, less so. And talking dogs are a tough sell in adult fiction. Anyway, rather than put out something that everyone would agreed would be disappointing, we agreed that a major rewrite was in order.

That, thank god, is going well. As I type this (August 2019) I am about three working days from having a completed draft. The people who've seen it (three so far) seem to think the first couple of chapters are pretty good.

Better late than bad, I guess? Thanks for the interest.



message 12: by Vinca (new)

Vinca Russell (vinxlady) | 1244 comments I finished the book at the weekend and really enjoyed it. There was a lot to take in and I agree that the ending would probably benefit from a re-read, it all developed very quickly. I loved how weird everything got and there were some fantastic ideas in there that I'd like to hear more about. I think a prequel story featuring Father would be pretty interesting, or a bit more involving some of the other folios in the series of 12.

Carolyn was a great character for me, but I feel like I want to read it again knowing how it all ends. I suspect there are hidden depths to her that could appear in a second read.

I'm glad to hear he has another book coming, it'll be interesting to see where he goes after such a good and very weird first novel!


message 13: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1748 comments I’m just over half the way through and I have to say I didn’t like all the dog deaths. As a vet nurse it just made me sad and seemed kinda over the top for the sake of it, but it might be more understood as I finish the book. It’s very weird though. I would hate to see the authors dreams......


message 14: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments LOL Lel - I can so relate to the dream statement. I was thinking that the tremendous amount of dogs would be consistent with dogs running loose and breeding for a long time. I had to think about that for a while. But I did feel bad about them...


message 15: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1748 comments So i've now finished and although I get the convoluted route that Carolyn had to go down to keep her plans hidden from everyone, I'm still not ok with the dog slaughter scene. I wonder if the next book about dogs is to make up for that horror.
I dont think that I can say that I enjoyed this book, but I did find it interesting and constantly wondering what was going to happen next.
I felt so bad for Steve. I feel like he just got completely used and got nothing back. But then I guess becoming the sun would count as a form of enlightenment.....


message 16: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1748 comments Sandy wrote: "LOL Lel - I can so relate to the dream statement. I was thinking that the tremendous amount of dogs would be consistent with dogs running loose and breeding for a long time. I had to think about th..."

It was the one that was being dragged by the car that really got me.
That being said, I would not have been so brave as the vets in the book if someone rocked up practice with a lion that needed treatment.


message 17: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments Yeah that was kinda sick - treating a lion - I am not surprised that he was supposed to stick the lion with the tranq first - the man certainly took a beating. I did like the character of Steve though - and Erwin probably more than the MC.


message 18: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1748 comments I don’t know why but Erwin reminded me of Clarke from the Tom Clancy books. Just a bit of bad ass but very circumspect about it.


message 19: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments I will have to reread some Tom Clancy - don't remember that character but liked that type of character.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Sandy wrote: "I will have to reread some Tom Clancy - don't remember that character but liked that type of character."

Clear and Present Danger is good one to re-read if you're looking for Clark material.

As for Library at Mount Char, I have to stay it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it. The word "library" had me thinking it was going to be kind of mellow, with a lot of books and maybe a grey-haired librarian shushing the noisy kids in the back. Clearly I was mistaken. There's a deep Lovecraftian vibe hinting at unrecorded history and beings that would be best described as "supernatural" or "godlike" who oversee...well, all of existence apparently. The talking lions were the best, although the scenes with the one kid (can't remember his name at the moment) causing death and destruction and mayhem while wearing a tutu will never leave me. As much as I would love a sequel or more books with these characters, I think a lot of the fun is in having so many unanswered questions at the end of the book, and having it all explained to us might detract from the enjoyment (ahem - Star Wars prequels). I will definitely read the next non-computer-software-oriented book produced by this author - he has a really fun, twisted imagination and he seems to have a great time ignoring and even impaling the conventions of the genre.


message 21: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 112 comments Great review Randy! I also don't want anyone to "explain it all".


message 22: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Fleet | 16 comments This BOTM selection inspired me to read Library for the third time. It rewards re-reading, because there's so much going on. E.g., seeing how Carolyn set up her ultimate "trick shot" again, once you know the basic idea.

Little things too, on re-reading. Like...

When Steve wakes up in Mrs. McGillicutty's house he puts on a concert T shirt, and "The logo of the band Heart was stenciled across the chest in bright-orange letters, glowing like a coal." Heart coal! Nice.

I didn't realize on the first read that the heart Steve sees in the fridge is HIS own heart, after he has been resurrected!

Yeah, brutally violent, but I've never read anything else like it.


message 23: by Wayland, Ernest Scribbler (new)

Wayland Smith | 2778 comments Mod
I'm about 60 pages in and I'm really struggling with this one. Carolyn seems to be the POV character, and I really don't like her much. Her setting up the plumber/thief to die was rough to take. So far, I'm not really liking anyone in this book, which always makes it hard for me to get through one.


message 24: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 112 comments Carolyn isn't really the POV character, and she definitely isn't nice. Later we understand why she is the way she is, but that won't make you like her. There are lots of unlikable characters, which is something I enjoy, but some people apparently don't.


message 25: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1748 comments I would prefer to love or hate a character rather than be indifferent about them. To me, if you don’t care one way or another, it’s the sign of a bad character. If they bring out love or hate then the author has really done their job in bringing that character to life.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) It does seem to me that a character being likeable or non- is really a credit to the author for creating believable life from words on a page. That said, it didn't make me enjoy The Girl on the Train any more.


message 27: by Wayland, Ernest Scribbler (new)

Wayland Smith | 2778 comments Mod
Well over halfway through and still struggling. I like Erwin and Steve, and that's about it.

I really do find it difficult to get into a book where I don't like most of the characters. If I'm inviting these people into my head, I'd rather have some I enjoy spending time with in there, if that makes any sense.


message 28: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1636 comments Very much enjoying this discussion - thanks for sharing all your thoughts.


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