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Group Read > Last Night in Twisted River ~ August 2010

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message 1: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 24, 2010 07:14PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving was the winner for our August Group Read.

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the nominations and the voting.

We have a week to get the book. Sorry for the short notice. You don't have to have the book finished by 8/1. Just try to start reading it by than. We usually read and discuss the book all month long. Read at your own pace.

Remember, Monthly Group Read threads are never closed to new comments.

The next time we vote, it will be for Sept. Oct. and Nov. So you will have more time to plan.


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 12, 2010 07:47AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Infomation on our August Group Read



Book: Last Night in Twisted River by John IrvingLast Night in Twisted River

Author: John Irving John Irving


When: The book discussion will begin on August 1, 2010

You don't have to have the book finished by 8/1. Just try to start reading it by than. We usually read and discuss the book all month long. Read at your own pace.

* Monthly Group Read threads are never closed to new comments.

Where: Right here in this thread

Spoiler Etiquette: The book is divided up into 6 sections.
Please put the section # and or chapter # at the top of your post as well as a spoiler warning if giving away a major plot element.

Book Details:
Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (June 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345479734

Synopsis:
Amazon Product Description
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable’s girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County—to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto—pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River depicts the recent half-century in the United States as “a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course.” What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author’s unmistakable voice—the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller.

About the Author
Amazon

John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times–winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award, in 1981, for the short story “Interior Space.” In 1992, Mr. Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules–a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Last Night in Twisted River is John Irving’s twelfth novel.

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/prod...


message 3: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments Getting ready to go over to Amazon to get the book, but.................Much as I hate to stir this up again, were we also going to take the other top vote getters for Sept, Oct and Nov reads? I am asking because I'd rather just place one order if that is the case.

kate


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 24, 2010 07:22PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Don't ever hesitate to ask a question, Kate. I know it can get confusing. Especially when things are a bit rushed.

People said they wanted a new slate of books to nominate and vote on for Sept/Oct./Nov. So we will NOT be taking the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for the next reads. Sorry !

Let us know what other books you are buying from Amazon. Curious minds want to know. :)

I just put in a request at my libraries web site. There are only 3 people before me. Yahoo !


message 5: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments LOL, Alias, you are too fast for me. I came back to delete that post, but you had already answered it.

Can't think what else is in the cart. I think I decided to try Eat, Pray, Love, but not sure of the others.

kate


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments I loved Eat, Pray, Love One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia~ Elizabeth Gilbert.

I just emailed my niece to tell her I want to go see it. I had loaned her the book. :)


message 7: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments Yes, I'm hoping to see the movie, and wanted to read the book first. It is in my cart and so is the new Anna Quindlan, but can't remember the title.

Kate


message 8: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments I may try to read some of the others that were in our poll as well. For sure the Maya Angelou.

I'm pretty sure that my library has this book but I won't be able to get it for another week.


message 9: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments I actually voted for Twisted River, but want to read Maya Angelou too. Maybe we should throw it up for nomination one more time.

Kate


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Yes, I want to read Caged Bird too; before I forget! :o)

Donna


message 11: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Kate -- that works for me. Either Donna, or you, or I should nominate it again.


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 25, 2010 01:00PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments And don't forget Buddy Reads. If, and when, you want to do that, let me know and I'll set up the thread for you.


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1219 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "I may try to read some of the others that were in our poll as well. For sure the Maya Angelou."

I am still going to read Clara's War. Not sure about the one that won yet....I couldn't get into The World According to Garp when I tried it.


message 14: by Mad Dog (new)

Mad Dog | 116 comments I got lucky and found this (for $10 hardcover) at first used book store I went into. The wait list (to check this out at my library) is years long. And the library has eight copies.

This is longer than other books that we have read recently, and I am concerned that I'll finish it when everybody else is pretty much done talkin' about it. But maybe I'll find a bunch of time for reading it.


message 15: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments Mad Dog, I'm concerned about the same thing. I'm the one who nominated the darn thing, and I did it by using the book list Alias set up. I've always nominated a book I actually knew something about. This one was a pick in the dark and now I've gone and stuck you all with a BFB. I'm going to start it today, but August is my busiest month so who knows how I will do.

Kate


message 16: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments @Julie -- I have read a few by John Irving. The World According to Garp was the most off-putting for me. Others I have enjoyed. Also I considered reading Clara's War but my list has gotten way out of hand.

@Mad Dog -- years ago on AOL boards the threads would disappear and it was frustrating. Now you can always access the topics so I am sure that we will continue to be talking about this for as long as it takes. Not to worry.

Don't have this book yet. Was afraid to request it and have it come in while I was away -- so we will see what the situation is.


message 17: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11896 comments I didn't realize this was a newish book. It's backlogged in the only library near me which has it (my dad's), so i may not get it in August at all. If not, i'm going to skip it. Apologies all around.

deborah


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments It is in transit to my library. My library is closed on Sunday. I hope it comes in Monday.


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Sorry to hear you may have to pass, Deb. The book is out in PB. So it has been out in HC for over a year. One of my all time favorite books is a Irving book. A Prayer for Owen Meany.


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments kate/Edukate12 wrote: "Mad Dog, I'm concerned about the same thing. I'm the one who nominated the darn thing, and I did it by using the book list Alias set up. I've always nominated a book I actually knew something abo..."
--------------------

Just to be clear I thought I would clarify what the List is, since the book shelf TBR list is a new feature we are using, and we have a lot of new members to BNC.

The "list" referred to is one of two book shelves the BNC has.

You can access the shelf by scrolling down all the way to the bottom of our main page (the page that lists all the topics/folders). You can also access the List by going to the right side of the page and selecting the link for Bookshelf from the list of other links that appear there.

One of the shelves is our To Be Read list (TBR). It is a list of books that everyone here can suggest books for. And some have done so. A book does not have to be on the list for you to nominate it. It is just a feature we thought would help people think of titles when we are nominating books. It's a feature that other GR groups have used successfully.

The idea is that during the month if you happen to come across a book that you think might make a good group read (you don't have to have read the book). you can let me know and I will put it on the TBR book shelf. When it comes to nominating a book, people can peruse the list and click on the GR link for a book on the list and get a synopsis as well as other book details such as page numbers, copyright, author info, other GR member comments etc.

If you want to see what books we have already read as a group, we also have a Books Read book shelf.

As to the monthly read. If you can read and discuss the book that's great. If not, that is okay, too. We only ask if you voted for a book that you make an effort to read/discuss the book. If it takes you a week or two to get the book, that's okay, too. If it takes you longer than a month to read it, we are okay with that also. There are no hard rules for our monthly read. We only suggest that the book be available in paperback.

I think five people voted for Twisted River, so I think we will have a nice discussion.

I hope to get the book form my library by Monday or Tuesday.


message 21: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 31, 2010 03:45PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Kate:This one was a pick in the dark and now I've gone and stuck you all with a BFB.
-----------------

I wouldn't be very concerned about the pages.

The Irving book I read was a fast read, though it was longer than the average book.

Some books can be dense with info or use advanced level language and therefore take longer to read. Others books are lighter reads that use fairly common everyday words and can be read quickly. Both books can be great reads, they are just different. Personally, I think Irving is a fairly light read and can be read easily.

Just this month I read The Prince & the Pauper for a F2F group I attend. The book was only around 200 pages, yet it took me quite a long time to read as it was written in old English.

So, imo, page number should not be a deterrent to reading a good book. :)


message 22: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments : ) Size of a book never bothers me. I just felt badly when I saw the size of this one since it is a monthly pick. However, I started it today and I think it will go fairly quickly.

Kate


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I have read this book already, but will be interested to see the discussion on it.

Ps I am new to this group.:)


message 24: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11896 comments Welcome, Marialyce. I hope you'll join in on the discussion about the book. Are you an Irving fan?

deborah


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Yes, I do like his style. I have read his Cider House Rules as well as The World According to Garp . I have not read but intend to read A Prayer For Owen Meany .


message 26: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11896 comments My mom was a big Irving fan but i never enjoyed his work the way she did. She gave me a couple but i didn't finish a single one.

deborah


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments NO spoilers. Well, I have started this book, and am now on page 22, which is still chapter one.

It seems awfully 'wordy' for me. My eyes kept drifting closed. Something happens right away, and then the story has wandered. I'm hoping that something else happens soon, or I'm afraid Twisted River will get put on my DID NOT FINISH SHELF. Perhaps if I was more interested in logging in the 30's?

Donna in Southern Maryland


message 28: by thewanderingjew (new)

thewanderingjew | 138 comments Oh, what a wonderful idea! I need a did not finish shelf! I am always afraid to stop reading a book before I finish; it is an old hang-up; now I think if I have a place to put them, I will be able to give them up! Thank you!

Donna in Southern Maryland wrote: " NO spoilers. Well, I have started this book, and am now on page 22, which is still chapter one.

It seems awfully 'wordy' for me. My eyes kept drifting closed. Something happens right away, and t..."



Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "Oh, what a wonderful idea! I need a did not finish shelf! I am always afraid to stop reading a book before I finish; it is an old hang-up; now I think if I have a place to put them, I will be able ..."

You are very welcome TWJ! The regulars here know that I have a rule that says: "Life is too short to waste time reading a book I don't enjoy!" I have even been known to throw a few across the room! Try it! It feels SO GOOD! :o)

Donna in Southern Maryland who tries to give the Group Reads a few extra pages, just because I want to enjoy the discussions; but that only goes so far!


message 30: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 734 comments Marialyce wrote: "Yes, I do like his style. I have read his Cider House Rules as well as The World According to Garp. I have not read but intend to read A Prayer For Owen Meany."

These older books of Irving's are his best, IMO.


message 31: by thewanderingjew (new)

thewanderingjew | 138 comments how does this discussion proceed? is there a special thread with questions or do you just jump in?


message 32: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 02, 2010 12:12PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "how does this discussion proceed? is there a special thread with questions or do you just jump in?"
---------------------------

The book discussion is in this thread.

Please use page # and spoiler warning at the top of your posts. I don't have the book yet, so I don't know if it is broken up into sections/parts. If so add that to the top of your post.

Just jump on in ! :)

I couldn't find any questions for the book online.


message 33: by thewanderingjew (last edited Aug 02, 2010 01:15PM) (new)

thewanderingjew | 138 comments I just started the book so I am not ready to really comment. However, I found this website with some questions.

http://www.litlovers.com/guide_last_n...


message 34: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 02, 2010 08:54PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "I just started the book so I am not ready to really comment. However, I found this website with some questions.

http://www.litlovers.com/guide_last_n..."


--------------

Thanks. I'll check it out. I hope to get the book in the next few days from the library.


message 35: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) madrano wrote: "Welcome, Marialyce. I hope you'll join in on the discussion about the book. Are you an Irving fan?

deborah"


It's funny but I usually have a love/hate relationship with John Irving. APrayer Fot Owen Meany was one of my all time favoites. They made a movie of it with Ashley Judd but they changed the title to something else. I also loved Cider House Rules but hated Hotel New Hampshire and couldn't even finish it and the World According to Garp wasn't as good as it was according to my friends!


message 36: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) I just got this book a couple sometime in June or July while I was on vacation. It was one of those freebies the publisher sends out. I don't know how I got on their list but this is the 4th one I have gotten like that. One even came with chocolates! So it is a perfect August read for me!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Rebekah wrote: "madrano wrote: "Welcome, Marialyce. I hope you'll join in on the discussion about the book. Are you an Irving fan?

deborah"

It's funny but I usually have a love/hate relationship with John Ir..."


Thanks for the welcome. I think you are right about Irving. He is very verbose and quirky at times. I am anxious to see what everyone thinks about this book if his.


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Rebekah wrote: "I just got this book a couple sometime in June or July while I was on vacation. It was one of those freebies the publisher sends out. I don't know how I got on their list but this is the 4th one I ..."
-----------

Wow ! That's cool, Rebekah. Reading and chocolate, what's better than that. :)


message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments Rebekah wrote: APrayer Fot Owen Meany was one of my all time favoites. .."
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A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of the very few books I've read twice. Loved it !


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Alias Reader wrote: "Rebekah wrote: APrayer Fot Owen Meany was one of my all time favoites. .."
-------------

A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of the very few books I've read twice. Loved it !"


You all convinced me that I will definitely move that up to the top of my TBR list. Thanks!


message 41: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Just got my library notice that Last Night in Twisted River is waiting for me. I won't be able to pick it up until Saturday but I am looking forward to joining in the discussion soon.

And I am thinking that I should reread A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is a very long time since I read and enjoyed it. And I think I could fit it in.


message 42: by Mad Dog (last edited Aug 04, 2010 11:27AM) (new)

Mad Dog | 116 comments This is my 'first Irving'. I have just started and read the first 10 or 15 pages of the book.

Let me put on my 'devil horns'. A boy dies and then we get logging industry details and logging industry history. It really dulls the impact of the tragedy. And the writing is clunky and akward. For example, Irving shifts between calling the main character by name (Dominic if I recall) and by occupation (cook). I was confused for a short while, until I figured out they were the same character. This is surprising, because Irving is a famous and well regarded veteran. I just read 'Glass Castle' and I was 'taken' by the wonderful and efficient writing (IMO) and 'Glass Castle' is the author's (Walls) first book. Go figure.

I figure things will get better for me (as I keep reading). I might be singing this book's praises in a short while. And even if it doesn't get much better, I don't always mind reading a book that I don't like. And I can always talk 'logging' at my next lunch with a friend.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Mad Dog wrote: "This is my 'first Irving'. I have just started and read the first 10 or 15 pages of the book.

Let me put on my 'devil horns'. A boy dies and then we get logging industry details and logging ind..."


It is not one of his better novels. I agree with you on The Glass Castle .


message 44: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments I'm about a quarter of the way through LNITR and it has really picked up for me after a slow start. I like the characters and I like the way Irving is slowly peeling back layers of the story of Danny's mother. By doing so, he's adding depth to the others too. This is my first Irving so I can't comment on typical style.

Kate


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments I just got the book today and I hope to start reading it a bit tonight.

From reading your posts it seems that the book takes a little while for Irving to set up. So I hope you all give it a fair shot.

I see that the book is broken up into 6 parts.

Please put the Part # at the top of your post, so others don't read spoilers. Also if giving away a major plot element, please use a spoiler warning at the top of the post also.

Thanks !


message 46: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19152 comments People, how can you not love a book where the last paragraph, of the fist chapter, contains, not one, but TWO, ploce ??

I have to say I like the writing. I love phrases such as he "suffered no progress gladly".


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments Whole book but no spoilers.

I didn't join this group read because I read Last Night in Twisted River last year. I gave it 4 stars, enjoyed it but it wasn't one of my favorites. I'm a John Irving fan, but I like some of his books much more than others. A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of my all-time favorite books by any author. If anyone is interested in my Twisted River review, it is here:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 48: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Librarian (ellenlibrarian) kate/Edukate12 wrote: "I'm about a quarter of the way through LNITR and it has really picked up for me after a slow start. I like the characters and I like the way Irving is slowly peeling back layers of the story of Da..."

I'm on about P. 55 and the story has picked up for me, too. I was just about ready to put it aside during all the mind-numbing talk about logging but once the story of the father and son began, it grabbed me. Whether I'll last for the whole book remains to be seen but so far so good.


message 49: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments Ellen said I'm on about P. 55 and the story has picked up for me, too. I was just about ready to put it aside during all the mind-numbing talk about logging but once the story of the father and son began, it grabbed me. Whether I'll last for the whole book remains to be seen but so far so good.

Stick with it Ellen. I'm more than half way through now and always anxious to learn more about the characters. As for the logging info, yeah, it was tedious in a way. However, I know next to nothing about logging so I figure I learned something. And I've always marveled at the skill of those who can walk on logs in the water and wondered what would happen if they slipped. Now I know.

Here's my problem though BNCers. Those who have known me for a long time know that I find getting discussion going difficult. Some of the people who can spur me on are not reading the book and others are behind me. If someone gets something going I think I can jump in. I'm not an analyzer, I tend to read purely for enjoyment so I need some help here.

Kate


message 50: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Aug 06, 2010 05:25AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I can tell you that this story took Irving 20 years to think of and write."For the longest time the last sentence eluded me, but 20 years ago I imagined a novel about a cook and his young son who become fugitives; who have to run from some violent act that will follow them. And it was always in a kind of frontier town — a place where there was one law, and it was one man, who was single-minded and bad."

This novel is written about three basic characters with all their flaws and wonderful moments.Dominic Baciagalupo, the cook/ father to Daniel, the novelist son who mistakingly kills his father's lover, and Ketchum, the lovable friend to both. In his past novels, Irving usually writes of a mother/son relationship but in this one he changed from his usual.

Some say that this book was autobiographical since there are many elements which resemble Irving's life that become Danny's life. For example, it is Danny's fourth novel which propels him into an acclaimed novelist while it was Irving's fourth novel, The World According to Garp which did the same for him.

While I did not find it to be Irving's best novel, I did love the way he uses language to convey emotions, atmosphere and interrelationships.

I so loved Ketchum and found him to be the friend we all hope to have. How does everyone else feel about the characters?


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