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Thread: Book Club: 7/8/03, "Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold *Spoilers*

  1. #21
    It was you. splatty's Avatar
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    Is it time to discuss yet?

    I'm confused, why is Anna gone? Is she OK?

    Well, I really really enjoyed the book. Call me crazy but I found the language beautiful and captivating. I found myself wanting to use her phrases in my own writing!

    I didn't need a neat clean plot with a convenient ending to draw me in. I saw it as a look into the lives of a family facing tragedy - how it affects each individual differently - and I found it at times frustrating or disappointing (how people acted and how Harvey got away) but realistic. Honestly, who is to say how anyone would react in a similar situation.

    I had mixed feelings about the whole "Ghost" scene. I think it was nice for everyone involved. It gave the main character some closure in a way and ability to move on. That was nice for her.

    I didn't feel it was a copy of "Ghost" at the time because honestly, I don't think "Ghost" could possibly be the first time anyone ever thought of this.

    Anyway, I thought it was a unique way to tell a bittersweet story and it inspired me to write myself. What more could I ask for?


    On the other hand, for another point of view, talk to my husband who thought it was horribly written, pointless, and way too long.

  2. #22
    Fade to black
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    I thought it was horribly written and pointless myself. But what do I know?
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  3. #23
    Why Not Us? greenie's Avatar
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    Exactly, hazy. I'm glad you've realized it.
    Who shot who in the what now?

  4. #24
    Fade to black
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    I'm lernin.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  5. #25
    daydream believer oneTVslave's Avatar
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    Anna is fine, she decided she would not participate in the FORT anymore for personal reasons. It's too bad, but that is her choice, of course.

    I really enjoyed the book and would eagerly read something else by Alice Sebold. I didn't even think about the movie Ghost until I saw it brought up in here. That wasn't my favorite part of the story, but I didn't mind it.
    I wanted the killer to get caught, but I agree that it was more realistic that he did not. And the icicle death was a satisfying way for him to go. While he did not die a horrible death with the suffering he deserved, it was nice twist...
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
    - Albert Einstein

  6. #26
    eternal optimist Shazzer's Avatar
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    Overall, I enjoyed the book because it did what a “successful” book should:
    1. It held my interest. I kept turning the pages because I wanted to see what happened next.
    2. It was a more unique idea. I’ve heard before that there are no new ideas, i.e. everything’s been done before. So a writer has to find a way to take an idea and make it fresh. I think Alice Sebold did a good job here.

    But I can’t stop myself from playing devil’s advocate when it comes to writing:
    I found some of her transitions blurry, especially between scenes or when switching from one point of view to another or one setting to another.

    Overall, I thought it was an interesting book. I thought it was realistic that the killer remain at large. In the real world, a lot of people don’t get caught, unlike most murder mysteries.

    I enjoyed the descriptions of the little girl’s heaven.
    Also, I’m an admitted wussy when it comes to violence and gore, and I found that having the little girl “live on”, and remain separate from the death of her physical body, much more palatable (and more interesting too). I liked this unique idea of her participation in life after her death. I also enjoyed the somewhat unconditional love she offered all the “earth dwellers”, including her very own killer (i.e. the scene when she talks of knowing that he wanted to stop killing, and that’s why he killed all those animals), and her mother (despite her leaving) and Ruth etc.
    I thought the pacing of the book was well done. I.e. the first year after her death seemed slow, and gave us a good idea of the spiraling depression and out-of-control direction everyone seemed to head in, and then it transitioned to snapshots of entire years etc. I thought this was effective in conveying the necessary understanding of the characters and their motives.

    Overall, it did its job. It held my interest until the end.
    "If you're like me, you have a 'been there, done that' attitude when it comes to paleolithic paleontology." - Jon Stewart

    "I swear, you are the ho-ho ho." - OTS

  7. #27
    FORT Fogey kyrjar's Avatar
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    It held my interest until the end, that is the best thing I can say.

    I wasn't thrilled with the icicle death nor about the falling to earth thing. But, it was a nice Hollywood touch -- she got to live her life a bit and got justice. So, I didn't mind it that much.

    I would read another Sebold book. It was an enjoyable summer read. Not great literature but far better than Grisholm and other popular writers. I was not bored and I liked the characters and I kept on reading til the end.

  8. #28
    FORT Fogey kyrjar's Avatar
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    By the way, I am very curious what made Anna decide not to visit for personal reasons. Did something offensive happen? Did she explain this in any threads on the site?

    The only reason I considered deleting the site from my favorites list was that I spent too much time here procrastinating from doing the things that I should. But, then here I am.

  9. #29
    Premium Member glennajo's Avatar
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    There were a few things I didn't like about the book. One of the first things that struck me were the words Susie used to tell the story. The wording she used while narrating came across as too "old" for her. I also noticed this with her little brother. A couple of times he talked about Susie, and he was made to sound years older than he was. I realize that these children were supposedly gifted, but it was a little too much, imo.

    Susie's heaven was hard for me to comprehend. It's not magic! I kept getting the vision of "I Dream Of Jeanne" and the whole ponytail swing whenever she said that whatever she wished for appeared. I'm not trying to get theological on you guys, but I just had a hard time believing it. Heaven isn't about big houses and ice cream, or is it? Maybe I'm confused.

    That also made her falling to Earth a problem. If she were in heaven, would it really be okay to suddenly fall to Earth and have premarital sex with someone? I'd rather not believe that could or would happen. And yes, I realize it's fiction. It just seemed really over the top to me.

    The part about Ruth tied it all together, but why was she the one who was touched by Susie? If Susie and Ruth were so "in touch", why didn't Susie try to tell Ruth that her body was in the sinkhole? Ruth seemed to know things about other girls who were killed. Why not Susie?

    The icicle killing Harvey was stupid. I wanted him to get caught and have to pay for what he did. It was just too easy to wrap it up that way, I guess. It was an alright book. Not one I would ever read again. Maybe I'm just too picky.

  10. #30
    The Truth Is Out There ixcrisxi's Avatar
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    I would have to agree about Harvey dying so quickly and uneventfully. Though, being caught would've ruined the book entirely because he is never meat to be caught. Though, the author alludes to it several times within the novel.

    I also would have to agree about the falling from heaven and having sex, not letting the cat out of the bag... Personally, if I were dead and no one knew why and I were given the chance to come down from heaven and use someone else body for a little while, I wouldn't have sex!!! I would let people know what happened. Ray knew it was Susie but he didn't even ask her how she died or who did it!!!! Why?

    Obviously, the author had to add one or two more scenes of desperate passion to put the icing on the cake... Beet cake.
    MULDER: It's still there, Scully. 200,000 years down in the ice.

    SCULLY:
    Leave it there.

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