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Thread: Book Club (March 2006)

  1. #31
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    So should we officially name The Beekeeper's Apprentice our pick of the month?

    My copy of it is divided into four different sections, plus a brief "interlude" chapter and a finishing chapter called Postludium. How about if we read one section a week? Bearing in mind that my hardcover copy could differ from the paperback one, here's a preliminary reading schedule:

    WEEK ONE (Since it's Friday, I suggest we start Monday 6th. Is that okay with everyone?): The entire first part of the book ("Apprenticeship"), including, of course, the two prefaces.

    WEEK TWO: Part two. This segment is slightly shorter than the others, but feel free to keep reading for as long as you like. It's probably a good idea to put plot elements that occur after part two in spoiler tags during week two, though.

    WEEK THREE Part three.

    WEEK FOUR Part four.

    Is everyone up with this schedule? After comparing my hardcover copy to the paperback copy on Amazon, it would appear that the pages differ greatly, so I decided not to include page references in the schedule since it would probably just be confusing. (My copy is 346 pages; the paperback version is 448 pages.)

    Excellent choice, by the way! I read it when it was first published some ten years ago and loved it. But then again, considering that Sherlock Holmes was one of my first crushes, that shouldn't come as a surprise. Any other Holmes fanatics in the house?

    Can't wait to hear what you all think about it. Great news if you like what you read: Laurie R. King has, since the publication of The Beekeeper's Apprentice, written eight more books featuring Mary Russell and the inimitable Sherlock Holmes. I've read most of them and they all come highly recommended.

    Oooh, and according to her web site (http://www.laurierking.com/) there will be a brand new Kate Martinelli mystery out in hardback on May 30th... AND it partially deals with Sherlock Holmes! I don't think words can quite articulate just how thrilled I am right now. See, Laurie R. King hasn't published a book in the Kate Martinelli series since 2000 and while I LOVE the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, the Martinelli series have a special place in my heart (and book collection). Too bad I'm supposed to be at work on an essay... So many books, so little time.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  2. #32
    Here's your sign JAFO'S PRINCESS's Avatar
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    Bought a copy over the weekend and am LOVING it! I am reading it along with The Brethren by John Grisham. I couldn't put either down. Thanks!
    I might as well work. I'm in a bad mood anyway.
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  3. #33
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Bought a copy over the weekend and am LOVING it! I am reading it along with The Brethren by John Grisham. I couldn't put either down. Thanks!
    Great to hear, JAFO'S PRINCESS! How do you feel about the preface, by the way? Does it in any way affect the way you read the novel? All Mary Russell novels begin with a note from the author, claiming to have come across manuscripts by Mary Russell. I'm not sure I'm a fan of that particular move - the fake authenticity thing seems a bit ridiculous to me, but ah well. I LOVE the series nevertheless. The Beekeeper's Apprentice is probably my favourite, along with its sequel, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, which deals with the suffragette movement. If you liked this one, make sure to pick it up.

    Let me know when you're ready to start discussing it. Like I said earlier, I read it years ago but I think I remember most of it.

    How are the rest of you doing? Has everyone managed to grap hold of a copy?
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  4. #34
    waiting for summer owlie's Avatar
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    I'm still waiting for a copy from the library, but I think I'll go out and buy it tonight. Then I'll put my other book club book (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell) on hold for a few days to get started on The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I can't wait to begin!!

    (BTW, Jonathan Strange etc.--very good so far. Really funny and original.)

  5. #35
    FORT Fan Shaybo's Avatar
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    I'm up for Beekeepers Apprentice If I can find it. Sorry it took me so long, butwhen I tried to get on line the website wasn't working. Geek I agree about the finding of the manuscripts it read kind of funny. Well happy reading evryone.
    There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved- George Sand

  6. #36
    Here's your sign JAFO'S PRINCESS's Avatar
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    I finished the first part of the book and it was GREAT!!! Thanks! I never would've read it if not for the fort.
    I might as well work. I'm in a bad mood anyway.
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  7. #37
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAFO'S PRINCESS View Post
    I finished the first part of the book and it was GREAT!!! Thanks! I never would've read it if not for the fort.
    Cool! What was it that you liked about it, specifically? Share your thoughts!

    How are the rest of you getting on? Ready for some questions?

    1. How does Laurie R. King relate to Sherlock Holmes as a mythological character? Do you feel that her take on Sherlock Holmes is different to that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's? Do you recognise the original Sherlock Holmes in King's portrayal of him? How would you describe Holmes?

    2. How would you describe Mary Russell?

    3. How do you feel about King's preface? Is it necessary? Did it in any way affect the way you read the story?

    That's all I can think of for now.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  8. #38
    Here's your sign JAFO'S PRINCESS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl View Post
    Cool! What was it that you liked about it, specifically? Share your thoughts!

    How are the rest of you getting on? Ready for some questions?

    1. How does Laurie R. King relate to Sherlock Holmes as a mythological character? Do you feel that her take on Sherlock Holmes is different to that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's? Do you recognise the original Sherlock Holmes in King's portrayal of him? How would you describe Holmes?

    2. How would you describe Mary Russell?

    3. How do you feel about King's preface? Is it necessary? Did it in any way affect the way you read the story?



    ETA: I think my favorite part is the relationship between Holmes and Mary. They really are sweet and he is teaching her so much.
    That's all I can think of for now.
    1. I never read the old Holmes books so I can't really answer. I see Holmes in this book as a lonely, slightly bored man in the begining but he changes. You start to see more of him as the book continues. As his relationship with Mary develops you see him more as a person. He seems very caring (the little things he does like picking up on her being sensitive about being clumsy and such. Calling her a cab for no charge...) and I liked the way he took her under his wing and was teaching her. It seemed like the relationship benifited them both but like Watson said she brought him back to life. I think the matters with the war were not enough to keep his brillliant mind active but the presance of this young lady made all the differance in the world for him. He now had something to do. A reason to get up in the morning and a way to occupy his days.

    2. Mary Russell seemed to me a brilliant but lost, sort of troubled young lady. She blossomed under Holmes attention and later at Oxford. I think she was about half in love with Holmes while at the same time seeing him as a father figure. I think his acceptance and that of the wonderful housekeeper helped her to become more comfortable in her own skin and gave her a way to put all those brains to good use. She realized that being bookish and akward wasn't the worst thing to be.

    3. I think the preface was a neat addition to the book. For me it gave a whole differant feel to the book than if I hadn't read the preface. I was prepared for a freindship between the two because she spkoe so fondly of him and wanted the world to see him the same way she did. I think it made the story feel more personal.
    I might as well work. I'm in a bad mood anyway.
    "I like to base my help on how happy you expect to be." Dogbert's tech support.

  9. #39
    Here's your sign JAFO'S PRINCESS's Avatar
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    I finished the book. It was great. There was only one thing I didn't like but that kept me wanting to read the rest of the series so I can see why it was set up that way. When everybody is ready to discuss let me know. I don't want to start babbling and get ahead of anyone and give something away.
    I might as well work. I'm in a bad mood anyway.
    "I like to base my help on how happy you expect to be." Dogbert's tech support.

  10. #40
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you liked it, JAFO'S PRINCESS! If you feel like reading on, the next book in the series is A Monstrous Regiment of Women. It's one of my faves in the whole Russell/Holmes series and it also marks a turning point in the dynamics between the two of them... I hope I can say as much without you being spoiled.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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