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The Actual Book Club

Discussion in 'Book club' started by peggylu, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Motherofchikkins

    Motherofchikkins Star commenter

    Yes @peggylu - it's the same here. They share a collection of books under the regional libraries and then there are smaller libraries that the books travel between. The problem with Tin Man was that they didn't have it at all, and I asked them nicely to buy it :) Since I've ordered it there are now another four people waiting to read it, so it's proving to be popular already.

    It's been ordered and is at the 'processing' stage, so hopefully soon. Meanwhile I continue to trudge through The God of Small Things, whilst the latest Stuart MacBride sits neglected on my bedside table
    *sobs* ;)

    Will try and post a picture of your namesake chicken this weekend :)
    peggylu and galerider123 like this.
  2. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    I’ve been rescheduled aargh! I’ve got to go into hospital on Monday morning now instead of on Wednesday. This means I’m going to be rushing around this weekend to get stuff done that I’d planned to do over Mon/Tues :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I’m going to post some thoughts about Tin Man tonight to make sure I’ve at least contributed something just in case I’m not up to it next week.
  3. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Psychological abuse, infidelity, female empowerment, maternal ambition and determination, fear of change, guilt, cancer, death by car crash, AIDS, homophobia, repression, friendship, unrequited love, true love, loyalty, promiscuity, male camaraderie, stoicism, stereotypes of masculinity, emotional detachment, denial, tragedy...

    ...this book gently leads you through an emotional rollercoaster of human experience.

    I enjoyed it so much and just wallowed in the wonderfully slow meandering way it had of drawing me deeper and deeper into the inner lives of the protagonists.

    I especially loved the prologue, it was perfectly understated and so utterly relatable. The narrative didn’t take us into excessive detail about the full extent of the young wife’s suffering, trapped with a controlling, psychologically abusive, insecure **** of a man.

    But, then her single act of public defiance over the sunflower picture was triumphant. I don’t think any woman could read this part of the book without experiencing feelings of real satisfaction when she made that determined stand about the raffle prize. These feelings carried on for me when they returned home and she found the confidence to fully regain her self respect within the relationship by defending her right to keep the picture. I was revelling in the thought of how much he would have hated that picture throughout subsequent years because it was symbolic of the moment she regained her individuality and took back some control.

    The rest of the book affected me similarly. I felt the full weight of the 46 year old Ellis’ loneliness, grief and fear. I shared the exhilaration of Ellis and Michael’s trip to France and the voyage of self discovery they were both on as the repression of both their home circumstances was temporarily left behind and forgotten.

    I thought the jumps from present to past worked well and the mid-book switch from Ellis’ viewpoint to Michael’s narrative also gave another dimension to the story. We got to see how maturity, personal growth, tragedy and loss in both their lives altered their understanding and empathy for others.

    There is so much I haven’t mentioned that touched me, so many small moments that resonated. This book was beautiful, it’s a modern day Greek tragedy.

    Loved it. 9/10 from me.
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  4. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    You've inspired me to read it, @peggylu albeit a bit late for this month's club!

    I did eventually finish my enormous book. And have now started another one, like a wally.
    peggylu likes this.
  5. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Had a major panic when I saw your review...I thought I'd got my dates wrong!
    Will reread over the week and post for next weekend. Good luck on Monday!
    peggylu likes this.
  6. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Brilliant. Share your thoughts with us all when you finish it. :)
  7. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    I genuinely do this at least twice a week so I wouldn’t worry. :)
    galerider123 likes this.
  8. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Just ordered 'Different Class' for £3.17! Bargain.
    galerider123 likes this.
  9. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Well, Tin Man. I have read this book twice now, and with completely different reactions!The first time I read it, I was expecting magic, like " A Year of Marvellous Ways", Sarah Winman's previous book, and I was disappointed.
    Even the first time, I enjoyed the first chapter immensely, which is almost like a complete short story in itself, and bode of great things. But after that, I felt that the plot what a bit predictable, and I didn't really enjoy it.
    Scroll on in time, and I reread it to remember the details for this review...and I loved it (!)
    This time, the plot settled in my brain, I read the way that she wrote the book more. After the more dramatic first chapter, the author slips back into the warm writing that we are used to from her previous books. Her descriptions are beautiful, and the prose carried me through...I just couldn't stop reading this tide of beautiful words.
    So my advice to anyone reading this for the first time would be to take your time reading it, and really enjoy the quality of the writing.
    Just as an aside, the words Tin Man don't appear in the story at all. Is this a mistake,do you think? (It seems like a lost opportunity to me.) Could you think of a better title? What would you call it?
  10. Motherofchikkins

    Motherofchikkins Star commenter

    Totally agreed with everything that you said regarding the book. I'm a bit emotional just now generally, and perhaps that didn't help, but I cried at just the prologue. As you said, the writing was so understated, yet portrayed such a vivid picture of a woman standing up for herself, for the first time. I could almost hear the chants for her to choose the bottle of grog, and yet she chose the painting. Brilliant piece of writing.

    Interesting too that you said Greek tragedy.. I was whilst reading it thinking "Shakespearian tragedy" Even my English teacher at school said, when we were studying Romeo and Juliet, that each time she read it, she wished for a happier ending.

    The dichotomy for me was that in spite of it being such a tragic story in so many ways, I found it so uplifting. There was so much beauty in the actual writing of course, but there was also such a generosity of spirit from the characters, from Mabel who gave them a home, to Annie who understood their friendship and more, and to Ellis, who in spite of his own pain, took the time to make his co-worker know that it was ok to not be heterosexual.

    In the end, the library didn't get the book in time. It's still on order, so I bought a copy. I'm so glad that I did.
    It's one that I'll reread again, and probably again. I'd never read anything of hers before, but found her style of writing quite exquisite. If a painting can paint a thousand words, she can paint a scene with relatively few.

    9/10 for me too.
  11. Motherofchikkins

    Motherofchikkins Star commenter

    I think it was because Ellis worked in what was called Tinny Bay - the bit of the car factory that dealt with battering out the dents. I also thought tho' that it was a reference to the Wizard of Oz. The Tin Man wanted a heart, and I'm wondering if it was because he had that friendship/love for Michael and they made plans for a life together when they were in France, having escaped their restrictions of life back in Britain, yet Ellis turned his back on that potential future, so perhaps the suggestion is that he didn't follow the beliefs of his heart?
    galerider123 likes this.
  12. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    'Tin Man ' was a Simon Mayo Radio 2 book club choice . Don't listen just read about his nominations . I did not like her first book so not tempted by this. Got 'Different Class' ( library ) and enjoyed it (such is my contribution to THIS book club ;))- likewise ' Gentlemen and Players '
  13. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

  14. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

  15. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    @peggylu I am a bit worried about you! You are such a good leader of this thread, and are missed!
  16. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Reposted for thread newbies
  17. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Haven't managed to read Tin Man yet, so can't feed back! Hope you are doing ok @peggylu
  18. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Hi. I’m not doing too bad @galerider123 and @frangipani123 not at my most energetic or capable at the moment, in fact I’m tired a lot, but I’m slowly getting there. It looks like I won’t be able to go back to work for a couple more weeks, which is really annoying as I’d hoped to be fully recovered.

    Thanks for re-posting the book titles for any new comers or in case anyone has forgotten the November title. I will get the book in a couple of weeks time to try to read it before the end of the month. I should be back to normal by then and able to read without headaches or tiredness.
    frangipani123 likes this.
  19. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    So glad you're OK. Just rest and recover x
  20. Motherofchikkins

    Motherofchikkins Star commenter

    That made me cry. Oh, I loved that movie :)
    galerider123 likes this.

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