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Old 10th February 2007, 01:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

My copy never did arrive, I'm pretty bummed about that. I ordered it just after the three books were announced, so I think it's safe to say that since it hasn't come by now, it isn't going to! I will check out the used book stores around where I'm staying here in Sydney, but otherwise I'm probably not going to make this months discussion Next month, definitely, because I've already got the Sara Douglass book.
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Old 10th February 2007, 07:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

Well, no sooner did I write the above message than my sister called after collecting my mail to say the book arrived! She is sending it on to me on Monday, so I will be able to participate after all!
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Old 11th February 2007, 05:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

The book arrived today and I've read a few chapters. Moran spends so much time bringing the reader up to speed on previous events, it's rather heavy going, and I still have only the vaguest idea of what it's all about. But that may just be me being painfully slow when it comes to comprehending computer technology.

Although I do think I might be more interested if I'd been given any reason to care about Trent or what happens to him. Perhaps that's still to come.
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Old 14th February 2007, 04:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

Spoilers ahead

Trent remains cliche through the whole book, and while his moral 'killing bad' thing was kind of intriguing at first, he never showed enough emotion for me to believe he actually meant it. Yes, his actions did prove it I suppose, but where was the outrage and pain when people died anyway?

Most of the characters, with the exception of ES Garon, had hidden emotions. Denice should've been devastated when Trent left; she had been searching for her one true love for 7 years, found him, and lost him again. I wonder if the author meant for his characters to be so emotionally disabled to show the differences in society since unification - were emotions hidden because of necessity or were they naturally suppressed over time as the book takes place int he future? Garon was the only character who seemed human and because of it he was my fav. So what if he was a little crazy, that's reality. I really sympathized with him.
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Old 14th February 2007, 05:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

Great insight bookstop. You said what I felt but could not express well enough. Thanks
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Old 19th February 2007, 02:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

I'm still finding the book hard going. Most of Trent's associates are blurring together in my mind. The fact that I put the book down for long periods of time before dutifully picking it up again may be partly responsible for this.

The Robin Hood theme, gutsy young outlaw rebelling against a restrictive regime, is a tried and true one, but so far it's not working for me. Maybe it's because Trent has done so well for himself, and lives so comfortably off of his ill-gotten gains. Is this my inner Puritan coming out?
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Old 19th February 2007, 01:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

I only made it about half-way through this book, and just couldn't force myself to read any more.I couldn't get into the story, and didn't care for the characters. I have the book for next month- hopefully I'll make it through that one so I can add to the discussion.
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Old 20th February 2007, 02:53 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

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Originally Posted by BookStop View Post
I wonder if the author meant for his characters to be so emotionally disabled to show the differences in society since unification
If this was indeed his reasoning (and it sounds very plausible), I think it demonstrates a very good point: even if something in a book does what it's intended to do, it may not work, because it spoils the reading experience in other ways.

So why, if none of us here (a group with widely diverse tastes to be sure) are exactly enthusiastic about this book -- reactions varying from mildly favorable, through lukewarm, to reluctant to read another page -- was it so highly praised?

Could it be that back in 1989 readers were so enthralled by Moran's vision of future technology that they were willing to overlook any shortcomings in the plot and characters -- but now that the novelty of some of his ideas has worn off there is less to hold a reader's interest? Also, with the characters, I felt that I was expected to like them on the basis of the coolness factor alone. But that's the sort of thing that loses its novelty even faster.

Sometimes, when a book is particularly in tune with the mindset of its time, it doesn't age very well. Could that be the problem here?
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Old 20th February 2007, 06:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

I am tempted to read another of the books to see if the emotionless theme is carried throughout.(Parson - you've read Emerald Eyes, saying you identify with the characters more. Why?) Even with all the problems identifying with the characters, I did enjoy the book, although I won't be putting it at the top of my must read list or anything.

I asked my husband what he thought of our critiques of the characterization (or lack thereof) in this one, and while he maintains The Long Run is one of the best sci-fi books ever, he does agree with pretty much everything we have been saying.

I haven't read so much in the science fiction genre as to be spoiled by the technology yet, and did enjoy the futuristic descriptions quite a bit. I do wonder if our lack of enthusiasim might have anythinig to do with sex of the reader. My husband sees the book's faults, but is able to look past them a lot easier than I am. Who all here is male? (I can't always tell by avatar obviously, I mean, I'm not a cat...) Could it be a guy/girl thing?
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Old 20th February 2007, 08:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

It could be a gender thing -- I, obviously, am female -- on the other hand, it could just be a matter of personal taste, since we're all more inclined to forgive a book's failings if it has plenty of whatever it is that we like the most. In your husband's case, the book may deliver so much of what he looks for in a story, the rest may not matter so much.

But it might spur the conversation if you could ask him what it is about the book that he admires so much. (It might also give those of us still slogging through something to look for and think about.)
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Old 20th February 2007, 08:41 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton View Post
Could it be that back in 1989 readers were so enthralled by Moran's vision of future technology that they were willing to overlook any shortcomings in the plot and characters -- but now that the novelty of some of his ideas has worn off there is less to hold a reader's interest? Also, with the characters, I felt that I was expected to like them on the basis of the coolness factor alone. But that's the sort of thing that loses its novelty even faster.
I think you've hit the nail on the head, Teresa. Definitely, Trent is supposed to be cool, and that is supposed to be a likeable characteristic in and of itself. And 1989 was close enough to the publication of Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) that Moran's cyberfuture vision would still have special cache.

I also think that the novel imitates the chase structure of blow-'em-up movies, which is exciting for certain readers.
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Old 20th February 2007, 10:16 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by BookStop View Post
I am tempted to read another of the books to see if the emotionless theme is carried throughout.(Parson - you've read Emerald Eyes, saying you identify with the characters more. Why?) Even with all the problems identifying with the characters, I did enjoy the book, although I won't be putting it at the top of my must read list or anything.

I asked my husband what he thought of our critiques of the characterization (or lack thereof) in this one, and while he maintains The Long Run is one of the best sci-fi books ever, he does agree with pretty much everything we have been saying.

I haven't read so much in the science fiction genre as to be spoiled by the technology yet, and did enjoy the futuristic descriptions quite a bit. I do wonder if our lack of enthusiasim might have anythinig to do with sex of the reader. My husband sees the book's faults, but is able to look past them a lot easier than I am. Who all here is male? (I can't always tell by avatar obviously, I mean, I'm not a cat...) Could it be a guy/girl thing?
This is a good question. I think Emerald Eyes was much the more enjoyable novel for me because as I said I identified much more with Carl Castanaveras then I ever did with Trent Castanaveras. But why is that? I think it has something to do with the internal struggle that Carl Castanaveras is going through. He is troubled by what's happening in his world and to him and those for whom he cares/loves. And he is forced to make some hard and troubling decisions. Life's like that. He has those who love him and those who hate and are scared by him, but he holds all of them at a distance. Frustrating but it makes for a kind of inner tension in him, and you want to see how it will be resolved. The truth is the ending there was so much more believable than "The Long Run." There is great sadness, and yet a ray of hope. (Trent and his sister have been spared. What will become of them?) Also in Emerald Eyes there is the occiasional look in from someone in the far distant future, who has an obvious stake in what's going on, but we lack details enough to really even know if these are the "good guys" or the "bad guys." And much more about the genetically altered cats, which I also found interesting.

As for the Male/Female thing, I believe it's there. I know that my wife and I have very different tastes in things. For example I thought Titantic was a pretty good 30 min. TV program made into an interminable relationship story. My wife, predicatably, loved it. But I don't know that this card can be played here. I do not identify nearly well enough with Trent, or any other character for that matter to make them matter to me. Also I am sure that you can play the male/female card too strongly too. My favorite character in all of science fiction is Honor Harrington. And another of my favorites is Miles Varsakians, (spelling?) mother, Cordelia. While Miles, obviously a sexy male, I find a lot like Trent in this book, cardboard and predictable. My all time favorite book of BuJold is "Shards of Honor" with the next "Falling Free." So going from my own experience, I think that "The Long Run" is simply flawed outside of the usual sexual identification differences.
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Old 2nd March 2007, 08:21 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

So, my sister never did forward on my mail (bloody taurus with an aries rising. grrrr. she's impossible!) I do have it waiting for me when I get back, and I will read and comment even though everyone else will have well and truly left the party!
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Old 2nd March 2007, 03:10 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

We may have left the party, but we are still calling back to check on the kids

I hope you do get to read it, with all it's faults I still liked it very much.
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Old 10th April 2007, 05:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: The Long Run; February's Book

Oh wow - I just read my last post - man do I sound like an ar.....when I so didn't mean to. Sorry.

Jenna, did you read it yet?
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