An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg Buy book: $13.35
Mark Spragg's highly acclaimed novel of a complex prodigal homecoming comes to the big screen in December. The Miramax release stars Jennifer Lopez. Robert Redford, Camyn Manheim, Morgan Freeman, Damian Lewis, and Josh Lucas.
Happy 4th to All !!! - Hope all are having a good day whether gathering with family and/or friends with lots of good food or spending a quiet day at home -
This is looking to me to be a good read (think it's already a movie, but I've not seen it - and we know the book is always better) -
As I was reading this morn. thought of how nice it is to have this club - Thanks Suzanne - and even tho' the reads are short - makes us (me) slow down and savor the words and phrases and absorb the atmosphere into myself - and also share thoughts with other readers - Looking forward to the rest of the week -
- Doris -
Wow. A great start to this novel. I have never heard of Mark Spragg, and was surprised to hear that this was already in the works to go to the big screen. I read widely, and always am pleased to come across new authors (new to me, that is). I really enjoyed this first section of the novel. I loved the feel from the old man, great description; I empathize with him and his getting old, although I have a ways to go. It is one of my greatest fears, to see my kids die before me. I don't know if it would make me stronger, like it seems to do with some of the people I read about or know of. Is the main character here strong? I think of my late grandfather, of how strong he was. He had seen some tragedy in his life. But what was he like on the inside? What was her really feeling? I can't wait to hear back from you, and for tomorrow's addition! This is a wonderful forum - also my first time writing in!
Such a too soon old and wise little girl -
"Everybody's mother is good at something. Her mother's good at
finding the same man, no matter where she lives." But hopefully things will get better and turn out all right in the end - I get that from the preview - but we shall see -
My first time writing here though I've been reading for awhile and belong to several of the clubs. I like the beginning of this one so far. I like how he says someone should have explained how it was to get old and then that someone probably did and he wasn't listening. I laughed at that. Sounds like something I would do. Looking forward to reading more.
After I finished the first day's excerpt, I thought that this seemed like the kind of book I would read avidly, cover to cover. It is intriguing and tells the story of a region and American culture that is unfamilar to me and I love anything new or different. Usually, I rush into commenting after just one day -- this time, I waited until today. The review I intended to write has changed, praise reduced over a couple of quite small points. I was disappointed when I read of books in a sauna, feathers and posters on the wall. Surely the author must know that they would be wrecked in that hot, steamy atmosphere? Even the wooden walls of a sauna crack and seep resin. Also, I wasn't sure about the little low dog window. While a charming touch, surely it would be so covered with steam you wouldn't be able to see in, or out. Small details like this irritate me and spoil my enjoyment of books because, perhaps obsessively, I brood about them. In an instant, the carefully crafted atmosphere goes, like a pricked balloon.
Hello again, Rose - I had to laugh when I read your response as I know nothing of the construction of saunas - sounded like a log cabin to me and that sounded appealing - (in fact told my son in jest thought I would like one in the back yard but really don't even think a log cabin would be allowed) - but sounded like a lovely place to look out the windows and wasn't there a skylight also?
And we already have a woodburning stove not in use - ha -
I did not think of the steam fogging up the windows, resin, etc. while I was "sweating" - maybe I could just use it without the steam for my getaway/meditation/room - Wasn't it Virginia Wolfe who said every woman needs a room of her own or the name of one of her books? - Doris -
I wish I hadn't deleted it, now I want to reread from the beginning. I had a fleeting thought as I read about the books etc., thinking, wasn't he sitting on the porch? what(having forgotten totally about the sauna) window is he looking through anyway? But then just went on. Why did I think he was sitting on the porch? But what can you expect from someone who thought Banner over Heaven was about Nepal! Yeah, I can identify about the old age stuff in this book for sure!
I had to go back and reread to find the part about the windows and posters, books, and feathers. I hadn't even thought twice about them until Rose brought them up. I guess I can understand windows in a stand-alone structure even if they get fogged up or whatever. Can't comprehend books and posters and how they would last in the steam and heat. I'm still enjoying the read though. Sad that the 9yo girl seems to be more wise than her mother and very very sad that she has to worry about going through puberty. Sounds like she can't rely on mom to protect her. How scary to have that looming on the horizon and not feel safe. Can't wait to see what happens next. This one is going on my long, long, long "to be read" list even with the little annoyances about the sauna.
currently reading: Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith and A Perfect Groom by Samantha James
I could see Robert Redford as Einar, but I think Clint Eastwood would have been excellent. I finished the book in 3 days. I really enjoyed it. It was great to see how close Griff gets to her Grandfather and his friend. I was a little disturbed about the mohter and how quickly she seeeks another man in her life and the way she does it.
Well Rose, now I'm looking for things in this book! I'm still enjoying it and would like to read the whole thing...but..if she put her wet washcloth and damp toothbrush etc into the plastic ziplock bag every night they would quickly get pretty smelly and unuseable!
Okay - enough already - ( : ) (is that a smily face?
July 6 2005, 9:41 AM
I'm just going to look at the big picture - the question I am asking myself today is - is the girl preparing to run away? Her mother promised - at first I thought she meant smoking, then decided she meant getting Ron out of her life - will have to wait and see - already have this one on hold at my library -
This book intrigues me to go out and find it at the library. I have only read the first 3 emails so far, and cannot wait to see what they are going to do next. Sounds like a book that you could get into and read without putting down.
Don't you love, "One of the few gifts of old age...is that the essentials rise to the top."? I see that Robert Redford is in the movie but I find it hard to picture him as Einar.
Knew from the blurb that they would leave Roy but it's nice that the mother is keeping her promise to Griff right away when Griff reminds her.
I noticed and loved that quote also, Pam - and we do know they will go to her grandfather's - hopefully today - but the thought of her packing her suitcase every morning is heartbreakingly hopeful/active/passive all at the same time - but she's doing all she can do at the moment - Time for some peace and happiness for this little girl -
Funny the first thing I thought of after reading the summary and the first day's read was that I can't picture Robert Redford as Einar. The picture in my head of him is sort of a grizzled old man who wears long underwear and ratty old cardigans and has whiskers even after he shaves from the spots he missed -LOL. I went back and skimmed through all 5 installments and couldn't find much about what he looks like. Maybe it comes later on in the book. It'll be interesting to see how the two parts -the men on the farm and the woman and girl on the run come together and interact. Made me mad when Roy was "apologizing" to the mother and told her how he hates when she backs him into a corner and makes him come out fighting. It's always the other person's fault for causing the beating. I hope the girl finds safety and stability on her grandfather's farm - or is it a ranch in Wyoming?
currently reading - Tears of the Giraffe-McCall Smith, A Perfect Groom-James, and A Letter of Mary-King
I like this book. Hey, Doris, may I take the liberty to disagree with you? I can think of a few movies that were better than the books. The Firm is one of them. The ending and character development were better in the movie. The Joy Luck Club was more cohesive as a movie than as a book. And, finally, let's not forget Enchanted April. The movie took a lovely (but somewhat stilted) book and made everything come alive.
Hi Mary - feel free to disagree with me - guess I should have said "in my experience" the book is always better - (and I am the one who is always calling people to task for making generalizations - touche' - I do indeed stand corrected) - Doris -
How about Clint Eastwood as Einar? I've just e-mailed 16 members of the Ya Ya Sisterhood Book Club here in Oneonta NY and suggested An Unfinished Life for our next read. If they don't care for it, I'll definitely read it on my own. A great read so far. I love Einar and his caring ways not only to the many cats in his barn, but to his old friend as well. I also like the assessments he makes of his neighbors. In a few short sentences Mark Spragg manages to convey so much about his characters.
Maybe not a read for me; but I might be interested in a listen...
July 8 2005, 4:39 PM
I have enjoyed the detail, the character development, and the overall style of what I've read so far. I'm not sure if I'd get the book out of the library, but if I see an audio-tape version, I'll likely grab it. (I find audio-books work even better than music for easing everyday chores in the kitchen.) I'll certainly read the movie reviews with added interest.
I think this is going to be a good book, but I'm having a hard time getting into it. I think the swearing detracts from the meaning and doesnt really give the author credit for hopefully having a larger vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some Jesus fanatic on a pedestal preaching to the choir and anyone who'll listen. The immediate "need" to swear in the beginning is really quite a turn off for me.