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#1 2013-01-14 15:17:40

Magpie
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The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

I'm resisting the temptation to put "week" in quotation marks up there - it's been almost two months since the last thread was opened! So, even though I can't really think of much to say about these two chapters, I'll just start the thread and hope we can get back into the discussion.

Ch 16 - brady doesn't believe

The title is no direct quote this time, just a reference to Bobby's second client in this chapter.
But before Bobby meets him, he
- defends another client
- gets told he has to show up in Heaven, and decides that can wait
- talks to that annoying Foxy guy about organizing an auction for the mysterious thing he does not have
- goes to the Magian Society's place again, narrowly misses Habari and has a bit of a car chase before losing him
And then, at the end of the chapter, goes to defend Brady from the chapter title. Which gives us a glimpse of what happens to atheists (apparently, Heaven and Hell don't care if you believe in them - which again raises the questions of what happens to people of other religions, something that not even the characters seem to know) and what happens if Heaven loses a case. Even though Brady isn't a very likeable character, it's a little chilling (although, I'm sorry, screaming just looks stupid when it's written out as, "Aaah! Huuhhhh! Aaaaaaah!")
Afterwards, Bobby decides to ignore the second summons to Heaven and get drunk instead. Under the circumstances, it's understandable.

Ch 17 - economical with the truth

Direct quote this time, page 183,

I haven't lied - I'm an angel, remember? - but I have been, in the famous words of a British politician, a bit economical with the truth.

The mistake with Bobby's gun has already been pointed out (more than once), and answered by Tad. I'm not sure I'd have noticed it otherwise.
In any case, Bobby visits Orban the gunsmith, supposedly over 500 years old, to get a new gun and silver bullets.
The idea of becoming immortal by "simply not dying" feels naggingly familiar, but I can't figure out where I might have read it before. Maybe it's just because a couple of months have passed since I first read TDSoH, and my mind has filed it under, "hm, I've read this before..."
They talk about the ghallu, and Orban tells Bobby that regular silver isn't going to help - it has to be "special", but in what way, he doesn't know.
After his visit to Orban, Bobby tells us a bit about his life (if you can use that word for an angel...?) before he became an advocate, both in Heaven and the Counterstrike Unit - we find out where he met Sam, and about his mentor Leo, who he has mentioned before. Leo died some time after Bobby left the CU, and couldn't be resurrected. I still don't know how you would kill a soul... but I doubt I'll make sense of it in my half-asleep state, so I'd better get off the computer now and go to bed.

Last edited by Magpie (2013-01-27 12:07:23)


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#2 2013-01-14 16:34:22

Firsfron of Ronchester
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Oooh, Magpie, you get bonus points for starting this "week's" thread!

Magpie wrote:

But before Bobby meets him, he
[...]
- talks to that annoying Foxy guy about organizing an auction for the mysterious thing he does not have

I've been calling this guy Foxy Loxy in my head. He's quite annoying, as insane albino Asians go. I don't know what he's doing in this book. And if you saw a character like that, why in the world wouldn't you call the law to pick this weird dude up?

Maybe there's a reference I'm missing. Any ideas?

The mistake with Bobby's gun has already been pointed out (more than once), and answered by Tad. I'm not sure I'd have noticed it otherwise.

Yes, but there's a second problem with this "week's" chapters!


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Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#3 2013-01-14 19:08:45

cyan
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Magpie wrote:

The idea of becoming immortal by "simply not dying" feels naggingly familiar, but I can't figure out where I might have read it before.

This made me think of Douglas Adams.  I think it was in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur Dent learns to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#4 2013-01-14 19:15:10

cyan
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

I've been calling this guy Foxy Loxy in my head. He's quite annoying, as insane albino Asians go. I don't know what he's doing in this book.

Maybe it's a twist on the albino-as-bad-guy thing?  If there's an albino in a movie, he's always the bad guy.  Or rather, the two movies I can think of that has an albino character, Foul Play (Chevy Chase & Goldie Hawn) and Da Vinci Code, he was the bad guy.


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#5 2013-01-15 09:44:24

ylvs
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

cyan wrote:

Magpie wrote:

The idea of becoming immortal by "simply not dying" feels naggingly familiar, but I can't figure out where I might have read it before.

This made me think of Douglas Adams.  I think it was in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur Dent learns to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing.

It reminded me of a Sandman story. There's a character Morpheus meets every hunderd years who became immortal by "simply not dying". Gotta check in which book it is.

Stuff to do, hopefully will post more when kids are abed.


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#6 2013-01-15 10:12:51

ylvs
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Of course I could not stop myself from checking right away. It's Hob Gadling in Men of Good Fortune, the fourth story of The Doll's House.

*rushes back to stuff*


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#7 2013-01-15 11:50:36

ylvs
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Chapter 16 starts with Bobby being sure that the incident at Five Page Mill would come to the attention of his superiors. I wonder why it did not come to the attention of human authorities. Simply the influence of that Congress woman? Is she able to silence all the people involved? Obviously she is which seems a bit weird to me.

Bobby's engagement with his two clients brings me to really like him. The further I read the more I get attached to him and the less he annoys me.

We get more pop culture references in this one, to Sleepy Hollow for example but also a few social and political statements which I really like, like

no other bosses but mine and my opponents' can have your soul jerked out of your body and sent to the deepest fiery pits to suffer for eternity. Unless you work for Walmart

(p.171) or 

downtown Jude has plenty of residents who looked and acted like Mr. Fox. Did I mention that we closed the state mental hospital a few years ago and threw most of the patients out into the streets?

(p.170) - which is a good explanation to your question why nobody gets Foxy arrested, Firsfron ... yes this story is not as timeless as MST or WotF or Smarch but it has a lot to say about contemporary society and social issues and I much appreciate this.
This is part of why I so often sense the Dog himself talk here in Bobby's witty comments as much as in little lines like

then sat watching a preseason Giants game on the television and nursing a beer

(p.173)

We also get the best explanation of Outside so far. This truely makes sense and answers all questions about it imho:

One thing about being Outside is that it isn't a place, it's the timelessness that belongs to a place - an eternal moment, I guess you'd say. It's tied to the people who are physically in that moment, observing it, so the farther away you get from what you could see during that original moment, the less real it is

(p.174). This explains why the advocats have to physically go to the place of the death they're called to and why time does not pass.

Chapter 17 starts with the much discussed gun issue which is not that serious I think. If you took out the phrase I'd lost my Smith & Wesson in Five Page Mill, and this didn't seem like a good time to be walking around unarmed. (p.197) everything would be fine. There is no other mention of the gun, not in the phonecall to Orban nor in their meeting.

This chapter raises many questions: On Bobby's past, on Leo's death (How? Who? Why?) ... I can't wait  to get to know more about that and Orban and the Harps in further installments!


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#8 2013-01-15 11:55:45

ylvs
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

... and Firsfron please spell out the second problem about the lost phone message you mentioned in last "week's" thread. I don't find it - enlighten me!


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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#9 2013-01-15 12:03:57

Magpie
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Posts: 32652
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

ylvs wrote:

Of course I could not stop myself from checking right away. It's Hob Gadling in Men of Good Fortune, the fourth story of The Doll's House.

*rushes back to stuff*

Never read that, so I still don't know why it feels so familiar to me. *shrug*


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#10 2013-01-15 12:34:11

Magpie
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

I thought a bit more about Leo's death last night...

SPOILERS FOR THE END OF THE BOOK,
DON'T READ THE REST OF THIS POST IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED THE BOOK

My first thought, when reading about Leo's death this time, was "what if his soul went to some other place, like Walker's, instead of back to Heaven to be resurrected?"
Then I remembered Grasswax and thought, "He didn't go anywhere else. He's really quite thoroughly dead," and decided it was a stupid thought and went to bed.
And then, half asleep, I thought, "but they found Grasswax's "body" Outside. What about Leo?"
The problem is, of course, we simply don't know. We only know he couldn't be resurrected, but does that mean they found his dead soul, or did he simply fail to show up in Heaven?
(And of course, in that half-asleep state, the line between clever ideas and complete idiocy is very thin, so I have no idea which side of the line these thoughts fall on...)


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#11 2013-01-15 13:18:17

ylvs
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From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Glad, you shared them, Magpie. I will give it some thought.


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#12 2013-01-15 13:28:37

ylvs
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From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Magpie wrote:

ylvs wrote:

Of course I could not stop myself from checking right away. It's Hob Gadling in Men of Good Fortune, the fourth story of The Doll's House.

Never read that, so I still don't know why it feels so familiar to me. *shrug*

Magpie, do I understand you correctly? You never read Gaiman's Sandman? You absolutely have to!
And being not into Graphic novels is no excuse. I very rarely read them, I prefer stories without pictures and I do not particulary like most of Sandman's artwork ... but imho this is one of the BEST stories ever: witty and profound and scary and funny and disgusting and philosophical ... it has the most charming Death in literature ... a must read!

*end of how-I-love-The-Sandman-rant*


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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#13 2013-01-15 14:51:23

Magpie
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

I'll keep that in mind - I still haven't spent my Christmas bookshop gift card...


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#14 2013-01-15 19:57:34

Firsfron of Ronchester
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From: Ronchester
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

ylvs wrote:

... and Firsfron please spell out the second problem about the lost phone message you mentioned in last "week's" thread. I don't find it - enlighten me!

I'm glad you ask, Ylvs!

In Chapter 16, Bobby leaves a voice mail for Orban the gunsmith, telling him about the supplies he needs. There is no further reference to this phone call anywhere in the book, and Orban never calls him back (odd, you'd think he'd want sales). Also, Bobby never seems to notice that Orban doesn't call him back.

In Chapter 17, Bobby calls Orban the gunsmith. Orban asks him what he needs, as if he never checked his voice mail. Orban makes no mention of receiving earlier Bobby's call.

Later in the chapter, they meet in person. Orban asks Bobby what he needs, and Bobby tells him he needs silver bullets.

Now, you could argue that Orban just forgot to check his voice mail, but this is the paragraph immediately following the messed-up sentence "I'd lost my Smith & Wesson in Five Page Mill, and this didn't seem like a good time to be walking around unarmed." The missing/not-missing gun and the duplicate phone calls seem to be part of the same manuscripts-merged-not-quite-successfully problem. It also doesn't make much sense from a writer's perspective: what's the point of writing about a missed phone call that even the characters don't notice has been missed?


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
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Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#15 2013-01-16 02:20:58

cyan
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From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26870

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

ylvs wrote:

You never read Gaiman's Sandman?

Neither have I.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#16 2013-01-16 02:44:40

cyan
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From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
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Posts: 26870

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

what's the point of writing about a missed phone call that even the characters don't notice has been missed?

Yes, that struck me as a bit odd initially.  But I only check my cell phone maybe twice a week so the idea of a missed phone call gone unnoticed for days is not such a stretch to me.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#17 2013-01-16 08:15:12

ylvs
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From: Art Central
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Posts: 13269

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

cyan wrote:

ylvs wrote:

You never read Gaiman's Sandman?

Neither have I.

Oh, especially you must read it cyan, being an avid Gaiman fan as myself.

I thought about this: Read Preludes and Nocturnes which is the first novel and it is always good to start at the beginning and then The Doll's House which's stories are not as tied to the overall arc as the reast of the novels. If you're not hooked after that, well then The Sandman is not for you (which I doubt).

*edited for being too stupid to use bbcode correctly*

Last edited by ylvs (2013-01-16 08:22:06)


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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#18 2013-01-16 09:23:57

Firsfron of Ronchester
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

cyan wrote:

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

what's the point of writing about a missed phone call that even the characters don't notice has been missed?

Yes, that struck me as a bit odd initially.  But I only check my cell phone maybe twice a week so the idea of a missed phone call gone unnoticed for days is not such a stretch to me.

Not for me, either, actually. :)

But having Bobby explain what he needs to Orban three different times (twice on the phone, once in person) definitely is redundant for the reader. I could see why he'd want to talk with him in person, but then there's no need for two phone calls, one of which no one seems to be aware of.


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#19 2013-01-16 09:26:22

Firsfron of Ronchester
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From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23107
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

cyan wrote:

ylvs wrote:

You never read Gaiman's Sandman?

Neither have I.

Me three.


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#20 2013-01-16 09:45:17

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

*starts to become really perplexed*

To you Firs I add: this is a story aging very well, indeed. It's from the very late 80ies/ early 90ies and you notice nowhere. I read it first some ten years ago ... and make a habit of coming back to it - like with LotR and MST.

BTW, did yo see Dog's post in last week's thread?

Last edited by ylvs (2013-01-16 09:45:50)


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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#21 2013-01-16 10:09:03

Firsfron of Ronchester
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From: Ronchester
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Posts: 23107
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Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

ylvs wrote:

*starts to become really perplexed*

To you Firs I add: this is a story aging very well, indeed. It's from the very late 80ies/ early 90ies and you notice nowhere. I read it first some ten years ago ... and make a habit of coming back to it - like with LotR and MST.

Well, the only Neil Gaiman work I've read is Coraline, which I thought was quite well-written. If you recommend it that much, it should be on my TBR list.

BTW, did yo see Dog's post in last week's thread?

Not only did I see it, I responded to it! ;)


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#22 2013-01-16 10:13:32

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Hupsi, I thought I checked if thing happend there while I was asleep. My mistake ...


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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#23 2013-01-16 19:25:50

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
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Posts: 26870

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

ylvs wrote:

cyan wrote:

ylvs wrote:

You never read Gaiman's Sandman?

Neither have I.

Oh, especially you must read it cyan, being an avid Gaiman fan as myself.

It's been on my list for a long time.  But I know if I start them, I'll want all of them, and don't have a spare several hundred dollars for that.  Especially since my dishwasher broke last night.

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

cyan wrote:

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

what's the point of writing about a missed phone call that even the characters don't notice has been missed?

Yes, that struck me as a bit odd initially.  But I only check my cell phone maybe twice a week so the idea of a missed phone call gone unnoticed for days is not such a stretch to me.

Not for me, either, actually. :)

But having Bobby explain what he needs to Orban three different times (twice on the phone, once in person) definitely is redundant for the reader. I could see why he'd want to talk with him in person, but then there's no need for two phone calls, one of which no one seems to be aware of.

I agree, from the reader standpoint it is awkward and seemingly pointless.  I'm guessing it's one of those things that didn't get cleaned up, like the flub with Bobby's gun.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#24 2013-01-16 19:30:33

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
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Posts: 26870

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

Well, the only Neil Gaiman work I've read is Coraline, which I thought was quite well-written. If you recommend it that much, it should be on my TBR list.

You should add American Gods and Neverwhere to your list too.  Doug really enjoyed Neverwhere, maybe even more than I did.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#25 2013-01-17 07:10:02

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (re)read week 9, chps 16 & 17 *SPOILERS*

Reg!
I just posted aquite long one here and it is nowhere to be seen. What's wrong with you? I left you a beer just the other day! Well, on behalf of Firsfron but still ...

*grumbles and starts to rewrite post*


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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