1 (edited by gabriel.sader 2019-09-24 19:32:53)

Topic: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

This afternoon I read 6 pages from the book I had chosen to read at this time in the school year.
  Titled 'The Englishman's Boy', this fictional novel follows the story of, guess who, the Englishman's boy.
  In the more recent pages that  I've read, the book tells a story of the Englishman's boy hitting his older brother over the head three times with a shovel, in return for the whippings received from him.  The book tells how the younger boy, after discovering that his older brother had survived the attack, decided to up and run away from home for fear of being killed.  A detail put in the story to emphasize the seriousness of the danger was one that told of how the older brother had shot a bullet in an attempt to surely kill his brother, which flew barely past the younger boy's ear while running.
Furthermore, in less recent pages, the father of the Englishman's boy had died from ague on a bed at night, in a rented room, in a hotel.  Aside from the occasional strong language and talk of misery and abuse, it's a great book.

2 (edited by gabriel.sader 2019-09-24 19:33:18)

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Prior to the school year, I had begun reading this book, and I was about 44 pages in by the time the school year came around.  In those 40 pages, I had not gotten as far along when it comes to 'exciting' moments in the story.  And by 'exciting', I mean parts of the book that only a person like me could bother themselves to be entertained by.  Long paragraphs beautifully describing a serene and calm sunset, the scene inside of a rundown bar full of cowboys, or of something as simple as a boy sitting on the saddle of a famous man.  When reading about the last one, I felt a connection with the book and the narrative itself.  I could visualize and make the connection from that tidbit of info in the book to something familiar to me; a nobody - for example - a prisoner locked up for God knows what, or sent to the headsman's ax, a courier cheated and blindsided for the gain of a scheming man, a meek test subject, a person released from captivity to search their ruined world for family.  All these deep and personal connections I made from reading about a boy that once knew a famous person, and pursued their destiny wheresoever it took them.

3 (edited by gabriel.sader 2019-09-24 19:33:25)

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Question: What emotions did this book invoke?  As of my point in the story, there are many times this book has invoked emotion.  An astoundingly elaborate description of the sunset on the prairies brought out my own emotions - the feeling of seeing the beautiful fading light on the horizon on summer nights.  Other parts of the book brought out other emotions.  The protagonist telling himself he had changed himself for the better; that he was done showing his heels to (running away from) any man, did bring out my own emotions regarding how I myself have changed in not just emotion, but how I respond to the world.  Certainly, a book of such fine quality would bring out such emotions as so.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Question: What is my favourite part of the book?  Well, for starters, it's hard to choose a favourite part when you're only 94 out of 333 pages in.  What I can tell you though, is that by no stretch of the imagination, A magnificent description of the sunset taking up about half a page has t be my favourite part of the book by far.  Elaborate detail goes unrivaled in any book I've read.  Now, that may say more about my reading habits then the author, but I'm under the assumption that Vanderhaeghe's other works share such honourable contents.

5 (edited by gabriel.sader 2019-09-24 19:26:56)

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Further contemplation on the topic and themes of this novel reveal that this book truly is a masterful work of art.  To put it another way, the more I think about this book the more I come to understand the underlying themes and contexts.  For example, I'll read a paragraph and no think overly much at the time, but later when thinking about what I read, I'll have a epiphany of sorts, and really comprehend what the author was writing.  Quite simply, it's astounding how such a magnificent story can fit in 333 pages.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Question:At what point while reading the book did I decide if I liked it or not?  Well, I believe it's impossible to decide if you will like a book before reading the book itself, or anything about the book.  When I first started, I was confused with some names of the characters, and the places the characters were traveling in the book.  However, since then I've come to greater understand the basic themes of the novel, and previously confusing concepts are now much more familiar.  Back to the question.  The moment it came upon me that this book really is a fantastic work of art was when I started to like it more and more.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

The Englishman's Boy is a work of fiction set in 20th century North America.  While at first, 'the Englishman's boy' had caused me to think the man in charge of the boy himself was his father, while the Englishman was really a master who had hired the boy.  This is an example of, as mentioned in a previous post, contemplation on that which I have read helps to comprehend the novel's themes and contexts.  Early on in the story, the boy comes across a group of wolf hunters, who had their horses stolen by natives, and had been walking for days.  The boy becomes an acquaintance with the hunters, and goes with them on their travels.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

In the part of the book I'm reading just now, one of the characters is comparing people in his life, and the roles they play in everyday situations, to figures and characters he has seen in films.  The man is comparing an American version of Odysseus, the fictional Greek hero, to a man by the name Shorty McAdoo.  This bit of comparison draws forth from my life, how I would often see a film, and see how a few people in my life were similar.
In the next paragraph, the story explains how Mussolini used the power of images to enthrall millions of people at the time of WWII.  It's fascinating how the author makes the voices of characters so clear, and images so vivid. 
The book has taught me a few things about the 20th century that I didn't know prior.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Yet another part of the story that had me fascinated was when it told of how some stunts were performed in Hollywood back in the day.  According to the story, when a film shows a cowboy being flung off of his horse at full gallop, there are a few bits and pieces of Hollywood magic needed to make the stunt scene seem like something serene.  First, and probably most obviously, the director uses a stunt double; a person meant to perform a stunt in place of the actor, as to avoid injury.  Second, and more surprisingly on my own account, the horse being ridden by the cowboy will have piano strings tied around its legs, meant to pull tight and stop the horse dead in its tracks at full gallop.  A problem that occurs with this method though, is that the horse will begin to learn that the piano strings will pull tight, and not run at full gallop.  To avoid this problem, the book tells us that they brought in a mustang, which was a more stubborn breed of horse, and would go full speed ahead even after the strings had stopped it.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Page 126 of 333.  Chapter 14 of 32.  The author continues to amaze me.  Guy Vanderhaeghe is, and I cannot stress this enough, a true artist and fantastic wordsmith.  I am yet to be surprised by any regards of rewards or prizes given to this book or its masterful author.  True genius embodied in a written form is not a bad way to describe this book.  Every page and paragraph, every chapter and sentence, is truly and utterly something to behold.  To elaborate on a previous post, the reasoning behind my continued thinking and contemplation of what I recently read from the book would best be a factor driven by my ultimate interest in the book itself.  Truly captivating and always provoking thought, the novel tends to stick in my head for awhile after reading.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Question:  What do I look forward to learning in the story next?  To begin, I always look forward to an attention-grabbing and compelling narrative; the narrative put forward by Vanderhaeghe in this story for example.  I look forward to action in the novel’s future.  As of my point in the book, there hasn’t been an overwhelming amount of action.  Don’t get me wrong, the book is fantastic, but if there’s one thing I’m looking forward to reading about, it would no doubt have to be a paragraph or three that gets me on the edge of my seat.   I have read parts of books in the past aplenty that can do just that, but I believe, as Vanderhaeghe has proven time and time again, his books are like no other.  I have faith that I’ll get what I want, and more from this amazing book in the near future.

12 (edited by gabriel.sader 2019-10-16 14:24:49)

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Question:  How do I react and/or respond to the book and it's contents? Firstly, how I react to the book itself is, in my honest opinion, quite evident in my posts and replies to the topic of, 'The Englishman's Boy'.  To elaborate, my thoughts and feelings, about the book, as well as how my thoughts, emotions, feelings, and the like are all influenced by the book.  Furthermore, the book describes many a scene or story which invokes an emotional response.  This can be through frustration, or sympathy in seeing the relation between hardships faced by the characters in the narrative, and hardships faced in my own life.  Inner thoughts expressed by characters through the authors words can truly drive a train of thought into a form of response in my mind.  Too many people underestimate the real power of emotional and psychological responses a book can have on the mind.  It can be hard to describe how Vanderhaeghe does this exactly, but what I can explain is that the deep and thought-provoking displays of emotion are definitely there, in the book.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Question part 2 of a previous post: How do I respond to the books contents?  To elaborate further on what I may have answered to this question prior, the emotional and psychological connections I feel when reading the book surely have to come for the fondness I've come to develop for the book itself, but moreso the author.  Vanderhaeghe is, when compared to any title of any author I have read in my fourteen years on this Earth, by a landlide and a quarter, the single best author whose works I've been able to read.  Kudos to my dad for reccommending the book.  I dearly hope that in the near future I can have the pleasure if readng more books of Vanderhaeghe's.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

As for the events, places, and characters, described in ‘The Englishman’s Boy’, I haven’t covered much in posts.  To begin, the narrative surrounding the Englishman and his boy takes place in the midwest of the United states and Canada.  The area around Southwestern Alberta and the state of Montana.  The earliest event I can recall reading about in this book would be the night that the Englishman and his boy had been in a hotel, and the Englishman died from illness.  It’s more likely than not that I remember this instance of storytelling above all else because of its strong emotional impact.  Helplessly watching someone die in front of you has to make a mark on one’s conscience.  After the tragic passing of the Englishman, the boy takes his no-longer-needed guns, a few clothes, and what money he had left.  The body was left in the hotel room and the boy refused to pay for anything more than what he had.

Re: The Englishman's Boy- by Guy Vanderhaeghe

After the whole ordeal of leaving a dead body in a hotel room, the Englishman’s boy encountered three destitute wolf trappers who had their horses stolen by ‘Indians’.  In the prologue of the book, there was a brief story told from the point of view of who I assume to be one of those Indians.  Right from the get go, I could easily tell that if amazing use of words and beautiful detail, as displayed in the prologue, was used throughout the book, it would surely be a great read.  Moving on from the boy’s encounter with the wolf trappers, the boy decides to travel with the trappers across the prairie.  The story follows the wolf trappers and the boy through hardship, friendship, and everything between.