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 Post subject: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:42 am 
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Has anyone read this? A fiction novel by Karen Joy Fowler. Lazy Smurf recommended it on Goodreads and I finished it this weekend. It doesn't sound that interesting from the book blurb but I was really surprised at the animal rights message in it. I'd love to know what other people thought. One big plot point was a miss for me, but overall I really enjoyed it.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:12 am 
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I loved this book. I read it earlier this year and gave it five stars on Goodreads, which I rarely do. It really affected me emotionally in a way that no book has in a very long time. I find it hard to discuss without spoilering it, which I don't want to do. The book was spoilered for me by a discussion on the BBC before I picked it up, and because of that I knew there was an animal rights message. That didn't really detract from my enjoyment of it, but I still wish I'd worked up to the reveal without knowing what it would be.

Anyway, I'm curious what plot point was a miss for you.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:59 am 
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I thought the Harlow plot was weird and didn't quite work for me. Why was she there? I don't know.

I really, really liked the mixing of actual cases with the fictional ones.
It was pretty simple in the writing and I think that's why it has such an impact for me. Not sensational in the least.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:57 pm 
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I adored this book, can't recommend it highly enough, I zoomed through it so fast because I couldn't put it down and then I wanted to pass it along to everyone I know.

I'm so glad you all liked it too!

Panda- I think Harlow's antics brought out Rosemary's other side that she had been trying to repress for so many years and started the chain of events of the story. I think she also started to fill that role of her sister.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:52 pm 
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LazySmurf wrote:
I adored this book, can't recommend it highly enough, I zoomed through it so fast because I couldn't put it down and then I wanted to pass it along to everyone I know.

I'm so glad you all liked it too!

Panda- I think Harlow's antics brought out Rosemary's other side that she had been trying to repress for so many years and started the chain of events of the story. I think she also started to fill that role of her sister.


That's how I read Harlow too. Like she was sort of a Fern shaped key (for lack of a better metaphor) who fit into the hole in Rosemary's heart and unlocked the whole history.

After I finished this book, I kept meaning to come here and post about it! I'm so glad you started this thread, Panda!

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Sounds like I have a new book!

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:58 pm 
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LazySmurf and pandacookie, I just sent you both friend requests on Goodreads. My initials are A.S. Add me if you like, but please don't feel obligated!

Lutin, are you on Goodreads?

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:16 pm 
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I also liked it and was surprised by the animals rights message. I didn't read anything about it before I read it so I was surprised by it.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:22 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
I find it hard to discuss without spoilering it, which I don't want to do. The book was spoilered for me by a discussion on the BBC before I picked it up, and because of that I knew there was an animal rights message. That didn't really detract from my enjoyment of it, but I still wish I'd worked up to the reveal without knowing what it would be.

I highly recommend people check out the book and don't read the spoiler tags until you have. But for those who have read and want to discuss!
Spoiler: show
I was kind of annoyed by it right before they finally revealed Fern's identity. I had figured out they were basically the same age so they were either twins or Fern was not a human, but thought they dragged out the reveal a bit too long. In hindsight I realize why they did and I was hooked after that. Does anyone know how this book was marketed? I hadn't heard a thing about it (thanks lazy smurf!) but without that recommendation I don't know that I would have sought it out because I couldn't really figure out what it was about by the blurb on the book. And luckily I got it at the library a few days later and didn't think to look up any summaries beforehand.

I really liked the way she meshed the made up story with the true stories of chimps who had been raised as experiments. And even worked in ag gag laws.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:16 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
Spoiler: show
I was kind of annoyed by it right before they finally revealed Fern's identity. I had figured out they were basically the same age so they were either twins or Fern was not a human, but thought they dragged out the reveal a bit too long. In hindsight I realize why they did and I was hooked after that. Does anyone know how this book was marketed? I hadn't heard a thing about it (thanks lazy smurf!) but without that recommendation I don't know that I would have sought it out because I couldn't really figure out what it was about by the blurb on the book. And luckily I got it at the library a few days later and didn't think to look up any summaries beforehand.

I really liked the way she meshed the made up story with the true stories of chimps who had been raised as experiments. And even worked in ag gag laws.

I don't know how the book was marketed and I'm glad you weren't spoiled! I saw it a bunch of places. The authors last book was the Jane Austin Book club which was very popular so I think there was a good deal of press. I knew the spoiler before I read it and that's why I picked it up.

I really liked all the stuff about theory of mind too, I think it would be a great book to read in a philosophy class.

I thought this interview with the author was interesting, I tried to read as much as I could after I finished the book because I wanted to learn all about it. http://www.bookslut.com/features/2013_10_020334.php

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:25 pm 
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LazySmurf wrote:
I really liked all the stuff about theory of mind too, I think it would be a great book to read in a philosophy class.

Yes! And it was so well written it never felt like a slog through boring theory.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:36 am 
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I shall read but I'm a slow reader right now. I shall be back.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Oh... This sounds intriguing. Definitely going to check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:13 am 
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I'm still reading. I have to say that I kept thinking Fern was a cow or similar... Just because she was someone who was at the farm but not someone at the house. I then got so confused about her talking about Fern and her under a table.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:35 am 
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On hold at the library! If I love it I might choose it as my pick at book club,


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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:20 am 
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vijita wrote:
On hold at the library! If I love it I might choose it as my pick at book club,

I think it would be a fantastic for a book club because it brings up a lot of philosophy & also has an interesting structure.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:22 am 
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So I bought this for my kindle, based on this thread, and I loved it! I finished it in two days. Very well written. I must admit I skipped over the pages that were just information about animal testing, because I know that stuff already and it's upsetting. It's great that it was in there though, and a little bit about factory farming too.

Spoiler: show
Quote:
"The world runs," Lowell said, "on the fuel of this endless, fathomless misery. People know it, but they don't mind what they don't see. Make them look and they mind, but you're the one they hate, because you're the one that made them look."

Ain't that the truth...


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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:43 am 
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The Amazon summary (which I just read, trying to decide how seriously I want to find this book) is full of spoilers. I'm a more than a little disappointed by that.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:53 pm 
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Lutin, the book was spoilered for me before I read it, but it was still totally worth reading!

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:54 pm 
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Snarf wrote:
So I bought this for my kindle, based on this thread, and I loved it! I finished it in two days. Very well written. I must admit I skipped over the pages that were just information about animal testing, because I know that stuff already and it's upsetting. It's great that it was in there though, and a little bit about factory farming too.

Awesome! I'm glad you liked it.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:13 pm 
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I also kindled this book based on this thread and I am really into it. I'm about 2/3rds through and I will go back and re-read the beginning once I finish it. I am grateful for this thread! I'll come back and read it once I'm done. Thank you PC!


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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Super!

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:13 pm 
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I just finished this. Thanks for posting about it! I really liked it. I was so caught up in reading it that I turned down an invitation to go drink a beer with my friend. I pretty much never turn down a beer date. It is the kind of book that made me feel lost after finishing it.

Spoiler: show
I didn't expect it but I really cried my eyes out at the end. I'm really glad I was on my couch and not at a coffee shop or a bar while finishing it.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:31 am 
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I finished it. I really liked the ending.

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 Post subject: Re: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:44 am 
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Oh boy, this book. It pulled my heartstrings so very hard. I loved it and couldn't put it down.

I was spoilered before I started it and would actually recommend re-reading the beginning to those who were surprised by the reveal. The first part of the book is so heartbreaking and beautiful if you know about Fern. Especially when she relates memories about their relationship.


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