In America

by Susan Sontag | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0374175403 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Rico-Verde of Leesburg, Florida USA on 3/4/2005
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Rico-Verde from Leesburg, Florida USA on Friday, March 04, 2005
Internatioanl Bookray

Participants:

1. Me (Leesburg, Florida, USA)
2.duza-kaluza (Zory, Poland) prefers shipping in Europe
3. Sternschnuppe28 (St. Goarshausen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany) will ship internationally
4. GateGypsy (Takaoka-shi, Toyama, Japan) willing to ship anywhere
5. squirrel818 (Omaha, Nebraska, USA) prefers to ship stateside
6. etc.

Journal Entry 2 by Rico-Verde from Leesburg, Florida USA on Sunday, April 03, 2005
Interesting if not entirely satisfying. Sontag seems to enjoy flouting expectation. The characters Maryna and Bogdan stay with one for a long time. Happily surprised to find Delschau in the book! Unhappy about the anti-vegetarian implications of certain episodes. Lots of food for thought, not all of it palatable.

Journal Entry 3 by duza-kaluza from Santiago, Región Metropolitana Chile on Friday, April 08, 2005
That was quick!
I'm already into chapter zero. I'm afraid I'd be a bit lost if I didn't know about the historical and cultural background of Poland. Let's see how it unfolds......

Journal Entry 4 by duza-kaluza from Santiago, Región Metropolitana Chile on Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Chapter 0 was a bit foggy, I guess she used this prechapter to build the characters. Hang in there because the story is interesting.
I was quite impressed with how Sontag was on the most part spot on with the Polish characters. I'm sure she researched it well. However, I felt that the story sort of petered out in the end and left me feeling just neutral to it.
I started reading this book in Zakopane actually. I'll have to upload a picture when I get a chance so you can see how the folk traditions are still alive there.
Ok I've got to get this out asap to Sternschnuppe28. Thanks Rico-Verde for setting this one up. Enjoy

Journal Entry 5 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Sunday, June 26, 2005
received last week, while I was on vacation. My friend told me, that he found it in our mailbox in a totally wrapped envelope, nethertheless: the book is here and still in a good condition! Thanks for sending. Right now my friend reads it, but I am optimistic to start on it next weekend.

Journal Entry 6 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, August 03, 2005
My friend finished chapter 0 and returned the book to me, I myself never made it beyond page 100 and now I give up after the third trial. I feel a bit failing, because I dont like to stop reading a book and writing a comment on that what I have read and in a way drawing a conclusion about the unknown and (maybe and hopefully better) unread parts of the book.
Now as time is running away and more rings have arrived here, I want to forward the book.
For the parts I have "worked" through: I found it hard to see a plot, character development and a good style. I felt bored and really had to fight to continue reading, it was more a torture than an enjoyment. Maybe it was not the right time for "In America", as I am quite busy and tensed at the moment.

Today I am sending the book to GateGypsy and wish her and all coming readers a far better time with Susan Sontag´s novel.

Journal Entry 7 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Friday, August 12, 2005
Just arrived in the mail. Have two rings preceeding it, but a long weekend shall help me knock them all down. Thanx for sharing!

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Chapter Zero was an effort, eh? Not a single paragraph break, quotations only for setting words off, not for conversation... and so many big words that someone who had hold of this book before me went so far as to underline them, probably so they could look them up in the dictionary. I have a pretty big vocabulary, and some of them still gave me trouble. I honestly didn't think it was possible to be too wordy, especially for me, but chapter zero really put me to the test. I had to take a break from the book after finishing that bit. I know it will have to get better. At the very least I see that there are paragraph breaks in upcoming chapters ;-)
I take my experience of chapter zero as a warning not to indulge in too much "purple prose" (as my highschool lit teacher called it) in my own writing, and move on. Will post again later.

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Woh! Sorry for the delay! I finished this one and dove straight into another heavy one, and forgot to come and journal. I have the address and will be sending this one as soon as Monday comes and I can go up to the big post office that knows how to give the "book only" shipping discount. *winks*

For anyone who comes after me, if you read this review before you read the book, I might encourage you to skip chapter zero. Maybe read it in the end. Maybe don't read it at all. I personally found it a terribly challenging read to get through, and largely pointless as it employs a narrator whom we do not hear from again, and gives a brief, vague introduction to the main characters, who we meet again and in more detail later, so it really could be done without. I wonder if Sontag intended it to be a crucible of some sort? "If you can get through chapter zero, then you are fit to read the rest of my book"? *laughs* I don't know.

The rest of the book was interesting, though I must admit I felt... nothing in particular for the characters or their journey. I didn't dislike it, I didn't love it. I feel pretty neutral, and only glad that I've finished it so that I can move on to my other, pressing, bookring books and tbr-for-trade novels. It was well written, though the author seemed to continue to be very enamoured of big, frilly words that may irritate some readers. It was interesting to read about the characters' impressions of an America so young that the Statue of Liberty was still just a disembodied torch and a twinkle in some Frenchman's eye. Not being American, though... *laughs*

Anyways, off it shall go, into the hands of the next, and on to other readers who will form their own opinions and hopefully enjoy it greatly.

Journal Entry 8 by squirrel818 from Tafton, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Received today, I will start on it asap.

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