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EDIWTB online bc selection: Run

September 26, 2008

Run
Web site for Ann Patchett
Harper Perennial; Reprint edition, 2008
320 pages
Fiction
Book provide by Book Club Girl for the Every Day I Write The Book book club.

I joined 2 online book clubs with specific goals in mind: to expose myself to new authors and to have a place to discuss books. While I love my f2f book club ladies we don’t stay on topic which is fine (I know some of you read this). Dinner always manages to diverge into hysterics which someday will get us thrown out of a restaurant. Speaking of off topic… sorry.

This book, Run, achieved both those goals the first time. Ms. Patchett is an author I’ve had exposure to simply by seeing her work mentioned throughout the book blogging community. Several places have raved about Bel Canto though I’ve haven’t read it myself. I always got this feeling that her books wouldn’t appeal to me. There I was not wrong. I don’t enjoy reading fiction that I feel has a ‘message’ hidden somewhere in the story. I find myself spending more time actually trying to figure out what it is that author wants me ‘to get’ then I do enjoying the story.  My mind is wandering off exploring, digging around instead staying focused. I actually got more out of this book from reading the author interview about her ‘purpose’ for writing this story then I did from the story itself. I found her insight into her thoughts behind this book enlightening and wish I’d read that part beforehand. I didn’t, though, because sometimes those interviews can contain plot line spoilers. 

Background ~ two brothers, Tip & Teddy, of ethnic origin are adopted at a young age by a white city mayor and his wife who already have one son. Current time ~ by fate, and tragic circumstances, all three brothers and their father meet the mother, and her daughter, of the 2 adopted brothers. We come to find out that Kenya, the daughter, is familiar with her brothers because her mother has been keeping tabs on them for past 15+ years. On the other hand the brothers find their lives turned upside down by a mother and sister that they’ve had no previous contact with or knowledge of. Over the next 24 hours complex family relationships are explored.

Ms. Patchett writes well and I can see why a legion of readers are attracted to her work. When she is simply telling a story she does a wonderful job ~ such as the track scene in the college gym with Tip and Kenya or Kenya testing Tip about the fish names. But the book goes off track, for me, when she starts exploring the deeper family ties and expectations of a father for his sons. When Doyle drags his sons to yet another political speech because he has dreams for his boys or Teddy follows his father’s dream for him instead of his heart.

Overall I’d say I’m split in on this one ~ I didn’t love it but then again I didn’t dislike enough to put it down.
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You can find the complete book club discussion here
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X-posted: Book Club & Publishers Blog

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5 Comments
  1. September 27, 2008 3:23 pm

    I read this too. I really enjoyed reading it. It was not my favourite read this year, but it was interesting and I certainly enjoyed it 🙂

    I reviewed it too on my blog.
    http://exlibrisbb.blogspot.com/2008/09/run.html
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    Thank you for linking my review to your blog. That’s what I love about book club ~ all the different opinions and feelings about the same book.

  2. September 27, 2008 5:28 pm

    Marcia – I have similar mixed feelings about *Run* (I haven’t yet written my full review). I like what you posted over at EDIWTB, too. I think *Bel Canto* set the bar so high that I’ve been a bit disappointed by the other two novels I’ve read (*The Magician’s Assistant* and *Run*).

    I’ll be re-reading *Bel Canto* for my IRL book group next month, so we’ll see if I’m still as taken by it. Patchett’s writing is phenomenal; I just wasn’t “grabbed” by the plot in *Run*, I felt that too much was laid out for me as a reader, instead of letting me draw connections ….
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    I think I may have myself up for feeling how I did about ‘Run.’ I haven’t read anything else by Ms. Patchett but I knew from the start this wasn’t going to be a favorite. After reading ‘Run’ I understand why she has a legion of readers. Her writing is quite good just not for me.

  3. September 27, 2008 10:49 pm

    Run wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it for the most part. I liked how it explored the meaning of family, and I think Patchett is a wonderful writer.

    I’ve added the link to your review to mine, which is here:
    http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com/2008/09/run-by-ann-patchett.html
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    Thank you for linking my review to your blog. Interesting to see how this group of readers, over at EDIWTB blog, views Ms. Patchett’s work and this story in particular. Everything from ‘loved it’ to ‘didn’t enjoy it’.

  4. September 29, 2008 8:48 am

    I have been going back and forth about reading this book. It’s nice to hear some opinions on it to get a better feel on whether I would like this book or not. My biggest problem is that I don’t like buying the book and wasting money if I don’t like it. Which.. we actually just found a site online where you can read books for free which we posted on our blog, so that will hopefully help my problem. Thanks for posting all these reviews!
    Where Families Connect
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    Thanks for stopping by. That’s the great thing about all the wonderful book blogs. Instead of just reading reviews, say at Amazon, you can stumble across a discussion and interaction about a book before spending $$ for something that may not be all that interesting. This book was provided to me free as long as I participated in the book discussion.

  5. November 4, 2008 3:44 am

    Greetings,

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