July 2012 Weddings
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*Book Club* Questions Pt.1

1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else?

2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?

3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?
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Re: *Book Club* Questions Pt.1

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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else? While I enjoyed the pictures I'm not sure they really effected my reading. I don't know why, because I thought they would. Maybe because I read on my nook instead of a regular book? Anyway, I think maybe i wasn't a huge fan because I like to imagine the characters my own way and the pictures forced me to see them a specific way.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much? I liked the character of Abe, how he started out as some crazy, and pretty disturbed, old man, and you slowly realized everything he was dealing with. I think with Jacob he was trying to show him the real world because he had too but also not really becuase he wanted to sheild hin. I think the stories intrigue him for two reasons. 1. He's a kid and those type of stories are things kids want to believe. 2. The things that made him the way he was made him know deep down they were true.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's? I don't think he ever truly doubts. However he sees the world he lives in and realizes that to fit in, which he does want to some extent, he has to not believe. So he almost forces himself to not believe. As for the Nazi connection, thats actually a very believable explanation. A lot of people who suffer the way Jews in that time suffered come up with stories as a coping mechanism, they may even believe they are true. It is easier than remembering what really happened.

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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else?    I think that the photographs really helped in explaining the story.  It helps bring the characters to life and gave them more meaning.  I think it did affect the way I felt about the story.  It made me feel more fascinated about the characters.  I didn’t have to imagine what a character looked like by the description the author gave of a character, I had an actual image to go along with this description.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?    Abe is a story teller and in the eyes of his grandson a hero and explorer.  In the eyes of the rest of his family he’s seen as a senile, hallucinating old man with a wild imagination.   For young Jacob, he creates this world of excitement and exotic wilderness. The stories intrigue Jacob so much because he felt like they were being told as secrets.  That not everyone knew these stories and not everyone could be trusted to know these stories.  They grabbed Jacobs’s attention and imagination and encouraged him to dream.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?     As Jacob gets older, naturally his grandfather gets older as well.  Abe begins to claim that he’s being watched and this in turn is seen as paranoia.  When he calls his grandson screaming and begging for a key to the gun safe in his garage and saying that “They” are back and are going to kill him, his family, including his grandson think it must be because he forgot to take his pills that day.  Jacob is at an age where he’s learning that the stories he was told as a child, like you and I, of monsters under the bed or the boogey man in the dark are not true that they are simply that, stories.  He Because Abe was a Jewish child during WWII and was separated from his family, I think his family may have concluded that Abe made these stories up to deal with the pain and horror that he went through during this time.
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    - What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else? I almost felt as though they were a bit of a distraction. I found them fairly disturbing and though I felt like they added to the story at some parts, I also felt like the "disturbingness" did take a bit away.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?He came across to me as sort of a tragic hero for me. He knew what was out there and that it/they would likely track him down and that he was too old to fight but he still tried to protect Jacob to the very end by telling him the stories so he knew what evil existed, even if he didn't believe it. Plain and simple the world that Abe creates for Jacob is Utopia....albeit Utopia besieged by monsters. The adventure aspect/fairy tale-like quality of the stories, in my opinion, intrigue Jacob.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?I think he only doubts their veracity because his life is becoming frustrating and dull in all aspects so it sort of seems like a world as fantastical as that of Abe's stories couldn't possibly exist. It seems to me that Jacob's entire family thinks that Abe's struggles with the Nazis and the horror he's scene ahve made the line between reality and fantasy blur.
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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else?
    They creeped me out. I prefer imagining things in my own mind and not being told how to view a character or setting. It was a neat touch but I find it takes away from the reader's imagination.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?
    Uhm, from an English student perspective he's the "wise old man". He knew more about the world and could "see" (literally and figuratively) other people could not see (monsters). He had lived through one of the worst moments in history and dealt with two types of monsters.

    He creates a magical world, a getaway for Jacob. It reminded me of dystopian literature where the characters search for a Utopia. He's sent there to get away from the monsters but finds himself unhappy and therefore leaves and is forced to deal with other monsters. The same is true for Jacob. He finds a place where he fits in, the perfect place for him only to find out it's not entirely what it's cracked up to be.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?
    The idea of an 'alternate' place, a magical land all fades as we grow. How many of us have believed in Neverland?

    They're connected to the struggle under Nazis because they're monsters. It appears as a way to cope with everything he had been through.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_july-2012-weddings_book-club-questions-pt1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding Club BoardsForum:066005ef-215f-48b1-8655-328b41e07c52Discussion:2709ad81-71de-4e66-b89b-8db3a659419bPost:0b677c28-e08b-430b-9ec5-95a83646510d">Re: *Book Club* Questions Pt.1</a>:
    [QUOTE]. 3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's? The idea of an 'alternate' place, a magical land all fades as we grow. How many of us have believed in Neverland? <strong>They're connected to the struggle under Nazis because they're monsters. It appears as a way to cope with everything he had been through.
    </strong>Posted by avsfan33[/QUOTE]

    I completely agree with this.  How many have described Nazi's as monsters because of their actions.
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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else?

    I usually do not really like pictures with my books either. These where not bad, but somehow they made the story a bit less real for me.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?

    He's a hero. He's been everywhere and has done the most amazing things. When Jacob grows older, he sees the flipside of this: the constant travelling was not as much adventurous as it was fleeing, and he can identify less with his grandfather, he stops aspiring to be like him. But before that, the storyworld is some magical refuge, free of pain and worry.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?

    He thinks that the monsters are metaphorical, the island is just a place where the Nazi's couldn't reach him. The thinks Abe decides to turn the horror into a beautiful story, much like the movie 'La vita e bella'.
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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else?
    I agree with Eline on this one.  Although I usually enjoy having visuals to go along with stories, in this case, I kept finding myself critiquing the pictures.  I kept trying to figure out how the pictures were taken, what tricks were used in taking the photographs, etc. 

    I like putting faces to names (i.e., the cute picture of Abe and Emma laying on the blanket), but the stories about the peculiar children seemed less real when they peculiararities (is that a word?) were illustrated. 

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?
    He was very sympathetic to me.  It took awhile for me to understand him as a person.  I kept finding myself feeling sorry for him, and I felt even more sorry for him as Jacob understood more stories. 

    I think he created a world for Jacob to escape in.  It was like Santa Claus for him - it started out as seeming real to him, and his dreams were crushed when he "stopped believing". 

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?
    Jacob thinks that Abe went crazy and started creating stories about the Nazis. As others have said, it seemed as though Abe had considered the Nazi's to be monsters.  There is definitely a big tie-in here. 
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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else?
    I loved the photographs and thought they were a really nice surprise (had no idea there were pictures involved).  I'm a highly visual person and absolutely love pictures and to me, these were really cool and I was really intrigued by them.  I don't think they added or took away from the story either way.  Their uniqueness was what I liked about them.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much?
    I liked how Nikki described him, as a tragic hero.  His character made me miss my pop-pop for some reason... probably because I was also really close to him as Jacob was to Abe.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's?
    At some point all of us begin to doubt the stories and fairy tales we are told as children... I think it was only natural for Jacob to go through the same thing with his grandfather's stories.
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    1- What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced the book? Do you think it affected the way it made you feel about the story? Were you disturbed, fascinated, or feeling something else? I liked looking at the pictures, it gave me a sense of when i was reading the book i could picture these people in my mind.

    2- Abe (Grandpa) Portman. What kind of character is he? What kind of world does he create in his stories for young Jacob? Why do the stories intrigue Jacob so much? I thought this man was going out of his mind, but it created a imaginative storyline for Jacob to pursue if it was real or not.

    3- As Jacob moves into adolescence, why does he begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazi's? I think it is because he thought that his grandfather was just making these stories up like his parents always told him.
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    I agree with Butterfly, I felt really really sorry for Grandpa, and that was one of the most compelling things about the book. The deep compassion for Grandpa made me wanted to read on, hoping that somehow things would be made up to him, even though you know he's dead and there's nothing to be done about it.
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