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History of Wolves


"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's...
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Discuss History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund:
This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 23

Posted Nov. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. Linda mixes her timelines and reveals details to us in a surprising order. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?


Posted Nov. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 92

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

Please don’t ask us why an author chooses their format. Personally, the format proved annoying and made the story difficult to follow. It might have been different if read in one sitting; but it wasn’t. Very disappointing.


Posted Nov. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
garyr

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 19

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

Actually I personally enjoyed the narration, kept everything refreshing


Posted Nov. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I enjoyed the non-linear narration as well. It made me want to keep reading, I think. If the story was just Linda narrating things as they unfolded I'm not sure it would have had the same impact as knowing Paul is dead but wanting to know the details behind that.


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

However this story was told, it wouldn't have changed my opinion of the book. It was a dark, depressing, and unenjoyable read. As I am writing this, the morose feeling of the book is returning.


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

Many times I felt that a potentially good story was getting buried in the author's determination to make a point about something that has been her personal negative experience. I am always a bit skeptical of books that seem to be preaching too much or start focusing on a determination to prove a point rather than tell an engaging story. Is any faith or any nationality without some people gone astray? In this case, I do not think the non-linear approach strengthened the book. Although the book was depressing since no one has a good life, I am glad that I read it, and I do think the author is a good writer. I would rather read this book than the ones where everyone is fabulously wealth but never donates to any good causes but cares only aboout shopping for more stuff to go into landfills.


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I do not understand why the author chose the nonlinear fashion. I found the book disjointed and very confusing. Why throw in a few paragraphs about "Linda" when she is in her 20's or 30's?
I did not like this book. I found it depressing and at times ridiculous. It was a complete waste of my time.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 31

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I think the nonlinear fashion served the book. I don't think there would have been any suspense otherwise. I thought it was easy to follow.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I appreciate this kind of question, because I think the way that an author chooses to tell a story is an important part of the author's purpose in writing this particular story, especially when the narrator is one of the characters. It adds to my pleasure in reading to think about that. In this challenging novel, I think it wasn't only for the suspense. I think this was an effort to recreate how Linda herself has a hard time facing up to what happened, a hard time working through the shattering of her illusions, understanding who she is herself, and where she fits into the world. Her identity and grasp of the real world are pretty fragile given how she was raised. This was a traumatic experience, too, and we don't tend to process those in a linear fashion. Telling the story this way was part of Fridlund's effort to put us in Linda's place, help us experience her situation as she did -- disoriented, wanting to know and understand more.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 40

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I liked the nonlinear narration. It reflects the development of how Linda felt about the situation. As a child she could not confront the entire circumstances. She did not have an adult to help her address it when all the events happened. As she got older she viewed what happened more completely so the reader benefits by the style and can view her maturing process.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

"Non-linear" is an understatement. This book was all over the place, including lots of bits that still don't make any sense to me. BUT -- I did find that the scattered nature of the narrative allowed the author to create suspense (Who is Paul and why did he die? What trial?). I also felt that interspersing Linda's experiences from other time periods (4, 14, 26, 37 years old are all represented) allowed the reader to get a better sense of how fragmented her life had been. So I can see the method in the madness; I just didn't enjoy it very much.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 83

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

The nonlinear fashion did add to the tension of the story and it certainly did create suspense. However, I can agree with the fact that it made it confusing and not enjoyable. Emily Fridlund's writing and style was at times brilliant and beautiful, but also infuriating and questionable. There were times I just wanted to put this book down and leave it unfinished and at other points I could not stop reading to see what happened next.


Posted Nov. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amyw

Join Date: 03/12/13

Posts: 14

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I am not sure the book would've been as interesting had it not been written in the non-linear fashion. It kept me reading, and interested. Sometimes, books are hard to follow when they jump around in time but the author is talented enough that it didn't take away from the story- instead it added to the suspense.


Posted Dec. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 167

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

Like others responding here, I feel this is an exceptional piece of writing. Nothing is left to chance here - all the elements of this novel are present because of their effect of the plot and theme. Nonlinear narration is no exception. The protagonist here is a 37 year old woman telling us of an event that happened when she was an immature and budding fourteen year old girl. Even at 37 she is not comfortable with what happened, what she now knows and understands. She has not yet completely accepted her actions and behavior and forgiven herself. Talking about this is still not easy and she avoids getting to the heart of it for a long time - thus, she weaves a very non-linear tale to put off the inevitable for herself as long as she can - still, after all these years.


Posted Dec. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 32

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

Linda is damaged by the events of her childhood. Fridlund flashes forward to the 37-year-old Linda to show that she is not yet healed. Having the comparisons of the child Linda so close to the adult Linda helps the reader to see she is not yet, and may never be, healed.


Posted Dec. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 83

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I so agree with celiap as to the comparison of Linda as child and adult and her still having issues. And then she goes back to her mother as an adult. So much for Linda's growth.


Posted Dec. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 148

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

The style suited the story. It is a depressing, dark and moody tale and the non-linear fashion seemed to suit it well. I did not like the novel but I cannot fault the author for that. It obviously was something she needed to write and I hope it served her well.


Posted Dec. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
madelonw

Join Date: 11/20/17

Posts: 18

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

The nonlinear style of the book added to the suspense. The focus of the narrator's attention shifted frequently. I knew from the start that the relationship with Paul was going to be important. Her interactions with Lily and Mr Grierson were strong at the beginning, were put in the background for awhile and reemerged using the nonlinear format.


Posted Dec. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 119

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I agree with Carol Rainer ("It was a dark, depressing, and unenjoyable read.") & annar ("I found the book disjointed and very confusing. Why throw in a few paragraphs about "Linda" when she is in her 20's or 30's?
I did not like this book. I found it depressing and at times ridiculous.")
It was a NOT a complete waste of my time but close to it! No suspense for me - you knew Paul died; you knew Linda came from a dysfunctional background; you knew there was a trial & you knew she was questioning her role in Paul's death.


Posted Dec. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shannonl

Join Date: 12/04/17

Posts: 9

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I have no idea why the author chose to tell the story this way. I didn't like it and had a real struggle reading this book. It was confusing and as a result I was so frustrated that I never cared about any of the characters...and, spent most of my time wondering why this book had received so many great reviews!


Posted Dec. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 22

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I thought the nonlinear structure was perfect for what the author wanted to convey. There is a overarching mood of chaos, instability, and unfulfilled emotional needs that permeate this book. This called for a mixed up time sequence.


Posted Dec. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 312

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I did not enjoy the nonlinear writing. I felt myself getting lost in the disjointed story. I also felt there was so much to make this a great story that the author did not need to put in bits and pieces that really made no difference to the plot. I can understand that the author wanted us to see the growth of the narrator over a period of time, but I think there was a better way to do it. Often when I put the book down I found myself thinking I must have lost my place when I returned to reading. I do feel this book would make a great book club discussion after the readers cut through all the unimportant details.


Posted Dec. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

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RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I normally don't mind a non-linear narration, but I really disliked it here. There were several years between sections and some things included in the narration I thought were pointless. A few times I found myself thinking what does this have to do with anything? I had a difficult time getting through this book and couldn't wait to get to the end, just because I wanted to be done.


Posted Dec. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyn

Join Date: 12/21/17

Posts: 1

RE: This book is narrated in a nonlinear fashion. How do you think this structure serve the story that Linda is telling? Why do you think the author chose to tell it this way?

I agree with kdowney25. I disliked the way this story was written that half way through I had to jump to the end. I just wanted to be done too.


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