Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
History of Wolves
"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide

How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 14

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1392

Expert

How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

"Before Paul, I'd known just one person who'd gone from living to dead." (p. 4) How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?


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

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 83

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

This was one time that the book created a reason to continue reading...something interesting might actually happen.


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

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 92

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

Knowing that Paul was dead before he was introduced as a character adds to the mystery of the story. I was intrigued wondering how he would die. I have read similar novels knowing the same. He was not a character that I bonded with but I think that was because he was an odd little boy.


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

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 74

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

Knowing Paul is dead from the first pages of this novel just added to the mystery and suspense. I also think not being introduced to Paul until later added to the suspense. I would not have been as hungry to read this novel and find out what actually happened without that fact. It seems to work to hook the reader in from the very beginning.


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

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 118

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

Well, for one thing, this sure does introduce a tone to the book that if a reader is depressed or perhaps melancholic in any way, he or she may decide this is not a book to deal with presently. For the rest of us, it probably introduces a sense of mystery or curiosity, and we are encouraged to read on to discover who Paul is, what role he played in the speaker's life, and how it is that he came to die so young. It is a very clever "hook".


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

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 14

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

The reveal of Paul's death from the start sort of set the tone for me. Following that and all of Linda's odd interactions, Patra's behaviors, and Paul's innocence created a fairly dark and depressing mystery in my opinion.


Posted Nov. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandral

Join Date: 04/09/11

Posts: 13

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

Yes the information directly influenced my reading of 'Wolves'. I found the book very depressing and at the same time, I could understand Linda's failure to comprehend Paul's medical situation.


Posted Nov. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 32

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

This literary ploy, knowing something like Paul's death is going to happen before it happens, actually draws me in. I appreciate knowing what is going to happen as I more readily see the clues that bring us to the conclusion we already know is going to happen.

In the book, End of Your Life Book Club, the author, Will Schwalbe admits that his mother likes to read the final chapter before she starts the book at the beginning. I can see why she did that.


Posted Nov. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 10

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

It sets the dark tone. It is clear from the beginning that this is not a sweet tale about a teenager gaining a family. It also puts you on your toes from the very beginning of the relationship.


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

Join Date: 09/05/11

Posts: 36

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

It was intriguing to begin the book with that knowledge and it propelled me to get to the point when this sad event occurred. The death of a child is so traumatic, so puzzling that there is always the Why? The introduction of Christian Science brought an explanation which I don’t personally endorse, but one that was plausible.


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

Join Date: 11/20/17

Posts: 18

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

Knowing that four year old Paul was going to die made me focus on his life looking for clues as to why and when this was going to happen. I hoped that it would be an event way in the future, but as the narrator was a teenager, this was not to be. The author did a good job of making each description of his physical symptoms seem to be the start of something going wrong. I wondered if Linda's relative inexperience in taking care of a child would be his undoing. I was concerned when Linda taught him how to crawl on an icy lake and let him swing too high on the swing, for example.


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

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 111

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

It was a failure for me - I did not care for any of the characters, the story or the writing. Won't recommend this book.


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

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 28

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

I loved the language the author used to describe how Linda remembered Paul. I felt all of her emotions. As I turned the page and read that he had died, I became terrified that we were going to learn that Linda was ultimately responsible for Paul's death. There was something in the mood of the story--in the very first page--that told me Linda was not going to be a person who could survive being accused of this. Was I relieved to learn he was actually neglected medically by his parents? A little bit. I knew the book was not necessarily going to be a happy one by the way it began. I was able to prepare myself for some uncomfortable, yucky feelings. I did experience a bit of anxiety each time I turned the page and Linda and Paul set off on an adventure. Then I had a feeling of relief each time they made it home safely after.


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

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 55

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

I thought it was a very different and compelling way to begin a book. I kept wondering what was going to happen to him, and several times during his adventures in the woods with Linda, I found myself thinking maybe this is when it's going to happen.


Posted Dec. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 321

Expert

RE: How does it affect you to know that four-year-old Paul is dead before you are introduced to him as a character? Does this change how you understand and take in the events that occur later on?

The time of the child's death did not affect my feelings or frustrations with this book. At time I felt that there could have been a chance for a good story to develop. And the presence of the child was neither the strong point nor the weakness in this book.


Reply

Please login to post a response.