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The City
A coming-of-age tale of a jazz prodigy finding his way in 1960s New York City.
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How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

Created: 07/14/14

Replies: 8

Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1335

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Time & Distance

Jonah recounts his story beginning when he's eight years old, but in present time, he's an older man reflecting on and retelling the story of his childhood self. How do you think time and distance have affected Jonah's retelling of his story? What advantages, and challenges, might telling the story from such a perspective bring to an author?

Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how? Do you think our interpretation of previous events alter because our perspective changes as we get older, or are we all guilty of editing our own stories?


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

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RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

Jonah is the type of person that improves with time, not that he needed to. I'm sure each time he revisits his history he sees it differently, perhaps a bit more objectively. He's not bitter or resentful, he seems to drink it all in as a part of his personal landscape. Time is a great healer, educator.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

I agree with Mal, time offers such perspective. Things that were so important and urgent when we were young, can be viewed objectively with the distance of age.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lisa

Join Date: 06/13/14

Posts: 14

RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

Jonah seemed like old soul. He was able to relate to the adults around him with ease. So as he told his story as an adult, it rang true to me. I felt like Jonah a person who always handled himself with maturity and wisdom, and now as an adult he had the added perspective of time and, as Mal said, objectivity.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

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RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

Most definitely. I thought he did a good job of giving us just enough teasers to let you know a change of significance was coming up. Some writers use this technique to leave a teaser at the end of each chapter. I thought Koontz used his older/wiser reflections sparingly enough not to be annoying.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

I agree very much with what janeh wrote - above. Dean Koontz was not heavy handed with the older/wiser perspective. The wiser comments were just enough to create some suspense and interest. It's very much like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - the reader often forgets that the novel opens as a flashback (When the narrator's brother was a certain age, he broke his arm...)


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nanette s

Join Date: 05/06/12

Posts: 12

RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

I believe that time and distance did affect Johan as a storyteller. He can look back as an adult to what transpired and better tell the story as to what happened to him personally, his family and his friends. He handled himself very well with adults because he didn't really have very many friends while in school, and he chose to practice his music whenever possible.


Posted Jul. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

I think that as an adult Jonah is better able to see the significance of certain events in his life. My view of my parents and family changed when I became a mother. Certainly my understanding of the historical events I lived through have changed as I look back.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: How have time and distance affected Jonah’s retelling? Do you find that the more time you are removed from experiences in your own life, your view changes? If so, how?

As an adult, Jonah longs for the"innocence and delight" of childhood but not the irrational fears and powerlessness. When I was a child I was complaining about an event in my life and my father said," Wait until you grow up and you'll know what a real problem is". I vowed then and there to remember how powerless a child is to resolve a problem.


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