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Sweet Caress
William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably...
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"if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

Created: 05/30/16

Replies: 10

Posted May. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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"if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

When Sholto dies, Amory says, "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?


Posted Jun. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

This statement is the central theme of the story. Amory's life is about living life as an adventure and making the most of whatever she is doing until the next thing comes her way and so on. She does all of this in her own way. When Amory can no longer live the way she wants to live then she chooses to stop hanging around.


Posted Jun. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

Death is definitely one of the themes of this story. Amory often made statements about dying and her philosophy of death. When her father died, she was glad he went so quickly and did not linger. When her first dog was hit by a truck, she was glad she was able "to put him down" rather than have him suffer. Surely her early experience with near death and the reasons for her father's actions must have haunted her throughout her life.


Posted Jun. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

I agree with melani b. The statement captures the theme of the book and the way Amory lived her life. It's clear she savored even the tiny insignificant features of her life, though, from her decision in 1978 to halt her planned suicide. Interesting that, in spite of her progressive illness, it then took her 5 years to get to the point where she chose to succeed. That speaks to the human instinct to survive at all costs.


Posted Jun. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

George Sanders left a note in that same vein:

"Dear World, I'm leaving you because I'm bored......."


Posted Jun. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 28

RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

This statement was important because as others pointed out, when Amory was no longer able to savor her life, she ended it. I thought it was interesting that she started to but decided there were still things worth living for and savoring, something as simple as an orange, banana and porridge for breakfast, and lived for another five years. This part of the book was most interesting to me: the philosophy that everyone should have the right to end his/her life if necessary when the appropriate time comes. An acquaintance of mine recently did that because she had signs of Alzheimer's. She took her life to save her family. She did not want to be a burden to them; her mother also had Alzheimer's and lived with it for quite a few years. She did not want her family to go through the same thing.


Posted Jun. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

I think Amory was always looking for the large, the big, the adventure, but learned over time to savor the little things. That I believe you learn when you live with a progressively debilitating disease. She was lucky to have in her life, a doctor who prepared her for what might come at the end. When you face that, smaller and smaller things become more significant. Being able to peel your own orange is a great accomplishment, to enjoy a flower is wonderful. She knew thanks to a wise doctor and her own body when she was ready to move on.


Posted Jun. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

When Amory said that about Sholto my reaction was that it seemed rather cold - but in the light of the end of the book, I understood it was a philosophical belief, held by her character.

As Renee points out above, she consistently has the point of view that death is a part of life and a rejection of unnecessary suffering.


Posted Jun. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

What a great motto to live by. Amory was an unusual woman, and she decided for herself when life wasn't worth living. Last page of the book AMORY CLAY, Died 23 June 1983 (by her own hand). Brilliant end to a bright life.


Posted Jun. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 25

RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

All the comments are spot on. I appreciated marilynj's comments as legislative issues re right to die are once again in the news.


Posted Jun. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 67

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RE: "if you savor nothing, not even the tiniest insignificant feature that the planet and your fellow humans can offer, then you shouldn't hang around, in my opinion." How important is this statement given the end of the book?

Amory truly believes what she said about living and dying. It is how she lived her life, when she could no longer enjoy her life she ended her it.


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