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Little Nothing


A stunning, provocative new novel from New York Times bestselling...
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Discuss Little Nothing by Marisa Silver:
What did people actually think of the book?

Created: 08/24/17

Replies: 16

Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 53

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What did people actually think of the book?

I have mixed feelings about the book. It was emotionally difficult to read; and I am not sure I would recommend it to others, but part of me liked the folklore, fairytale aspect of it.
I thought it was well written and certainly kept a good pace and moved right along.
Would love to know what others thoughts on this.


Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jant

Join Date: 07/15/14

Posts: 20

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I devoured fairy tales growing up so I like that aspect of this novel. Even though the story was fantastic - the characters through all their transformations remained real. It was truly a page turner for me. I think the ending was very satisfying and was relieved Pavla no longer suffered. It ended with "hope."


Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I love fantasy, but somehow I wasn't expecting it here, having read her terrific historical novel, Mary Coin-- so the fantastic elements at first caught me by surprise, all the more because she began with convincing realism. I think Marisa Silver takes fantasy to a whole new level, blending it with such earthy detail and social commentary, even raising a spiritual question. I found it hard to read in places-- very disturbing scenes-- but I think that was necessary to her purpose, and truer to the roots of fantasy in folk tales. I agree that the pace was quick, even though it covered a lot of ground. Overall, even though painful reading at times, I felt richly rewarded and would recommend this. Fantasy for grownups, not grownup kids.


Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PlumGarden

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 10

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I really enjoyed the first half of the book, while Pavla was a dwarf. Ms. Silver's language, imagery, and irony are absolutely engrossing. I laughed out loud at several parts and was stunned into sadness in others. She really expressed a wide spectrum of human experience and emotion. I admit that once she turned into a wolf, I found it harder to follow the plot. Maybe I just lost emotional investment in the characters. The ending seemed abrupt to me. But overall, such wonderful writing!


Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

Join Date: 02/04/16

Posts: 77

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I enjoyed the fantastic aspect of the book...it was a great foil for the realistic characteristics. I did find much of it disturbing and dark. And I found it difficult to identify with the characters in those parts. At the same time, I'm glad I read it. Quite thought provoking. And the discussion leads me to greater appreciation.


Posted Aug. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 94

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I really enjoyed the book until the ending. It felt rushed & unfinished to me. And...I must admit...I don't think I really understand the ending. I was incredibly irritated when Pavla just disappeared into thin air. It felt sloppy & as if the author couldn't think of a way to tie things up.


Posted Aug. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 73

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I didn't know there was going to be so much fantasy. I read the author's "God Of War" and loved it. This book started out so grim and cruel and depressing. The stretching and turning into a wolf girl just about made me lose all interest. I'm just not into fantasy, but usually like metaphors and symbolism. I didn't enjoy this book at all.


Posted Aug. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 169

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

Being new to fantasy, I felt it was confusing in parts, also a little grim for me. Pavla had a very unhappy life. Maybe, for her, fantasy was the only way to go to get out of her life. I , personally, enjoy a happier type of story. This was my first look at fantasy, which is one of the reasons I wanted to read it, trying to expand my interests. I am not sure this was the best book to start on. In reading the comments above, I know there are other choices.


Posted Aug. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 101

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

The story was engaging and well-written but it was a bit "out there" for me. I don't read much fantasy so maybe I was not in the proper mindset when reading it. That being said, I kept reading because I wanted to know how the story ended.


Posted Aug. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 78

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

This is not a book that I would chose to read; but I am glad I did. I enjoyed this book. It made me feel like I was back in summer after third grade staying up all night reading 50 FAMOUS FAIRY TALES.


Posted Aug. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bookbagbethy

Join Date: 03/01/17

Posts: 7

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I felt like it should have been short stories. I enjoyed the first part, but was completely confused on the second part. There wasn't a transition that between parts to keep the flow of the story moving.


Posted Aug. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 323

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I enjoyed the first half of the book. I haven't really read too much fantasy so had a difficult time with it. The writing was very good and created lots of imagery. My adult daughter read it and really liked it. I would recommend it to 2 of the women in my book group but not th rest


Posted Sep. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherineh

Join Date: 02/08/12

Posts: 7

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I did not like this book at all. Author did a terrible job trying to rewrite old fairy tales and legends and completely failed doing it. It seems that Ms. Silver had no clue what she was writing or where her story would go.
The usage of vulgar language was not necessary.
I would give an F grade to this book.


Posted Sep. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 49

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I liked the first half of the book, not so much the send half. I found it hard to follow. I would not recommend this book to most of my reading friends.


Posted Sep. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: What did people actually think of the book?

We all have different tastes in reading and ice cream, for sure, but I would like to respectfully disagree with the idea that the author was trying to "rewrite" a fairy tale, that she made it up as she went along, or got lazy at the ending. Marisa Silver shows us at the level of her sentences that she's a very purposeful and accomplished writer.

I've read a lot of fantasy, magic realism and science fiction, so I did not expect everything to make literal sense in the ways of our physical world. Fairy tales work the same way this book does -- things happen that we know could never happen in reality. We don't expect them to make sense. Silver used magical transformations in this book the same way that we see them used in fairy tales, but she also made the characters "real" people, unlike the figures in fairy tales. The main characters are not all good or all evil, and we see their struggles from within. She gives us enough understanding of them to care about them way more than we would care about Cinderella or Jack in the Beanstalk. And she puts them into a world that is very much like our own, in history, but also relevant to today. She does that for a reason beyond entertaining us. She isn't trying to "rewrite" any particular fairy tale, but to borrow the magic of fairy tales to tell a purposeful story of her own. The author uses the magic of fairy tales to address the powers of goodness and evil in our human souls (which is true to the origins of fairy tales as well, though not the Disney versions).

Pavla's transformations aren't sloppy storytelling, they are central to this novel, and meaningful, but symbolic. When people are treated as less than human, and abused (even "for their own good"), for their physical differences -- they can be reduced to the appearance of being animals in the eyes of society, and sometimes even act that way. That's Pavla being turned into a wolf. What "brings her back" to her humanity is her love for her dying parents.... When we experience the kind of trauma Pavla did, we can respond as she does initially, withdrawing, disassociating, reducing our minds to simple survival mode-- but also, moved by love, we can find within ourselves the strength of choosing to "rise above it all." That's Pavla as a prisoner, forgiving, caring for others, valuing the gift of her soul, being grateful for life itself. (And again, that happens after she sees Danilo and Markus in the prison. She's reawakened through love.)

The author took a risk, it is harder to switch back and forth between the symbolism and magic of fairy tales to the world of real people, and no one has to like it, but just because we don't like something, doesn't mean it was a failure of the author. I was challenged, but I am glad I read this book.


Posted Sep. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Silly Lotus

Join Date: 10/07/15

Posts: 15

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I recently read the The Egg and the Spoon by Gregory McGuire. I was reminded of that book a lot by this one. The use of symbolism and mixing fact and fantasy and the writing was similar I think. So I guess that is why I was looking for a basis in lore


Posted Sep. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rosieglitter

Join Date: 10/16/16

Posts: 36

RE: What did people actually think of the book?

I did not like this book at all and couldn't even finish it. I usually don't quit reading in the middle of the book, but I just did not find it interesting at all. Very disappointing.


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