BETTER THAN HOME -- SPOILERS

Joe's first collection.

BETTER THAN HOME -- SPOILERS

Postby Dana_Jean on Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:13 pm

Here ya go Jodi. Want to start us off?
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Postby jodi on Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:41 am

Sure!
I really loved this story. I thought it was very touching how the father seemed more able to relate to the kid. My oldest son has multiple learning disorders and sensory overload disorder (or whatever its called) and this story really hit home for me. My favorite part of the story was when the dad and the son were in the hotel and he helped his son block out the squealing noise of the air conditioner so they could get some sleep. I think this is my favorite story so far by Joe.
I do wonder though, if Joe has some first hand experience with this? Maybe knows a kid with these types of disabilities? I just wonder beacause his discriptions are so dead on.
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Postby LauraK on Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:46 pm

I loved it too.

I do wonder though, if Joe has some first hand experience with this? Maybe knows a kid with these types of disabilities? I just wonder beacause his discriptions are so dead


My son has Asperger's and I asked the same question back when Joe sent us copies of the chapbook for Better Than Home back in the spring. No answer yet...

I also thought it sad how the mom and aunt seem so unwilling to try and understand Homer better. Especially when they go to the "Prep School" and while the father seems pretty apalled by it all- the smell, the stuffiness and their idea of baseball being where all kids are winners and no one ever strikes out. The Mom was just so disconnected from his opinion of the place....you knew the father felt really bad about it but unable to do anything when he squeezed Homer's shoulder. *sigh* That made me sad. I know I've heard from my son's teacher that there are lots of parents out there who are in denial about about their kids having any type of disability- learning or otherwise.

But I so loved the relationship between Homer and his Dad. His Dad understood he had quirks and was prepared to deal with them in a loving, accepting way. I just wonder what happened to Homer after getting sent to that school.....

LK
Last edited by LauraK on Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby LauraK on Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:38 pm

"HELLOOOOOOOO?"

LK's voices echoes:

HELLOOOO
HELLOOOO
HELLOOOO
HELLOO
HELLO
hello
hello


Is everyone out Christmas shopping?

LK
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Postby Dana_Jean on Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:15 pm

LK, I'm going to re-read the story tonight so it will be fresh in my head. Sorry about the delay.
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Postby Samoa_Girl on Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:24 pm

I really liked the story but I'll leave it at that since everyone touched on my thoughts. This was the first story of the book that I read, thanks to Joe's big heart and his give away. :D
Sometimes I get the urge to run around naked, but then I drink some Windex and it keeps me from streaking.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:15 pm

I can't really add much either...I just loved it, too. I do love stories about father/child relationships...especially when they're good relationships. And didn't you want to slap that Aunt around a few times?
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Postby jodi on Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:32 pm

What did she do? I forgot already... :oops: I have terrible short term memory. :oops:
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Postby LauraK on Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:31 am

Remember the covered bridge and what he saw in there? Then how she treated him?

"Sit down you weird shit!" she shouts. "You crazy little asshole!"

"Fat bitch whore!" I yell. "Parasitic capitalist!"

Well, no. But along those lines.


I wonder if the dead guy in their team's baseball cap represented Homer's fear of his father's death?

When he pointed him out to Aunt Bitch, she said:

"Oh. Him. Well, come on. He'll be all right, Homer. You let him mind his business and we'll mind ours."


You'd think a dead guy would have caused a bit of a scene but nothing more was mentioned about it or a body being found....

Or I could definitely be reading more into it than Joe intended. :D

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Postby grasking on Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:24 pm

jodi wrote:What did she do? I forgot already... :oops: I have terrible short term memory. :oops:


Too many hits from the bong?
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Postby jodi on Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:43 pm

Haha...very funny...I don't do that anymore, but I'm sure it contributed to the problem. :lol:
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Postby jodi on Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:46 pm

LauraK wrote:Remember the covered bridge and what he saw in there? Then how she treated him?

"Sit down you weird shit!" she shouts. "You crazy little asshole!"

"Fat bitch whore!" I yell. "Parasitic capitalist!"

Well, no. But along those lines.


I wonder if the dead guy in their team's baseball cap represented Homer's fear of his father's death?

When he pointed him out to Aunt Bitch, she said:

"Oh. Him. Well, come on. He'll be all right, Homer. You let him mind his business and we'll mind ours."


You'd think a dead guy would have caused a bit of a scene but nothing more was mentioned about it or a body being found....

Or I could definitely be reading more into it than Joe intended. :D

LK



Oh yeah! I thought that a dead body would cause more of ruckus or that the aunt would at least seem somewhat more concerned.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:04 pm

I don't have the book in front of me so I may not be right, but I think the Aunt thought it was a wino sleeping it off. Man, I wish I could get my book but I left it upstairs. Going upstairs is an adventure in itself these days.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:44 pm

You know, I was just about to comment that I hadn't seen a blog entry on "Better Than Home", but I figured I should check first. Glad I did. Just in case anyone reading this hasn't checked, Joe posted one today. And it was super cool of him to allow us to read the original ending of "The Black Phone".
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Postby Dana_Jean on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:56 pm

Just finished Better Than Home. Just some random thoughts from me.

First, I think his father was so good with him because I think dad had his own similar issues. For instance, when they went to the school to look around. Dad's focus was on the texture and smell of things. He couldn't pay attention to the business side of it. Dad could just relate better to Homer because they were cut from the same cloth. Home, for them, really was the ballpark. They felt the most at ease there.

Dad was set off easily at the games--you could say typical coach tantrums--but maybe a root cause was something similar to when his boy "goes off" on Aunt Mandy. They both suffered from Sensory overload and had to let it out.

Second, Aunt Mandy--well, I relate everything to my experiences and my feelings--it's how I process information. And Joe writes about Mandy on page 123:

"What Aunt Mandy would say about it is that she's still trying to figure out what it is she's supposed to be. What my father would say is Mandy is wrong if she thinks the question hasn't been answered yet--she already is the person she was always sure to become."

When I read this, my heart sank because I really took that personally. I saw myself starring back from that observation and it made me sad.*sigh*

When they cross paths with the guy in the tunnel, Who's perception was right? Was he dead or just sleeping off a drunk? I would think Homer was more atuned to the smell of something wrong, and Aunt Mandy was the typical adult with blinders on.

Third, I think mom was understanding of him, but, well--she's a mom. Moms have to be the practical ones and keep the household moving along and generally are the ones to make the tough decisions in regards to the status quo. I think she pretty well treated him as normal.

And finally, I just loved this description:


"He wears a filthy baseball cap--Our Team's cap, once dark blue, but now faded almost white around the rim where it is blotched by dried salts left by old sweats...

This story made me feel lonely.

MY THOUGHTS ARE A little disjointed, but there ya go. (I thought I better add that on. The story wasn't the disjointed one.)
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