MY FATHER'S MASK

Joe's first collection.

Postby LoganRaider on Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:34 am

I know Joe has talked about Gaiman's "Bitter Grounds" story and how much he loved it, and this story felt the same to me.

It seems to mean so much--and I can get some of it--but I think about it every day and no matter how much I reread it, I cannot figure it all out.
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Postby Mr._Hex on Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:40 am

LoganRaider wrote:I know Joe has talked about Gaiman's "Bitter Grounds" story and how much he loved it, and this story felt the same to me.

It seems to mean so much--and I can get some of it--but I think about it every day and no matter how much I reread it, I cannot figure it all out.


I feel the same. Of course, it might mean nothing.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:11 am

I do hope Joe will talk about this one at some point. I found it spellbinding and I'm so curious to hear what he has to say about it.
"We'll always have Paris."

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Postby miamiheat on Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:11 pm

Betsy Boo wrote:I do hope Joe will talk about this one at some point. I found it spellbinding and I'm so curious to hear what he has to say about it.


Yes, I'd be curious as well! I just finished this one and am creeped out! I keep thinking that the appraiser was going to get the father's organs as part of what she got to 'keep,' so I see that kiss between them as something very disturbing! Maybe the father got a bad hand in an earlier game? :?:
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Postby LauraK on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:32 pm

This was one weird story. I felt like they stepped into a slightly alternate universe and I was not privy to what was going on......I just feel like I missed the point of this one while the bizarro trade-off was going on.

I need to reread it, I think. :)

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Postby LoganRaider on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:36 am

Weren't the father and mother the two kids the boy was playing cards with? They said they used to go to that place when they were younger, and the boy ends up recognizing who he is playing with. So, the father got his bad hand dealt to him there. At least, that is how I took it.

Anyone have any idea about the boy on the old fashioned bicycle. I found that part creepy as hell.
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Postby miamiheat on Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:26 am

LoganRaider wrote:Weren't the father and mother the two kids the boy was playing cards with? They said they used to go to that place when they were younger, and the boy ends up recognizing who he is playing with. So, the father got his bad hand dealt to him there. At least, that is how I took it.

Anyone have any idea about the boy on the old fashioned bicycle. I found that part creepy as hell.


I could see that. In that earlier game, the boy even said the girl made up the rules as she went along, so she would always win. Same at the end, I guess!
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Postby sybil on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:52 pm

:oops: i SO missed that, WTF is wrong with me? i should have caught that right away.

as far as the organs and then the kiss...i guess i thought the appraiser was some kind of vampire or cannibal or something like that. i feel dad didn't meet a very nice end.

the kid on the bike creeped me out as well, tho i don't know why. i don't have any thoughts as to his significance, either.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:52 pm

You know, I wondered about that, too. And I don't know who the bicycle boy is but he scares me. Doesn't this story make you feel like you're in the middle of someone else's nightmare?

I still wonder about this story. I keep holding back on what I want to really ask because it's like I'm prying, but I wonder if this is about how the whole world wants a piece of Joe's Dad? Forgive me if I stepped over the line here by saying that.
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Postby LoganRaider on Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:13 pm

That is a very interesting idea, I'm glad you brought that up. If you can't say something like that here, where else can you bring it up? I hadn't even considered that idea.

The only thing that I felt I really got was that the two children with the cards were his parents. If someone has any idea about the boy on the bike, speak up please, because I don't even have any theories.
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Postby sybil on Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:23 am

interesting bboopster. that hadn't crossed my mind. hmmmm....
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:53 am

Well, I hope Joe doesn't mind me saying such a thing. That was what I thought of when I finished the story. I know a lot of authors say that their work is not about their life and people shouldn't read stuff into their work that isn't there. But this story just felt so personal to me.

Regarding that boy on the bike...I still haven't gotten him figured out, but I keep getting this image from the movie "The Tin Drum" (I think that was the name). It has been so long since I've seen it that all I remember is this little kid playing his drum while all this stuff is going on around him. Don't know why I made that connection...the mind is a funny thing.
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Postby LoganRaider on Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:44 am

I want some more responses on this thread. I really want to "get" this story.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:22 am

Me too, LR...I'm going to read it again and see if I can come up with any more insights.
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Postby Charlie on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:49 pm

To me, this is one of those rare stories that can have completely different meanings to each person that reads it.
Some might see it as just an interesting or bizarre tale with a nighmarish feel. Or might try to find Joe's hidden meaning, which I really don't try to do because I enjoy a story for what I get out of it and not what the author's personal take is on it is(that has ruined stories for me to an extent in the past so that's why I don't)
What do you think the story would mean to a man that has lost his everything, including his family and livelihood, to gambling?
What about his childern and wife? The stories told to keep them from shame?
Just some examples of how someone could take this story. There were others as I read it, but I don't have the energy to type them out at this time. Was reading stories when I should've been sleeping LOL.

BTW, I agree that the kids in the forest where his parents. I think his dad was trying to give him a warning of some nature and I think he was going to tell him to not forget him. Or that he loved him. Something for us to decide. I love when we are allowed to decide.
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