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7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.) 
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Post 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
Sunday
(The first day of the rest of their lives.)

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Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:42 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
All done.

Pretty good read. I found many of the characters loveable and interesting, but one of my favorite characters was Adam. Something he said really struck me. When he speaks about the gangs, and Greasy, and eliminating one of the groups, be it the "good" group or the "bad" group, a group will still remain. And within that group, eventually, it will split into two. There is a class system that we just can't get away from. There will always be good and bad in every society, even if that society starts out with the best of intentions. Reminds me a bit of "Lord of the Flies".



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Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:11 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
Absolutely, Suzanne. I also loved the fact that Adam made some incredibly mature, well thought out decisions when he realized that his whims were not good for anybody, even himself. At that point he is no longer the Antichrist, but he is also no longer just a child, either. He's got infinite understanding that the Tibetan monks tunneling under the world would kill for. ;) He can see the world as it was, horrible and ugly and full of problems, and the world he wants, full of all the wonders his imagination can create, and understands that not only does there need to be an in between, but that the world can never be perfect, can never fit anyone's expectations, can be cruel and painful but also beautiful and warm, and he chooses to return the world to its former mediocrity, flaws and all (even denying Anathema's wish for the whales, because once you give in to one whim, you have to give in to them all), and goes back to living his simple, ordinary life, content to spend it as a human boy with friends who don't understand anything at all about the world and what he just experienced. I doubt there are many adults who would have acted so wisely and selflessly in his situation, and that makes him a far more fascinating character, and gives us hope for our own world, just to have read about someone like him. That moment when he fought down the Antichrist in him and became simply Adam, purely Adam, and went back to his real friends, his human friends whom he realized he loved most of all, was one of the most beautiful moments in all of the books I've ever read.

Is it possible for us to talk about some of the earlier chapters, as well? There are so many details in this book I'd like to discuss with you and everyone else on BookTalk, not just "hey I read it and liked it...now what?" Like Hastur following Crowley through the phone lines -- how awesome was that?

I'd also like to talk about the Horseman and how they were personified and interacted with each other and the rest of the world. Also the characterization of Death. I really want to hear other people's reactions to those characters, because I found them perfectly fitting and wildly hysterical.

Has anyone gotten to the part where it rains fish? That was hilarious, too. This book is too hilarious for these topics to be so empty!! :cry:



Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:28 am
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
Re. Adam
I also found him very likeable. Are the authors saying that the Antichrist could be good?



Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:26 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
lindad_amato wrote:
Re. Adam
I also found him very likeable. Are the authors saying that the Antichrist could be good?

Very good question! I like the way you're thinking. :)

My interpretation was that Adam ceased to be the Antichrist by choosing to be Adam. He fought down the part of him that wanted to have things his way and to rule the world and chose to just be a little boy playing with his friends (with a few subtle tweaks here and there ;)). So it would be my opinion that no, Gaiman and Pratchett are not suggesting that the Antichrist could be good.

This is an interesting question, however, and open to opposing views. Does anyone else have any thoughts on it?



Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:39 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
bleachededen wrote:
My interpretation was that Adam ceased to be the Antichrist by choosing to be Adam.


Wow, this is a mouthful. The mere fact that the character is called Adam, in and of itself smashes the ingrained belief of what "Adam" should represent to most people. Yes, of course, the story of Adam and Eve is not accepted my many, but the conotation still remains.

Can Adam choose, to be "just Adam"? Adam the child, Adam the playful, Adam the innocent? I got the impression, that the character of Adam, knows that he is special, realizes he has strong persuasive talents, and intends on using these talents. It is not clear in the book whether or not Adam uses these talents for good, or for evil. But what is clear, is that Adam has followers, and he is a leader of of these followers.

Adam is the anti christ. What needs to be examined, is what does anti christ mean? Does it automatically mean that he is evil? Or does it mean that he, Adam, has knowledge, forbidden knowlege, which his name suggests, and has the ability to use this knowledge through free will.

Adam has shown himself as a free thinker, he has free will, again, this coralates with his name. A big question to ponder, is, does forbiden knowledge combined with free will produce an anti christ? A bigger question that comes to my mind is; is an anti christ, something to be feared? Why does the image of an anti christ create fear, and is that fear reasonable?

Adam may be the center character in this novel. To truly understand him, we need to explore ourselves and ask many questions of ourselves. Is a person who displays wisdom and knowledge and power considered evil in our society? Are they considered leaders in our society? The answers to these questions may be yes, especially if that person has the ability to persuad. Many political figures possess the same qualities that Adam exhibits.
These political figures may not be placing playing cards in the spokes of their bikes, but they do have the ability to persuad. And many of them have faithful followers.



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Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:30 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
Wow, Suzanne, thank you, that was amazing! :clap2:

I am absolutely floored by those questions, in the best way possible. Those are AWESOME questions, which I can't begin to answer at the present moment. I will, however, say the few things that come straight to mind.

I think Adam's name is 100% intentional. He does have forbidden knowledge, he does have power. He also remakes the universe, as subtly as it may be, but he is the first "man" in this new world, the only one with knowledge of what happened and how to do it and how to twist that new world as he pleases, for good or bad. You're right, Suzanne, we don't know whether or not he's going to continue to use his persuasive powers, or how long his innocence will last, as suggested by the wording of his ending that he knows his escape under the fence to follow Dog will be his last one as just a normal boy, and so his future is left ambiguous and open, which makes it that much more fascinating.

As for the "Antichrist," Suzanne, again, this is a fabulous question! What does it mean to be an Antichrist? Why should it be looked at as something bad? If we break the word down just from a linguistic standpoint, anti Christ would just mean "against Christ," or more leniently, "opposite of Christ." If we look at the latter definition, what would it mean to be the opposite of Christ? To be Christ, it would mean to be a chosen human by a divine being meant to serve a purpose and be a message to other humans, fulfilling specific expectations and actions with no choice in the matter, no free will. The Antichrist, on the other hand, will be chosen by a divine being* to serve a purpose, but to be able to choose what he does with his time on Earth. As we see in Adam, he HAS free will, and can choose what to do with his divine power, with his forbidden knowledge, even if that is to resurrect/create the city of Atlantis, create tunneling Tibetan monks, and aliens who stop by to tell you to have a nice day. He will have followers, yes, but the morality of those followers is up in the air, and may even be a mixed crowd depending on what the Antichrist chooses to persuade his followers to do.

So where does that lead us?

Does society, in general, frown upon the idea of choice, of being able to think for oneself without following any dogma, on "free thinkers?" That answer will vary depending on who you are, but I would argue that the answer is "Yes." Does society look down on someone with power who thinks for themselves and doesn't cater to "party lines" or pander to the group that will give him/her the most amount of followers? Again, I would argue that the answer is "Yes." If this is what defines an "Antichrist," and this is what society frowns upon/is afraid of, then of course the Antichrist is seen in a negative light. How dare you question these beliefs I've been taught that have been brought down from generations of believers who never once questioned what the purpose of the beliefs were or what they meant and why they have them? How dare you tell me to think for myself! What are you up to?

It really makes you think. It makes me think, anyway.

That's as far as I can go in my thinking right now, but these are wonderfully thought provoking questions. Thank you again, Suzanne, for the delicious brain candy! I hope others will jump into this discussion, as well. :)




*Let's not say it has to be a particular divine being, or if you must, we can say that the Antichrist is also sent by God, if not because it says so in Revelation, then because God let Satan stay in Hell after the Fall and did not destroy him, thereby allowing Satan to create an Antichrist. Either way, there is an Antichrist.



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Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:08 am
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
Good discussion here. I've finished the book.

The ending was done very tastefully. Adam turned out to be a preserver of man and not its destruction, even though that was his destiny. He still managed to keep his childhood innocence despite the very mature and wise decisions he made - these decisions were made even harder because no one was really persuading him to take the course he chose to take. (That combined with his age and the power he held)

Adam chooses humanity. He chooses to live the life of a human and not the life of a satanic overlord. He chose his human companions over the companions he was made to have. The first clue of this I guess is Dog. He doesn't want a hell hound - he wants the dog that every human boy would love to have. He doesn't want a white poodle, either. He wants a boy's dog - a little mischief maker - a dog in love with life and interested in making things interesting, just like Adam (real).

Adam is full of love but also realizes that a little spice really makes life more enjoyable (that's why he doesn't give up his powers just yet). It's mischief for the sake of fun and the enjoyment of life and stops well short of malice. He's human - He's Adam - and there is hope for humanity.


As for the book... Like I said before, the beginning was especially good. I enjoyed the first half of the book immensely. The back half left something to be desired. It's almost like they lost interest in it or weren't quite sure where it was going. The 'funny' parts just weren't very funny anymore. Things that are supposed to strike you as funny because they're out of the ordinary - like Newt's car giving warnings in Haiku... that stuff just makes me want to throw the book across the room. Weak, weak material here. I waste my time reading it and it sucks something from the soul.

If this whole book is about a balance then that balance has been achieved. The middle of the book just sucked ass while the front and very back of the book weren't bad at all.

For me, classical literature always gets preferential treatment because it's a model that all new authors can learn from. I also have to rate books on what purpose the author(s) had intended for it. Also, did they execute that purpose with ability? I have to give this book a 2 stars out of 5 stars. If the middle part of the book didn't sag it could have possibly received 3 stars. To keep this in perspective, I rarely give out 5 stars, 4 stars only to strong pieces of literature that move me emotionally, and 3 stars to very well written works of fiction. This one missed 3 stars.



Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:17 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
It seems most people already stopped discussing the book, but I just got a hold of my copy now. And it had been months since I read it, and I really had to re-read it to comment, specially since I'm new around here, I kind of feel intimidated ;)
First of all, I love how the chapters are the days of the week, and Sunday, the 7th day when God rested after creating Earth, is at the same time the day when it all ends, and the main characters and the world "rest". Even Mister S. retired from his witch finder career!
I found interesting the take on Anathema's recently acquired freedom from Agnes' prophecies, and how, in the end, it's her choice to "be a descendant" for the rest of her life. Of course the whole description of the package arriving and the letters inside of it made me imagine her laughing at people, and at the same time pointing her finger at them like they were children and telling them what to do. Throughout the book I always imagined Agnes as a funny lady, too wise to be too serious, and laughing as she sees into the future. I found the detail in her laughing white smoke appearance to Adam, winking at him, to be warming, as if both of them were just sharing their own private joke.
Did anyone have any take on the mysterious man feeding the ducks in the park where the MI9 agents are? And the fact that he not only is the one who answers C. and A. in a resounding voice, but that both of them completely forget about the conversation they were having before, when they were questioning the ineffable plan? Could it be God enjoying his day off in the park, like a retired old man, feeding the ducks?
And the final where Adam chooses to go up an apple tree, and cary all those apples remind me of the first Adam eating the apple (since it's the fruit commonly associated with the biblical myth), this time could it be a choice instead of being tricked into it? I couldn't but grin at the last paragraph, especially "there never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into eating it". I guess Adam realized in the end, that a perfect world is only perfect because (and in spite of) it's flaws.



Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:18 pm
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Post Re: 7. Sunday (The first day of the rest of their lives.)
Don't be intimidated, just jump right in. I found your comments very interesting and will have to take another look at the man in the park.
I was very relieved that Adam let the world stay as imperfect as it is and thought that the authors were giving us some hope that it will stay that way and last a long time.



Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:22 pm
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