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Letters and Journal Entries

Discuss the April Book of the Month Shot Down by Steve Snyder.

Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#1 by hsimone
» 01 Apr 2016, 09:41

Throughout Synder's book, he includes letters and journal entries to help him develop his book.

How do you feel about the letters/journal entries being included? Do you feel the letters and journal entries added to his book? Would you rather him tell the story in another fashion? Did he include too many letters and journal entries or would you rather have more?
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#2 by Lulubelle
» 05 Apr 2016, 07:22

I enjoyed the letters and journal entries overall, but I found some of the ones written to his wife alluding to their sex life too private to be included.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#3 by hsimone
» 06 Apr 2016, 05:59

Reading the letters and the journal entries were my favorite parts to read. I liked how it adds a personal touch to the book. I read this a little while back, and I don't actually remember the ones to his wife alluding to their sex life. It is a bit private, but it's good to know that the husbands and wives try to keep up the romance up while being separated.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#4 by Scott
» 06 Apr 2016, 08:26

I like it. I think it made the book different.

This book read often like a historical fiction book in that it was dramatic and enjoyable, but the inclusion the actual documents helps ensure it is indeed a true story.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#5 by gali
» 14 Apr 2016, 05:50

They were my favorite parts as well, and they added some spice to the account.

There was one letter alluding to their sex life, but I wasn't bothered by it.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#6 by Kia
» 14 Apr 2016, 15:31

I think the way this book was written was absolutely genius. I love historical fiction, but I don't like how in most novels it isn't necessarily clear which parts are historically accurate and which parts are fiction. I also enjoy reading non fiction history, but that does tend to get dull after a while. This was the perfect combination of the two: exciting all the way through, but 100% historically accurate. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The letters made the whole thing seem so much more real to me. Like, history to me has always just been a story. While I know that it actually happened, I have a hard time computing that. The letters and first hand accounts really sunk it in for me.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#7 by Shelle
» 14 Apr 2016, 16:01

I think it was a great way to advance the story and let us peek into some of the more private and personal aspects of their lives. I'm really glad they were included and think they make the story even more real.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#8 by MatthewAlexander
» 16 Apr 2016, 08:50

I think the letters and journal entries added something personal that would've been missing otherwise, and I think without them the book may have gotten a bit dull. I don't think there were too many of them; I think they kept the story going instead of it getting bogged down in just the history of it all. They were my favorite part of this book.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#9 by kio
» 17 Apr 2016, 22:50

hsimone wrote:Throughout Synder's book, he includes letters and journal entries to help him develop his book.

How do you feel about the letters/journal entries being included? Do you feel the letters and journal entries added to his book? Would you rather him tell the story in another fashion? Did he include too many letters and journal entries or would you rather have more?


For me, the journal entries and letter made it feel more personal, more "hits home" type material. I would've liked a little more balance between the regular style writing and the letters, but I think this may have made it seem less brought to life. I think some articles would've been cool, but I'm not sure where they would've been added.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#10 by abithacker
» 18 Apr 2016, 11:57

I liked the addition of Snyder's journals. Snyder was an excellent writer, and the inserts of the journals add a very real and personal touch to the story. The journals really moved the story and gave insight to what the soldiers were feeling as they experienced training and combat. I would have liked more journals in the book since they really gave a connection to Snyder and his crew.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#11 by stoppoppingtheP
» 18 Apr 2016, 15:11

Kia wrote:I think the way this book was written was absolutely genius. I love historical fiction, but I don't like how in most novels it isn't necessarily clear which parts are historically accurate and which parts are fiction. I also enjoy reading non fiction history, but that does tend to get dull after a while. This was the perfect combination of the two: exciting all the way through, but 100% historically accurate. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The letters made the whole thing seem so much more real to me. Like, history to me has always just been a story. While I know that it actually happened, I have a hard time computing that. The letters and first hand accounts really sunk it in for me.


This is a brilliant way to describe it. I also love historical fiction, yet I find many Non-fiction books quite boring to read. This was a brilliant marriage of the two genres. Interesting to read, yet true as well.

I also found the letters to be a great addition to the book, adding that authenticity and richness.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#12 by bookowlie
» 19 Apr 2016, 09:20

I have only read about 1/3 of the book so far, but I think the letters make the story more personalized. I agree with the others who said that the historical information would have otherwise been a little tedious to read as an entire book. The letters and journal entries made the history comes alive for me.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#13 by babika1962
» 24 Apr 2016, 06:29

It made the book not only different but also a little bit more intimate.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#14 by bookowlie
» 25 Apr 2016, 11:01

MatthewAlexander wrote:I think the letters and journal entries added something personal that would've been missing otherwise, and I think without them the book may have gotten a bit dull. I don't think there were too many of them; I think they kept the story going instead of it getting bogged down in just the history of it all. They were my favorite part of this book.


I totally agree. I actually thought there should have been more letters and journal entries since some sections got a little draggy with too many historical details.
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Re: Letters and Journal Entries

Post Number:#15 by Veda
» 27 Apr 2016, 11:06

babika1962 wrote:It made the book not only different but also a little bit more intimate.


I agree. Usually these types of books tend to be really dry and factual and the author manages to balance that with his exceptional writing style.
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