Does this book prove real-life is stranger than fiction?

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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ReyvrexQuestor Reyes
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Re: Does this book prove real-life is stranger than fiction?

Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 12 Jun 2018, 16:15

I think you are referring to the feat of sword swallowing. Well, with training people could straighten up their trachea and accommodate objects inserted into them and course through into the big intestine in cases of long swords. Of course, the blades should be blunted so as not to cut the contacting tissue. There are people who could swallow more than one blade at a time.
"In the beginning was the word.........John 1:1"

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Post by Melchi Asuma » 13 Jun 2018, 00:41

Even before this nook, I had alwaysbelieved that true life is stranger than fiction. See, in fiction there is lines that aren't crossed and a bit of a formular to. Real life is just extremely random and wild.

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Post by Jgideon » 17 Jun 2018, 00:20

Initially, I could not believe that people could swallow a sword as an art. That didn't seem like real-life to me. However, thanks to the discussion forum, I came to find out that it really does happen. I think there is a lot to learn about different cultures than I ever thought.

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Post by Job Njoroge » 20 Jun 2018, 07:26

Truth is relative hence the author saying that the book is based on true events can be taken to face value but one should also be skeptical at best.

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Job Njoroge
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Post by Job Njoroge » 20 Jun 2018, 07:28

Real life has many things we don't know or have not seen however fiction is based on an author's imagination and may bring actions that are beyond human capabilities

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Post by jenjayfromSA » 25 Jun 2018, 03:38

It's a bit like looking at a painting of a magnificent sunset and thinking the artist has added a few extra colours, because it's too unreal to be true, then looking outside and seeing a sunset that is even more spectacular. The story of the museum fire was one of them. Who would have made that up, even to making a barbeque of the exhibit? For some, life could be like this, but I don't want to try it.

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Post by Cristal2408 » 30 Jun 2018, 01:29

Real life is definitely stranger than life created in fiction. I agree that some fictions are based on life, and other on incredible imagination, but it can only go so far, that's why some of the most creative people are those with different mental capabilities, they see the world in an even stranger way than we normal people do. But finally, it is all based on one reality.
It's no use to go back to yesterday... I was a different person then.---Lewis Carrol from Alice in Wonderland

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Post by Cristal2408 » 30 Jun 2018, 01:31

jenjayfromSA wrote:
25 Jun 2018, 03:38
It's a bit like looking at a painting of a magnificent sunset and thinking the artist has added a few extra colours, because it's too unreal to be true, then looking outside and seeing a sunset that is even more spectacular. The story of the museum fire was one of them. Who would have made that up, even to making a barbeque of the exhibit? For some, life could be like this, but I don't want to try it.
I like your painting example. It does explain why it would be very hard to build a stranger fictional world than real-life can be.
It's no use to go back to yesterday... I was a different person then.---Lewis Carrol from Alice in Wonderland

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Post by Britty01 » 05 Jul 2018, 09:56

kfwilson6 wrote:
11 May 2018, 10:57
bwill93 wrote:
10 May 2018, 19:05
I haven't read the book but I did read the review and I found it to be a pretty amazing story. Sword swallowing in itself is a crazy thing to be real, but yet it is. I agree with kfwilson6 when she asks how much of a story needs to be true in order to be labeled "based on true events?"
I feel the same way about movies that are "based on true events," such as A Beautiful Mind. It is a great film, but the scene where the main character, John, almost drowns his baby in the bath tub and his wife comes home at the perfect time to save the baby is either real-life divine timing or an exaggeration. Many "based on true events" films include incredible climaxes, heightened drama, and suspense that is magically influenced by perfect timing. How much is real and how much is creative writing? The same can be asked of this book.
I thought about this a little more and I think if someone is going to label their fiction as "based on true events" the only fictional aspect of it should be limited, as much as possible, to the dialogue. No one is going to remember conversations they had or overheard word for word, so of course their needs to be some creative license there. But I think the events should be as representative as possible of the real-life events they are based on. Once you start getting into changing key aspects of a story or the characters' personalities, I think "inspired by" would be more appropriate.
That sounds like a reasonable assessment to me. It was things like this, as well as the bad language, drugs that put me off finishing the story.

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kfwilson6
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Post by kfwilson6 » 05 Jul 2018, 09:59

Britty01 wrote:
05 Jul 2018, 09:56
kfwilson6 wrote:
11 May 2018, 10:57
bwill93 wrote:
10 May 2018, 19:05
I haven't read the book but I did read the review and I found it to be a pretty amazing story. Sword swallowing in itself is a crazy thing to be real, but yet it is. I agree with kfwilson6 when she asks how much of a story needs to be true in order to be labeled "based on true events?"
I feel the same way about movies that are "based on true events," such as A Beautiful Mind. It is a great film, but the scene where the main character, John, almost drowns his baby in the bath tub and his wife comes home at the perfect time to save the baby is either real-life divine timing or an exaggeration. Many "based on true events" films include incredible climaxes, heightened drama, and suspense that is magically influenced by perfect timing. How much is real and how much is creative writing? The same can be asked of this book.
I thought about this a little more and I think if someone is going to label their fiction as "based on true events" the only fictional aspect of it should be limited, as much as possible, to the dialogue. No one is going to remember conversations they had or overheard word for word, so of course their needs to be some creative license there. But I think the events should be as representative as possible of the real-life events they are based on. Once you start getting into changing key aspects of a story or the characters' personalities, I think "inspired by" would be more appropriate.
That sounds like a reasonable assessment to me. It was things like this, as well as the bad language, drugs that put me off finishing the story.
I don't blame you. I think I should have just read Duke's story in the first third and stopped there. It was the only portion I really enjoyed. I didn't care for the vulgar jokes he made about sword swallowing, but I understood how they would be true to character.

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Gary Robinson
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Post by Gary Robinson » 08 Jul 2018, 17:49

All the characters are real people. My addiction and overdose are very real but happened in a different setting than how the book portrays. The events, for Duke, were all based on real events. Albeit, they were exaggerated.That is why the book is classified as fiction. I had gone through two editors before submitting my book for purchase but when the reviews hit after the book of the day, I realized my editors had done me a great disservice. I then had the book edited for a third time and feel confident that the book was cleaned from errors. That copy was made available June 1st. So if you downloaded the free copy from the book of the day, in march, you would have read an error filled manuscript.
It disheartens me that a few folks found my views of the disabled people as offensive. It was never my intent. That is how they interacted with each other. They treated each other like family and teased each other as if they were siblings. They were entertainers, happy, and thriving. You can look at it through your perspective but i appeal to those who are upset, to rethink that view. I found it interesting to read on the lack of female character development. Duly noted, but if you look at the entire book, only two characters are truly developed. Only Duke and myself. Every chapter was treated as if an adventure was to ensue as people passed from their lives from one scene to the next.

Also, Duke had a sailor's mouth. We were using illicit drugs and dealing with horrible addictions. This book is a fraud without the prevailing the use of profanity because that is how we communicated with each other. We thought we were being comical or "tough guys". It was how we communicated privately.

I purposely wrote my character, and have mentioned this in other parts of this web site, as if you just wanted to sit him down and teach him to be a better man. The prevailing truths of me are the following:

Addiction
Overdose
Alcoholism
Duke saving my life
Tattoing
All the characters that I interacted with
Unable to pay rent
Working with developmentally disabled people
The cliff climbing
boy beaver contest
the sheep
and other stuff

The real Ink Johnson who I have not disclosed his name, phoned me after he read my book and confirmed the work as well done and spot on. Starlight, also phoned me to share the same convictions. So yes, life can be stranger than fiction.

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Gary Robinson
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Post by Gary Robinson » 09 Jul 2018, 06:16

Excuse me, the edited copy was made available May 1st, not June 1st.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Jul 2018, 20:31

I think real life can be stranger than fiction, but I also think there is often great creative license taken with based on true event stories.

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Post by Faithmwangi » 11 Jul 2018, 04:43

Both reality and fiction are strange to me. Sometimes these situations are very much repeated to the point you question their actuality.
The truth is you never really know and it all comes down to choice. Do you believe or don't you?

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LaurenHaupt
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 12 Jul 2018, 23:34

in a way yes. A lot of it seemed unreal.

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