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#169640 - 01/26/20 06:29 PM The Fifth Heart
ColinFraizer Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 12/15/13
Posts: 145
Loc: Indiana, USA
I cannot overstate how much I love The Fifth Heart, but, man is it weird. Not over-the-top surrealism, but full of strangeness in a delightful way.

A couple examples:
- the novel consists of four parts:
- Part 1: contains untitled "Chapter 1" through "Chapter 25".
- Part 2: contains 16 numbered and titled chapters from "1: The Damned Cross in the Stonework" through "16: God Might Envy Him".
- Part 3: begins with "ONE: Thursday, April 13, 10:00 a.m." and proceeds until "TEN: Saturday, April 15, 8:30 a.m."
- Part 4: contains 11 numbered chapters "1", "2", …, "11".

- The chapter "SIX: Wednesday, April 12, 5:20 p.m." contains a long argument by Samuel Clemens speculating that the "hack" "God-Writer of this tale…" has merely brought in Henry James to be Sherlock Holmes's Sancho Panza or Boswell and himself "as occasional comedy relief".

- And, well, you just have to hear the sometimes self-referential narrator…

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#169641 - 01/26/20 10:53 PM Re: The Fifth Heart [Re: ColinFraizer]
Ward Offline
veteran


Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 1362
Perhaps a bit surreal but also extraordinarily brilliant. I can't help thinking that when James responded to Roosevelt's (p.317)dinner conversation the response could also serve as a response to Schiff's blather. I quote, "But, alas, the value of your roars this evening, my dear sir, is impaired for any possible precept by both the truly wonderful incoherence of their observations and the puerility of their oversimplifications."

PS, be careful when having dinner with Dan.(smiling)

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#169642 - 01/27/20 12:14 AM Re: The Fifth Heart [Re: Ward]
ColinFraizer Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 12/15/13
Posts: 145
Loc: Indiana, USA
Whenever I read fiction, I assume every character is an avatar, an aspect of the author's personality. But I mostly assume that Mr. Simmons is 90% "Martin Silenus". :-)

P.S. The Fifth Heart is brilliant in so many ways. It may be my new favorite.

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#169643 - 01/27/20 08:13 AM Re: The Fifth Heart [Re: ColinFraizer]
ColinFraizer Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 12/15/13
Posts: 145
Loc: Indiana, USA
Article about a pistol mentioned in The Fifth Heart:
Handgun Lore: Smith & Wesson Lemon Squeezer

 Quote:
"Do you have any new lemon squeezers for sale?" said Holmes.

"Yes, sir, absolutely, sir. Which barrel length—two inches or three?"

"Three."

“Yes, better accuracy with the three-inch barrel, sir,” said the clerk as he opened the glass case and removed the weapon. Yes, with the three-inch barrel I might be able to hit the wall of a barn if I were inside the barn firing from close range, thought Holmes. Maybe.

“Any caliber you prefer, sir?”

“Thirty-eight S and W caliber,” said Holmes.

“It also comes in thirty-two, sir. A bit less expensive and a tad lighter.”

“The thirty-eight, please,” Holmes said firmly.

The Fifth Heart, p. 378

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#169647 - 01/28/20 04:45 PM Re: The Fifth Heart [Re: ColinFraizer]
Ward Offline
veteran


Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 1362
Perhaps the most brilliant of all is how Dan managed to combine the James brothers conceptions of human consciousness ("I", "me", self and identity) via Sam Clemens and other giants interactions.(Part !, chapter 25, pp.251-268).
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#169671 - 02/19/20 10:56 AM Re: The Fifth Heart [Re: Ward]
rosends Offline
member


Registered: 02/19/20
Posts: 1
Loc: NJ USA
Looking for some help on the book -- I emailed this to a contact via this web page but I'm not sure if that is the right avenue to take: TIA

I just finished The Fifth Heart (which I enjoyed immensely) and was wonder what the reference was on page 309, “I went to the Bicentennial in ‘seventy-six…” Wouldn’t 1876 be the Centennial of the US? I thought the reference would then have been to the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition which came on the heels of the telephone’s patenting. But the text says “Bicentennial” so I’m still at sea.

Appreciating any clarification.

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#169677 - Yesterday at 06:50 AM Re: The Fifth Heart [Re: rosends]
Rabbit100 Offline
member


Registered: 04/01/19
Posts: 7
Loc: Western Cape
I don't know if this helps...but in Dan Simmons brilliant novel "Black Hills", Sherlock Holmes makes an appearance at this celebration. Its a very small reference but if you know Sherlock Holmes you will know the character is him.
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