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DaltonMaltz

Chapter 59 - Done Because We Are Too Menny

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As we head towards the final pages, Michael is thrown off by a surprising turn of events, which starts with Little Father Time questioning Sue about life and culminates in a startling chilling discovery that changes everything.

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OH, MY GOSH!  I never saw that coming!  Anyway, This is my favorite morning commute podcast.  I look forward to it each Friday, and dread when it is going to end.  Please, don't let it end.  Well worth my time.  Sponsors!  Michael Ian Black needs more sponcors!

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I've been listening every week since the podcast started, and have been reading along with Michael after each episode. Last week I read ahead just a little bit and got to this devastating point, so have been dreading this week's episode ever since. I want to pass on my thanks and admiration to Michael for the sensitivity and care that he handled this really hard point in the book.  This is by far my favourite podcast and I am really sad that we're only a few chapters from the end. I'm really hoping that Michael goes on to read us another one.  RIP, little Fawleys.

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I had read Jude the Obscure long long ago, and didn't remember a whole lot about it, but did remember the events of this chapter (let's face it, they'd be hard to forget), so I was wondering how Michael would handle it, given his frequent repetition of what he hoped for as a culminating event in the book. He rose to the occasion, and dealt with it with the gravitas it deserves. To the best of my knowledge, this is pretty much the most horrible and devastating incident in all of English literature, if not beyond.

Incidentally, one matter from last week (figuring that nobody will be reading a week-old topic): as to Jude and Sue marrying, we were told only that they went to London for a few days, and upon returning let the neighbors know that they'd tied the knot. But we the readers didn't know it directly, and Hardy never affirmed it himself.

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A truly devastating chapter.

Michael, I am so impressed with your sensitivity as a reader and your ability to tie the book’s themes to our lives today.

One thing to consider, at the time the book was written, the concept of the ‚Äúself-made man‚ÄĚ was relatively new and in vogue. ¬†I think the book is clearly, in part, a response to that. We may want to believe we can simply, through force of will, reshape our lives, but the book demonstrates the many factors that prevent us from doing that: our own characters, social customs, religious customs, pure, dumb chance, and possibly even fate.¬†

 

I think we often use the myth of the self-made man to look down on those who haven’t made it, who are obscure (trumpet sound).  We accuse them of simply not trying hard enough. We can see this play out in social policy as some believe we should not help the less fortunate with welfare, etc. 

 

I think Hardy‚Äôs position is, when good men like Jude can fail so spectacularly,¬†we can all fail‚ÄĒlet‚Äôs have some empathy and work on reforming the things we can control.¬†

 

Thank you again, Michael, for taKing this so seriously. This is my favorite podcast.

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Michael -- Stop Reading This Book.

I've been enjoying the book and your commentary very much, but after this last chapter I can't listen to any more. There's enough bad stuff going on in the world that it doesn't add anything to my life to listen to a manufactured tragedy like that. My second son just graduated from high school, just like yours. I have one more even younger. I felt that gut kick when you read the passage just like you did. There's no need to have that sort of thing in our lives. I don't want that in my brain, and I don't think you want it in yours.

So quit reading it. Why not? I know you're committed to finishing the book, but what's more interesting? A podcast that reads a book to the end, and that's it? Or a podcast that makes the decision to quit with only a few pages to go? Maybe interview some of your friends about books they've quit. Or talk to people who feel like they need to finish a book even when they don't want to. It would be an interesting twist on the podcast. Maybe read something nice for the last few episodes. Old Calvin and Hobbes strips. The end of Pride & Prejudice. Something that isn't so ugly.

I've liked the podcast until now, and I'll follow you in your next performing endeavor, but I can't join you on the rest of this trip. Thanks so much for everything until now.

Tim

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I love this podcast but man this episode was tough. Didn't see that coming at all. I'll be sad when the show is over though :( 

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Talk about the rug being pulled out from under us Hardy...Jesus...

I will admit to not visiting the show page here until now, and only seeing the episode titles on my iPhone podcasts app screen, which uniformly cuts off the last half of each episode title. So I didn't see how the note from Father Time was written, with that spelling of "many" punctuating the end of his life and reminding the reader of how young he was. That was maybe the most devastating part when I got home from work yesterday and re-read the section from this episode in my paperback version I found at a thrift store for $1 and bought so I could follow along with the podcast.

I'm somewhat surprised MIB didn't comment on that specific aspect of the scene (or did he and I missed it?). Maybe he was too shocked to really dig deep and we'll hear more about it next episode?

Either way...oof.

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Well. That was devastating. 

I've never read "Jude" and am not reading along; I'm just letting Michael read it to me bit by bit. And lately I was wondering, why exactly is this book famous? Why has it been remembered beyond its own time? The novel felt to me like a fair amount of ado about nothing. 

Then this chapter happened, and now I see why it's remembered. Holy moley. 

I echo the other commenters in admiring Michael's reaction to, and handling of, that scene. It's got to be one of the worst things I've ever read/heard in literature. Wow. 

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