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Topic: Aztec - Beginning through Quinta Pars (319 pages)

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Subject: Aztec - Beginning through Quinta Pars (319 pages)
Date Posted: 2/17/2010 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Beginning through Quinta Pars (319 pages)

Thanks to Shelley, we finally have discussion threads! Now, discuss! :-)



Last Edited on: 2/17/10 12:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2010 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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I do want to discuss because I have a question, but I have to wait until I get home to post it.  I need to double check something in the book - if I can find it with it's 8 zillion pages, tiny type and well hidden breaking points!  I think I'm on roughly page 305 or something like that. 

My initial thoughts are what an engaging book!  I'm totally hooked.  I love the smart-alecky side of Mixtil when he address the bishops, scribes, whatever during his narrative.  It's hilarious and really full of scathing commentary, barbs, criticism, etc. which he hides by appearing ignorant.  LOL!  Funny stuff.

BTW, how are ya'll pronouning his name?  Not that they actually call him Mixtli very much since he has a whole lot of nicknames.  Is it rudimentary of me to just go with the phonetic pronunciation of MIXT-LEE?  Someone please enlighten me!



Last Edited on: 2/17/10 2:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/17/2010 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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I was going with that pronunciation.  Can't say I'm a whiz on the Aztecs' language.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
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I finished up the first section and am also totally hooked.  Which surprised me, because at first I thought I wasn't going to like it.  But, I agree, Mixtli is a great voice and I love his side little comments when he is addressing his audience.  I can't believe how much has happened already in this book!  Although much of it is very disturbing, it also gives you a glimpse into the culture and religious beliefs that were part of that civilization at that time. 

Has anyone seen the movie, "Apocalypto"?  Not the best movie, but I remember being horrified at the scene where everyone was congregated to watch the human sacrifice where they carve the victims' hearts out to feed to the gods.  I also remember reading reviews on it saying how horrified  they were about how the Aztecs were portrayed and how much of what we know about the Mayan civilization is from the Spanish recounts, which largely exaggerated and makes them appear barbaric.  Curious about this, I did a little investigation this morning, and from what I've read it seems that Jennings' depictions of the religion and human sacrifice is correct, but the sex scenes are a distorted quite a bit.  Apparently the sex gets downplayed a bit in the sequels.  If anyone's interested, here's the article I read this morning (that actually includes a response by Jennings).  You may want to wait to read it until after you finish the book, but I'll put it here now before I lose the link.

http://www.public.asu.edu/~mesmith9/1-CompleteSet/MES-01-GaryJennings.pdf

At any rate, I would say this book clearly has exaggeration (all these things happening to Mixtli!), but that's what makes it so entertaining!  I can't wait to see what happens next.

Oh, and I've been pronouncing his name "MIX-LEE" with the T silent.  But I have no idea!



Last Edited on: 2/18/10 10:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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Michelle, I did like how this description of incest was broken up with the friar breaking his inkwell and then shortly later, Mixtli wondering if he was going to come back.  Made me chuckle.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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I've been pronouncing it like Michelle, with a silent "T". I have no idea why though, that's just what happened when I read it.

Last year, I read Jennings' book about Marco Polo, "The Journeyer" and loved every word of it. It was a wild romp through history, greatly exagerated like this one, but I adored it. His books are just so much fun, even with all of the grotesque bits. In "The Journeyer" a lonely harem woman got it on with a monkey and I actually kept reading the book and continued to enjoy it. I loved the adventurous, outrageous aspects of it and I'm glad Aztec has more of the same. ;-)

I can't wait to read "Raptor". What will Jennings do with a hermaphrodite as the main character? Well, I have to see, lol.

I am going to read "Aztec" all day because I'm so behind!

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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Well, thanks, Valli, my TBR pile just grew by one, and so did my wish list.  I ordered Raptor and put The Journeyer on my wish list. Sigh.

I hit page 350 last night before shutting off the lights.  Excellent!  More sexual mis-adventures for Mr. Mixtlli.  The man certainly finds himself in intriguing situations.  LOL! 

I'm so glad this read-along was suggested.  I've had Aztec on Mt. TBR for a long time but never thought of opening it. You know how you order a book based on a great review or two (or Valli mentions it in passing), and you get it, and you think, "Awesome! Can't wait to read it!"  Then you shelve it, and there it sits.  It cools its heels on your bookshelf for months.  Heck, maybe even years!  For some reason your eyes fall upon it once in awhile when you're trying to decide what to read next, but you stop, look at it and think, "naw."  It's like you almost don't really feel like reading it anymore.  Am I the only one who does this?

Anyway, that's what I was doing with Aztec.  Knowing I had heard good things about it, but just not wanting to actually check it out.  Well, this forced my hand, and I'm so happy.  This is a great adventure! 

BTW, the same thing happened with I, Elizabeth last year.  I had that thing forever and never felt like reading it.  Then the HF Challenge last year forced me to, and it turned out to be one of the best books I read in 2009.  :)

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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I usually majorly put off books of this size as I have an extremely short attention span.  But I'm glad the readalong is making me keep up with it.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
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Shelley - I was in the same boat.  I ordered Aztec after Colleen gave it glowing reviews, but never picked it up because of the size.  I did put it on the list for the challenge, but would have procrastinated until the end of the year if Valli hadn't suggest the read-along.

And thanks to Valli, I'm also adding The Journeyer to my WL right now!

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Procrastination is the main reason I wanted to do a readalong! I have a terrible habit of putting off the longer books. It's really silly because the fat doorstoppers are usually the ones I love best.

Do you love Mixtli's snarkiness? I love his impertinence while addressing the Emperor. It makes me laugh. I also love how appalled they are at his exploits.

I read "The Incas" by Daniel Peters last year and I'm suprised at how many of the words are the same as in "Aztec". "The Incas" was a great story, but this book is way more fun.

I'm just about ready to move on to the second thread. Finally! How is everyone else doing?

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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I'm in section Septima Pars (p. 498 in my copy).  I'm so loving this book!

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Well, drat, you are still way ahead of me. If only I could get offline and stop playing computer games, I'd be farther along. I'm also reading another great book, "These Is My Words". Excuses, excuses, huh?! lol

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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I've had to work at the bookstore the whole weekend, so haven't had much time to read!  But I'm on page 160 or so, he just arrived in Texcoco and is getting used to his cushy new life!  Just got to the part where he's in class and everyone's laughing at him.

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Erika, I'm glad you mentioned working because I have been meaning to ask you a question about B&N. I heard they let the employees borrow books to read, as long as they return them to the shelf undamaged. Is that true? If it is, you have the BEST job known to man!!! And, I'll need you to get me a job there right away!

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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Yes, that's true, for hardcovers only.  I haven't taken advantage of that yet though, I have enough books as it is!

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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That is the best perk ever. Who needs healthcare or a 401K when you can borrow all the books you can read?! lol It's a good thing I didn't know about this pre-giant-TBR days. ;-)

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I'm close to finishing up the second section - I expect to get through it tonight!  I'm also loving this book....I'll post more tonight or tomorrow in the next section.