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REREADING NOTES Got to go out of town suddenly and felt something spiritual should make it into my book bag. Note - first thought when I'm called on to go somewhere suddenly - what books will I take? True. Looking for something light also I came across this which I recall really loving. I think it is the perfect book for my situation at the moment. We shall see ... Update: It was the perfect book. Well worth rereading and I got a lot out of it this time around. ========== Original review below. ========== I received and read this before Archbishop Dolan was assigned to New York and began receiving so much attention. However, having read this book I felt sure that New York City was receiving a good shepherd. In To Whom Shall We Go, we are reminded of all St. Peter's strengths, weaknesses, joys, and sorrows. In short, we are shown his humanity as he follows Jesus in the Gospels and Dolan points out how our own natures are reflected in therein as well. This is a simply fantastic book and I say that as a person who has never been particularly interested in St. Peter. Here is a very brief excerpt from the section reflecting on Luke 5:4-11 when Peter has been fishing all night and Jesus tells him turn right around, to "put out into the deep" again and let down his nets. Dolan touches on so much more tangents in examining the theme of Jesus challenging us to "put out into the deep," but this bit has stuck with me for a long time so I share it with you. I remember once seeing the late Cardinal John O'Connor surrounded by reporters on TV, being hammered with questions about his opposition to a plan for the widespread distribution of condoms in public schools to curb AIDS and teenage pregnancy. One of the reporters stuck a microphone in Cardinal O'Connor's face and said, "Cardinal, you're expecting an awful lot from people, especially our young people, in thinking they can control themselves. That's an awfully high standard. Isn't it just better to admit that people can't live up to this so they have to take precautions? Do you know what the Cardinal replied? "Oh, no," he said to the reporter, "The whole world is saying to our young people, 'Be good, but -- wink, wink, -- we know you can't, so at least be careful.' Somebody has got to say, 'Be good; I know you can be,' and that has to be the Church." Duc in altum: "Put out into the deep."
With this book I was so happy that James Marsters was back as the narrator of the audio books. He was the reason why I kept reading with the early books, now I am back for the story just as much as who is reading it. It seems like Harry is a trouble magnet and this book is no different. It was interesting to see Harry acclimate as the Winter Knight. It was funny how everyone expected Harry to be evil, yet he was the same Harry. Yes at times he fought the presence of the White Knight, but he made a conscious choice for good and was aware of it. I loved how all of Harry’s friends were shocked that he was back in one moment, but right there to help him in the next. I was surprised by who the big bad was and the reason behind it and even more surprised by all the twists and turns that came out. What really surprised me was how many layers there were, how there were so many contingencies in case something didn’t work out. I hated what happened to the characters that I love and worry at what these changes will bring him. Some random funny parts that kept me laughing was Santa and the part he played, the vagilazzed parts, Harry’s thoughts about women and how they follow conversations, and Mouse’s welcome back to Harry. A very frustrating part was when Harry and Murphy finally talked about starting something between them. I was happy that they finally talked, but not so much with what they came up with. I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens next.
The book is positively amazing. I have always liked Jules Verne's style of writing - simple, yet sophisticated, with an almost undetectable layer of humour beneath the surface. This book is a whole adventure. It is adventurous in a way quite unlike the film (the two have almost nothing in common). The book's two primary characters are in complete contrast with each other (which doesn't hinder them from working together) - the cold, seemingly impassible Englishman and his passionate, emotional French servant. Both quite accurate stereotypes for their day. I was fascinated by the book's worldly character - I must confess that as I was reading it I kept open Google Maps and followed this journey "around the world in eighty days". The only regret I have regarding this book is that the journey ended too swiftly. Even if the book had 1000 pages I would have read it with the same vigour as I did now.
I can't help but notice what a moody teenager Harry has become in this book. He seems to suffer from the same blindness to others as Dumbledore, only he doesn't trust unlike his headmaster. I'm proud to say that I didn't cry during this rereading, however my eyes did well up with tears. It bothers me that the ending feels so rushed. Harry goes through so much in one night. It's almost as overwhelming for the reader. I can't wait to read the last book of the series! Reread it again because I went to the movie. I like to have the canon fresh in my mind. It was everything I remembered, and having read the last book, it was fun to look for hints of things to come. The more I read this series, the more I love it.
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