Saturday, June 1, 2013
G91 E-Reading A Bigger World The Life and Times of Wm. Edwy Ryerson
Author: Thomas A Ryerson
First copyright date: 2013
Type of book: Canada, Great Depression, 1800s-1900s, Titanic, England, Boer War, hidden life, traveling, forest
General subject matter: Canada, 1800s-1900s, Titanic
Special features: Not available
Price: Its only on kindle and costs 0.99 cents
Surviving the Titanic, the Boer War, turn of the century India, World War One (The Great War), homesteading in Northern Ontario; my great grandfather, William Edwy ‘Ed’ Ryerson led quite an exciting life, as told in this book, ‘A Bigger World.’ This semi-fictional novel is based on facts with the author’s interpretations. Ed’s story is one of survival and determination to make a difference, and be different at the same time. The story is told through the eyes of his son, Tom, during the depression era of the 1930's while living in Hamilton, Canada. William Edwy Ryerson, a life and an adventure worth remembering.
I think that the author wrote this as a tribute to his grandfather, his father and an uncle he admired, Sonny.
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
While this is a purely historical story with lots of details and information, there's something important to keep in mind about it: this tells the life of William Edwy Ryerson from early years and his adventures and exploits, while intermixing them with the life in 1930s in Canada. Soon the two fall together, and instead of William, his son then tells the story from 1920s until 1930s and beyond that.
b. From what point of view is the work written?
Its written in third person narrative when it came to William Edwy Ryerson, but when it came to the son, the writing switched to first person narrative.
c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?
I would guess that he was trying to give information and was probably trying to get the public interested in history.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
The book is described as semi-fictional biography, but I think one needs knowledge of Canadian history, Boer War and Titanic to fully understand and enjoy the story. I also think the story is more of an adventure story and designed for men rather than women, but its purely my opinion.
e. Who is the intended audience?
I think the intended audience are perhaps the family members or perhaps boys and men who could really enjoy the story. There is also reflection in the story about how far people have come in regards to mental institutions.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
The author's style tends to be semi-formal I believe. I wasn't paying attention to it. I think he does a lot of information dump in beginning, but then soon the story becomes more enjoyable and its not something you would like to finish. I feel that the story would have been better if we learn what had happened with William's children and how they ended up.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
The book is organized chronologically and the two histories do connect to one another eventually. It briefly describes early life of William then moves on to his adventures and then to his married life and through tragedies that befell the family.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
I think more than anything it caused me to reflect on mortality of life and its sad that many of the people from that time period have passed on. I wonder what adventures I can claim in besides arriving to America in 1994? I think the book is asking for us to pay tribute to such heroes, but its my opinion.
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
I think the book did achieve the goal well, at least if his intention is to write about the past and about his grandfather and father and uncle in particular, or at least in reflecting how far we have come and how far we have to go.
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I actually would recommend the book to others because I can imagine that many boys will enjoy reading this type of book and living these adventures through William Edwy Ryerson.
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
Although William Edwy Ryerson is described as a quiet man, he has lived a life of adventure and daring and wasn't afraid of taking chances.
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
This is the story and life of William Edwy Ryerson as well as his children and his family.
Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)