Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation STEM Toys & Games

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 81 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 16, 2011 5:05:59 PM PST
CJ West says:
Michael O'Connor is an unlikely protagonist. As the book progressed you learned how Michael came to be who he was and watched what the reeducation counselors had done to him. How did that affect your feelings toward him and the mistakes he made throughout the story?

The End of Marking Time
Sin And Vengeance (Randy Black Series)
A Demon Awaits (Randy Black Series)
Gretchen Greene (Randy Black Series)
Taking Stock

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 5:15:01 PM PST
D. Venturini says:
Throughout the whole book I felt like Michael spent way too much time convincing himself that he wasn't really "bad". He was really in denial!! He only stole from people that could "afford" it and never thought about how what he did was wrong. Michael had trouble identifying what was required of him in his reeducation because he never really felt like he deserved to be there.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 5:26:54 PM PST
cwsmom says:
In the beginning of the story I personally felt that he deserved to go to prison for the crimes he had committed. I related to the idea that he was stealing from hard working people who held "real" jobs, while he made a living by preying upon them. Unfortunately, his upbringing (or lack thereof) led him to a life of crime which I felt was simply an excuse for his actions. He had a choice to learn and grow from the mistakes of his mother and break the cycle of poverty that he was trapped in, but instead chose a life of crime. However, as the story progressed and he woke into the "changed" society I began to feel sorry for him. I felt he truly wanted to do the "right" things, but just really didn't know what those things were. It was as though he was almost begging for someone to teach him right from wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 5:33:33 PM PST
D. Venturini says:
I don't know that I ever felt sorry for him but I did get to a place where I understood some of the reasons he acted the way he did. I still felt that he was never ready to accept the wrongs he had committed.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 5:41:30 PM PST
cwsmom says:
I agree D, many times thoughout the story he kept saying "I never really hurt anyone." He never understood that although he didn't physically hurt someone, stealing and being constantly dishonest (leaving his ankle bracelet on the magazines, breaking into rooms and homes, trying to cheat his way through his lessons, and I could go on) were wrong.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 5:44:51 PM PST
I totaly agree with CWSMOM says. Very well said.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 6:04:43 PM PST
At the beginning of the story I didn't really like Michael very much. He never seemed to want to take responsibility for his actions. As cwsmom said he felt that he wasn't doing anything wrong because he wasn't hurting anyone. I will say that I appreciated Michael (or rather CJ) giving tips on how easy it was for Michael to committ his crimes because of the lack of precautions that people took with their credit cards, leaving doors open, etc... It really made me take a look at my daily practices to make sure I was being as safe as I could be. Throughout the story, Michael started to grow on me. At first he resisted the re-education program by trying to get out of doing the lessons but I think a point came when he realized the lessons he was supposed to. I clearly remember him feeling good about himself when he realized how to pick up the items from the playground people dropped & returned them.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 6:17:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2011 6:33:12 PM PST
RSB says:
I'm in sync with CWSMOM. He went from almost arrogant, the world owes me, so I'll just take what I want, to...I'm starting to understand what the rest of this world is about and he actually had someone (Wendell) that he started to care about maybe more than himself. I started to like him at the end and actually felt bad when the button was pushed...he seemed like he might have a chance and the jury may have missed that he was growing.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 6:56:01 PM PST
Mary says:
In the beginning I thought- he is an arrogant, yet interesting character... feelings? I was leaning toward dislike-

Then, I dunno, after he woke up in the hospital something in me clicked- I began to feel sorry for him, He was lost and there wasn't anyone that could take the time to really lay it all out there for him. Like he was being set up for the red button- we are going to make sure he screws up so we can end him. I was cheering for him at every right choice, and worrying for him as he walked up to the wrong choices. He was starting to get there, but then in the end the shortcut to freedom from the program that was actually helping him to change ended it all for him. I hated when he signed those papers giving up his son. I kinda felt like that was the one thing, the one person he had- signing those papers, he gave away his reason to reform, to learn and do better than being a thief.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 6:59:10 PM PST
Angela says:
While reading, I didn't like Michael, thought he felt entitled, thought he disregarded societal rules designed to protect people. Once he was in reeducation, I sympathized w his frustration regarding determining right from wrong. Looking back at the book as a whole, I wonder what kind of chance does a person have in life, when their parents don't teach them right from wrong, their instincts are to survive no matter the cost, etc. At what age does a person have to be responsible for himself and make the effort to live a law.abiding life?
And usually I have NO sympathy for bad guys.... none. But this story made me think twice.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 6:59:16 PM PST
From the very beginning of the book I felt like he should be punished for his actions, but I actually got more frustrated with him as the book progressed. People kept telling him to do what was right and he just wasn't getting it. His grammar may have improved, but he still sounded like a teenager to me as far as justifying his actions, etc..

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 7:03:56 PM PST
Angela says:
I agree w Mary and Diane.
Also I felt like reeducation was brainwashing. Soooooo, then have we all been brainwashed to be able to coexist within the boundaries of our society and culture? I like to think I make my choices freely.... but have consequences too definitively shaped us?

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:00:58 PM PST
Kaye George says:
I guess I'm the odd one out here. I really liked him from the beginning, a charming rascal. My favorite reading is noir crime fic, so the first part of the story was my favorite part. When the Kafka part started, I probably would have quit reading if I hadn't signed up for this discussion. I liked Michael throughout and was cheering for him.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:03:23 PM PST
barbsgts says:
I really thought he wouldn't learn because he kept using his old ways to supposedly help others. It was the way he grew up and so he felt it was the only way, I was encouraged as he learned to read and speak and if he had been able to continue he may have gotten the whole idea. I cannot remember if there was a reference to how long it had been he was in the program but he kept reverting back to old problems so we will never know.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:05:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2011 8:10:50 PM PST
Elva Moser says:
i didn't like michael much. eventually, i did understand him, but i never did like him. i rooted for him and cheered when he progressed. i was disappointed when he chose poorly.

throughout the book - actually, his adult life - he rationalized his actions for his own ends.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:10:13 PM PST
Sheryl says:
I felt sorry for Michael from the beginning of the story. He had a terrible mother and was left to raise himself the only way he knew how. He was wrong in thinking he wasn't hurting anyone taking their things but he also never physically hurt anyone. I thought he was going to make it but he just always seemed to do the wrong thing.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:14:54 PM PST
Elva Moser says:
i gotta say, though. i wasn't much impressed with the new society's re-education program. there's no process for those who need special mentoring. these guys were told to watch and participate in the DVD lessons, read books.

michael was pretty much operating in a vacuum. what he needed was a father, not counselors who didn't actually counsel.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:22:17 PM PST
dreamsgate says:
I ended feeling very sorry for him, I know he did bad things and just didn't "get it" for quite a while, but at the end he was starting to see the light but it was too little too late.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:23:42 PM PST
Joan Jurgens says:
I can't say I ever disliked Michael. In the beginning, it was obvious that he didn't know any other way of life. Then the re-education...errr...brainwashing....that didn't do anything for the character's social growth. All through that I mentally screamed at him...NO! DON'T DO THAT!

Then he started to think for himself a bit, and I had high hopes for his future as a free citizen. But, well....the rest of my thoughts are best saved for a future question I think may be coming.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:25:29 PM PST
Tina says:
I liked Michael from the beginning. I felt sorry for him throughout the story, even when he made the wrong choices. I felt he was a good hearted person, who made bad choices due to a poor up-bringing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 8:28:42 PM PST
Elva Moser says:
i don't think he ever saw the light. he got caught up in 'helping' wendell - at whatever the cost, ultimately signing his child away.

which reminds me....wendell should never have been assigned to him. what a huge conflict of interest.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:30:22 PM PST
I liked Michael most of the time, and I felt for him. What I didn't like was the excuses he made for his actions, although I thought he was really trying to help Wendell as time went on. What made me feel empathy for him the most was that the coma he was in for so long put him at a disadvantage. He missed the complete revision of the judicial system, and no one completely explained it to him. He never got the whole picture, and that was one thing that was not his fault. He also had no family at all to give him support, and that was not his fault, either.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:47:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2011 8:51:56 PM PST
I think Michael needed some help correcting his behaviour, but none of his crimes ever warranted the treatment he received. He was a lost sole, and needed guidance. The reeducation efforts were often misguided (to put it lightly), and, once again, Michael was not given the support that he needed to break free from his learned behaviour. I can't say that I warmed to him over time, because I never really felt threatened by him. I've never stolen anything, but I have been robbed. As much as it upset me at the time, I always told myself that the person must have really needed what they stole. Was he arrogant? I would say he was ignorant more so than arrogant. Ignorant of any alternative way of life. He really didn't seem to me to know any better. He honestly believed he wasn't hurting anyone.

Edited to add: With respect to his excuses, I think he believed he was acting morally, if not lawfully. He didn't make the best choices sometimes, but they were choices that he felt justified the means. The government employees charged with his care and reeducation had no moral flexibility. I could go on an on about this, but I'm worried I'd be way off topic....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2011 4:06:25 AM PST
I agree that it seemed like nobody was willing to help him. If Wendell had just taken the time to explain a few things Michael may have made different choices. Like you I felt like the was being set up for failure and never given a true shot at redemption. He was making small strides and given time I think he could have fully changed his way of thinking, acting and living.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 5:45:08 AM PST
Sandakota says:
My opinion is that human beings from the time they are born do not inherently know right from wrong. They have to be taught. Michael was never taught and because of the way he was brought up and the people he associated with, he fell into a way of life
that worked for him. Just like someone who was raised with moral values, he took pride in excelling at what he did for a "living". He honed his skills as would a burger flipper at McDonalds or the best neurosurgeon in the world. He seemed to have picked up enough morality along the way to realize he shouldn't "hurt" anyone but never comprehended that hurt can be more than physical pain. I felt sorry for him from the start of the novel and really pitied him during his reeducation.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in


This discussion

Participants:  40
Total posts:  81
Initial post:  Jan 16, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 24, 2011

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 17 customers

Search Customer Discussions
This discussion is about
The End of Marking Time
The End of Marking Time by C. J. West (Paperback - May 22, 2010)
4.1 out of 5 stars (210)