Running Grave, Part Seven: A Ring Reading

Part Three Parallels, Part Seven’s Ring Elements, Its Whodunnit Revelations, and the ‘Real’

Part Seven, the shortest Part in The Running Grave at only eleven chapters, ticks all the boxes in this series of Strike7 ring readings’ signature points. It has the external book-ring parallels with Part Three, the signature latch, turn, and turtle-back parallels internally, and its meaning-full middle in which we get a skiff of clues pointing to the mystery’s resolution. Part Eight is the largest of the novel’s Parts, close to twice the size of Seven, so I’m going to rush this post out in my hurry to read and chart the twenty chapter set later tonight. Here we go —

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Running Grave, Part Six: A Ring Reading

The Novel’s First Turtleback Line is a ‘Wow!’ and the Interior Ring has a Surprise Inside

Yesterday’s ring reading of Part Five parsed the central Part of the nine Part Running Grave as its own distinct ring with latch, turn, and turtle-back parallels but also included some discussion of the novel axis, the connections between Part Five as the book’s turn and its relations to the beginning and end of the story. [I’m going to assume that the important links here are to Part One rather than the Prologue and to Part Nine instead of the Epilogue, though the latch of Prologue and Epilogue, the throat-clearing introductory material and the tying up of loose ends, will almost certainly be something to review as well.] The turn in Part Five, chapter 70 and chapters 71-72, reflected both the latch of this central Part and the ‘meaning in the middle’ of Part One.

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Running Grave, Part Five: A Ring Reading

The Center of the Nine Parts, the Story Turn of Strike7?

It’s been more than a week since Running Grave was published and we’ve reached the half-way point in my reading of Strike7 as a serialized Dickens novel of nine individual Parts. To my surprise (and delight), I still have not been spoiled, which is to say ‘I don’t know the ending,’ and each of the first four Parts I’ve read as well as the Prologue have conformed for the most part with traditional writing; each has had an identifiable latch of beginning and end chapters, a story-turn that echoes beginning and points to the end, and chapters or chapter bundles that mirror one another across the axis of turn and latch. I have been reading one Part each night after I finish writing up the previous Part’s ring notes and stray thoughts, then charting the Part I’ve just read, then taking a look at it to see if the ring pieces are visible. With a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on that I go to bed with the prayer that the structure will be obvious in the morning.

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Running Grave, Part Four: A Ring Reading

The Center Ring within the Ring? Murder Revealed at Heart of Celtic Cross?

What a challenge Running Grave, Part Four, is to a Ring Reader!

I was delighted at the start because this Part is the shortest of the opening Parts; I looked forward to getting to bed before 3 AM (or 6 AM…). I did manage to read and chart it and get to bed before 1 AM (just), but the plot points of the fourth Part and its structure left me wondering and really hoping that its structure and meaning would present themselves all-sorted after a good morning’s sleep. 

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Running Grave, Part Zero: A Ring Reading

The Prologue as a Ring Structure

Being far more of a paragon of patience, our Headmaster Dr John Granger has been delaying his gratification of completing The Running Grave by charting each part of the book into (hopefully) a classical ring structure complete with latch, turn and turtleback. Currently you can see his results of Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I was very privileged to be given an almost complete day tutorial on ring structure with John when he visited Wales this Summer using The Ink Black Heart as a text. This was a remarkable act of generosity when you consider he was only in the country for a few days, and one was already reserved for accepting his doctorate from Swansea University.

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