Hello, all. This is another first time post.
I have a few comments about some of the plot elements in “Owner's Share”
In Episode 10
(@ 2:28 minutes) there is a comment made by Stacey Arellone when Ishmael shows her how the ladder can be retracted into the deck:
When it (the ladder) was flush against the deck she frowned in concentration and looked around, first back at the lock and then into the cargo hold.
“That's why it looked odd, Sar. The ladder was in the way.”
To the best of my knowledge, prior to that point in the story she never made any comment about the cargo hold looking 'odd' and so the phrase “That's why it looked odd...”
struck me as strange. In truth, this is a very small thing and is probably an oversight due to the massive amount of editing you did to reduce the word count.
The second observation revolves around two points which have greater significance to me within the context of the story.
In Episode 10
(@ 33:30 minutes) William Simpson instructs Ishmael:
“ ...you'll be required to hold a board of directors meeting sometime in the next stanyear.”
No further mention of this meeting is ever made. I interpreted that phrase “in the next stanyear”
to mean 'within 365 days of the forming of the company' and so was sort of expecting something to come of it, most especially since it was an important legal requirement pertaining to the corporate structure which financed and allowed Ishmael to operate.
Then in Episode 27
(@ 03:23 minutes) William Simpson is explaining to Ishmael:
“Here's what will happen on the 26th, my boy.” He laced his fingers together across his chest and continued. “Assuming you haven't the liquid assets needed to repay the loan, you will default and Larks, Simpson and Green will take ownership of that single share of stock that you have assigned as collateral. Once that happens, we'll sell it to an investor, removing ourselves from ownership and leaving you to deal with your board of directors.”
“You already have an investor, Sir?”
“We do, my boy, we do.”
This last one is rather a big issue in my mind. Assuming that William Simpson could have figured out a way to entice someone from DST to accept ownership of that single share of stock in Ishmael's company, it would have effectively nullified Ms. Maloney's service on the Iris so that she would have failed in satisfying the terms of the will and would therefore be ineligible to take control of DST. Such a maneuver would have triggered DST into going public and thus delivered the massive profits from the sale of the DST stock into William Simpson's greedy hands... and without any need for violence.
Speculation about such an event happening might have made for some interesting extra suspense in the plot line (was it perhaps already in the script, but removed?
In any event, we never hear anything further concerning the sale of this single share of stock which is strange, most especially since Ishmael as head of his own corporation would have to have been informed of the name of that new shareholder.
I also see this as an integral part of the climax, or at very least an explanation in retrospect to the climax. 1)
An attempt at selling off that share of stock to someone at DST, would have counted as the first tactic to unseat Ms. Maloney. 2)
Failing in that, Simpson would have seized on the idea of manipulating Du Bois into bringing suit against Ms. Maloney. 3)
Only when both of the first two attempts have failed to achieve the desired result does Simpson resort to violence in the form of Percival Herring.
At very least, it might have been interesting to hear a few sentences devoted to this when Kurt delivers his explanation about William Simpson and his links to Umbra, Bailey, etc.
… and finally...
My last observation about the plot line in "Owner's Share"
concerns the unfortunate effects of Percival Herring's attack. We lose Ms. Gerhardt and I, too, admit that I was quite shaken by the event. It was not just that it happened, but that it seemed a little bit hard in contrast to the easygoing events which preceded it for much of the book. Perhaps the jolt of same could have been softened slightly if Greta died as a result of some accident which occurred as a direct result of the struggle (such as some large piece of machinery falling over or what have you).
But I did not actually want to criticize this event in the plot, since, after listening to it a few times, I concluded that it was just another unfortunate, sad event occurring in Ishmael's life. These events happen to us all, and unlike stories we cannot just put down the book or skip ahead to the next chapter... or complain to the writer.
And since a number of listeners did burn up precious time and oxygen complaining about the turn of events in the book I just wanted to take a moment to remind them that extreme loss was never anything new to Ishmael. They all seem to forget that he lost his mother in the first few paragraphs of “Quarter Share”
, a loss he really doesn't mourn properly until a few years later at the end of “Full Share”
when he is about to leave the Lois for the academy. And if Ishmael's development is in any form a result of her love and upbringing, then his mother was one, wonderful person. I think that the readers never fully realize what a great loss this was for Ishmael because they never had the luxury of getting to know her as they did the character of chief engineer Greta Gerhardt. But I am assuming the loss was at least as severe if not more so.
My last observation is that the book, “Owner's Share”
, was wonderful as was the entire 'Share' series
. Thank you for all the fine listening pleasure, Mr. Lowell.