Cooper and DWJ's optimism --watch for SPOILER ALERT

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Thu Dec 9 17:53:30 EST 1999


On Thu, 9 Dec 1999 08:49:39 -0500 , Loehr, Mallory wrote:

>I think the biggest thing that separates DWJ from almost all other authors
>of complex fantasy is her sense of humor. Most of her books are terribly
>funny, and in a very real way (rather than the mean Dahl way). In fact few
>writers of any kind of books are as genuinely, humanly, funny as DWJ in good
>form. (And the only other genuinely funny one I can think of are children's
>writers--Ellen Raskin and Louis Sacher for example, and even picturebook
>writers--Chris Rashka or Rosemary Wells) The humor lightens everything, so
>that even though her books can be darker than others the overall feeling is
>one of hope...yes? For example, in Witch Week, there is the hysterically
>funny Simon Says epidsoe, but there is also the incredibly scary moment when
>whathisname burns his finger with a match thinking about how much it would
>hurt to burn to death (talk about dark--yikes!). Yet both these episodes fit
>into the same book, and do so simply and without conflict. It's stuff like
>this, that magic or no, make DWJ books more real and true to life than most
>others I've read. What can I say? She's a goddess!

Other authors with humor I enjoy as well who *aren't* young adult:  Connie
Willis (have you guys discussed her at all?  Seems a natural tie-in with
DWJ) who can be dark sometimes (much darker than DWJ) as well as funny (oh,
wait, I remember a discussion about Connie Willis and humor some time back .
. .).  Lois McMaster Bujold who is Space Opera at its finest with one of the
funnies scenes of all time in her latest book ("A Civil Campaign").  Jane
Austen (why are all of these women?) whose sense of timing and dialogue are
delightful.  Oh, here's a man, Terry Pratchett.  Lovely stuff from him.  I
don't know of any other author who can churn out a book every six months and
still improve his writing, wit and humor.

Oh, might as well introduce myself while I'm at it.  I don't speak up much,
though I've lurked for some time.

As mentioned before, I'm the husband of Melissa Proffitt.  She's responsible
for me finding DWJ (and the list).  And as if that weren't enough to owe
her, she also takes care of our three, soon to be four children (well among
other things).  I'm 30 and a half and a computer programmer (with a degree
in English--aren't I neat?). I read a lot, though it seems I don't have as
much time as I used to (imagine that).

We live in Salt Lake City, though that's a recent development.  I really
miss the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, Washington for those wondering) and
would love to move back someday.  Well, if I don't manage to move to Wales
through some miracle (anyone looking for an English Degreed computer
programmer for hire?).

I'm personally most proud of (well okay, exclude the wonderful kids and that
I managed to hook a most wonderful wife) my poetry, though there isn't much
of it.

Personality-wise, I'm one of those computer geeks who goes home after a day
of programming and sits some more at the computer.  If it weren't for
Melissa, I'd be a total cave-troll.  My current project is building a
database for our personal library (which recently has exceeded 1000 books--
okay, I'm bragging a little) so that we can keep better track of the books
as we loan them out and even buy and sell used books.  It'll be really neat
once it's finally done (this is a project Melissa has been pushing for three
or four years).

Well, that's me.  I'm open to further questions should any of you wish to
know more (I'll try to keep the parenthetical comments down next time, I
promise).

Jacob
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