McMullin, Elise mcmullea at kl.com
Fri Jul 30 12:36:30 EDT 1999

>Sally wrote:
>"Does anyone have any different takes on these? I suppose we have to bear in
>mind that DWJ may not have named her own books and that some titles are
different in the US."

This is really in response to the whole topic of titles, not just what I
am quoting.  It just seemed like a good jumping off place.

I think my favorite Jones titles are:  Dogsbody, Magicians of Caprona,
Drowned Ammet, Spellcoats, Charmed Life, Power of Three, Archer's
Goon.... maybe more if I think about it - not that I don't like the
other titles but I like these best.  I think Dogsbody may be my favorite
because it applies to the story in several ways - to Sirius and also to
his little girl (Cathleen, right?) who is treated like a dogsbody, and
then Sirius being the dog star adds another level -- and I like it when
something means more than one thing.

More generally, I like titles that mean something arising from the
story.  All of the titles above sort of hint at a direction of story
which you will have to read the book completely to then get a taste for
all the nuances in the title of it.  So many of them manage to be very
straightforward and also mysterious.  Howl's Moving Castle, quite
descriptive but by golly - a moving castle? And what kind of loonie goes
around calling himself Howl?  I'd better read it! So you can hardly miss
the moving castle, but it makes no mention of Calcifer - a treat that
you have to discover by reading.  If it was, I dunno, The Demon of the
Castle, it would have given the game away a bit.  A moving castle is
much more fun.
And Drowned Ammet, a book which I caution I have no objectivity about
whatsoever, is totally mysterious.  What's this Ammet, never heard of it
or him.  What's a drowned guy with a funny name got to do with anything?
> Tantalizing and promising much originality, that's what it is.

Archer's Goon is another one.  Tells you exactly what it is.  You can
hardly miss the Goon, but the title holds so much untold story in
reserve that Archer's Goon is only tasty bait.
So like I said, by the end you now know why it has that title.

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