And Yet Another Newcomer

JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Mon Sep 6 14:15:43 EDT 1999


I'm going to have to admit that a Merlin analogy never occured to me when 
reading Aunt Maria (we yanks are politically correct at all costs 
don'tcha'kno...), but then I'll also have to admit that Aunt Maria is my 
least favorite of Jones' novels. And if it's going to get Arthurian on me it 
will undoubtedly remain so, since I find most things Arthurian repellent. But 
I suspect that you are right, and that there are further similarities for 
people to pick out like raisins from the muelsi. 

It isn't actually the story itself which repells me. I have a strong stomach 
and Time of the Ghost is nastier (and Homeward Bounders far more unhappy) But 
I think that Jones was a bit too clever in this one. Her narriator gets 
swamped by a spell of dullness early on and it does too good a job of 
infecting the telling, which you follow along more or less out of habit right 
up to the transformation -- which hits you like a bucket of ice water. That 
wakes you up all right, but by that time the events have gotten away from you 
and you are never quite convinced that you've managed to catch up enough to 
be sure of what is going on. I much prefer to be artfully led up the garden 
path as in Hexwood where all the clues are scrupulously placed right out in 
plain sight, and you look right past them because you haven't got the right 
context for them yet.

Since you can often see tracings of themes from earlier novels in Jonses's 
current work, I am getting a strong feeling that I see something of Aunt 
Maria in Dark Lord's Mr Chesney figure. Anyone agree?.
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