Book IDs (a longish delurk)

McMullin, Elise emcmullin at kl.com
Wed Feb 23 11:29:54 EST 2000


	Anita asked:

	"What other Paula Volsky books do you recommend? I see them new and
secondhand (and some are very, very thick!)"

	I've read three and liked them all.  Illusion, The Wolf of Winter
and Gates of Twilight.  I think I liked Wolf best for creativity - and the
plot took many a turn which surprised me.  I also liked the word and idea of
spifflication, heh.  It's on the dark side though, whereas I think (it's
been a while) Gates of Twilight was more heartening.  

	And I wonder, when I read those plotting-courtiers books, why no one
ever steps aside and asks themselves "Is this really what I want?  Is it
worth it?  What I really like is making model ships.  Perhaps I should pay
more attention to that instead."  or something.

> It occurred to me that in the debate over Harry Potter vs. Witch Week (for
> example) that HP wins because the book is stuffed to the gills with
> charming, attractive gimmickry (the jellybeans, quidditch) - and it is
> this
> which the young readers are hooked on. The plot and storyline get them
> later.
> 
	Good point, definitely.
	 
> In contrast, Witch Week is far more grey and everyday in the atmosphere
> surrounding its characters. They lack pleasant excitements...
> 
I always liked the dreary school stories more than the fun school stories,
myself.  Somehow the fun is more unexpected then, I think.

 And (oh here I go again) I so respect dwj for putting in the hilariously
funny Simon Says spell - and then exploring the implications and revealing
that it was incredibly powerful and potentially disastrous - in fact
something far more wildly powerful than one would ever guess or assume.
Isn't it cool that she puts that into the hands of a kid in school - and
then doesn't make it a toy, but treats it seriously?

Whereas, (and I will try to be good) that House-choosing Hat in HP - maybe
because I've been raised up on dwj - I just couldn't read something that
serious and full of implications without feeling ripped off that it wasn't
dealt with, that it was treated lightly - just some neat trick and piece of
suspense.  It's no use my thinking I wouldn't have minded if I'd read it as
a kid - I used to get far more outraged about things like that then than now
when I've mellowed.  It's more possible that I would have been mystified by
my own unanswered questions and thus mollified.

elise
spoiled by dwj 


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