dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #238
abhillel at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 26 07:07:59 EDT 2000
Thank you for all the birthday wishes, and a belated happy birthday to you,
too, Laurie and Ros and all! (I'm sure there are probably others on this
list with recent birthdays...)
Now I know one more person who shares my birthday, other than John Lithgow,
another Gili who used to go to my school, and my second cousin once removed
David whose mother shares my mother's birthday.
The "places in-between" discussion is begining to remind me of the "who's
cribbing discussion", as we did bring up this same exact topic in almost the
same exact way just about two weeks ago... but nice to know more of you
share these thoughts. And I tremendously enjoyed reading what DWJ had to say
about Narnia, it fit in very well with our discussion.
I eventually picked up the parcel from the post on Sunday, and it was NOT
"Year of the Griffin". Though that really ought to have arrived by now. This
book is eluding me. Quite a few weeks ago one of the big literary agencies
in Israel shipped a carton of books to my publishing house - they do this
once a month or so, and it's one of my jobs to open and catalog the books.
There was a shipping list inside and you can imagine how I tore through that
pile of books when I saw "The Dark Lord of Derkholm" and "Year of the
Griffin" both listed! This was before the official release date and I kept
saying to myself "I love this job, I love this job!" and how I would email
this list and try to delicately not quite gloat while dancing a jig of joy.
But when I got to the bottom of the pile, it was "Tough Guide to
Fantasyland" after all, and not "Year of the Griffin" at all. The agents
made a mistake on the list. So that was the first disspointment.
And then, since Amazon notified us eons ago that YOtG had finally been
shipped, and I knew there was a parcel of books waiting for me at the post
office, I was absolutely certain that was it. But it wasn't - the parcel
contained two books from a very dear friend who sent them as wedding gifts
(with an apology that they were really more for me than for Hemmy, my
husband). One of the books was Gregory Maguire's "Wicked", which I've read
of course, with my Oz interest. A book I wish I liked but I really, really
didn't. In fact I've written two horrible reviews of it, one for "The Baum
Bugle" a few years ago, and one for "Ha'aretz" recently when it came out in
Hebrew. But I wish I liked it as Gregory Maguire strikes me as the sort of
person I would like, with a sincere interest in children's literature,
intelligent - and he was terribly nice once when we both spoke together on
the same radio program, even though I imagine he knew about the review. I
was so glad he was speaking on the phone and not sitting in the studio with
me, which would have been immensely awkward. So, "Wicked" was a good pick
subject-wise, but not in other respects...
The second book, however, was a whole different story. I just finished
reading it and it was utterly delicious, I'm sure many of you would LOVE it
if you haven't read it yet - "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith. Such a
wonderful book. It was reprinted recently, so I've picked up, because
J.K.Rowling said in an interview it was one of her favorites. Good for her!
Now I'm desperate to read her other novels (except of course the Dalmation
books which I read and loved a long time ago - moreso "101 Dalmations" than
"The Twilight Barking" but still) and her plays, but they are all out of
print. Sigh. Such a pity the success of Disney's film seems to have eclipsed
anything else she'd done... I didn't even know Dodie Smith WROTE any other
I've never thought to compare "The Twilight Barking" with "Dogsbody". I'm
sure they bear comparison. I only vaguely remember "THe Twilight Barking" -
I'll have to reread it now.
So, no "Year of the Griffin" yet, but "I Capture the Castle" was good enough
to almost compensate for the dissapointment. Highly recommended.
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