Time of the Ghost - Spoilers, questions on the ending

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Mon Apr 2 12:44:06 EDT 2001

> I read Time of the Ghost last week, and found it very different to any other
> DWJ I've read so far. For one thing, it was scary! (Sorry, I scare easily; I
> decided to stop watching thrillers unless there was a really good reason for
> it after I saw Seven about six years ago.) The beginning was genuinely
> upsetting, when Sally didn't know who or where she was.

Interesting.  I wouldn't say I found that bit disturbing - I was more disturbed
by Sally's relationship with Julian - but TOTG is the DWJ I find most difficult.

> Several aspects of the end confused me, though, I think mostly to do with
> the gifts that everyone gave Monigan. I'm going to apologise now if the
> answers seem obvious to everyone else - I was speed-reading towards the end
> because it was late, but I couldn't put the book down unfinished.

Then go back and read it properly! :-)

> Firstly, *why* was Monigan after Sally? Was it because of the pact Sally and
> Julian had made with Monigan? Or was it something to do with the picture of
> Sally that Ned gave Monigan? (I'm thinking here of the idea of giving part
> of your soul away when you give something personal like that away.) Or both?

In my view, it was (a) the way Sally had continued the cult of Monigan and (b)
the pact that she and Julian had made.

> Ned obviously knew that Sally was in danger - or did he? The quote about her
> realising why he'd always been so ready to meet her for coffee - is this
> because he thinks he's endangered her by giving the picture to Monigan, or
> is it just supposed to mean that he's in love with her?

I always took that simply to mean that Ned was in love with her.  Unfortunately,
he'd given Monigan his love for Sally (simbolised by his picture), so it was
destined to be unrequited.  Except that Imogen rescued the picture, so maybe Ned
now has a chance...

> Next, Howard. Why, when Sally realises what he's given Monigan, does she
> shiver and think, that's why he's in Canada? Is it again because it's
> something personal, which gives Monigan power over him? Or is there more to
> it?

I agree with Anita on this one.  The tiepin was emblazoned with a Union flag, so
he's given up England (or more strictly, the UK).

> Imogen - why exactly does she have to give something in order to release
> Sally? Because she's the only one who didn't give anything to begin with? Or
> does she make some pact with Monigan while she's caught in the storm? I know
> that what she does give is worth more (or is it?) than the gifts of the
> others, but most of the gifts are things that are important to the giver,
> and should therefore have worth.

Less sure here.  The kids at this stage all know that the ghost is in Monigan's
power, and they are trying to find gifts that will buy her back.  The ghost at
this stage thinks that she's Imogen, which is why it's so important to her that
Imogen participate.  I also think that all the original Monigan worshipers of
the girls' circle must join in this.

ISTR that Imo's gift - her musical career - is the only sacrifice that's handed
over entire and perfect, "Because it's still in her imagination".

> What was the "terrible price" extracted from Lesley?

Who's Lesley?  Audrey?

Audrey gave the flowers that she gathered with Ned.  Result - she makes a total
mess of her and Ned's relationship.  I think this was the price - Audrey's
ability to relate to Ned.

> Finally, can someone please tell me whether any other of DWJ's books are
> this disturbing, so I can approach them with a little more caution! Oh, and
> I don't suppose there's any sequel, is there?

No, no sequel.

Others as disturbing?  I think Fire and Hemlock is as disturbing.  Some find
Dark Lord of Derkholm disturbing too,  Parts of Deep Secret and Sudden Wild
Magic are disturbing too (I find the black magic that Marceny wants to
perpetrate on her descendants particularly nasty).  And Anita has already
mentioned Homeward Bounders.

On the subject of Homeward Bounders, I remember reading it at the height of the
Dungeons and Dragons craze.  My Bro. is an ardent roleplayer - and was as crazed
then as anyone I knew - but he was reluctant to read the book, and certainly
disagreed with my assertion that it was compulsory reading for D&D-addicts.  I
on the other hand never liked roleplaying, and prefered computer adventures...

Philip (who thinks that the list traffic is too high atm, but isn't above adding
to it)

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