HSchinske at aol.com HSchinske at aol.com
Fri Dec 7 17:20:25 EST 2001

In a message dated 12/7/2001 5:17:43 AM Pacific Standard Time, christian nutt 

> another interesting thing is that the copy of hexwood my friend just bought 
>  me as a present to replace my old paperback has something the old one 
>  doesn't.. the paperback (US edition, puffin, 1996 or thereabouts) doesn't 
>  have the "author's note" at the back. the new copy i have (the greenwillow 
>  US hardback) does, although they appear to be struck from the same plates. 
>  it's explains a little bit. of course, DWJ avoids explanations usually, so 
>  it's nice to get a chance to read it. i was tempted to run to the end and 
>  read it but i made myself wait till i'd finished the book before doing so.

I don't think I've read this author's note -- I have an older paperback of 
Hexwood and it's probably not there (haven't done my preparatory re-read for 
this discussion). Must check the library copy and see if it's there.

Re others' points about the complexity of the book: I am an odd sort of 
reader in that I don't usually care about whether I can make sense of the 
plot, as long as I get the general impression that it does make sense. I 
never remember whodunit when I re-read murder stories, for instance (barring 
ones I've read many times, like Sayers and Allingham), and when I'm reading 
one for the first time, it has to be extraordinarily bad for me to figure out 
the murderer before the detective does. In fact, if you will believe this, it 
was only on the third or fourth time through Hexwood that I remembered 
beforehand what the Bannus was.

Books where I have a nagging feeling that it really *doesn't* make sense do 
bother me -- I have this problem with nearly all of Pamela Dean's books, but 
I don't have the skills to sort them out, either. (Maddening, as I find her 
ordinary expository style very very clear, so much so that I'm always wishing 
she would write nonfiction. But this is not a Dean discussion.)

Helen Schinske
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