Hey! An on-topic post!

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Sun Jul 8 16:05:13 EDT 2001

Dorian wrote:

>Hallie said...
>>  Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with liking TCoD myself.
>>  People here were just so eloquent about the reasons it wasn't as good
>>  as others in the series that I felt out on a literary judgment limb.
>>  Sort of the list-approved canon of DWJ.  :)
>Hrm.  I think I must have missed that discussion.  Before my time, perhaps.
>Would anyone who doesn't like "Crown of Dalemark" as much as the others care
>to tell me why they feel that way?  Because I'm curious.  I loved how modern
>Dalemark was like modern our world, but still not our world.  And all the
>lovely details like the meal at the inn, and the way Maewen couldn't relate
>the Lawschool to the Lawschool she'd visited, at all.  And the
>bicycle/horse/bad-guy.  And the word-games to get round the rules (very
>"Skiver's Guide", in some ways!).  And Maewen's longing for a bath.
>And...and...and...I just love it.  It's a buttercup-yellow book. :-)

I suppose it's rather silly for me to be the one saying what's wrong 
with it, as I liked it a lot.  And there was no one serious 
discussion in which "everybody" said it stinks or anything.  It's 
just that early on it seemed that a lot of people made comments about 
how everyone had pushed DWJ for another sequel, and CoD showed why it 
had been a big mistake and the like.

So I guess I rather picked up a strong feeling that this was somehow 
a matter of more than just personal liking.  (I was less bolshy (sp?) 
in those days, I guess!)  Oddly, I just had a similar argument in 
tutorial, about _The Color Purple_, in which only two of us were 
defending the wrapped-up happy ending as not necessarily "bad". 
General consensus was that the tying-everything neatly up, polishing 
off loose ends, send everyone off home happy ending was trite and 
contrived and a sell-out.  I guess that's what I sort of assumed 
people were saying about CoD, and I didn't feel sure enough to argue 
about it.

>>  Well, I don't like it as much as F&H or HMC, either - but that would
>>  be hard!  Still love it.  _Power of Three_? There's my ugly
>>  confession.  I didn't like that one at all.  I read it out loud to
>>  Becca and neither of us could muster enough interest to finish it,
>>  which we passed off as merely being a question of its not reading
>>  well aloud.  But then I felt morally obliged to make myself finish it
>>  and I *still* couldn't get into it.
>Curious.  What was it about it that you couldn't get into?  From the
>beginning, and the tale of how Gair's father won his mother, I was hooked!
>For me, that book has strong fairy-tale resonances (without being much like
>a fairy-tale, which is odd, but cool).  And it taps into the willing
>self-sacrifice thing, which for some reason also fascinates me.

Well, this is not going to be easy to explain, because the only 
description I can come up with is a bit off the wall.  But basically 
it felt too thick, viscous somehow.  (I'd say like treacle, but that 
would have the almost-black colour and bitter taste, which don't 
apply.)  Sort of felt as if my mind was going into slow motion 
slightly.  You know those nightmares where you try to run and just 
don't get anywhere?  Like that, except without the terror. :)

It's not that I felt it was dull, or too complicated or anything like 
that.  Just not fluid.  (Stupid choice of words that, for this book - 
but it didn't feel fluid to me, to read.)  And the opposite doesn't 
necessarily make a book good for me, either.  Sometimes I'll just 
race through something, without paying much attention, because there 
only seems to be story there, and I just want to find out what 
happens and get on to something better.

Er, make any sense whatever?


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