dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #334

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Sun Jul 15 16:22:48 EDT 2001


>that's good. i haven't been reading for THAT long so i'm bound to 
>make mistakes. i was mostly commenting on the thread i was 
>responding to -- it seemed like people weren't into it. just wanted 
>to say that i was.

Oh, I wasn't implying any kind of mistake on your part - just that 
it's been a while since the real SWM fans have spoken up about it, 

Actually, it got me thinking about how little unanimity there is here 
on favourites or not-so-favourites.  Pity it's so totally hard to 
rank DWJs - it would be interesting to compare most-to-least loved 

>>Oh well, then!  No, I'd better avoid any remarks that might seem like
>>prejudice about dog-haters. :)
>touche. =)
>i do find it to be a bit heavy-handedly moral. or i did when i read 
>it. as i said, i haven't been able to make myself read it again. 
>heavy-handed morals are not something that is usually a part of 
>DWJ's books, and it's one of the many reasons i love them.

See, now I found SWM heavy-handed in the dangers of sexual/sensual 
repression message, which seems pretty boring anyway.  Or not boring, 
exactly, but just a bit been-done-beforeish.  (But then I'm half 
Irish, so maybe the prejudice message in _Dogsbody_ is more palatable 
to me for that reason. :))

>>  >
>>>deep secret (22) - i haven't seen anyone talking about this one. i
>>Oh, you're not alone in loving this one!  It's way up there for lots
>>of people, including me.
>good. i really hope she revisits this universe. by the way, i posted 
>a message on dianawynnejones.com in the ask the author section that 
>hasn't been answered yet .. but what do you guys think? i proposed 
>(or not proposed, exactly, but suspect, maybe) that deep secret, 
>dragon reserve home eight, and hexwood are in the same universe. 
>well, i believe it's been stated for sure that the latter two are. 
>but i'm not sure about DS in relation to them. the only evidence i 
>have is that rupert refers to an "albion" once in DS, IIRC. and, of 
>course, my heart wants it to be true since i adore these three to 
>bits. =)

I haven't read DRH8 for a while, though I liked it when I did.  Did 
you read it in _Minor Arcana_, with the intro where she talks about 
writing it?  It is MA which is slightly different in the US version - 
_Hidden Turnings_, is it?  (Yes, I know I could check the biblio., 
but too tired right now.)

>>How about _Fire and Hemlock_ or _Howl's Moving Castle_?  Any opinions
>>on them?  That you feel like sharing, that is. :)
>i read fire and hemlock originally when i was like, 12 -- shortly 
>after i'd discovered lives of christopher chant (my first DWJ) and i 
>didn't get it >at all<. i realise now that that is not too 
>surprising, since i was a little young. much later i tracked it down 
>again and reread it, and i loved it. i was just drop-dead in shock 
>about how good it was. =) but like many (most?) others i had a 
>seriously difficult time with the ending. i think thanks to DWJ's 
>comments on dwj.com and posts and such, i have a better 
>understanding of it nowadays.
>at the same time i read F&H for the first time, i read HMC and i 
>liked it OK but i wasn't as wowed by it as i had been by TLoCC. 
>(it's no shock that i read those two at the same time, because they 
>were the only two DWJ books my local library had.) i can see why 
>people like it so much, and i like howl and sophie both very much, 
>but it's still a middling DWJ book for me. the same goes for its 

I loved HMC to bits on the first couple of reads, but wasn't sure it 
was more than a fluffy-love.  Then people here posted insights, 
thoughts, feelings about it and I no longer worried about its being 
just fun fluff.  _Castle in the Air_ doesn't do anything like as much 
for me, but I think there are people who much prefer it over Howl.

>oh, and as a back-at-you: i dunno if everyone's had a chance to read 
>it, since i think it's EXTREMELY rare, but i happened to have lucked 
>into a copy of everard's ride. and i really, really like "the true 
>state of affairs." it's terribly different (and depressing). i would 
>actually say i was shocked by it -- i mean, it was a shock to read 
>something in that style. but i do like it very much. i was wondering 
>what everyone else thinks of it.

Oh wait, I think that answers my question above.  The True State of 
Affairs is in _Minor Arcana_.  Got to admit, I sort of skimmed, and 
haven't felt quite like reading it properly yet.  Too depressing. 
And I'm deeply wimpy about depressing reading.


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