Black Maria (was: Re: 2nd hand DWJ)

Kale kaledann at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 13 03:53:48 EDT 2002


--- Chris R <sfa_ok2001 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>  --- rohina at shaw.ca wrote: [about Black Maria]
> > I don't like it much either. In fact, I think I've
> > only read it once or
> > twice (as opposed to dozens of times for the other
> > books). I think I
> > found the plot at once confusing and unbelievable,
> > and the Aunt Maria
> > character was just too overdone. Hmmm. Maybe I
> > should reread it and form
> > my opinion more thoroughly.
> It's odd, because lots of her other plots could be
> accused of being confusing (Fire and Hemlock, go
> stand
> in the corner) and unbelievable, but they work and
> Black Maria doesn't. I remembered not liking it when
> I
> was little, then a couple of years ago when I
> started
> reading DWJ again, I thought I'd have another go and
> still didn't.

I liked it better on my second--or was it third(?)
reading, simply because I realized that the mother was
not as cowed by Aunt Maria as I'd originally thought. 
I think my problem is Anthony Green (I think his name
is) who seems to show up at the last minute to save
the day and possibly marry the mom.  

I remember a thread popping up months ago where
someone's friend commented that DWJ was awfully fond
of pairing off people.  At the time, I hadn't read
Year of the Griffin, so I didn't know where that came
from and argued against it.  Now I find myself
changing my mind.  I found the pairings in YotG
obvious and convenient, Blade and Emperor Titus and
Elda in particular, all of which seemed to happen at
the last minute.  And there's Princess Beatrice and
Prince Justin from Castle in the Air.  On the one
hand, I liked it because I rather enjoy seeing
characters paired off and I almost expect it.  On the
other hand, I don't expect DWJ to follow conventions. 


I'm not talking about relationships that were
established early on, just the ones where two people
barely meet at the end of the book and all of a sudden
they're a couple.  I think that she matched them well,
but it's disconcerting to have everything wrapped up
like that.

Kale
(who wonders why the US paperback version of Dark Lord
of Derkholm weighs in at a thick 515 pages, which
should scare off most of the kids who might read it)

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