OT _The Thief_ - SPOILERS...

Gross Family argross at bigpond.net.au
Thu Mar 7 21:24:40 EST 2002

I wrote:

> > I've just finished reading _The Thief_ -- thanks to everyone who
> > recommended
> > it! I had a similar reaction to that described by someone--sorry, I know
> > longer have the post and can't remember who--in that up until
> > about halfway
> > I felt, "Well, this is OK but it's not *that* good." By the end
> > of the book
> > I had fallen in love with the semi-Greek setting, the characters,
> > everything. I have to agree with Melissa's comment about the
> > author's having
> > to cheat in order to surprise the reader. It's find for an author to
> > withdraw information as long as the clues are hidden in the text, but
> > it's cheating to withhold information that the protagonist
> > already has, that
> > the first-person narrator is deliberately hiding from the reader.

Anita wrote:

> just a bit of spoiler space, although I do try not to give too much
> I'm not sure about the cheating. OK, we're never told that he is (.. who
> is .., for the sake of spoilers), but there are more and more clues as the
> book goes on. Remember he was not only deliberately hiding it from the
> reader, but from all the other characters too. I liked the semi-Greek
> setting, and the names too.

Even more spoiler space......

I'm still not convinced that having a narrator writing in first person
hiding his identity from the reader,  isn't a kind of cheating. I wasn't
only referring to Gen's identity, though--I didn't explain (because of
spoilers) that I meant it to apply also to the fact that Gen also had stolen
the stone a second time and had it safe all along. Even though I absolutely
loved the book--I do want to stress this--I can't help feeling that hiding
*that* piece of information from the reader when the book is written in
first person does strike me as...I'm not sure whether the word is cheating,
but I feel that it's doing something that's not fair to the reader. The fact
that I loved the book maybe invalidates what I'm saying. I'm not entirely
easy with the technique she used, though.

> I particularly liked the way in which his encounter with Hephestia et al
> changed him.

Yes, I loved that, too. There was a wonderful sense of the numinous in those

> BTW, I can pick up the Queen of Attolia from Dymocks in Subi (suburban
> Perth) tomorrow, so it's out in Aus.

Thanks for telling me that--I now have a copy as well.


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