_The Thief_, with spoilers galore--extra long for your enjoyment

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Fri Mar 8 11:10:46 EST 2002

Okay, I have read the books now, after steadfastly not looking at all the 
spoiler messages. So I really appreciated Melissa's summary of the 
discussion so far. I have to say, I agree with her arguments in a 
theoretical way. *Except* I was not taken in by Gen's deception. I guess it 
has to do with having read a lot of Dorothy Dunnett, who is always 
'cheating' like this, so you are constantly on the lookout, and she is 
heaps more subtle. I thought Gen's actions were quite heavily signposted, 
and I wasn't taken in for a moment. This didn't spoil the climax of the 
book for me, because I was on the inner with the narrator, rather than 
being surprised.

Please note, I am not saying Melissa is wrong, but I am saying, here's 
another perspective: I am not at all sure that the reader was necessarily 
meant to be taken in. In my reading, the book works just as well if you are 
not surprised. I also think there is a well-established pedigree of writing 
that encompasses this kind of cheating, so I don't agree that *by 
definition* it spoils the book.

I liked both the books heaps. One of the best things about The Thief was 
the description of the landscape, which I found very appealing. I suspect 
this is because I am homesick for Melbourne in this horribly cold burst of 
Calgary weather. Also, I like that she used my daughter's name in Q of A. I 
will definitely read more if she writes more.


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