Abarat, etc

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Mon Apr 14 05:52:16 EDT 2003

> > >Has anyone read _Abarat_ by Clive Barker? Any reactions or 
> opinions?
> >
> > I tried to, but I couldn't get into it. I read an article 
> about him and the book, which is why I made the attempt, but 
> the prose style defeated me, I think.

I read it, and thought it was OK. Some nice ideas, some silly names. It
seems to stop in the middle- a very obvious first-of-a-trilogy. I'm not
going to buy it, but I'll get the next one out of the library.

A Much, Much Better Book, which I have just finished and which has
Drastically Affected my Prose Style, Such as it Is, is Land of Green Ginger
by Noel Langley (1937), about Aladdin's son Abu Ali. Every line cries out to
be quoted, so I will just mention that it has a Magic Carpet, a Beautiful
Damsel with a Rotten Father who boils suitors in oil, two Wicked Princes, a
Button-Nosed Tortoise, a Master of the Horse (and his Friend), Omar Khayyam,
an indignant Mouse, a small djinn called Boomalakka Wee and Many Others. My
copy is illustrated by Edward Ardizzone, which suits it beautifully. 
I found it in Quinto- the secondhand book shop at the corner of Charing
Cross Road and Great Newport St- which I would advise any London-ish list
members to go to next weekend, because they have a whole bay of Puffins in
the basement at the moment. It made me absurdly happy browsing through them,
there are so many wonderful books I remember from my childhood. They're
£2.50 each, but when I asked myself which I would rather have, £2.50 or
Comet In Moominland, the answer was obvious. I also got My Friend  Mr Leaky,
The Four-Story Mistake and Carbonel. 

I got Merlin, too (first-hand), and loved it, and have a couple of things I
wanted to talk about, so whenever everyone else is ready to discuss I am

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