starting Abhorsen discussion
rohina at shaw.ca
Mon Apr 21 12:02:40 EDT 2003
>I agree with both of these points entirely. The landscape--the concept of
>this kind of land that coexists more or less with Death--just fascinated me.
>And _Sabriel_ in particular was just creepy enough without being actually
>frightening. It was very enjoyable.
I agree with all of this, too. I wanted to add the comment that Sabriel is
really beautifully written at the sentence level. I was thinking about the
length thing, because it is seriously shorter. I know Sally said there were
publisher reasons for this, and my comment is, it really was a good thing
for Nix's writing to have had this imposition. The writing in Sabriel is
dense. There isn't room for a lot of description, so he made every word
work. That's one of the things that makes it a really good book.
>On re-reading _Lirael_ I was more annoyed by the length.
I didn't mind the length from a plot point of view, but I did notice that
it wasn't as richly written as Sabriel. I think it could have been shorter
if someone had imposed a restriction on Nix, but since (from what I
understood and heard) he was being given the opposite ecouragement - ie
make it longer - the writing is not as dense at the sentence-level.
Abhorsen is much worse as far as unnecessary wordage is concerned. I
noticed that there were a lot of sentences of the Babysitters Club style
exposition in the book (Lirael remembered that Sabriel, Sam's mother, was
her own sister, that kind of thing), which he never would have written in
Sabriel. I was speculating that maybe he got a different editor with a very
different agenda or something. Reading the 3 books close together makes the
style change much more obvious.
I was kind of disappointed with a few of the "revelation" moments - I felt
they were delayed beyond Nix's ability to make them thrilling, and then the
description of them was a real let down at the end. I guess overall I think
Abhorsen needed to be a much shorter book.
The Nick/Lirael thing just ticked me off. Why was it necessary? Why did Nix
go to all that trouble to show all those women of the Clayr who were above
needing romantic relationships, and then have Lirael (who was supposed to
revere them) go all goopy over pathetic Nick?
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