Obscure Childhood favorites

Abigail Gawith A.Gawith at tarragon-et.co.uk
Tue Feb 11 13:23:31 EST 2003

Gili wrote:

> >_The Hounds of the Morrigan_, Pat O'Shea
> Did you really like this book? I read it about a year ago, and while there

> where bits of it I liked a lot, I thought it was much too slow and long
> somehow pointless. 

It may have been an advantage to read it in childhood.  I admit that, like
most of the books on the list, I haven't reread it in the last ten years.

I certainly remember it fondly, though.  Interestingly, I particularly
enjoyed its length - so much *happened* in it.  Like _The Neverending
Story_, there was so much in it that I could be sure, on rereading, to find
a section I'd forgotten about.  Also like _The Neverending Story_, it had a
bookish hero.  And it triggered memories of all sorts of other things I'd
read - Irish fairy tales, and Alan Garner's books, for instance - which made
it seem richer: as I read it, there were all sorts of extra associations
going through my mind.  I'm not explaining that well, but I hope it makes

> It's another one of those books where the protagonists 
> have to forget their magical adventure at the end, which I suppose is one
> my Literary Pet Peeves (capitalized for Irina).

I'd forgotten that... I guess it didn't bother me.  I hate it when you get
to the end of a book and the fantastical element is shown to be really
something quite mundane, but if the protagonists are induced to forget about
it, that doesn't detract from its reality in the same way.  So it doesn't
spoil the book for me.

> >_Bogwoppit_, Ursula Moray Williams
> This is one I've been looking for for a while. People on this list
> it as a likely candidate for a book I read long long ago and only
> vague details of.

Yes, I was one of them.  That was the last time I poked my head out of
hiding... then I panicked, and stopped reading the list entirely for months!
I'm trying *not* to do that this time. :)

> I've read several other of the books on your list as well, but none I 
> particularly feel I would want to go back to, except possibly the Dodie 
> Smith books. 

I feel the same about some of them.  It was interesting thinking about
children's books that I'd enjoyed as a child, rather than children's books
that I enjoy now.  The lists overlap, but I'm sure some of the books I
mentioned would be disappointing if I reread them, and others wouldn't do
anything for me now if I hadn't come to them at the right age.  It makes me
wonder how publishers decide which children's books merit publication, and
whether they're using the right criteria.

> You should delurk more often!

Thank you!  You'll have to imagine the elegant, sweeping bow with which I
acknowledge that statement. :)

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