TotG (was Re: Introductions)

minnow at minnow at
Sat Jun 21 18:20:59 EDT 2003

>>  My most recent re-read was Time of the Ghost though - don't find it
>>scary, or not unduly or more than others - would love to discuss.

>It's been a while since I've read Time of the Ghost - in fact, I
>think I last read it after you said interesting things about how
>close it was to life for you (and that's going back a while. :(  Are
>you going to stay de-lurked *this* time, please?).   Just lent my
>copy to a friend who took it far away, so can't reread soon, but
>would happily join in if you started discussing.

I don't find it scary, but I do find it desperately unhappy.  That whole
family and the boys from the school are all in such miserable positions,
and the adults are so very ... not hostile exactly, just utterly useless
and cold.  When one reads in "Meet the author" type books that it is at
least partly autobiographical, that's chilling.  Regardless of the
unpleasant goddess, there's something badly wrong in the whole set-up, or
at least, there is for me, and I hate the idea that the things I find so
yick happened to someone who is so obviously a Good Thing.

I suppose though that an awful lot of my favourite authors of books I loved
as a child had miserable childhoods or lives in general.  Rosemary Sutcliff
was in horrible pain for a lot of the time, and her parents seem to have
been a bit strange; Kenneth Graham wasn't particularly happy being dragged
up by uncles and aunts, C.S. Lewis hated school so much he called it
"Belsen", and his father was downright abusive at times, Kipling -- well,
one only has to read "Baa Baa Black Sheep", and some of Stalky, to feel
that he was in a bad situation for a lot of his childhood.  Perhaps it's a
case of good coming out of evil.  I still wish it hadn't happened (to any
of them), even though had they been happy they might not have needed later
to write the books for the people they were when they were younger, and so
I hadn't had them to read.


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