Stubborn reading (was Re: YA/Children's/Adult Books)

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at
Fri May 2 06:18:46 EDT 2003

>Minnow wrote:
>>  Maybe it's a distinction between character-driven and
>>  plot-driven books? Anyone?  If one loves one sort, is one going to un-love
>>  other, as it were, or are both of similar levels of delight, just in
>>  different ways?
>I enjoy both, but I'm more likely to love and re-read a character-driven
>book; I notice wooden characters much sooner than I notice a clunky plot.
>It's the difference between Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers; both can do
puzzling (to me, anyway!) mystery plots but Sayers' people are alive.

My favorite quote about Agatha Christie's characters was from Ruth 
Rendell (I believe):

"To call Agatha Christie's characters cardboard is an insult to cardboard!"


It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it 
was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to 
grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
Ian McEwan Atonement

Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at
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