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

Anna Clare McDuff amcduff at math.sunysb.edu
Fri May 2 08:44:12 EDT 2003


On Thu, 1 May 2003 minnow at belfry.org.uk 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 the other, as it
> were, or are both of similar levels of delight, just in different ways?
> Obviously if the plot stinks then the best characters in the world won't
> rescue the book, and vice versa, but would anyone else feel that DWJ's work
> for instance would fall apart if the people weren't "real", no matter that
> her plots worked?

	I dunno, I can certainly see the distinction you are drawing, but
I was thinking about it & wondering why I couldn't come up with a
preference one way or the other myself & then it clicked. I personally
will read *anything* as long as it meets a certain minimum standard of
Good Writing and gives me an insight into other people's heads, whether
the author's or the characters' or both. I don't even know which of these
two principles is most important to me, certainly at least one has to be
present for me to enjoy a book. I am not at all fussy as to genre!

	And thinking about the realism of DWJ & Antonia Forest that has
been discussed I realised this, too. I do love their realism, but it is
not, I think, the main reason why I love their books. A lot of the books I
enjoy can be classified as thoroughly unrealistic, in fact I seem to have
a whole raft of collections of wildly differing series where the
construction of a Utopia is the main aim of the author. This would be the
link between Elinor M Brent-Dyer's Chalet School books & Mercedes Lackey's
Valdemar novels... you can tell a lot about a person from the Utopias
they construct. And I'm really nosy.. er, curious about human nature.

	:-)

	Anna

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