Mister Monday (spoilers)

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Mon Oct 6 07:48:23 EDT 2003

I've just read this book. Looking back at the emails about it from a few
weeks ago -

a) It certainly didn't feel like it was set in England, to me - or at least
anything like the England of today. The 'Feds' word certainly stuck out, for
example (along with assorted Moms, grades, etc), but even more telling was
the bit when Arthur sees some old (half-timbered?) houses and the narrator
has him reflect that they were older than anything you'd see in his world
outside England, or Europe. If Arthur actually was English, that thought
probably wouldn't have occurred to him!

b) I agree with whoever said the writing quality didn't live up to the
imaginative quality. The power of the latter carried me through, but I did
feel I was wading through some pretty stodgy prose at times.

ObDWJ (one for Robyn, if the Calgary meet hasn't happened yet?) - this book
reminded me strongly in places of the Homeward Bounders. Most obviously in
the Prometheus figure, but also in the children who are condemned to live
for ever and, when offered a chance to get 'home', realise that they would
no longer fit in there. Kylie said that DWJ was one of Nix's favourite
authors - was this a deliberate homage, or just a bit of imaginative flotsam
from his own previous reading, or sheer coincidence? (Btw, if Suzy was one
of the Piper's children shouldn't she have been German, rather than the
cheery Lyra-style urchin we actually see? Or does the Piper get around?)

General speculation. A few years ago I toyed with the idea of writing a
story in which a schoolchild (girl, in my case) has to deal with each of the
Seven Deadly Sins visiting her school over the course of a week (and
visiting her at home at the weekend). On the Sunday she would have realised
that she herself was the sin of Pride, and Done Something About It. 'Lucy
Bright and the Sins' never got written - partly because I was told that
children these days don't know what the 7 Deadly Sins are, partly because
the sketches transmogrified into a different book anyway. But it did perhaps
make me notice the way Nix a couple of times refers to Mister Monday's
'sloth'. I can't help wondering whether we are due to witness Anger, Envy,
Lust, Pride, Avarice and Gluttony, over the next six books? Well, we shall


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