Mister Monday

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 14 09:29:07 EDT 2003

There has been only one element in the book which has
struck me as being overtly American and that is the
reference to the Federal Government (although
Australia has a federal government it is invariable
refered to as the "Commonwealth" Government) and to
police officers (iirc) as "Feds". There is also a law
called the Creighton Act which seems to me to be an
American style of thing. As the language Arthur speaks
is English and there are references to British history
I'm sure the book is set in our world, though slightly
in the future as in our world the plague that has
killed Arthur's birth parents hasn't occured.
Interestingly one of the historic references is saying
some one looks like Winston Churchill an image that
even most young Australians would understand, what
about Americans?.
There are aspects of the school that could be
Australian, but others that are not very Australian,
like using the term Grade instead of Year. However I
do like the incidental bravery of the school
librarian. On another list I'm one there has been much
criticism of the portrayal of the school librarian in
a recent YA novel "Walking Naked" by Alyssa Brugman,
This librarian is truely terrible but is, I suspect,
based on the Authors experiences with my predecessor
in my current school, which she attended a few years
before my elder daughter. Kate thought the description
was pretty accurate.
It is a great book, very much in the tradition of
Pullman rather than Rowling, with Nix having great fun
with religion and mythology and much else. One of
Arthur's brothers is named Eminor but when he became a
musician he changed it to Patrick.
I can't wait for Grim Tuesday, not to mention Drowned
Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior
Saturday and Lord Sunday.

Jon Noble

--- Abe Gross <argross at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> Message
>   Anita wrote:
>   I was the person who originally posted about
> Mister Monday. The edition I have is an American one
> which I bought in Singapore. I can't remember
> Mom/Mum, but I did notice ax (instead of axe) and
> perhaps a few other things. When I read it first
> time I thought it was set in the UK, and so I did
> notice the Americanisms. 
>   I reread it looking for anything which indicated a
> specific location, but couldn't find any.  The
> description of the school and neighbourhood are
> deliberately generic I think. 
>   I think you're right. But if so, it's been
> clumsily done, either by Nix himself or his
> publishers, because there are quite a few
> contradictory Australian/UK and American hints.
>   And mostly Arthur refers to his Mother, rather
> than calling her anything at all. (We don't meet his
> mother in Mister Monday, anyway.)
>   True, though I've now come across a few references
> to "Mum" in my edition.
>   Arthur wears a uniform, but the description of the
> school doesn't sound all that like an Australian
> school.  Seventh Grade does sound American to me -
> when I was at school it was definitely Grade 7, and
> West Australian schools now use Year 7.
>   I agree--it doesn't feel like an Australian school
> to me, either. I 'd be interested to know if it
> feels to anyone like a British school.
>   Perhaps my assumption of an English setting was
> based on the other-world, which definitely has a
> British Beaurocracy feel to it.
>   Yes, agreed.
>   Ros

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