fire and hemlock people

Colin Fine colin at
Wed Aug 24 15:49:17 EDT 2005

Ven wrote:

> I think that's spot on. For the most part in AG
> the cruelty is incidental. The victimisation of
> Howard's family then happens because the siblings
> have the specific aim of finding out what it is
> that is locking them into the town.
But there's also something in the writing which makes AG feel more like 
a cartoon - even though the threat to the children when they're lured 
into Shine's den is real enough, it still feels a bit like comic book 

I've not gone back and reread F&H in a long time - it's not one of my 
favourites, perhaps because it is too dark for me.
> <I certainly don't expect
> my reasons for preferences in books to be 
> universal, or even to make sense
> at all to anyone else!  Also, I don't *prefer* 
> either of the two books: I
> like each but for different reasons, and they're 
> both on the "often
> re-read" list, unlike *Castle in the Air*, which 
> I ought to love but somehow simply don't.>
> For a while after I got it CitA was a big
> favourite of mine, read and reread but I also
> don't care for it very much at the moment.
After I last reread HMC (probably 3 or 4 years ago) I went on to reread 
CitA and I could not get beyond a couple of pages. I just didn't want to 
read any further.

> Whereas I have a very personal affinity with
> Jamie's sense of exile. I also fully understand
> that all he ever wants to do is to try to fit in
> with where he is, right up to the end when he
> realises that is what he never can do.
Yes, absolutely. Of all the DWJ books that are my favourite DWJ book, HB 
is the one that is most often my favourite DWJ book. The combination of 
that exile with the depth and intricacy of the Hope and Anchor theme 
appeals to me very much.

Colin Fine

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