Conrad's Fate (at last)

deborah.dwj at deborah.dwj at
Mon Jun 6 11:40:54 EDT 2005

On Sun, 5 Jun 2005, Colin Fine wrote:
|The bit of the plot I have most trouble with, though, is the Walker: why
|on earth did Albert and the Circle tell him to summon the Walker?
|Judging by Albert's remarks at the end, the cork should have been quite
|adequate for his purpose, (and Albert intended that Conrad be executed
|for the act), so what did the Walker add to their plan?

I expect I'll need to read the book a couple of times before I know how
I feel about this.  All DWJ books end with that
everybody-talking-at-once climax, and sometimes it takes multiple
rereadings to see the sense of what happened.  On the other hand,
sometimes after multiple rereadings no real sense emerges.  They're
always fun, but in a few of them the climax doesn't quite work.  I don't
know yet where this one is going to fall on the functionality spectrum.

|There seems to be some faulty editing on P385 of the UK edition, where
|Gabriel de Witt says that "we returned [the witch's soul] to Seven D,
|where I am pleased to say they promptly put it in prison", but the next
|paragraph says "We have, of course, returned the woman's soul to Seven D
|now, so that she may stand trial in the proper way".  These two are not
|necessarily inconsistent (though at first sight they appear to be), but
|I cannot think of any reason why he should repeat the information.

I have the United States uncorrected proof, and in that version the
first paragraph says "We found her body... and we returned it to Seven
D, where I am pleased to say they promptly put it in prison".  So he
first says her body is in prison, and then says her soul will stand
trial.  It's still a little bit choppy -- I would expect the "now" in
the second paragraph to be something like "as well" instead.  But it
does explain the repetitiveness.

There's not a liberal America and a conservative America-there's the
United States of America. ...  We are one people, all of us pledging
allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United
States of America.
	-- Barakh Obama

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