Conrad's Fate (with spoilers)

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Sun May 15 02:25:45 EDT 2005


Hallie O'Donovan wrote:

> Robyn:
>
>>>> I suggest it's time to start a discussion of Conrad's fate.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> SPOILER SPACE
>>>>  
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>>>> Many of DWJ's familiar themes appear in CF. One of the most obvious
>>>> is mistreatment of children by parents and other family members..
>>>>  
>>>
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>>> On which note: is there anyone else who didn't believe for a moment
>>> that Uncle Thingy was telling the truth about Conrad's karma?
>>> Maybe it's just that I've read a lot of DWJ before (avuncular figure
>>> who doesn't really have one's best interests at heart being a
>>> recurring theme, particularly in the Chrestomanci series), or maybe
>>> it's just that one should never trust anyone who feels the need to
>>> *tell* you when they're being honest, but I was on to him from the
>>> word go.
>>>
>> I thought the whole Uncle thing was obvious and unbelievable. So 
>> unworthy of dwj, who is normally quite subtle and interesting when 
>> creating deception and exploitiation. I suppose part of the reason it 
>> is so obvious is that Conrad is an idiot.
>>
>
> I also felt the point was hammered home with irritating 
> relentlessness.  But was Conrad really more of an idiot than 
> Christopher was at the equivalent stage or was Uncle Ralph just one of 
> the more subtly presented exploiters?  I'd think the latter myself.

I think it is a little from column A, a little from column B. I find 
Conrad to be without redeeming freature, which is particularly 
problematic in a first-person narrative. I find it hard to believe that 
dwj was going for dramatic irony and failed so utterly - it's not like 
she hasn't made it work before, in, oh, I don't know, her PREVIOUS book. 
Christopher's idiotic behaviour was accompanied by enough context to 
make it understandable (e.g. when he acts pigheaded because he feels the 
Castle staff are treating him unsympathetically); Conrad appears to have 
no excuse except his stolid, dull nature.

Robyn

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