Rowland, Jennifer A B
jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Mon May 16 06:01:39 EDT 2005
> My own take on Conrad himself, is that he isn't truly *stupid*, but that he's spent
> so much of his life adapting to a particular situation, and he started so early doing
> it, that he's never taken any time whatsoever to even *try* to think outside the box.
I think he spends quite a lot of the book in shock- he's got a plan for how he can get the life he wants, and then suddenly he's told he has to leave school, and has to kill someone, and has to go to this frightening place, and has to get through 16 hours work every day, or whatever it is... and he's only 12, and it's too much for him. By the end of the book I think his personality is coming through more. I liked him, how matter-of-fact he is, and I think he works well as a narrator. It struck me as a bit like the situation in Magicians of Caprona, where the plot is about the children in a family, although a lot of the story is happening to their older brothers and sisters. (I loved all the domestic details, BTW- I guess this is one of those things where the subject matter is just interesting to some people and boring to others).
I realised the uncle was up to something fishy- I've never heard of having karma that you have to kill someone! And the way the whole magic group are suddenly "Ooooh, what terrible karma!" when they've never mentioned it before as he's brought the port for their meetings. But I didn't notice anything about the money until it was spelt out.
The scene with the rehearsal for guests arriving, with the actors, and the shifts, and the ghost, and everything going wrong, was a very nice one of DWJ's chaos scenes, I thought.
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