[DWJ] Review site again

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Dec 27 08:51:26 EST 2006

In <007d01c7294b$2d607290$0200a8c0 at LGnotebook>, Sally Odgers wrote:
>I can understand the "attitude" bit, it's the "style" I don't get. The 
>Changeover (Mahy, not DWJ) is one of the best books, stylistically speaking, 
>that I know, yet the reviewer says it is "weak" and that the plot is 
>"mediocre". I don't understand what s/he means by that. Can anyone define 
>"Style" for me, on his/her own terms, without recourse to looking up a 

I would define an author's style as being that which when a later author 
parodies it, the reader will recognise what author is being parodied.

This is not particularly helpful, in this context, but I don't think it
is possible for a bit of Dickens to be being read on Radio 4 when one
turns the radio on in the car to wait for the traffic news, without one
knowing that it is Dickens, even if one is not particularly well-read in
Dickens and one has not previously encountered that particular bit of
his work.  As a for-instance.  Some authors have a style that is
pretty-much unmistakeable, anyhow.  Others don't; the ones who don't,
such that their work could be by anyone writing at about that period,
are the ones I'd say had weak style (but perhaps strong characterisation
or plotting).

I doubt that this is what the reviewers mean, though.


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