[DWJ] Survey Part 3: Everything Else

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Mar 30 15:45:37 EST 2006


Jane:

>  >>Writer who most reminds me of DWJ: Margaret Mahy
>
>>I agree heartily with this mystery person's opinion.
>
>I'd be interested to hear why they are similar.  The only Mahy I have read
>is the Catalogue of the Universe, which I didn't enjoy much, and certainly
>didn't live up to what I was expecting from the title.  Which are like
>DWJ?

I'm sort of on the fence on this one, as I can see logically why Ros 
and others say this, and find it very interesting, but don't find it 
resonates for me completely.  I really didn't like The Catalogue of 
the Universe at all (except for the story it wasn't - the mother's). 
Just to build on what people have already said (and said better), for 
me Changeover is probably most DWJ-ish, in its mix of a very 
well-done realist drama (even 'a broken home') and very cool magic, 
which both enhances the coming-into-your-own teen story and is much 
more than just a metaphor for that.  (Charlie - a one paragraph 
summary of your essay would be great here - as you've nothing else to 
do with your time.  ;) )

Laura is also a *much* more likeable protagonist than the one in 
Catalogue, and Sorry - well, I was thinking this afternoon that he's 
a more romantic hero than any DWJ has done even - completely 
forgetting Howl (as I don't swoon over him at all)!  He's trying so 
hard to be Byronic bad-ass, and it's touching and often very funny.

I'm floundering instead of just saying that not liking Catalogue 
should definitely not put you off trying other Mahy - my vote being 
for Changeover - or Alchemy as second-choice.  But for me, (personal) 
best DWJ beats best (YA) Mahy, for all I've a terrible time saying 
why.

Hallie




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