[DWJ] OA McKinley (was authors' thoughts on knowing)

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Oct 9 12:05:26 EDT 2007


deborah wrote:

>Ah! This ties exactly into something I've been thinking about
>Robin McKinley and how her writing style has gone downhill in
>the last four books (I'm counting Dragonhaven, which I'm in the
>middle of in galley form right now). She does this very rich
>elaborate world building -- and then puts every single detail of
>it into the book. And it really hurts her storytelling.

I read *Dragonhaven* about six weeks ago and enjoyed it enormously, but it
certainly isn't what I expected her to write, and yes, maybe it does give
slightly more about the very personal world of its narrator than I need.
On the other hand the narrator certainly doesn't know everything, and has
in fact no information to impart about vast acres of the world (never
having been to them nor heard/read about them, I assume) so they're
available for me to look into and speculate about quietly without the
author looking over my shoulder.  The world we get shown by the author is
very circumscribed, to say the least: informed, certainly, but within very
narrow bounds, in fact only those of interest to the narrator.  I wouldn't
bet that McKinley knows a lot about what it's like to live in a large
mid-European city in that world, either, or go to school, or have a full
and functional family.  :-)

I think it's not an easy book at all.

obDWJ, she liked it very much, which is why I got given a copy to read in
an hour of need when I was convalescent.  It was meant to cheer me up.  I
don't know that it did that exactly, but I didn't stop reading till I got
to the end.

Minnow





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