[DWJ] The New Policeman

Charles Butler charles.hannibal at gmail.com
Sun Jan 13 14:16:49 EST 2008

I enjoyed it a lot, but since I expected to really *love* it ended up being
a little disappointed - quite unreasonably. I liked the idea of putting the
fiddle tunes between chapters, and the village was nicely sketched, and the
characters were well realised - but once the hero made his way as far as Tir
na nOg he seemed not to know quite what to do.

On the other hand, I'm currently reading (almost finished!) *The Hounds of
the Morrigan* (1985), which reminds me of *The New Policeman* quite a lot,
and I can't help wondering  because that's the way my brain works - whether
Pat O'Shea was an influence on Kate Thompson. There's the
same charming-edging-to-irritating whimsy, the same involvement of the
Gardai, the same mixing of gods-in-disguise with modern west-Irish life, the
same sudden drop in pressure once we enter Faery. I think Pat O'Shea is a
better writer, sentence for sentence, and in her economy and what I will
call (in a good way) off-handedness about the magical, she too reminds me of
DWJ - and she can turn between comedy and something approaching horror on a
sixpence, if not some still smaller denomination, at least in the first
third of the book. But then, I'm not a huge fan of talking animals, and the
reader of *The Hounds of the Morrigan* must prepare for quite a few. There
are strange things done with people's ages throughout: Brigit, for example,
sounds about 30 years old, though she's supposed to be five, and although
that's partly because she parrots expressions she's picked up elsewhere that
doesn't quite explain it.

I'd be very interested in any opinions on this book, too.


 here's the same mixture of , even being set in the same part of west
Ireland. What a strange book it is! There's some wonderful writing in it,

On 13/01/2008, Farah Mendlesohn <farah.sf at gmail.com > wrote:
> Yes, it's really excellent.
> And for the historians among us, Kate Thompson is the daughter of E.P .
> and
> Dorothy, which is, like, triple squee.
> On 13/01/2008, Sally Odgers <sodgers at iinet.net.au > wrote:
> >
> > Has anyone read Kate Thompson's "The New Policeman"? I just got the
> sequel
> > too - "The High King".
> >
> > ODWJB... there's a definite flavour of DWJ in this one.
> >
> > I wrote to Kate T and she replied, which is always fun.
> >
> > S
> >
> >
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Website: www.charlesbutler.co.uk

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