[DWJ] The New Policeman and The Hounds of the Morrigan

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Mon Jan 14 13:51:02 EST 2008

Charlie said...

> [The New Policeman] 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.

I bought that recently - on Hallie's recommendation, I rather think - and I 
was a bit "meh" about it.  The hero going a bit flup when he got to Tir na 
nOg was part of it, but a lot of my problem was that the eponymous character 
really didn't do much.  I thought it was going to be about him, or at least 
that he was going to influence the plot fairly noticeably, but neither of 
these things was true, and I was left at the end of the book wondering quite 
what I had read.  I don't think I've ever had a reaction quite like that to 
a book before.

> 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.

"The Hounds of the Morrigan" is an old favourite of mine.  It's an odd book, 
to me, because it's so very, very close to "stage-Oirish", which I loathe 
and abominate, but it somehow manages to skate along the very border of 
twee-ness without quite tipping over.  And it has a great cast of 
characters - even those that have little more than cameos are distinctive 
and believeable, and I *love* the baddies.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"Fashion exists for women with no taste, etiquette for people with no 
- Queen Marie of Romania 

More information about the Dwj mailing list