[DWJ] RE: The Game (Sally Odgers)--from Digest

Sally Odgers sodgers at Iinet.net.au
Tue May 13 20:18:28 EDT 2008


>This is probably my first post on DWJ, though I have long been on
Child-Lit. 

Welcome from lurkdom!


> My
interest has been piqued by one of your comments, Sally.  Since I read the
digest, this query may have already been raised, but you said

> I loved The Game too, but I often find myself wanting to know "more". DWJ
> leaves a lot unexplained, which is not a flaw to me, but she also
sometimes
> leaves things under-developed.

>I wonder if you could mention some instances of underdevelopment in older
DWJ

I'll quote from my review of "The Merlin Conspiracy', written the first time
I read it. 

A few points - I'd love to have learned more about the panther, Gwyn and
Maxwell Hyde, Mini and Helga and even Romanov. There were hints about all
these characters' backstories and origins that I wish I could have followed
up. The ending is marvellously controlled; a typical tightly woven DWJ
ending, but easier to understand than that of "Fire and Hemlock" or even
"Howl's Moving Castle". The last note is in a minor key, hinting at
something more to come, although, knowing DWJ, this mightn't mean a promise.


I found the hints/ implications that Nick has considerable power were
fascinating, as he's a "normal human teenager" by upbringing, but a "prince
of an alien empire" by conception and heritage. (I looked at this in one of
my own books back in the 1990s, with Aurora Quinn being normal teenager by
adoption, but a baby collected from a crashed UFO by birth.) Nature/Nurture
is a well thrashed-out subject, but before Nature comes genetic probability.
(I recall meeting a woman back in the 1990s who had two placid girl children
and a deeply difficult boy child. He had been adopted as an infant, and she
couldn't work out why her methods of child rearing failed so badly with him.
Mind you, my two (natural) children also had different reactions. The same
mild correction that made my son stop his incipient tantrum and trot off to
do something else sent my daughter into a full scale horror-apocalypse
screaming mode.

To return to Nick, I wanted to know more about his heritage of magic, and
how it would affect him. I assume DWJ didn't tell us because HE was
discovering it and we shouldn't have info he didn't, but his totem really
needed "more" to me. 

>And is this lack of explanation due to, say, not keeping faith with the
reader
or just that knack of good authors of hinting that there is more to give the
text "depth" or whatever it's called.

I think DWJ keeps faith with one reader - herself. She's one of the boldest,
or perhaps luckiest, writers I know. Many other well-published authors could
attest that the slightest effort to leave a thread untied or an ending open
will often (usually) be tramped on from a great height by an editor. And yet
DWJ pulls jackalopes out of hats as a matter of course. AND THEY LET HER. On
the whole, I'm willing to trade her occasional vagueness or over-complexity
for that breathtaking originality.

Sally O
 
Thanks,

Jameela
-- 
Jameela Lares, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-6214 ofc
601 266-5757 fax



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