[DWJ] List Catch-up: Earwig (minor spoilers), Changeover, music, Power of Three

Philip Belben philipbelben at alice.de
Sat Dec 10 07:00:17 EST 2011


Dear all,

I'm back after several months away.  I somehow missed the publication of 
Earwig, and then I got caught up in preparing for my move, and then I 
forgot (yes, how dreadful!) to put it on an Amazon order.

Anyway, I have now moved house, and live at Hohenbostel am Deister, a 
few miles southwest of Hannover.  (The job in Hannover is for a year, so 
I expect to go back to the UK next autumn.)  I remembered to order 
Earwig when buying Christmas presents from Amazon; I picked up my copy 
from the post office in Barsinghausen yesterday, and read it last night. 
  I then spent this morning catching up on the list, which I had been 
neglecting because I didn't want any spoilers for Earwig...

I really enjoyed it.  I think that DWJ was breaking new ground in 
children's literature right up to the end - this time by making the 
protagonist a really quite nasty person.  We are told from the start 
that Earwig is manipulative (although I hadn't connected her with Maria. 
  Well spotted, whoever said that.)  And she ends the book just as nasty 
and manipulative as she started it.  Bella reminded me a little of Biddy 
Iremonger (we're supposed to be discussing WT this month, aren't we?), 
especially the house that didn't fit the bungalow.

On the subject of music, I've just finished "Igraine Ohnefurcht" by 
Cornelia Funke (the translation is called "Igraine the Brave").  I 
really loved the singing books.

Next book will be re-reading Changeover.  I actually rather like the 
book.  Like Kylie (was it?) I find that it really suits my sense of 
humour.  Which, since I've been reading DWJ since I was eight, is hardly 
surprising.  I don't remember which chapter it was that someone said 
would film well, but I think that way about the one "in which everyone 
has his say" (just after the raid on the Blue Banana, I think.  I 
actually saw somewhere called the Blue Banana the other day.  Where the 
heck was it?  Bother!)

After that, Tooth, and maybe I'll catch up in time to discuss Ogre in 
January.

So finally: Power of Three.

Does anyone know whether DWJ came to Bristol before she wrote this?  The 
landscape I see when I read it is the Somerset Levels: a huge expanse of 
low-lying peat moor, drained in ancient times and criss-crossed with 
drainage channels ("rhynes", pronounced "reens"), with here and there a 
little hill sticking out of it.  She seems to have taken this landscape 
and moved it to near Oxford (maybe Otmoor, which I have never visited).

My parents (who still live at Wookey) recently told me that Bristol 
Water has plans to flood part of the Levels for a reservoir.  They have 
narrowed it down to two sites: Cheddar and Wookey.  More details at:
http://www.bristolwater.co.uk/news/mainNews.asp?newsID=936

I am getting such a strong Po3 feeling from this project, that I am 
seriously thinking of writing to Bristol Water and suggesting that they 
name the reservoir "Diana Wynne Jones Reservoir" in her memory.

What do people think?  Should I?

Philip.



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