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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
It's actually been quite some time already since that third read even, Mossy, so I can't really say. Except that the richness of the story was even more evident. No, that's not quite right. It's not "the story" as in the "plot" or the "characters" or any of those traditional literary components. Its just that the whole thing is so rich. It's not like reading a book. It's like being inside of it.


It's wonderful that you got that feeling from reading this book, Voronwë. It didn't do it for me, but other books have, of course, most notably LOTR.

A friend of mine thinks I'm nuts for reading books over and over. But if a book only deserves one reading, by my measure it's not a very good book! I explained to her that if you buy a CD you don't just listen to it once, put it away and say, Gee, that was good. You don't buy a painting, look at it once, and then put it in the cupboard.

I never buy a book until I know it's worth another reading. I've read many of my books 100 times, without exaggeration. Each time is "going" to that world and enjoying it. It might be the great beauty of Middle Earth or the more mundane but just as interesting world of Avonlea, PEI.

And I can pick up a book of Gary Larson cartoons, and laugh as much as I did the first time. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:03 am 
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vison wrote:
And I can pick up a book of Gary Larson cartoons, and laugh as much as I did the first time. :D


Yes. :D I've read my C&H and Asterix tons and tons of times. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:18 pm 
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I just found this thread. I finally got around to reading the book this past summer after it sat on my dinning room table for months.

I really enjoyed the book! The tongue in cheek/winking that Clarke does is more like Georgette Heyer than Jane Austen. Georgette Heyer started the Georgian/Regency romance genre. Her books are well-written and downright funny in places.

I did feel immersed in the alternate England Clarke created. And trying to figure out who was doing what and why kept me interested. I need to go back and re-read it because I missed alot.

I can also appreciate that not everyone will like her style of story-telling. Differing tastes makes life interesting.

I would like to participate in a more thorough discussion of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:23 pm 
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I read The Ladies of Grace Adieu, Clarke's book of short stories, over winter holidays and loved it. Aesthetically, it's a really nice book -- really nice cover, well put together, and Charles Vess' illustrations really suit it.
The stories vary a lot, but they are all about English magic. Jonathan Strange, the of Wellington, and John Uskglass all make appearances. They are all very different, from funny to downright creepy. Some of them are taken from footnotes. Besides being a good read, they add a lot to the world that she created in JS&MN.

Hi, Andreth. What would you like to discuss? I think that there are quite a few who would be interested in more discussion. (To make a shameless promotion, there's also a forum at [url=forums.foem.org.uk]The Friends of English Magic[/url], which is just being started up again.)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:54 pm 
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Did you read this book?

Did you enjoy it?

Do you want to discuss it in depth?

If so, pop over here: http://www.phpbber.com/phpbb/index.php?mforum=foem

and talk to us about it!

:D

If you haven't read this book, btw, you really really should.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:47 am 
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Well, can we discuss it here? :P

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:54 pm 
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Yes, but at the mo, New FOEM has only 9 members...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:42 pm 
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There will be spoilers here, if anyone still cares.

Late to the party as usual, but just finished reading this. Going all the way back to the discussion of Vinculus and his fate, it brought to mind the Northern myth in which Odin hangs himself from the World Tree in order to gain wisdom in the form of magical runes (Odin, of course, was the original "Raven King"). He comes back to life afterwards. There was another god who did something similar, and it's interesting that during the age of relics, the crown of thorns was commonly supposed to be made of hawthorn wood. I don't know if any of this is meaningful or if Clarke is just throwing in symbols from other traditions in order add verisimilitude (or if my brain is just picking out patterns where there aren't any), but it struck me as interesting.

The story as a whole feels something like a Hegelian synthesis of England's pre-Christian, pre-Norman Faerie with modern rationality and civility (despite the fact that the Raven King was supposed to have lived in the 1400's, as I recall). This is perhaps the sense in which JS&MN reminded me the most of Tolkien, and in particular of The Hobbit.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Did you enjoy it, Dave?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Yes, very much; though I confess thinking it dragged a bit during the tour with the Greysteels.

I think it was full of vague allusions to old mythology and fairy tales like the ones I mentioned above, and this is what made it really effective for me. The sort of thing where a corner of your brain insists that you've heard something like this before, but you can't quite put your finger on it*. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis did a lot of the same sort of thing.

*Another example--I was sure I'd encountered the conceit of having characters be enchanted away to another world every night to dance until dawn somewhere before. Eventually I remembered a fairy tale that I don't think I'd thought of since I was a child. The king can't figure out how his daughters keep wearing out their shoes, and sends a prince to investigate. He spies on them and discovers that their chamber contains a magical doorway to a castle in the fairy world where they go every night and dance holes in their shoes.

Edit: It is Grimm's story of the 12 dancing princesses I am thinking of, apparently. Interestingly, Wikipedia notes that in an English version of the tale called Kate Crackernuts, the princesses are replaced by a prince who is forced by fairies to attend the nighttime dances against his will, and who becomes an invalid during the day as a result. It also claims the idea that fairies could kidnap people at night and force them to dance to exhaustion was once quite common in Europe, and was believed to be the reason behind actual wasting diseases.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:25 pm 
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Dave, I read the princess story as a kid, and completely forgot about it specifically, but the dancing-in-an-enchanted world sounded right to me. :). Now I know why.

I should re-read JS&MN. But its so difficult to read a thick hardcover book in bed. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Yes, very much; though I confess thinking it dragged a bit during the tour with the Greysteels.


yeah, I can see that. But if a book of that length, and that complexity (and with that many footnotes!) only drags a bit at one short portion, that's pretty impressive.

I've read it half a dozen times already, and I have both enjoyed it and gotten new things from it each time. The only other works that I can say that about are Tolkien's.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:17 am 
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Have you tried Pratchett, V?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:21 am 
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I have. Honestly, his work doesn't appeal to me, but I've never said that here before because I know how much so many people here love his work, and I didn't want to offend anyone. Maybe I'll try again at some point. Needless to say, different things appeal to different people. In no way do I mean to suggest that Sir Terry is not worthy of the respect that so many pay him. My lack of appreciation of his work reflects only on me, not on him.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:23 am 
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Eh, it's all right, V. My own husband could not get into Pratchett, and we are still married, although of course it puts a strain on our relationship. ;) OTOH Rodia and I spent a few glorious days quoting Pratchett at each other, and it was divine.

As for the subject of this thread.... well, let's just say our literary tastes differ when it comes to more than Pratchett. :P

But I did remember the dancing Princesses. The same motif was also used in another book, a modern fantasy about Fairy Godmothers, where modern people find themselves in fairy tale scenarios, which are often as grim as the tales themselves. The second book in the series takes place in Ireland and uses subjects from that mythology, and in it the heroines go to dance with the fairies at night as means of getting magical favors from them.

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‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:30 am 
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heh-heh, Relax, V. My husband doesn't like Douglas Adams or Pratchett, and as Frelga said, R and I are also still married, although its annoying when he doesn't understand me calling upon Anoia.

And jeez, you can take modesty a bit far, you know. If *I* don't like a book, the book sucks, not me. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:34 am 
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Mahima wrote:
heh-heh, Relax, V. My husband doesn't like Douglas Adams or Pratchett, and as Frelga said, R and I are also still married, although its annoying when he doesn't understand me calling upon Anoia.


Anoia visits this house frequently. :3face:

I don't like Adams either.

[/highjack]

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:36 am 
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[highjack] CHOKE!! You what? splutter, blubber....

*sulk*

[/highjack]

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:52 am 
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Interesting, Frelga. We disagree on both Pratchett and Jonathan Strange, but we agree on both Tolkien and Adams. I wonder what that says?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:23 am 
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No accounting for tastes? :P

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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