Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Widdershins" by Charles de Lint

Why I read it: I finished the first two of the three books I took on vacation in two days, so when I found myself in a bookstore in North Conway NH (due to the boy's need for more Twilight books -- he'll be embarrassed that I mentioned that), I thought I'd pick something up. They had a shelf of ARCs they were selling for charity, and I'd never read an ARC before, so I thought that would be neat. I'd heard the name of the author before, though I don't think it ever appeared in the list.

Tastes like chicken: A cross between Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Emma Bull's "Finder", with a chunk of that short story by Kelly Link I read in a magazine a while ago thrown in (the one about the girl with a boy shadow, and the pocket universes).

Bookmark: White Birch Books complementary bookmark.

What I liked: For one thing, it made me want to take out my fiddle and, I don't know, try to tune it or something (I am a very crap fiddle player, and I can't even tune the instrument, but that's another story). The story also made me think I'm wasting my lifewith this 40-hour-per-week day job, and I own too much stuff, and my life would be better if only I could cull down my wardrobe.

What I hated: For me, the climax of the tale was at p. 400 or so, and the book ended on p. 560, so there were 160 pages of denouement. I think that's because for me the story was about the war between cousins and fairies. That meant that almost a quarter of the book was a bit of a slog for me.

I recognize that for CdL, the book was about the relationships between the people, not the silly war with the buffalo and the fairies, so for him the climax was much later. But I did feel like it was chapter after chapter of "and then", "and then", to drag things out to make word count. I admit that I might care more about the characters like Raylene if I had read what I think of as the prequel(s?). Also, since it felt like we had to tie off every character with a happy relationship by the last page (Grey=Christiana wtf?) it particularly rankled me that we had Galfreya just get blown off and then never heard from again. And everyone else from the fairy court. I guess Fairies don't have "thank you"?

What I can steal: I loved the blended euro-western feel. The characters were great. Awesome lifestyle guide. Not one character obsessed about money.

I think maybe I should change the name of "what I hate" to "Peeves" or something. Those weren't things I hated at all, they just irritated me.

But at least I don't have a cat:

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