Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book read, week of 9-11

Because I've been busy finishing up the first draft of a novella, I only finished one book this past week:

77) Among Others, by Jo Walton. A coming-of-age fantasy boarding school tale that's not quite what you expect any of those things to be. The magic is ambiguous--I read it as real, but from what I could tell from other people's reviews, about half the readers took it for the first-person narrator protagonist's coping mechanism to deal with all the trauma she's experienced. I think it works either way, which is unusual. And unusual is a good description for the book as a whole. I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't want to read books like it as a steady diet necessarily. The heroine's head was often an uncomfortable place to be.

The heroine is an avid SF reader who becomes involved in a SF reading club at her library, and the book is packed with references to the genre. I got maybe half of them, mostly the obvious ones like Narnia, LOTR, Thomas Covenant, and Hitchhiker's Guide, because the story is set in the late 70's, while most of the SF I read is from 1990 and later. I expect I would've gotten more out of the book if I'd known more of the references.

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