I have to agree with
Read 3 books this week for some reason I’ve turned into the voracious reader that I used to be a few years back. When I’m not working, eating, driving (although this can be cured by audio books) watching TV or online, then I’m reading. Basically this means, bath and bed…and when I turn the light off? More audio books!
The Wintersmith and Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett
I read these the wrong way round but as I’d already read Hatful of Sky it didn’t really matter, as I already knew who Tiffany was. Out of all three of them, I prefer Wee Free Men best of them all, by the time I read Wintersmith I felt that Pratchett was doing what he began to do in the Discworld around the Moving Pictures era, he was simply telling the same story in Wintersmith as he had in Hatful of Sky, but using different beasties to do it. Crivens!
I liked Wentworth best in Wee Free Men (apart from Rob Anybody who I would shrink and go blue for in an instant of course) as Wentworth was just wonderfully drawn, a real baby, like Pewsley(?), Nanny’s grandson, for whom I have an affection. I don’t like Tiffany, I didn’t like her in Hatful, I loathed her in Wintersmith, ungrateful bitch – I’d LOVE to have a Wintersmith, and it was her fault anyway – and she was just horrible to him. When I read Wee Free Men, I understood her a little more, being a witch on the chalk and all that, but I still don’t like her. Like Granny, I respect her abilities, but I know that Granny will be wary of her, and probably likes her about as much as I do.
I was quite bored with Wintersmith, to be frank. I haven’t bought any of his DW kid’s books, but if I were to do so, I would probably only bother with Maurice.
Yoss – Odo Hirsch
It reminds me a little of Candide, in a VERY SMALL way, and that’s probably not intentional. It’s not a biting satire on anything for a start. An innocent abroad blunders from one disaster to another. It’s a good enough story and written well enough to keep the brain engaged, but the omniescent narrator is a little too omniescent. You get into Conrad’s head (and he’s horrible, a really good villain) a lot more than you ever get into Yoss’s head and it’s not until nearly the end of the book that he starts to think for himself. I suppose it’s all to do with how world-weary people treat country bumpkins or how innocence makes us look at the world in a different way but Yoss didn’t interest me as a character, it was the other characters around him that interested me, and although that might have been the author’s intention it didn’t work because he didn’t (as far as I’m concerned) let us see what THEY saw in him to be so interested in. There wasn’t the ironic fatalism or optimism or cut-throat humour of Candide, and Yoss just drifted through life like a feather. i’ve seen “innocent boys” come to London, and they don’t stay innocent for long. As far as I was concerned, the whole thing was a bit of a non-event – and it only took me about three hours to read too.
I found his knowledge a little stupid too – he’d never seen art (and no matter how remote a civilisation is it still has art) and he had no concept of robbery, but he knew immediately what slavery was without having to have it explained to him. He was a mass of contradictions and quite the worst character in the book, which considering he was title of the book – wasn’t good.
A decent enough story, but it wasn’t fantasy enough to make interesting – it could easily be set in any medieval european country – and I’m not sure what point it was making. Not really recommended unless you can’t find anything else to read. Unless I’ve just missed the point..
I’ve just started Birdsong and frankly I don’t find it a masterpiece at all. Are people just easily pleased? Or do they all rush to gush over books that critics like – is it a case of Emperor’s New Clothes?© Copyright 2007 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes