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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:20 am 
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Mr. Drawlight's fraud have been exposed and Strange seems on the verge of rebelling against Norrell. Finally, the story seems like it's gonna get some dramatic tension!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 1:47 am 
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Why can Strange effortlessly throw cities about the globe but he can't do anything to the French army? Throw the french in the ocean, you idiot! :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:07 am 
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He does make the road in front of them disappear so that they're stuck in the mud. :P

It might be that he doesn't want to use magic to actually kill people.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:25 am 
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Then teleport them to America! Turn their guns into flowers! Something!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:14 am 
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Jnyusa wrote:
It might be that he doesn't want to use magic to actually kill people.


Indeed.

"'Can a magician kill a man by magic?' Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. 'I suppose a magician might,' he admitted, 'but a gentleman never would.'"

I think Strange doesn't want to completely incapacitate them. That would be ungentlemanly, after all. ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:53 am 
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I would dearly like to know why Childermass continous to serve such a deplorable little man.

(Norell is currently buying up Strange's books.)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:10 am 
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Ah, but is Childermass really serving Norrell?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:14 am 
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That thought had occurred to me, but you musn't spoil us preciousss. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:36 am 
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Just food for thought, my friend (I'm glad you are persevering).

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:56 pm 
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Finished (book and thread).

I know from past experience that people can get annoyed at people putting down something in their pro-something book so, unless elaboration is requested, I'll just say I hardly found anything at all to like about the book.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:06 pm 
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I can't speak for Mossy (obviously) but I would certainly be interested in hearing more about your opinion, Yov (and I obviously liked it very much).

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:33 pm 
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I'd like hear your thoughts, yov. Elaborate away.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Okay, two of my several major problems with the book:

- A near-total lack of likeable or interesting characters. Norrell I found very annoying. Strange felt very generic and blank until the end - the author occasionally describes his character (sarcastic, mischievous, ect) but hardly ever shows his character. Childermass was interesting but he was hardly there and his motivations and purpose were completely unexistant.

- The story had a near-total lack of focusing dramatic tension until nearly the very end when Strange finds Lost-hope. Without any such focus, the story has no momemtum, nothing driving it forward. Huge chunks of the story felt completely superfluos and I'm convinced you could edit out hundreds of pages and lose almost nothing in terms of plot, character, or themes. (The stuff with Strange in the war felt particularly tedious and poinless.)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:56 am 
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yovargas wrote:
- A near-total lack of likeable or interesting characters. Norrell I found very annoying. Strange felt very generic and blank until the end - the author occasionally describes his character (sarcastic, mischievous, ect) but hardly ever shows his character. Childermass was interesting but he was hardly there and his motivations and purpose were completely unexistant.


I agree that Strange is somewhat nondescript and didn't much care for Norrell. Personally, I found the supporting characters much more interesting -- Childermass definitely being my favourite. What did you think of, say, Stephen Black and Vinculus?

That said, I don't think the characters are the main focus of the book. Someone (Vinculus?) says that Strange and Norrell are just parts of a spell -- thus, it's the the spell and the broader strokes of the plot that are more important than the details such as character.

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- The story had a near-total lack of focusing dramatic tension until nearly the very end when Strange finds Lost-hope. Without any such focus, the story has no momemtum, nothing driving it forward.


There was a lack of tension, I didn't think it lacked focus. I saw the conflict (and thus the dramatic question) to be about the kidnappings/conflict between Faerie and England -- what would happen to Lady Pole and Stephen? Was the Gentleman going to be defeated or foiled, and who? And who the heck is the Raven King? That's what drove the book for me.

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but Huge chunks of the story felt completely superfluos and I'm convinced you could edit out hundreds of pages and lose almost nothing in terms of plot, character, or themes. (The stuff with Strange in the war felt particularly tedious and poinless.)


Very true. The stuff with the war was probably character development, but it was far from necessary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:00 am 
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I loved the stuff about the war! :D

It also served several purposes - to keep Strange out of England and away from Norrell; to separate the two magicians; to allow Strange to develop his magic and come to understand how he wanted to use (and not use) magic; to allow Norrell to miss Strange and see him develop into a real rival.

If Strange had not gone to the War, the rest of it would not have come to pass.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:05 am 
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Impenitent wrote:
I loved the stuff about the war! :D


As did I! (Especially how he keeps moving cities around and forgetting to put them back. :D) I just meant that what she accomplishes with the war could have been done in a different way that would have seemedd less like a detour.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:36 am 
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Gee, Mossy, I didn't expect you to agree with my points so easily. I was expecting some fighting back! :D

I'll try and post some more thoughts late today.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:09 pm 
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I also loved the stuff about the war. But I don't really have much of a response to Yov's points; they are hard to disagree with. And yet I loved the book so much that I read through a second time almost right after I was done. And there must be SOME reason why it has been so popular and so critically acclaimed.

It's a bit of a mystery. :scratch:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:31 pm 
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I haven't finished it yet, but it's defnitely written in an old-fashioned way. I don't just mean the language; I mean the very leisurely approach to storytelling. These days almost all fiction written to entertain has a strong protagonist with a difficult goal that he has to overcome great odds to achieve. It's written economically, and every scene is there to serve the main plot. There aren't really subplots or secondary characters; they all must relate in some way to the protagonist and his goal.

There's nothing wrong with any of that, but this book is more in the style of Dickens or Trollope, where the author digresses just because the digression might be interesting, and the plot sometimes takes a while to emerge. (I don't know why she's compared to Austen; Austen was almost modern in her economy of structure. Maybe the language.) That style isn't to everyone's taste, especially if they're used to the modern conventions.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:48 pm 
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****SPOILER AS I DIDN'T KNOW PRIM WASN'T DONE****







Did ya'll like Lascelles ending? I found him going off to Faere to arbitrarily fight to the death some total stranger was bizzarre. I found it completely implausiable and unsatisfying and the whole thing felt sooo contrived. Nothing in his self-serving, manipulative character made such an action make any sense especially since he wasn't stupid - no DUH the corpse-creating faery being is gonna kill you! :roll:

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