Something About

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Something about Jamila Gavin's The Blood Stone (ST Children's Book of the Week - see below) fills me with dread. I have enjoyed most of what Gavin has published so far, particularly 'The Surya Trilogy' (so, yes, I can find room for trilogies when there's a point to them - where, by the way, are the trilogies in adult fiction?), and I have not yet read The Blood Stone - indeed, with the various deadlines that I have to meet beforehand, it is unlikely that I shall have read the book by the time that the author is In Conversation with Nick Tucker at the Royal Overseas League, an event I was, until earlier this evening, looking forward to.
This sense of dread has a threefold manifestation.
Firstly, on reading the book's 1.5 page Acknowledgements I could not help asking myself, 'Who [WHO] is the audience being addressed here?' when Gavin says, amongst much else in similar vein, 'I must thank Dilawar Chetsingh in Delhi, whose many comments and suggestions have undoubtedly enhanced this book... ..."? Certainly not any child, or even young adult.
Secondly, the same page-and-a-half of Acknowledgements gives thanks to "my nephew, Justin Neville-Kaushall, for his wonderful poem which concludes the book." I suppose I shouldn't have submitted to the obvious temptation - read this nephew's poem, without reading the whole of the novel first. But I did. I have. The midpoint of the poem, I'm afraid, says it all: 'Too many words without music destroys/Sings Orpheus'
And the third cause of dread? After reading the poem, the book fell open at a random page towards the end of the novel (p392). I read the sentence "They swallowed her up as briefly as the blink of an eye, until the brilliant sunshine exposed her just as briefly in the gaps in between." I reread the opening half of that sentence. 'As briefly as the blink of an eye...' has an awkwardness about it which I cannot remember experiencing before in Gavin's writing.
These may in the end be three small things... Three small things to weigh against the impact of a powerfully told story. I will find out in due course.

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Michael wrote:

where, by the way, are the trilogies in adult fiction?

In fantasy, surely? (What about The Godfather? Or am I confusing the films with the books?!)

Judith

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on November 24, 2003 11:32 PM.

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