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The Dark is Rising (and other reading bits)

I recently re-read the Dark is Rising and was struck by the thought that the most compelling relationship is honestly the one between Merriman and Hawkins. They were so close! They trusted each other so much! Tragedy ;___; And I think when I first read the books I hadn't thought really how long Hawkins lived as the Walker--six hundred years of wandering, knowing he can't die or have peace until whichever of the last Old One comes to get the sign. I can understand his rejection of Merriman's plea.

The other thing that stuck out was morning of Will's birthday, when he wakes up and sees last night's snowfall--but it hasn't fallen on roofs and fields, but instead on a vast forest of trees, with branches reaching right up to his window.

I didn't talk about them, but I also read A Room With A View (ghghgh Cecil), Quantum Thief (good! less game theory than I thought it would have, should probably write about it in a post) somewhat recently. I'm now reading simultaneously several nonfiction books, including a good one on Czech history (from Přemyslids up, not just 20th century), and How Green Was My Valley and Over Sea, Under Stone. How Green Was My Valley is possibly one of the most beautiful titles I've ever encountered.

Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/166726.html.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2015 12:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, Hawkins. The tragedy of it didn't strike me so hard when I read them as a kid. :( Now you're making me want to re-read this series again, for the millionth time. :)

I love A Room With a View. One of my favourite books ever.
Apr. 3rd, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
Right? I don't think I realized just how long it is between the 13th century and the 20th. I think I was a little disappointed Hawkins hadn't accepted the offer to come back, but this time around I understand why he wouldn't.

Re-reading is always good! (Except if you reread so much that you wear the book thin mentally. I do that all too often, read it so many times I know it too well and don't really enjoy it anymore :( )

I don't know how to feel about A Room With a View! I think I got George and his father confused at first, and I didn't read it all at once so confusion. But it was very affecting; I felt like I was being constrained, not just poor Lucy.

If you have thoughts about A Room With A View, I'd love to hear them! I really don't know what to think about it.
Apr. 5th, 2015 03:35 am (UTC)
I know the feeling, I definitely did some over-re-reading when I was younger! Less so these days because I rarely have time to re-read much. Too many new books to read. :)

Hmm! I am not sure what to say except that I love them because I love them. LOL. I guess love Forster's prose, I think he's an amazing stylist and has a real deft touch at creating fully-realised characters, and at having a sharp, at times cynical sense of humour while still being earnest about the worth and power of truth, beauty, and love. A Room With A View I love in particular because it's one of his most hopeful novels and I just love Lucy and related to her a lot. (The other most hopeful novel is Maurice, which is a gay romance which was published posthumously. I also really enjoy the movies of A Room With A View and Maurice and recommend them both!)
Apr. 9th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
When I get stressed I tend to re-read the same book over and over again, which is mostly where the over-read comes from.

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised that it had a happy ending. A lot of similar feeling novels tend to have tragedy instead! I liked Lucy a lot too. She was honestly bewildered in a really sympathetic, realistic way that I enjoyed.
Apr. 8th, 2015 03:49 am (UTC)
It's been a few years, but I remember finding that the most interesting relationship too. I felt that the whole situation was unfair to Hawkins in that Merriman had a degree of institutional power over him that meant he could ask too much of him, and get it... all of which I'm explaining rather badly because I've been unable to find a detailed enough synopsis of the book to remind me of what it was that specifically intrigued/bothered me. Since then, I've managed to find a slipcase with all five books in it, and I'm looking forward to re-reading it in sequence with the others and seeing how it all develops.
Apr. 9th, 2015 03:24 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, definitely. Even outside his power as an Old One, he's literally his feudal lord. And what's more, Merriman knows that there are lengths to which people can be pushed (or maybe he only learns this after Hawkins betrays him? It's tricky to think about because Merriman travels through time and probably somehow has all the knowledge and experience of all time??)

I think they stand up very well to re-reading, though admittedly I haven't re-read the Silver on the Tree yet and the last book often makes or breaks a series for me :P
Apr. 10th, 2015 08:08 pm (UTC)
Oh god, I'd forgotten he was literally his liege lord!! No wonder it horrified me so much. And yes, the time-travel/knowledge paradox angle is also interesting in this regard...
Apr. 11th, 2015 03:20 am (UTC)
Yeah :( Merriman, noo.

For the time travel bit, judging from how the book sort of 'feels', I don't think Cooper really considers the "how much knowledge does Merriman have" angle much; she's more focused on other things. So I think it's fair that he mightnt've known just how big of a betrayal it would seem to others (since he clearly thinks it's a justifiable risk).
Apr. 11th, 2015 04:27 pm (UTC)
I wonder if any fanfic has explored that side of it...
Apr. 12th, 2015 12:32 am (UTC)
Next yuletide request! :P Though I think, from skimming previous years' requests, it's usually more about fix-it (re memories) and Bran/Will.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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