Friday, 1 February 2008

success at the dentist, and Widdershins

Hurrah!!! I now have the screw implanted in my mouth, step one to getting my new front tooth implanted sometimes this summer! Ok, I'm on painkillers and you can plainly see the screw when I take my fake tooth/mouthpiece out, which I now absolutely have to do anytime I eat more grossing out my eating companions......but I'm half-way there, finally! No more dead tooth with many many root canals done, in the front!! Oh, and the dentist found yet another infection in the area where the bone graft went, so I'm back on penicillin. And painkillers while the screw and bone adjust to one another......the good thing is it let me leave work early today because of pain, and with the second winter storm in two weeks raging outside since 10 this morning, this is a good thing. I got home before rush hour started! Though our bus almost got stuck, with 10 cm at least already fallen.
The other good thing is I met my husband downtown, who got 'stood down' from his job with DND (Department of National Defense) because of the storm, so we were able to meet and grab a quick bite WITHOUT the kids (a treat!!!!) and it was in Chapters, so I took a quick look around. I did not buy anything, though I was so tempted......Pillars of the Earth is back out in paperback which though I was given a copy 10 years ago, I didn't finish and my mother raves about it, so I want to pick it up and try again, especially as now the sequel is out. And I didn't really look around since I have two books on hold at Collected Works and there are so many I want to buy that I feel guilty buying at Chapters when I want to support the independent bookstores. So I was good, and with the snow blowing past the windows, I just looked with my eyes......
I did take the opportunity to finish Widdershins yesterday. I managed to sleep off enough of the sedative by mid afternoon to be able to read - I couldn't do much else, even the tv put me to sleep, never mind sitting at the computer - so I read to my heart's content for a couple of hours before it was time to get Holly-Anne from her daycare, which is just down the street and all i could manage yesterday. It takes a long time for sedatives to leave my system, or so my three experiences with it has shown.

Widdershins did not blow me away the way I thought it would, and yet, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think my main problem was I couldn't tell Whiskey Jack from Joe Crow Dog; whenever they spoke - and they are two of the main aboriginal spirit characters/real men in the book - I had to keep checking their names, even though as characters they are separate and fascinating. I'm not sure why. I love Geordie and Jilly, and how Jilly works out her problems is really interesting, especially how she resolves it. I really like the creative, original ideas Charles brings to his books and characters. I love all his characters. The Unseelie Court and the Native world are as ever fully imagined and realized, and especially 'the inbetween' - which he has made his own creation and which you will have to read yourself to find out about - is a place I'd give anything to visit, and I think the idea is, I can. So I'm not sure why the book didn't 'blow me away'; I think almost he had too many characters and stories, and so he didn't have enough time with some of his secondary ones who were just as interesting - in a way, this book should have been bigger. Now that I write this, I think so. I want more of all of them, more story, and I really want more Lizzie and Grey, whose story doesn't seem finished - or another story to come.
The characters are all well-drawn and lively, the music is fun, and there is real emotion as characters deal with death and change and the past affecting the present. It is a fantasy book unlike any other, and is very close to magical realism now, I think. It is well worth reading, and one of his best books, and has a better ending than some of his very early books. But it seems to me that he opened the door to a fascinating subject - fairie and the native spirits, and how they join or clash - and then shut the door on really exploring the mix, which I think would have made this book extraordinary. It is a difficult subject to write about, myths and the unseen world and this one, and this is a very good book. I highly reccomend this book, and I really hope if you haven't tried Charles de Lint, you will. He write about dark things in an uplifting manner - hope and faith sparkle through his books, and personal responsibility and choices. There's a reason why I've been collecting him from the very beginning!

Links: Eva

So now it's on to Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper, which I have been meaning to read for 20 years!


Miss D. said...

Ooh, good review. I know what you mean -- almost too *many* stories in this one. I like Whiskey Jack but felt Grey was totally underdeveloped. De Lint is an amazing storyteller and I love how he doesn't shy away from the darkness.

Susan said...

I know, it really bothered me that Grey and Whiskey Jack were not different enough. I actually had to flip back and forth in the book to make sure they were different characters, which I can't recall ever doing in one of his books before. And yet, other than that, it was a very good book and I really enjoyed it. I love how Geordie and Jilly finally get together! for real!

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