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April Books 8) Among Others, by Jo Walton

earthsea
I must admit that at various points in this novel I wondered how Jo Walton had got inside my head. Her narrator is a teenager in 1979-80, growing up reading Vonnegut, Zelazny, Heinlein and all the classics of science fiction, coping with the usual pains of growing up. Of course, Mor has a few extra problems that I didn't have: no real friends at school, a move to a different country (Shropshire is very different from South Wales), dealing with a new family, and coping with the physical and emotional scars of the car accident which killed her sister and was conjured by her sorcerous mother. Rather like Buffy, Mor finds the terrors of adolescence taking supernatural and physical form; there's also an interesting dialogue about England and Wales going on in the background (mostly). I was completely captivated by it; I am a couple of years younger than the heroine and her creator, but basically we are the same generation and Among Others hit me squarely in the memories. (I do wonder if it will appeal as much to those who are much older or much younger.) Anyway, this is the first of this year's Hugo-nominated novels that I have read since the shortlist came out, and it is strongly recommended.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
atreic
Apr. 28th, 2012 12:29 pm (UTC)
I loved Tooth and Claw, and this has been on my wishlist for ages... I think this review might just have tipped me over into buying it :-)
rmc28
Apr. 28th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
I've bought it but not yet read it. You are welcome to borrow it anytime if you like.
thinking_lotus
Apr. 28th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
I read it. I enjoyed the unreliable narrator bit, but I also wonder if anyone not around the same age as her or as steeped in the culture would have the same reaction. There were moments that brought me almost to tears and others where I wanted to snort with laughter and I don't think they were meant to be funny. So I would categorize it as powerful but uneven and resting on a rather precarious foundation. Still, I quite liked it.
inulro
Apr. 28th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
I do wonder if it will appeal as much to those who are much older or much younger.

Or Not British. It looks worth finding out though.

LibrariesWest has one lonely copy, which I've just reserved.

Edited at 2012-04-28 02:00 pm (UTC)
niamh_sage
Apr. 28th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
Well that's just tipped me over the edge in favour of buying the book too. I'll definitely get it now!
papersky
Apr. 29th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it.

It has had a very good response from people who are much older and much younger -- but it's weird that everyone about my age mentions in their review that this is a potential problem. And if they're women about my age, they add that they don't know if men will get it. Very strange.
couchspudprotem
Jul. 23rd, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Well all I know is that I had planned to get my ears pierced to celebrate taking early retirement, but now I have my hands firmly clasped over my earlobes and you're not taking my magic!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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