Thursday, December 27, 2007

I won't grow up!

A stolen minute between gift opening, eating, and playing with the nephew for The Stolen Child. This is a modern tale of fairies, well hobgoblins actually. It's a fascinating twist on the story of the changeling in which a hobgoblin replaces a child, and transforms himself to approximate his appearance and personality, living with his family and otherwise appropriating his life. The actually child ends up living with other hobgoblins in a strange, renegade sort of existence where he remains a child. The novel alternates back and forth between the lives of the two Henry Days - the changeling and the original. I imagine they are eventually going to intersect but the book is keeping me in suspense as to how.

What I'm enjoying most is that as there are two overlapping worlds in the story, it can also be read in two ways - one is at the level of novel alternating with fantasy - taking the two existences literally. The other is seeing the changeling myth as a way to evoke the change that happens when a child grows up. Seeing the fantasy world as one in which the child has never grown up. The changeling kids are alot like Barrie's Lost Boys (but there are girls too), the theme is similar too except the parallel worlds coexist. Just 70 pages left to go, with any luck I can finish the book in the care on the way back through Pennsylvania. I would like to personally thank the 5 people in the hotel room next door to us last night who shouted and otherwise whooped it up until 1:30 am so that I could get so much reading in rather than going to sleep. Oh, and let me just say I really made out on the gifts this year - favorites included an asparagus steamer, some favorite movies on DVD and not one but two barnes and noble cards!! Woo hoo.


Dewey said...

An asparagus steamer! Can you steam other veggies as well?

This book is on my wishlist. It's really impressive to me how you could turn annoying hotel neighbors into such a positive experience. I would have been calling to complain, grumbling to my husband, and in general letting it get the best of me instead of vice versa.

Ted said...

Dewey - Happy & Merry! The pot is tall and skinny and has a tall and skinny basket to match. I suppose a few ears of corn would fit in it, or several artichokes piled on top of each other. They've always struck me as somewhat overspecialized, but I guess I shouldn't knock it until I've tried it. I love asparagus.

Definitely try this book, I really thought it wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I used my own book gift card to purchase The Stolen Child. Thanks for the review!

Ted said...

Stephanie - I hope you like it as much as I did. Happy 2008!!

Pauline H. Tesler said...

I just found your blog, while hunting for some material for a paper--looking for studies about perceptual framing that excludes new information. Your blog is lots more interesting than my paper. You like lots of the books I adore, that none of my friends find interesting. The Stolen Child: a hypnotic read, entirely convincing, which is quite an achievement when one of the main characters is a changeling.

Ted said...

Pauline - Thanks for the lovely compliment. I hope you will return. Yes, it was most convincing - wasn't it? A captivating read.