Sunday, May 06, 2007

Humbled

Just when I think "I couldn't get a better review than this one" - I do just that. Get another review that knocks my socks off and leaves me humbled.

Writers love all good reviews, naturally - however, ones that not only dole out the praise, but which show that the reviewer has understood the subtleties of all the sub-story, well, they are rare indeed.

A nameless Canadian Lj blogger from Toronto, Bibliogramma, has left me humbled. Thank you, whoever you are. You just made my weekend...

I'd love to quote the whole review, but I shall be good and just put up bits and pieces...

The review begins like this:

"I’m really not certain how to begin praising Australian writer Glenda Larke’s Isles of Glory trilogy. Do I begin with her detailed and intricate world-building? Her skill in characterisation? Her original take on the whole business of magic? Her seamless incorporation of highly intellectual explorations of the psychology of perception, the social and personal functions of religion and the dynamics and consequences of colonialism into a damned jolly action thriller with a truly kick-ass, take-no-prisoners swordswoman? The structure of the trilogy that permits not only multiple perspectives on the action, each from characters with their own culture and personal philosophy, but also a metanarrative from another culture altogether? Larke’s novels are deceptively easy to read and enjoy, but so difficult to talk about. And they’re brilliant."

And ends like this:

"And I haven’t even mentioned the considerations of changes in gender roles, the horrors of religious intolerance, the nature of corruption, the necessary values of living an sustainable life in a fragile ecology, the challenges faced by stateless persons, or any of the other issues that Larke weaves into her narrative. Oh, and did I mention a great action adventure story, and a damned fine love story to boot, with realistic characters who aren’t always right, and aren’t always heroic, and don’t always save the day, or if they do, it’s not what they hoped it would turn out to be? Oh, just read the books. You won’t be sorry."

I'm speechless.

8 comments:

Bibliogramma said...

Glenda,

I'm the author of the Bibliogramma posts on LJ, and the making-of-weekends has been mutual. The relationship between artist and audience is still, even in these days of fan conventions and the Internet, largely a one-way flow, and for me at least it's difficult to know how to express appreciation as audience to an artist without being intrusive.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to give you the pleasure of knowing how greatly you are appreciated for your art in return for the pleasure I've had in being a part of your audience.

Anghara said...

And I'm loving the exchange between a writer who writes great books and a reader who really liked them. Reading things like this gives the rest of us scribblers the warm fuzzies.

Especially when it happens with someone like Glenda. Who understands story, loves language, and isn't afraid to show either when it comes to writing fabulous fiction.

Anghara said...

And I'm loving the exchange between a writer who writes great books and a reader who really liked them. Reading things like this gives the rest of us scribblers the warm fuzzies.

Especially when it happens with someone like Glenda. Who understands story, loves language, and isn't afraid to show either when it comes to writing fabulous fiction.

Glenda Larke said...

Hi to you both - they are calling my flight to Miri so only have time to say thanks!

coolio said...

Nice, Glenda.

I'm glad to have found your blog and judging from your writing, I can tell you are indeed a natural born writer. :)

Count me as a new fan of your blog.

Satima Flavell said...

Well-merited appreciation, Glenda!:-)

Glenda Larke said...

I have internet connection again, so let me say thank you properly. I agree - the flow between reader and writer is so often only one way, and it is special when it becomes a two way street.

It is even more special when you realise that a reader is treading the same path you did as you write the book.

(Conversely, I am occasionally taken aback when I find a reader who read a totally different book to the one I wrote! Lol...)

bibliogramma said...

As a reader who often judges whether I will buy a book based on reviews (I'm disabled and do much of my bookshopping online, so I can't perform the time-honoured test of standing in the bookshop and reading the first few pages), I am sometimes struck quite strongly by the differences in how people read the same book. Particularly when something seems so obvious to me. ;-)

At the same time, what one reads in a work is inevitably influenced by personal experiences. For example, I think that the ecological issues in your Isles of Glory series (most strongly in Gilfeather) struck me so strongly because I had recently read Jared Diamond's book Collapse and had his observations on fragile upland ecologies close to the forefront of my mind.

On the topic you raised in my blog today/yesterday (what signifiers of time are appropriate when two participants in a conversation are on opposite sides of the globe?) concerning NA publication of your Mirage Makers series, it may well be that I saw something about the UK versions - in Canada, we often get UK publications here if there's no North American release by a US publisher. Buying books can get a little strange here, as can watching movies, due to the strange ways in which media companies sometimes assume Canada is a part of the US, sometimes recognise it as a country of its own, and sometimes see it as still in some way a part of Great Britain.