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Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 14:25:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Fernando Gouvea 
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Wizard Knight and after

David DiGiacomo said:

> I would distinguish between underappreciated and low rated books.  I think
> that if the Soldier series is underappreciated, it's because very few
> readers are sufficiently well read in history to have more than a vague
> understanding of it.  CASTLEVIEW is also underappreciated, because it's
> incomprehensible (but good otherwise).

> In contrast, THERE ARE DOORS and PANDORA BY HOLLY HOLLANDER are low rated
> because readers understand them (?), but dislike them.

Hmm, I don't quite feel that way. I agree, pretty much, about
Castleview. My problem with the Soldier series is just that it's
unfinished. The books so far seem quite satsifying to me, but the
open-ended status of the story makes it hard to have an overall
opinion. I'd love to see more books in that series.

I do like There Are Doors. I think Gene's description of it is fair: it's a
book about "falling in love" and what it does to you. People don't like the
alternate universe aspect, I guess, because they feel that the other
universe is not sufficiently different from ours. That doesn't bother me
too much because the changes seem to fit the overall theme, and I'm willing
to take the (admittedly somewhat ad hoc) explanation offered in the book
for why the worlds are in fact so similar.

Pandora is harder for me to find much significance in, though I enjoyed the
ride when I was reading it.

One major reason, of course, for all of these books (and Free Live Free and
others) to receive less attention is that they don't fit into some large
framework as the various Sun books do. Because they don't, there are far
fewer details to discuss and unravel, and so we discuss them less.


Fernando Q. Gouvea                              
Dept. of Mathematics                            Editor, FOCUS and MAA Online
Colby College                                   http://www.maa.org
Waterville, ME 04901

Sattinger's Law:
        It works better if you plug it in.


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