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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Some recommendations [was Re: Witches, Daemons, Bears,
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 19:30:10 

on 4/27/01 6:25 PM, eli+@gs211.sp.cs.cmu.edu at eli+@gs211.sp.cs.cmu.edu

> Adam Stephanides wrote:
>> I'll also recommend another wonderful, completely unknown book from the same
>> publisher: _The Secret Service_ by Wendy Walker.  This is a fantasy, but not
>> a genre fantasy.
> It was recommended to me that I read her stories in _The Sea-Rabbit_
> first.  Do you have an opinion on this?

To be honest, I bought _The Sea-Rabbit_ several years before coming across
_The Secret Service_, and started to read it, but didn't get it at all
(whereas I fell in love with _The Secret Service_ almost immediately).  I
should give it a go, if I can ever dig my copy up.

>> While I'm on a roll, I'll also recommend _The Venetian Glass Nephew_ by
>> Elinor Wylie, better known as a poet.  It was first published in the first
>> half of the 20th century (I don't have my copy to hand), though it's been
>> reprinted.  It's this-worldly fantasy, like _The Secret Service_; the title
>> is self-explanatory.  It's a jeu d'esprit, but with a somber undercurrent.
> I read this recently, but Didn't Get It.  It felt fairy-talish --
> distanced, and people fell in love without provocation -- which maybe
> I wasn't in the mood for.  There were some nice ideas and writing, but
> the I couldn't get excited about the package.  Aesthetic mismatch, or
> maybe if I were better informed?  The cover blurb was all that let me
> know that the magician fellow was Casanova, for example.

I suspect an aesthetic mismatch; to me the fairy-tale aspects you mention
were part of its charm.


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