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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley, then ...
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 17:56:21 -0700

Josh G quoted me and wrote ...

> > Can someone tell me what I've missed here?
>Which part don't you get?

Well, it isn't so much a matter of parts. I think I got most of the parts. 
the whole that is escaping me. Or, rather, as I asked: What's the point?

Perhaps my expectations were unreasonably high; I've been hearing the
praises of this writer and this book for many years from people I respect
highly, quite a few of them on this here particular list. And, often, in
context (like a recent post of yours about the proposed Wolfe symposium
-- more about that below) that leads me to expect material of Lupine
density and depth of meaning.

I guess that's what I just didn't see in _Little, Big_. I have nothing _bad_
to say about it: on the level of the sentence, it's as well written as a lot
of work by, say, Wolfe, Le Guin, and Delany -- which I regard as extremely
high prase. Above that level, I thought it an interesting story -- or, I 
Tale -- that Somehow never _quite_ caught on fire for me; never reached the
"Oh my God, I have to read one more chapter before I go to bed" level of
engagement. Now, I can reach that level of engagement in a number of ways;
the writers above generally achieve that. So does JK Rowling. _Perdido 
Station_ hit it about halfway through. Spinrad, for all his faults, manages 
grab me from the beginning in most of his books (the others never do at 

Somehow, Crowley never did. And I feel certain that the fault lies not in 
stars but in me; that I simply missed the level of the book at which the 
engagement was available. But, having missed it, I simply can't tell you 
it was that I missed.

Which probably doesn't help at all.

So ... I guess the question is, what is it about _Little, Big_ that earns it 
high praise among you highly intelligent folks? I feel like I just flunked 
my IQ


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