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From: <akt@attglobal.net>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v012.n045
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 12:00:33 

From mantis:
> This scene is a series of painful shocks: the death of Jahlee and the
> unspoken denunciation of Horn/Silk.
> The death of Jahlee bugs alga more than anything else in RTTW, so I'm
> surprised she hasn't mentioned it yet <g>.  Here is how I see it right
> it is very much like the situation in HUCKLEBERRY FINN, where Twain
> himself with a problem.  The runaway slave and the white trash boy,
> and free together on their river journey . . . are floating toward the
> slave block.  Going the wrong way.  (IIRC, Twain himself put the
> half-finished manuscript aside for many years, unable to work around
> problem; he finally solved it by introducing Tom Sawyer, who made a
> burlesque of the whole thing).
> But what if Huck had to deal with a more realistic, less forgiving
> situation?  Now we switch back to BOTSS, and how happy we were when
> Horn/Silk called Jahlee his daughter at the end of IGJ!  And they
> to "flow down the river" toward Lizard Island and disaster.
> But why?  Why is Jahlee so bent on it?  Well, judging by what happens,
> can guess a certain ill intent.  And what is Horn/Silk's problem that
> cannot dissuade her: is he simply too soft-hearted, to the point that
he is
> being taken in by "Honest John"?

Big "Blade Runner" and other snip.

I don't have an actual physical copy of RttW handy, so I can't be
specific on details. But I really do have problems with the book--a few
posts back on the Urth list, I defended the fifth book of the first
series as adding a great deal to what had come before. I don't feel that
way about RttW, however. A lot of it seems rather cursory to me, an
author's half-hearted attempt at tying up loose ends (and yes, the
comparison with -Huckleberry Finn- is valid; that book also famously
suffers from author fatigue). And mantis also is right about my
indignation re Jahlee. The last few paragraphs of IGJ seemed so
beautiful to me, rather like Chaucer, with that thrilling last line to b
oot. To turn her into a B-movie predator at the last moment seems to me
to betray the immense and thoughtful journey Wolfe had previously taken
us on wrt the relationship of the inhumi and the humans and--agreeing
with some of my favorite adversaries here--the mythic nature of the
demon. Some of the intelligent discussion on this list concerning
Nettle's double shock, first regarding Silk's "rights," and second that
he would bring an inhuma to the island under any circumstances,
considering their history (hers and Horn's), has modified my opinion.
but I still consider Jahlee's attack and death crude and unworthy. Nor
do I think that some of the other business (the godling, the drafting of
Seawrack--and Nettle too--at the last moment. etc.) seems very
thought-through. More like Wolfe just wanted to be done with the whole
damn thing with a few Hollywood effects (the godling) just thrown in.
And, for me, Pig's Scots accent was pathetic, an irritating, amateurish
caricature. Come to think of it, I didn't much care for Pig, though I
felt that I was being forced to by the author. OK, I'm cranky, but I
didn't feel this book worked very well as a grand wind-up to the series.


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