mythago wood

 When it comes to e-books and the Kindle, i'm not exactly shy about voicing my opinion.
I think they suck, basically.
There is a constant debate between my sister and I about their validity and no one has won as of yet.
So my sister proposed a deal.
If i read a novel on the Kindle, then she would finally, after years of pestering, read a book i recommend.
I don't think she trusts my judgement in literature.
Harpy.
So, the rules were set, the book was chosen and the challenge commenced.
She was kind to me and chose something she knew i'd like, The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett.
At first i was huffy about accidentally pushing the buttons while halfway through reading a page but i got used to it.
One strop later, books shouldn't need plugged in, and i was well on my way to not wholly disliking this form of reading.
My sister repeatedly bulldozes my arguments with a very valid point, that it shouldn't matter what form the story comes in, as long as it can be read and enjoyed.
I agree but there's nothing majestic about words on a screen.
You wouldn't grieve the breaking of your Kindle the same way you would losing your library to a fire.
Empty screens mean little compared to burnt pages. 
Maybe it's just my curmudgeonly and troglodytic ways but i'm not okay with the dwindling support towards the printed word.
Books are wonderful, beautiful things and i will collect them until they exist no longer.

Now, i at least have experience of the thing i object to and can't be caught short with accusations of ignorance during our many and often ridiculous arguments.
Suck on that, sister dear.

I would recommend reading The Wee Free Men though.
Any Pratchett in fact.
He is a literary prince among men and should be read whenever there is a moment to spare.

Reading this started a trend. 
I like when that happens.
When happenstance leaves a trail.  
It came in the form of Brave.

What a bloody beautiful film.
Nobody does water quite like Pixar.
Remember when Finding Nemo came out? 
I was at the back of the cinema when the first few shimmers of water appeared and i'm pretty sure i made a magnificent, 'holy crapping hell' face at the graphics.
And they've only gotten better since then!
Anyhow, trails of happenstance.
In The Wee Free Men, the Nac Mac Feegle - drunken, red haired smurf-type creatures with a penchant for clobbering anything that looks at them funny - say many and varied Scottish-isms.
Among them is Crivens.
So, when Merida uttered this word, my sister and I had another moment of fangirl glee and being in our own home we quite happily bellowed the word in question at each other.
I love my sister and the other one.
They're the only people who understand and participate in my nerdish sense of humour.

Now, i thought that was the end of my scottish heritage making amusing connections within my humble and hermitic existence.
But no, coincidence wasn't done with me yet.
I like to read, as you may have noticed and i'm a sucker for fantastical tales.
I am my mother's daughter in this sense.
Our shelves are lined with all sorts of literature but there is a special set reserved solely for my mum's collection of the whimsical. 
And Robert Holdstock's, Mythago Wood has always intrigued me. 
A haunted forest, where the extraordinary bleeds into the ordinary?
Uhh, i was sold at 'forest'.
And just before watching Brave, what was i reading?
None other than Mythago Wood and who does the wild, red haired girl from the enchanted forest remind me of?
From the fair skin, to the wild hair, right down to the bolshie attitude?
Little. Miss. Merida.

This is like when rabbits were following me around.
I don't think i'd mind if the Nac Mac Feegle were stalking me, as long as they didn't clobber me.


This is a very long post about nothing very much at all.
You are welcome!
Or i'm really very sorry...


Listening to: Cough Cool 'Great Shredder Event'
Paul Watson said...

I've always loved Mythago Wood (and the other books in that series, particularly Lavondyss), but I must admit that I've never thought of a connection with Brave - although I can see it now!

I've got used to reading books on a Kindle now. I bought one for the convenience of taking lots of books with me when I'm travelling around, and I'm hooked. Art books are the obvious exception.

Louise said...

I totally understand the ease they provide in reading and yes, for travelling they are ideal but it's worrying to think of nobody buying books anymore.
It's the same worry that plagues me about music. I don't really feel as if i own the songs i download because i can't hold them. I can't study the artwork and liner notes with the detail i wish to when they either don't exist or are seen through a screen.
It's like looking through a camera and seeing something wonderful but you're not part of it.

I'm probably romanticising the whole thing but i can honestly say that i've never dreamt of having a digital library. I want the walls lined with books so high that a ladder is needed to reach them all.

Ranted slightly, my apologies!

Mythago Wood was gripping from start to finish, i adored it and i'm looking forward to my next venture into the series. Do we ever see Guiwenneth and Stephen again?

Paul Watson said...

Definitely with you on music - I'm an avid CD buyer for exactly the reasons you mention.

I should also mention that I have a room where two walls are lined with books, many double-shelved. I've run out of space for more, which is another contributory factor to my adoption of an ebook reader!

Guiwenneth and Stephen return in Avilion, the book published in 2009 (after which Holdstock sadly died). But the other characters introduced in Lavondyss and The Hollowing are also excellent. 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn' is all about Christian Huxley. They're all good.

Louise said...

Ah, Christian, i wasn't entirely sure how i felt about his parting in Mythago Wood. It was most certainly inevitable but i liked that Holdstock chose not to make Stephen purposefully responsible. Blood, water, viscosity and all that. Think i wanted more though, but there's a book all about him so i'm sorted!

I fear that i am fighting a losing battle on the physicality of books and the essential place i feel they have in our homes.
It makes me sad. The days of musty bookshops are coming to an end. Hopefully there will be speciality shops that will keep the printed word going, at least for a little longer.
I would rage against the machine but i think i'd get flattened, it's much more powerful than i!