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Macadangdang Jr.

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  1. Macadangdang Jr.

    Bonfire of the Vanities: Which Fantasies will Survive?

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It will benefit from having been a complete departure from the mainstream norm in fantasy at the time of its release. A titanic standalone novel written in a style that was already over a century and a half out of date when it was published. It has already started to influence a new wave of writers (e.g. Novik's Uprooted, Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Arden's Winternight Trilogy, Palmer's Too Like The Lightning) and I suspect we have seen only the barest beginnings of its eventual impact on the genre. It's already such an idiosyncrasy in modern fantasy that I don't think it will suffer nearly so much from the changing tastes of readership over the next few decades.
  2. Macadangdang Jr.

    Paste Magazine's Top 50 Fantasy Books of 21st Century

    What an odd list. It looks like someone took the top 30 most commercially-successful series of the 21st century, put them in a blender, and then added 20 random others to make a nice, round 50. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in the low 20s is the most infuriating for me personally. One of the few fantasy novels published recently I'm certain will remain a classic 50 years from now.
  3. Macadangdang Jr.

    Guy Gavriel Kay

    (I know this post is like 3 months old but I thought I'd chime in anyway). I think The Last Light of the Sun actually is the first time he incorporated that tense-shift into his writing. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it either. Present-tense is also used in Under Heaven and actually feels even more discordant... The usage in Last Light at least made sense to convey that a certain character perceived the world differently, but otherwise it feels somewhat incongruous to me. It's not intolerable or anything (GGK remains my favourite author) but it's... odd.
  4. Macadangdang Jr.

    Lev Grossman: 'Magicians' trilogy, Post-Camelot Novel 'The Bright Sword'

    On the Hogwarts/Narnia criticism: The Magicians is fantasy’s The Catcher in the Rye; if it doesn’t strike the right person at the precise right moment in their life, it’s a laughable mess. To those it does reach at that kairos, though, it’s a rare find. The Magicians is written for the children who grew up alone or without direction. The ones lost in fantasy, those who convinced themselves, “My life would be perfect, if only… if only that Hogwarts letter had arrived… if only that wardrobe had opened. Then I could be happy.” But that child wouldn’t be happy. And in The Magicians, that child is Quentin. He gets the magic school, the girl, the crown. Every fantasy those children lusted after. And one by one, he throws them away, hunting his next “if only…" Just as they would have. As I wrote elsewhere: It's a delusion held by so many young men and women that their unhappiness is an artifact of circumstance rather than outlook. Whether they dream of Hogwarts or (as I imagine it was in the case of young Lev) Narnia, they're wrong. And that's the message behind the first novel of The Magicians Trilogy. Criticizing Grossman for sending Quentin to Corrupted Hogwarts/Narnia is a bit like denouncing Abercrombie for dispatching his Corrupted Fellowship on their quest in The First Law; a deconstruction takes the coin and shows us its other face. Grossman must send Quentin to Hogwarts to prove his thesis; happiness isn’t something that arrives in your mailbox. Post-script: there are just so many places one could legitimately criticize Grossman (e.g. Elliot's horrid first POV in TML, the rushed ending of TML, the rape you mentioned) that to submit Brakebills/Fillory as examples of his inadequacy is... odd, in my opinion. Let me add the disclaimer that I generally very much enjoy reading your reviews, Werthead.
  5. Macadangdang Jr.

    Amazing Book Deals V.2

    Interestingly, A Wizard of Earthsea was what Le Guin wrote after she was asked by a publisher to write a fantasy novel for a YA audience specifically. Le Guin discusses this a bit in the afterword for my copy of A Wizard of Earthsea. If you haven't read them, the afterwords for Wizard and The Tombs of Atuan are both well worth it, in my opinion (haven't read The Farthest Shore yet). I've been reading through the series this year and enjoying it as an adult, but it is indeed YA.
  6. Macadangdang Jr.

    Rothfuss XIII: Fan Angst Live Stream

    Maybe they mean Lin Manuel Miranda (LMM)? Otherwise, not sure.