I bought this book by chance on account of three things: I was about to finish reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Rothfuss a second time and I already knew I was not going to pick World Without End by Follet again. I have a very difficult relationship with this book and I haven’t managed to solve it yet. I guess it will all turn up well at the end for WWE’s characters if it is in the line of The Pillars of the Earth (as I suppose it is since it is a sequel). However, that IF ruins everything because I wouldn’t be able to cope with anything sad that could happen to those characters; therefore, the book has been on my night table for more than a year I think, silently accusing me, night after night, of being a neglectful coward.
Whatever. I was saying I picked it from the shelf because I needed a book soon and I really liked its mustard yellow cover; specially the dark orange tint it gets at the edges. I also liked the red of the spider, the fonts and…now it is when you really praise those who write the back cover summary and how they can sell you a book or what! The third thing that made me bought it was that it was SO cheap!
I must say I regard my encounter with this book as another gift from the God of readers of fiction and fantasy, who never let me fall from its Grace. It is a wittily written book that kept me wanting to come back to its world over other temptations of entertainment such as the TV or the computer. I found some ideas so amazingly expressed, I decided to do something I don’t do often: I’ll transcribe them.
“It was a stupid thought, and I realized it instantly. I’d learned quite early in life that the mind loves nothing better than to spook itself with outlandish stories, as if the various coils of the brain were no more than a troop of roly-poly Girl Guides huddled over a campfire in the darkness of the skull.”
“It always surprises me after a family row to find that the world outdoors has remained the same. While the passions and feelings that accumulate like noxious gases inside a house seem to condense and cling to the walls and ceilings like old smoke, the out-of-doors is different. The landscape seems incapable of accumulating human radiation. Perhaps the wind blows anger away.”
“He hadn’t missed the fact that I was sucking in great deep breaths of the morning air, in an attempt to clear my system of cigarette smoke and the horrid odors of the hospital. The formalin of the morgue hadn’t been too bad –quite enjoyable, in fact– but the reek of cabbage soup from the kitchen had been enough to gag a hyena.”
MARVELLOUS! Read Alan Bradley!
Finally, what touched my heart deeply was the three pages he dedicates to acknowledgements. I can’t still understand how a person manages to make contact, meaningful contact! with so many people who share his/her interest in something such as writing. I can’t quite conceive there are so many people out there willing to deal with the fantasy as if it were something real.
I mean; I have eyes to see . I understand there is an entertainment industry going on; but somehow I cannot fully understand how a person feels in the right to form part of it and goes around not ashamed or scared of living 3/4 of their life in Fantasyland. Oh! How much I envy their self-assurance, their stamina and their success!
I know I’ll be reviled for admiting such a low feeling as envy, but it is not that I want them all to fail. On the contrary, I wouldn’t survive the real world if they weren’t doing what they do. It’s only that I don’t like the feeling I get when there are things I wish I had and cannot. I’m too proud and full of power for acceptance.