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13.11.2011

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After giving up on The Graveyard Book I didn’t expect to like this, much less to love it. It’s basically very hilarious. Sometimes is also a bit too bloody (can’t imagine what the movie is like).
The Floating Market reminds me of the Goblin Market and Harry Potter Alleys. I like these magical markets, which reveal that the magical worlds have actual economies and structures based on some kind of rules.

I’m not very taken with any of the characters, they seemed real but seen from too far away, like Richard, as the character through whom the pov is focalized, wasn’t insightful enough (he reminded me of that guy in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie). There were lots of torture scenes told in a matter of fact manner that really worked to emphazise the horror, it made me cringe a lot, that’s for sure.

I quite liked the ending when I read it but thinking over it... like every fantasy reader ever, I did want him to choose the extraordinary, the real world instead of the routine, but I don’t get why Richard would. I thought the experience was sort of supposed to teach him to be assertive (like with the real state agent) but it seemed to leave him as lost in his own life as ever (as lost as he was in London Below).  

 And I like that this middle-aged guy gets to have a coming of age/discovering your true self storyline. I was quite confused about Door’s age and whether to find Richard’s sexual thoughts (vague as they were) about her wildly innapropiate when he kept thinking of her as a child (and a defenseless one at that). I wish their relationship had been explored further, I mostly felt the affection they felt for each other was based on nothing much (the only scene where they sort of bond is at the British Museum and maybe a bit at the beginning). The way London Above ended up way better than it used to be when Richard returns (promotion, Jessica apologizing, new bigger apartment) seemed like fantasy-fulfilment. I get that Richard felt out of place going back to normal but what did he miss about London Below exactly? Assassination attempts? a girl he barely knew? A man who looked down on him? What did he plan to do when he got back there? Turn hunter? Because by his own words he thought an honorary title was a useless thing. So is he choosing London Below because it's better than London Above but not because he actively likes it? Maybe this suffers from being an adaptation of a film, thus having too much action and too little instrospection. Although the language and metaphors are lovely.





Quotes:

☸  "I'm in London Above," she said, in a small voice.
"Yes, you're in London," said Richard. Above what? he wondered. "I think maybe you were in shock or something last night. That is a nasty cut on your arm." He waited for her to say something, to explain. She glanced at him, and then looked back down at the buses and the shops. Richard continued: "I, um, found you on the pavement. There was a lot of blood."
"Don't worry," she said, seriously. "Most of the blood was someone else's."

☸  Old Bailey was not, intrinsically, one of those people put in the world to tell jokes. Despite this handicap, he persisted in trying. He loved to tell shaggy-dog stories of inordinate length, which would end in a sad pun although, often as not, Old Bailey would be unable to remember it by the time he got there. The only public for Old Bailey's jokes consisted of a small captive audience of birds, who, particularly the rooks, viewed his jokes as deep and philosophical parables containing profound and penetrating insights into what it meant to be human, and who would actually ask him, from time to time, to tell them another of his amusing stories.


☸  She put her hand out for the key. "Remember," said Islington. "I have your friends."
Door looked at him with utter contempt, every inch Lord Portico's oldest daughter. "Give me the key," she said. The angel passed her the silver key.
"Door," called Richard. "Don't do it. Don't set it free. We don't matter."
"Actually," said the marquis, "I matter very much. But I have to agree. Don't do it."

2011, 2011: novel in english, book-2011, #novel, *author: male, @read in english, [quotes], [quotes] books, +historical, english literature, +social issues, #fantasy, #urban fantasy, author: neil gaiman, +adventures, @_London, @_England, *read for university

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