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Farthing [Aug. 23rd, 2006|09:46 pm]
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Jo Walton (papersky) writes wonderful, incredibly weird books. Well, the last two of her five books (which are the ones I've read), are wonderful and weird. Tooth and Claw is, as she says, "a novel of manners in which all the characters are dragons and eat each other." A Victorian novel of manners.

Farthing is a British country-house mystery of the type I associate with the 1930's. And it's a alternate history -- what if Britain had made peace with Hitler? What if you were a daughter of one of the upper-class families that had architected that peace, and you had married a Jew? What if you were a police detective whose own class is just high enough to be admitted at the front door of the family house?

Ursula K. Le Guin's blurb is: "If Le Carré scares you, try Jo Walton. Of course her brilliant story of a democracy selling itself out to fascism sixty years ago is just a mystery, just a thriller, just a fantasy--of course we know nothing like that could happen now. Don't we?"

Understated and chilling.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jimtbari
2006-08-24 04:57 am (UTC)
That's the book I'm reading now (or not reading, as I'm still on the computer at almost 1 a.m.--I blame mira) as it happens.

Did you know she's on lj as papersky? I think I found her journal just shortly before she began Farthing, as it happens. I remember it because she wrote the first draft in a month. Assuming I'm remembering right—it might have been the in limbo awaiting fixing Lifelode.
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[User Picture]From: davidgoldfarb
2006-08-29 07:02 am (UTC)
You are right on both counts. Lifelode took much longer than a month.
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[User Picture]From: bellamagic
2006-08-24 02:46 pm (UTC)
Cool, will put it on the list. Just finished reading Robert Baer's "Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude".

Nutshell: Saudia Arabia was pulled together in the 1800's by a Muslim fundamentalist. His descendents currently rule Saudia Arabia. They pay off their fundamentalist bretheren with mosques and schools, so the fundamentalists will stay off their thievin', whorin' backs. In the meantime, Saudi money to key US players (and the early US strategy of investing in Saudi oil infrastructure & reserves) has made the US decide to look the other way WRT SA's internal affairs. Guestimated result: too many fundies, and more than enough sticks of dynamite. Mass global economy mess-up to ensue.
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[User Picture]From: yezida
2006-08-27 10:51 pm (UTC)
Bella, I didn't know you liked horror novels!

(BTW, if you haven't seen it yet, try to get ahold of The Power of Nightmares - the BBC 3 part series on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and US NeoConservatism, from similar American roots).

Angel, I have yet to read Jo Walton and am always interested in good YA fiction. Thanks.
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