On Mon, 25 Sep 2000 WendellWag@...
> The discussion about what books are similar to the Gormenghast books brings
> up an interesting point. I don't find it very useful to ask, after reading a
> good novel, if there are any other books like it. I don't want to read
> another book that manages to copy some aspect of one I liked. I want to read
> a book that's good in a different way.
Isn't there an in-between here? How about a book that's good in roughly
the same way without (either intentionally or unintentionally) copying
the first one?
Surely, for instance, if one discovers through reading Tolkien that one
likes fantasy, one can go on and read other notable fantasy authors
without necessarily feeling that you're reading a clone? Peake, for
instance, whose appeal is certainly related to Tolkien's, to the extent
that Ballantine marketed Peake to a Tolkien audience, and apparently
This is the sort of thing I was getting at with my metaphor of authors
who have independently set up camp in roughly the same area of
literature. Thus, when Jane said she liked Peake, and Carter (who is
fairly close to Peake in one of several possible directions of
"closeness"), I thought of other authors who seemed to me to be close to
Peake in the same direction, and came up with Harrison and Ryman.
> Furthermore, even when an author manages to copy something from a good novel,
> they usually copy some minor, irrelevant aspect of the book. The problem
> with the Tolkien clones is that they generally picked the least interesting
> ideas from Tolkien to copy, and they misunderstood the significance of what
> they copied. Imagine what sort of junk we're going to get for the next few
> years as authors try to turn out Harry Potter clones.
Indeed, but some people seem to like to explore that way too - as witness
Matthew's reply to your comment. Which is why I also took the other road
and mentioned some of the better Big Dumb Castle books.
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