- I am on the Patrick O'Brian list but as a lurker only. I couldn't answer
this, but wanted to share it with someone... you people seem appropriate.
And if anyone wants a well-written, ongoing saga, though without fantasy
elements, he or she might give Patrick O'Brian's books a try (there were 20
===================quoted material follows=================
I must admit to a sense of distance from mourning for Patrick O'Brian. I
never knew him, though I'm sorry to know that he's died, and of course I'm
sorry that the book-writing is finished. I remember hearing of Tolkien's
death, back in the 1970s - the 2nd of September, and the start of a new
Autumn term. I can remember 2 of us walking along the side of the cricket
pitch with the English teacher, in golden September sunshine, and feeling a
sense of shock that The Silmarilion was not going to be finished, after all.
But, quite apart from the fact that Christopher Tolkien has kept on bringing
out more and more on Middle Earth (most of which, incidentally, I find
myself unable to read), the books don't change, and they go on and on; the
characters are part of their own world now, and they're still there,
independently of the life of their creator, or whether or not I'm thinking
about them. They have become that real.
That's why Geoff's verbal tribute, together with the picture, DID bring a
tear to my eye. Their permanence emphasises both our mortality and our
longing for the eternal.
It's ridiculous, I know, but sometimes I wonder if some of these exceptional
characters from books HAVE been given a reality of their own. I feel
Tolkien OUGHT to meet Sam and Frodo for the first time in the next life;
that POB OUGHT to meet Jack and Stephen and shake them by the hand. Silly,