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Paul Park

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  • David Emerson
    I ve been slogging through A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA by Paul Park -- has anybody here read it? I found it interesting in places, although I felt it dragged
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 22, 2006
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      I've been slogging through A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA by Paul Park -- has anybody here read it? I found it interesting in places, although I felt it dragged badly. Then when I was about 2/3 of the way through I found out it's not a self-contained novel. Apparently the complete story is going to take 3 or 4 books to tell. I gave up.

      If anyone on this list has any positive opinions about it, I'd be glad to hear them.

      emerdavid

      ________________________________________
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      A better way to Internet
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    • alexeik@aol.com
      ... From: emerdavid@peoplepc.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 7:10 PM Subject: [mythsoc] Paul Park I ve been slogging through A PRINCESS
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 23, 2006
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        -----Original Message-----
        From: emerdavid@...
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 7:10 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Paul Park

        I've been slogging through A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA by Paul Park -- has anybody
        here read it? I found it interesting in places, although I felt it dragged
        badly. Then when I was about 2/3 of the way through I found out it's not a
        self-contained novel. Apparently the complete story is going to take 3 or 4
        books to tell. I gave up.

        If anyone on this list has any positive opinions about it, I'd be glad to hear
        them.

        emerdavid

        <<



        I found it brilliant. I understand that the whole story is to be a trilogy: the second book, _The Tourmaline_,

        has been out for a while now, and the third book will be called _The White Tyger_.

        It's not a fast-paced read, but it's meticulously written (Park, while not very prolific, is one of the

        foremost stylists in sf & fantasy to emerge in the last decade or so). It begins rather like a typical y/a

        novel (American teenager discovers she's secretly someone important from another world, and goes on an

        adventurous quest to that world, accompanied by some sidekicks), but it soon becomes obvious that Park is

        only playing with this trope, and he quickly takes it into uncharted territory. I thought the world-building

        was superior (an alternate-history leading to a world much like ours on the surface, yet startingly

        different in some unexpected ways).I also liked the fascinatingly complex villains, who have weaknesses with

        which one can almost sympathise.

        Alexei


        ________________________________________________________________________
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Emerson
        ... I don t need every book I read to be the kind I can t put down, but at the very least I need for there to be enough happening for me to want to pick it
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 24, 2006
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          > It's not a fast-paced read...

          I don't need every book I read to be the kind I can't put down, but at the very least I need for there to be enough happening for me to want to pick it back up again later. I found myself very bored with the slow pace, and wishing I could have been his editor so I could have told him, "Leave this out, skip this, condense this, go away and don't come back until you can fit it all in one book."

          >...Park, while not very prolific, is one of the
          >foremost stylists in sf & fantasy to emerge in the last decade or so.

          What about his writing makes you consider him so? I didn't see anything out of the ordinary in his prose style, so are you talking about characters and plot? Or something else I'm missing?

          > I thought the world-building
          >was superior (an alternate-history leading to a world much like ours on the surface, yet startingly
          >different in some unexpected ways).I also liked the fascinatingly complex villains, who have weaknesses with
          >which one can almost sympathise.

          I agree with both of those points. His setting up our world to be an invention of the other world was definitely not a cliche. And I appreciated his showing the antagonists (one can't really call them villains) as having complex emotions about their own actions.

          emerdavid

          ________________________________________
          PeoplePC Online
          A better way to Internet
          http://www.peoplepc.com
        • David Bratman
          ... Wasn t it? Most fictional worlds that (within the fiction) are more real than ours seem to feel distinctly less real. Actually, most fictional worlds
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 25, 2006
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            At 02:03 PM 9/24/2006 -0500, David Emerson wrote:

            >His setting up our world to be an invention of the other world was
            >definitely not a cliche.

            Wasn't it? Most fictional worlds that (within the fiction) are "more real"
            than ours seem to feel distinctly less real. Actually, most fictional
            worlds seem less real than ours, but when the author uses this set-up it
            really brings it out. E.R. Eddison almost got away with it in "A Fish
            Dinner in Memison", purely by stylization, but Roger Zelazny certainly
            didn't with Amber. How would you measure Park's achievement against those?

            David Bratman
          • alexeik@aol.com
            ... From: emerdavid@peoplepc.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 3:03 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Paul Park ... I don t need every book I read
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 25, 2006
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              -----Original Message-----
              From: emerdavid@...
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 3:03 PM
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Paul Park


              > It's not a fast-paced read...

              I don't need every book I read to be the kind I can't put down, but at the very
              least I need for there to be enough happening for me to want to pick it back up
              again later. I found myself very bored with the slow pace, and wishing I could
              have been his editor so I could have told him, "Leave this out, skip this,
              condense this, go away and don't come back until you can fit it all in one
              book."
              <<
              Well, different readers have different expectations, and there may be something about an individual
              reader's initial response to a book that will create expectations inappropriate to the kind of book it
              is. In my case, I was intrigued by the story right from the beginning, so I had no trouble being drawn
              into it, and I actually enjoyed the slow place because it prolonged the many mysteries of the plot,
              while constantly providing new material to consider.

              <<>...Park, while not very prolific, is one of the
              >foremost stylists in sf & fantasy to emerge in the last decade or so.

              What about his writing makes you consider him so? I didn't see anything out of
              the ordinary in his prose style, so are you talking about characters and plot?
              Or something else I'm missing?>>
              Park's writing is economical but very precise: he has a good sense of the _mot juste_. The style manages to
              be
              concise and rich at the same time (no *padding* there at all, unlike most commercial fantasy).
              And careful use of language, of course, enhances characterisation
              and plot. Both, in this book, are very complex. I enjoyed the way he foreshadows coming developments in
              subtle ways, and the way every layer of complexity that is explained reveals another layer beneath it that
              is just as complex and mysterious.

              <<> I thought the world-building
              >was superior (an alternate-history leading to a world much like ours on the
              surface, yet startingly
              >different in some unexpected ways).I also liked the fascinatingly complex
              villains, who have weaknesses with
              >which one can almost sympathise.

              I agree with both of those points. His setting up our world to be an invention
              of the other world was definitely not a cliche. And I appreciated his showing
              the antagonists (one can't really call them villains) as having complex emotions
              about their own actions.>>
              I think "villains" is the appropriate word for them because, even though they have complex motivations and
              serious doubts about their actions, their actual decisions strongly tend to be evil.
              One should point out that there's also a genuine mythopoeic dimension to Park's story, as well as
              a serious consideration of moral and spiritual issues that is quite Inklings-like. The subcreation of our
              world by the other world places an evident moral burden on those responsible for it. Park is also very
              good at showing how the practice of magic can be exhilarating and spiritually dangerous at the same time.
              I thought the episodes set in the Land of the Dead were quite moving. It may also become significant to
              the plot that the heroine's family is one of the few influential Christian families in the other world
              (where Christianity never achieved dominant status).
              Alexei

              emerdavid

              ________________________________________
              PeoplePC Online
              A better way to Internet
              http://www.peoplepc.com


              The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              Yahoo! Groups Links







              ________________________________________________________________________
              Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, free AOL Mail and more.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • alexeik@aol.com
              ... From: dbratman@earthlink.net To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 1:10 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Paul Park ... Wasn t it? Most fictional
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 25, 2006
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                -----Original Message-----
                From: dbratman@...
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 1:10 PM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Paul Park


                At 02:03 PM 9/24/2006 -0500, David Emerson wrote:

                >His setting up our world to be an invention of the other world was
                >definitely not a cliche.

                Wasn't it? Most fictional worlds that (within the fiction) are "more real"
                than ours seem to feel distinctly less real. Actually, most fictional
                worlds seem less real than ours, but when the author uses this set-up it
                really brings it out. E.R. Eddison almost got away with it in "A Fish
                Dinner in Memison", purely by stylization, but Roger Zelazny certainly
                didn't with Amber. How would you measure Park's achievement against those?

                David Bratman
                <<
                It's hard to measure, because the two worlds (one being essentially modeled on the other, with a few
                tactical changes) are so intimately entwined that a lot of things we take for granted feel like they can
                be assumed about the other world as well, until the plot surprises us by showing us otherwise.
                _A Fish Dinner in Memison_ is actually a pretty good parallel, although there's no resemblance between
                the plots.
                Alexei






                The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                Yahoo! Groups Links







                ________________________________________________________________________
                Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, free AOL Mail and more.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Diane Joy Baker
                Wondered if it was worth a look. Am currently reading *Paradox* by John Meaney. Anyone else seen? ... From: David Emerson To:
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 27, 2006
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                  Wondered if it was worth a look. Am currently reading *Paradox* by John
                  Meaney. Anyone else seen?

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "David Emerson" <emerdavid@...>
                  To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 7:10 PM
                  Subject: [mythsoc] Paul Park


                  > I've been slogging through A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA by Paul Park -- has
                  anybody here read it? I found it interesting in places, although I felt it
                  dragged badly. Then when I was about 2/3 of the way through I found out
                  it's not a self-contained novel. Apparently the complete story is going to
                  take 3 or 4 books to tell. I gave up.
                  >
                  > If anyone on this list has any positive opinions about it, I'd be glad to
                  hear them.
                  >
                  > emerdavid
                  >
                  > ________________________________________
                  > PeoplePC Online
                  > A better way to Internet
                  > http://www.peoplepc.com
                  >
                  >
                  > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
                  > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                  > Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.12.3/447 - Release Date: 9/13/2006
                  >
                  >
                • Diane Joy Baker
                  OK, Alexei, you ve persuaded me. Will take a look. ---djb ... From: To: Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:12
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 27, 2006
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                    OK, Alexei, you've persuaded me. Will take a look. ---djb
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: <alexeik@...>
                    To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:12 PM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Paul Park


                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: emerdavid@...
                    > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 7:10 PM
                    > Subject: [mythsoc] Paul Park
                    >
                    > I've been slogging through A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA by Paul Park -- has
                    anybody
                    > here read it? I found it interesting in places, although I felt it
                    dragged
                    > badly. Then when I was about 2/3 of the way through I found out it's not
                    a
                    > self-contained novel. Apparently the complete story is going to take 3 or
                    4
                    > books to tell. I gave up.
                    >
                    > If anyone on this list has any positive opinions about it, I'd be glad to
                    hear
                    > them.
                    >
                    > emerdavid
                    >
                    > <<
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I found it brilliant. I understand that the whole story is to be a
                    trilogy: the second book, _The Tourmaline_,
                    >
                    > has been out for a while now, and the third book will be called _The White
                    Tyger_.
                    >
                    > It's not a fast-paced read, but it's meticulously written (Park, while
                    not very prolific, is one of the
                    >
                    > foremost stylists in sf & fantasy to emerge in the last decade or so). It
                    begins rather like a typical y/a
                    >
                    > novel (American teenager discovers she's secretly someone important from
                    another world, and goes on an
                    >
                    > adventurous quest to that world, accompanied by some sidekicks), but it
                    soon becomes obvious that Park is
                    >
                    > only playing with this trope, and he quickly takes it into uncharted
                    territory. I thought the world-building
                    >
                    > was superior (an alternate-history leading to a world much like ours on
                    the surface, yet startingly
                    >
                    > different in some unexpected ways).I also liked the fascinatingly complex
                    villains, who have weaknesses with
                    >
                    > which one can almost sympathise.
                    >
                    > Alexei
                    >
                    >
                    > ________________________________________________________________________
                    > Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security
                    tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web,
                    free AOL Mail and more.
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
                    > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                    > Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.12.3/447 - Release Date: 9/13/2006
                    >
                    >
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