Saturday, July 27, 2002
 
Re: Fencing Again
The pain is worth it. (Well, your pain is worth it for me, to be honest here. :-) Spoke with Joe T. last night, an acqauintance in PG who works with David on and off on the computer front. Joe does point of sales systems, assembles and sells computers. Very good with hardware in particular and close to the hardware apps like POS. He became home to one of our pre-pub copies of Throne Price months ago. [I think I was up there visiting when you dropped it off ... I remember an excursion to a computer store to drop a book off to someone who was not there, in the bleak midwinter ... ALISON] I had not expected him to like it. Maybe I'm a little too "I know this isn't everyone's taste" about the book these days. But he seriously DID like it. He called last night and we talked about it for a half an hour. He was particularly impressed with the fight scenes which is to your credit. He did not like Amel, although found him a good vehicle for moving the plot and thinks he has potential to straighten out and stop being a door mat. :-) He did like Erien. Joe is a "guy's guy" who has done "a lot of sports" in his own words, so given responses to date I'd have put him down for not liking Amel. He surprised me with the insight that "Maybe it's because a guy doesn't like to think of a guy" getting into messes like that. Being a victim. He found it a little hard slogging to start but worth the effort, which is optimum reaction to date, barring a few of the initiated. And he's willing to write us a review for Amazon when that's meaningful! I have urged the usual T-Shirt upon him as a consequence and resolved to "beta test" scenes of violence in that quarter. The best thing he said was that he wished the book had been longer. Either that or guestimating that Throne Price fell within his current "top twenty" books of all time. Definitely a morale booster. But with enough thoughtful criticism to make it believable. One thing that surprised me, which I'll have to think about a bit more, is that he felt D'Therd "changed" towards the end. That to start he was a straight up "I'm taking over this hill" type, playing by the rules, but that he became more akin to Ev'rel and D'Lekker in the unsavory sense by the end. Would that be a straight function of his behavior as portrayed in the text? Or is it a product of reader-identification. That is, does D'Therd become unsavory by assocation once the reader's mind is firmly made up about which side is right, or are their D'Therd-specific reasons for it? Thanks to Kyle M.'s ideas about moral attitudes being subject to study, post reading (a new take on "novel study" ?) I am also day-dreaming of a survey instrument to identify like-dislike response to main characters (say, Amel, Erien, Ev'rel?) interleaved with tools to peg "why".

Also enc


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