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Among Others

por Jo Walton

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
2,5652304,275 (3.96)2 / 467
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, 15-year old Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closests companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.… (mais)
  1. 90
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane por Neil Gaiman (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: A young, bookish kid in 1970s England gets tangled up in magical and scary events larger than they are.
  2. 40
    Little, Big por John Crowley (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Similar style and approach to the world of faerie
  3. 30
    The Child That Books Built por Francis Spufford (anglemark)
    anglemark: Both books are about how reading shaped a child, although they are not both viewing it exactly the same way.
  4. 53
    The Magicians por Lev Grossman (Jannes)
    Jannes: Both are fantasy or fantasy-sih books about fantasy readers and how the stories you read hape you and affect your sense of the world.
  5. 10
    Shadows por Robin McKinley (bibliovermis)
  6. 10
    Eggshells por Caitriona Lally (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Both are realistic novels in which the worlds of magic and fairy may be real and/or function as coping mechanisms for the narrators. Beautiful PTSD novels.
  7. 10
    Jerusalem por Jez Butterworth (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Both works have a hint of Faerie, without being clear whether it's real or not. Also bad parents and their struggling offspring.
  8. 10
    The Changeling Sea por Patricia A. McKillip (Herenya)
    Herenya: Both stories have a heroine dealing with grief and the sometimes-loneliness of being 15.
  9. 11
    The Goblin Emperor por Katherine Addison (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Recovering from tragedy, holding to a moral centre.
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Inglês (229)  Francês (1)  Todas as línguas (230)
Mostrando 1-5 de 230 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
People tell you to write what you know, but I've found that writing what you know is much harder than making it up. It's easier to research a historical period than your own life, and it's much easier to deal with things that have a little less emotional weight and where you have a little more detachment. It's terrible advice! So this is why you'll find there's no such place as the Welsh valleys, no coal under them, and no red buses running up and down them; there never was such a year as 1979, no such age as fifteen, and no such planet as Earth. The fairies are real, though.
-Jo Walton

Man, I hate it when this happens. Picked this up at the library because it was there. The writing is as phenomenal as you've heard if you follow SFF in general. The family relationships are quite remarkable. The narrator is not a nice girl. The love letter to SFF is really, deeply endearing. (Also, having missed some of the books mentioned is no detriment to the accessibility; I feared it would be, as I actively avoided the science fiction side of SFF when I was younger.) I loved the magical realism elements, the suggestions that there is always more to this story than Mor is telling us. (The book manages to play the 'Can we trust our narrator?' game without ruining the reader's rapport with the story.) The ache of Mor's loss from the very beginning is palpable and rings beautifully through the whole tale. I really liked the 'I saved the world. Now what?' perspective. This is a story about learning to live after, when happily and ever may be nowhere in the picture. The ending is nigh perfect.

So, three stars? I'm not sure what exactly went wrong here. The journal form does introduce quite a bit of emotional distance in the story. (That doesn't normally bother me; I love epistolary works.) I do hate school stories, but this did an admirable job of not fixating on the teen vs. teen dramas; it moved in a balanced fashion among Mor's school troubles, her broken family, her independent explorations, and the past. I also hate teen romance, and the romantic interest here was boring, trite, and recycled, which made it stick out like a sore thumb in such a remarkably original work, especially coming late in the story. But it is really just one more exploration for Mor and a natural progression of her thinking on the matter, and probably is not True Love. It doesn't override her voice, which is nice in YA.. I was reading it a little bit rushed and a lot tired, so that may be it. Overall though, I think it is actually the fantasy element that is bothering me. Not the details of it; those were also brilliant. The overarching battle against Liz somehow left something wanting. I am trying to ponder what that is, exactly.

I do believe I will be back to this one soonish. I'd like to read it at a more leisurely pace next time. Having had more sleep. Perhaps after I've spent some time with this nice Listopia. I definitely recommend anyone thinking about it give this a try. And I will absolutely be reading from the rest of Walton's back list. This woman has talent.

ETA: Original review date 2/22/16 ( )
  amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
Really well thought out system of questioning, trap scenarios, and social interaction. Very much enjoyed it. Very much not a style of book I usually like - journal format almost always drives me nuts - but this author proved it can be done well and unobtrusively. Much fun. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
I enjoyed the beginning and middle immensely. Walton does a great job of characterization with Mor and with capturing the nature of a young SF and fantasy reader.

The end felt rushed and disappointing though. ( )
  jugglebird | Feb 18, 2021 |
"Fantasy" is the perfect descriptor for this story as, for the bulk of the narrative, you simply cannot tell if it's real or if the whole thing is a coping mechanism dreamed up by the protagonist. Written as a series of diary entries by a 15-year old girl who is either a witch or crazy, the pages of 'Among Others' simply ooze atmosphere and tension as you wonder if it's all real or imagined. The book is a page-turner despite the fact that not much really happens. Walton did a superb job of drawing me into Mori's world-view and in reminding me of why I love sci-fi as a genre. ( )
  ScoLgo | Jan 22, 2021 |
Many, many moons ago Carl posted his review of this book. And then and there I thought, that sounds interesting. But I never got around to buying it at the time. I think it hadn’t been published by a UK/Ire publisher at the time. And the kindle version was likewise off-limits. But for some reason it popped back into my head a few weeks ago. And seeing as it was about the influence of books and reading on a person I figured that it would be a perfect book for a library. So I cheated, I bought it for work so I could read it for free.

And Carl was right. It is a wonderful book.

Told in diary form, it is the story of Mori who has through some accident lost her twin sister. She also has an injured leg that means she cannot run as she once loved to. She ran away from her mother and ended up with her father. She wanted to live with her grandmother, but social services dictated that her father was the best person to look after her. Despite the fact that she had never seen him, he left her mother a long time ago. She is sent off to boarding school, with English girls! English!

Away from her Welsh home, and the fairies that were such a part of her life.

But she still has her books and her reading. And slowly she introduces herself to the English fairies. Now, when I say fairies, that is what Mori calls them because when she was a young child that word seemed to fit. They don’t call themselves that. They certainly don’t call themselves elves, although Mori and her sister did name a few of them after Tolkien’s elves. As a matter of fact these fairies don’t call anything anything, they don’t use nouns at all.

But enough recapping.

Did I mention that this is a wonderful book? Because it really really is. And it would make for a brilliant book list too. Anyone interested in an Among Others book group to discuss the books that Mori mentions reading? It’d be great.

I loved the way Walton writes about books. About how they really can be so important to a person growing up. I always read as a teenager, even if I didn’t discover the wonders of Inter Library loans at such a such an age, and I would have loved to have a book group like the one Mori stumbles across. My reading was always a more solitary thing. Well, until the Wheel of time series came along and generated hours and hours of conversations.

I don’t know if I was entirely happy with the ending though. Which is why I haven’t given it ten stars, although I think that it may grow on me. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 230 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
As [Mori] tries to come to terms with her sister’s death through both books and fairy magic, the novel assumes true emotional resonance.
 
There are really two points where the success of the novel as what it is make it fail to connect with me. The first has to do with the books. It's written in the form of a diary, and the form and voice are spot-on. But part of getting the diary form right is that it doesn't provide much in the way of information about the many books that Mori reads in the course of the novel-- you wouldn't expect a teenager with a lot on her mind to do a detailed plot summary of everything she read, after all.

This is no big deal as long as you recognize the references to authors and titles. But if you don't-- and there are a lot of books mentioned that I know about but either haven't read or do not recall fondly-- a lot of significance is lost. The titles sort of flash by as blank spots in the narrative, a kind of "This Cultural Reference Intentionally Left Blank" effect that ends up being a little off-putting.
 
This isn't a traditional fantasy, by any means. But it's a smart, heartfelt novel, with a strong, likable narrator, and many touchstones in terms of other books that will resonate for us, depending on how we felt/feel about those books.

It has also jumped right into my short list of favorite books ever, and it's one that I plan to reread more than once.
 
But, just as the magic, it's a peculiar, unique book. I've read most of Walton's fiction. I like this best, but in some ways it's the least structurally certain of her works; I think the magic that's so subtle it's deniable at the start of the book fails to maintain that quirky quality at its end—and I understand why, but still found it jarring.

Regardless, there's a deep beauty to this book that feels so entirely real I'm grateful for its existence, for the fact that I could read it, and for the way it now graces my own internal library.
 
Among Others is many things – a fully realized boarding-school tale, a literary memoir, a touching yet unsentimental portrait of a troubled family – but there’s something particularly appealing about a fantasy which not only celebrates the joy of reading, but in which the heroine must face the forces of doom not in order to return yet another ring to some mountain, but to plan a trip to the 1980 Glasgow Eastercon. That’s the sort of book you can love.
adicionada por Passer_Invenit | editarLocus, Gary Wolfe (Jan 24, 2011)
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Jo Waltonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Kellgren, KatherineNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nielsen Hayden, PatrickEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Riffel, HannesTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
s.BENešArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vojnar, KamilArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Folio SF (549)
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Er'perrhene.

—Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at what younger age?

Any time between 10 and 25:

It's going to improve. Honest. There really are people out there that you will like and who will like you.

—Farah Mendelsohn, LiveJournal, 23rd May 2008
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The Phurnacite factory in Abercwmboi killed all the trees for two miles around. We'd measured it on the mileometer.
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It doesn't matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.
[On Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd]: He makes things happen neatly, and sometimes they're horrible things, but they're always very pat. I hate that. He could have learned a lot from Silverberg and Delany.
She was looking at a record called 'Anarchy in the U.K.' by a group called the Sex Pistols. It was a very ugly cover, but I am quite interested in anarchism because of 'The Dispossessed'.
Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.
Libraries really are wonderful. They're better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.
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Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, 15-year old Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closests companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.

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