Sunday, August 06, 2006

Contest At Readable Feast

A Readable Feast has a contest to give away a Fodor's ... With Kids book. Especially since one of them is for Disney, and I leave for Disney soon, I figured, what the heck? So I'm entering. Check out the rules in the link above to enter (either by posting about the contest or leaving a comment at the blog).

A Readable Feast is a ClubMom Blog. Nope, I'm not a mom, but when Melissa Wiley began posting over at The Lilting House, I checked out some of the other blogs, found interesting things about books, recipes, travel and pop culture, and added a few to my bloglines.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Young lady, have you been good to your mother?

(If you answer "I didn't realize that this was a sad occasion", you get to read the rest of this comment. :))


Anyway, in all normal-ness, I think your post totally summarizes why I adore Lemony Snicket, and also why others might not. Yes, the first six books are very formulaic. But just as the horror of a daemonless boy would be nothing without the buildup of what a daemon is in the first place (you've read HDM, right?), the constant beating-you-over-the-head with the formula is necessary to appreciate what happens when the formula, bit by bit, begins to break down. LSUA is not an easy book; as I've been reading in the latest Henry Jenkins book, its level of fragmentation requires its audience to actively contribute to the meaning-making process. And the more knowledge you bring to the book, the more you get out of it - for example, readers who can read music can tell that the musical notation for "The Little Snicket Lad" is a total mismatch for the lyrics.

And of course you've discovered the index. :)

The only thing I'd add to your analysis is the edge-of-a-knife balance that Snicket achieves between being part of the gothic genre and being a parody of the gothic genre. I think that kids tend to see the parody, whereas a lot of adults have told me that they think Snicket is too gloomy.

Oh, and further along the audience-participation thing: there're lots of websites out there, like this Unofficial FAQ, that analyze the possible "real" meanings of V.F.D., speculate on family trees, and of course explain every single literary/pop culture allusion!

Incidently, I felt exactly the same way about TCC (Book 9) - in fact, it was the only book up until that point (ha, no spoilers there!) where I really, viscerally felt the effect of the ending. Especially with the echoed wordplay there...anyway, as long as you're taking my recommendations :), I'd suggest listening to the audios of the series as well. Each one starts with a song, and the song to TSS (Book 10) is actually about the end of TCC - brilliant - plus, these are just really excellent stories to hear aloud, even if, like me, you're not much of an audio book person in general.

Wow, that was a long comment - you're inspiring me to do my own Snicket post now! (Although I'm supposed to be coming up with a Harry Potter idea to submit to that upcoming conference...)