Monday, March 29, 2010

The Riddle-Master of Hed

I recently read this book, "The Riddle-Master of Hed," the first novel in a fantasy trilogy published in 1976, written by Patricia McKillip.

I read this book a loooooong, long time ago. I read it in elementary school, because I found it on the bookshelves of the elementary library. That's the most I remember about it, actually. I hadn't even remembered the name, or the author. I was perusing the juvenile fiction in the BYU library when I found it.... again.

I was so excited to read this! I remembered liking it a lot, and asking the librarian to get the next book, but for some reason it never happened. I don't think we even found what the next one was called. So imagine my joy when I saw all three books sitting on that shelf.

Come to find, this book has some issues.

I think it might be an editing issue, to be honest. I don't think the story was very well thought-through, before printing. Sometimes the author just rambles on about a landscape, and then when there's dialogue, sometimes it's not clear what's happening.

However, it is very interesting. The author can create effects: like, near the end, when the Hero(Morgan) discovers a deep, creepy secret about his realm, it is gooooood. However, I also feel that she spends too much time creating a world, and not enough pulling the plot forward or making characters round.

I just wish this author had a better editor. Oh well.

Conclusion: Interesting read, but probably not going to bring it into any classrooms someday. I am reading the other two books just in case this changes. I don't think it will. I'll let you know.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The White Balloon

I watched this movie the other night at the international cinema: "The White Balloon."

Well, it's an Iranian film, and it's not American at all, that's for sure. When the movie was over and everyone was leaving, I heard a lot of people saying things like "That movie was so dumb," and "there was no point!" and "nothing happened!"

Which are all sort of true.

But it wasn't a bad movie, it just was made to a different aesthetic.

It wasn't my favorite Iranian movie, that being said. But it was interesting, at least. It sort of was a snap shot of a little girl, 7 years old, who wanted a goldfish from the market to celebrate the new year, but her Mom told her that one from their pond was just fine, and just the same. She thought the ones from the market were prettier, and chubbier. She finally convinced her brother to persuade their mother to give them the money to go buy this fish, but she kept on losing her money along the way.

She was just a bratty little kid, but I really empathized with her. I felt a connection with her- what was the last American movie that I felt that with?