Author Gail Gauthier's Reflections On Books, Writing, Humor, And Other Sometimes Random Things
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Listen To This
I had a five-hour car trip a couple of weeks ago, so that meant it was time to listen to an audio book. I'd read some things about Garth Nix that I thought made him sound like a decent sort. So when I stumbled upon the audio version of his book Sabriel, I snatched it up, particularly because I really liked the cover illustration.
Sabriel involves a mystical land where Death is a place, and the dead don't want to stay there. They keep coming back to the land of the living where they wander around in various stages of decomposition or creepiness and suck life from any man, woman, or child they can get hold of. Sabriel and her father have the ability to make the dead stay dead. Her father becomes trapped in death, and Sabriel is on a quest to find him so he can save the kingdom from a particularly nasty dead creature that is running amok.
Sabriel is not a great book to be listening to when you're driving in heavy traffic. Or heavy rain. I had a hard time keeping track of the kind of magical mumbo jumbo I'm not too fond of in fantasy books, anyway. And I couldn't figure out if all dead people try to come back to do their nasty business.
However, the CD player on my new Tom Swiftmobile loads under the passenger seat, so there was no switching to Bon Jovi once I was underway. After five or six hours, I was getting interested. I've been listening to the thing on all my little trips around town ever since. I've been looking forward to running errands.
And once I finished the last CD this morning, I felt lost. What was I going to do? Listen to the radio?
Sabriel is the first book in a trilogy. The next book in the series I'll be reading.
Be warned, though: I've seen episodes of Bones that weren't as gruesome as some of the goings on in Sabriel. It's definitely not for younger kids or for young people who might be going through some kind of anxiety about death.
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I'm glad that you enjoyed Sabriel - I've been heartily recommending it for several years now. The series just gets better with each book. Don't forget to look out for The Creature in the Case, a novella follow up (it's included in Nix's short story collection Across the Wall).
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