Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Now I Get It. Maybe.

I was e-mailing BDT about golems today because he's reading the second volume of The Bartimeus Trilogy. (That will be another post). I mentioned Snow in August by Pete Hamill because a golem figures in that book.

Snow in August was published ten years ago. I'm never right on top of things, so I probably read it eight or nine years ago. I remember not caring for it very much, in part because I felt the fantasy ending came out of nowhere. Make up your mind! I thought. Are you a realistic book or a fantasy book?

Today I realized that Snow in August might be an example of magical realism, which I knew little, if anything, about back then. In fact, this magical realism site lists it as an example of magical realism for young adults.

I agree with categorizing it as a book for younger people. At the time I was reading it I kept thinking, If someone had edited out this long, dull part in the middle, this would be a kids' book. And, of course, if I had known anything about magical realism, maybe I wouldn't have found the middle long and dull.

Gee, I thought a lot while I was reading that book.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

I guess I'm just not a fan of magic realism (and I don't know if I'd heard the term when I read the book a couple of years ago), too. I had the same reaction. I didn't get the golem bit and wondered what the heck it was doing in a realistic fiction book. I still think (nah, know) I'd have preferred the book without it.