Another book hangover.
Lloyd Alexander’s last book. It was published posthumously in August 2007, three months after he died in May.
Lloyd Alexander had a talent for choosing the right words, and making the story go the right way that very few people in this world have. Hugh Howey has a bit of that talent, the capability to spin a story out of well-placed words and ideas (i.e., killing as many characters as he can get away with, with a sense of reckless abandon) that will keep people happy, and maybe bring a few tears. Cool, right? Killing dozens, hundreds of characters over the course of nine books with thoughts only of ‘How can I use this to make the book even more awesome’ is cool, right?
Yes, the Silo Saga is awesome. It’s one of my favorite sci-fi series. But I bawled my eyes out and bombarded a friend of mine with emotional emails every time something bad happened in Dust. And a lot of bad things happen in Dust. The kind of things that make you want to throttle a pillow, or maybe a loaf of bread or something like that.
Donald dies, Darcy dies, Lukas, Sims, Nelson, Peter Billings, Marsha, Shirly, Marcus and Anna die. All those characters are killed apparently with aforementioned reckless abandon in one book.
Lloyd Alexander never did that, in all the books of his I’ve read. He knew how to keep people happy.
© the Unshelved people
Not a lot of authors can keep everybody happy, but Lloyd Alexander could. Everything that happened was taken seriously. When Rhun and Coll die in The High King, they die honorably, and give Taran a reason to succeed in his mission, so that he can finish Rhun’s wall, tend to Coll’s garden, and restore life to the Red Fallows. When Carlo’s map from Cheshim is stolen, it is for a reason. The stories Shira tells Carlo are important.
Lloyd Alexander was one of the best writers the twentieth and twenty-first centuries ever saw. The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is the pinnacle of his work, the arkenstone.
And it has kind of broken me. Sobbing, face-in-pillow, death-grip broken me. It is a beautiful book. In Evelyn and her friends’ terms, it has a shiny/beautiful soul.
I think I’ll finish Snuff and place holds on the Vesper Holly series today. After all, there’s nothing more amusing than Sam Vimes being bossed around by his wife.