Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reading Coincidences

I read a couple of posts recently about finding interesting correlations between different books. Rebecca at The Book Lady's Blog called these mental connections a Daisy Chain. It was really interesting for me to read about other bloggers thinking about this, because it was really on my mind while I read The Thirteenth Tale (review). I was reading The Well of Lost Plots at the same time (see my review here), which is the opposite of The Thirteenth Tale in so many ways. Well is one of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books - it is about as silly and light as you can get. In sharp contrast, The Thirteenth Tale is gothic and spooky and sad. But rather than dwell on their differences, I kept finding all the things that they had in common.

There are some superficial things that are easy to see in common about these books. Both are set in England, both owe a huge debt to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, both feature a female protagonist solving a mystery.

At a deeper level, though, both of these books, to me, are about storytelling and how an author creates a book. In The Thirteenth Tale, Vida Winter is a famous author who drew from her own life to create the characters in her books. For books created within Fforde's world, writing is a mysterious process that involves characters with minds of their own and contraptions we never see. But I think that in the end, both of these books address that, for all its apparent simplicity, writing is a mystery to even the most devoted readers.

What do you think? Am I reading too much into these two books?

1 comment:

  1. No, I've read both, and I totally see the connections. Weirdly enough about 10 books I've read in the last year have mentioned Murano glass. Must be getting popular!


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