Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (audio)

One day September is brought into Fairyland by the Green Wind and his Leopard of Small Breezes. There she accepts a quest to retrieve a Spoon from the not very nice and very bureaucratic ruler of Fairyland and in the process she makes some very good friends and learns some very hard lessons.
Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.
I have an odd affinity for books with long titles. I don't know why but it makes them more intriguing. I had a hard time with this book though. I don't know what it was. I started it in book form and couldn't get into it, then switched to audio thinking that might help. And I guess it did. I wasn't fond of the narrator (see below) but the story is fun and sweet. It is sort of Alice in Wonderland crossed with The Chronicles of Narnia tinged with The Phantom Tollbooth and The Neverending Story. It's a modern fairytale. The illustrations in the actual book are lovely. As for the story itself, it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. This is an infinity quotable book and I love that. But I just had a hard time with getting into this book. It was good, just not going to be one of my favorites. Still I enjoyed the story. I think it was really well written and the ending was spot-on wonderful. September is fairly sympathetic character despite the author's insistence that all children are heartless. And I found the Marquess an incredibly interested and layered character for a villain.

I'm not a fan of author read audio books. I find that while most authors can do a passable job, it's still not as good as a professional. Some authors are really good at it (see Libba Bray and Neil Gaiman) but others should just stick to their day job. Catherynne M. Valente is just okay. Her voice is too unprofessional to my liking and I think a real audio book narrator would have elevated this book to another level. Valente was just passable. I was pretty happy to find that the next book in the series has a real narrator.

7 hours,  16 minutes

1 comment:

  1. Really? I almost always love when authors narrate their own books. I so need to sample this one. Thanks for your honest review/thoughts.


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