09 July 2007

Reading, Breaking and Entering

More 'tearing' than breaking, actually. It's always interesting when you lock yourself out of your own house and need to find a way in. My options? (1) Find some place with a phone and call my mom, who also has a key. (2) Walk over to my mom's house and get a key (problematic if she's not home). (3) Find an alternate means of entry.

Since my mom generally doesn't get up until 10 or 11 when she's not working, and this was around 8 am, neither (1) nor (2) appealed, and (2) had the additional problem of my complaining knee (and leaving the kittens unattended). That left (3). Since it's summer, there were some windows open, but the screens are a problem. So far as I can tell, they're made to come out only from the inside. But the one at the back of the house was already torn and coming out of its frame, so I finished the job, pushed the window open the rest of the way, and climbed in. My knee didn't much like that, either, but it worked. So now I have a screen to replace/repair. Ah well.

Meanwhile, I finished reading Greenmantle, one of Charles de Lint's earlier books that I picked up at Powell's. Having an injured knee is a great way to find more time to read. :^) Greenmantle is definitely a good read, though. And nearly got my quotes to the 500 mark. Okay, nine more to go, but it's still close.

The book interweaves two tales, that are really the same tale in different guises. One is the tale of a former mob-enforcer, laying low, forced to confront his past. The other is the tale of Mystery, both hunter and hunted, and neither. Both wild and tame, trapped and free. It's also a tale of making a stand and confronting your demons, both inner and outer. The two tales weave beautifully together.

There were one or two somewhat heavy-handed philosophizing discussions, but mostly they felt true to character and the story. Just...slightly overdone, I guess. One thing that de Lint just gets is the necessity of Mystery, of wilderness, of freedom. Too many Christian churches think they have god trapped, in their books and rites and ceremonies. Whenever god tries to escape, they nail him back onto their cross, and into their book, and scold him for trying to get away. Pathetic, really. Admittedly, some scientists have the same attitude, with their microscopes and vials, but they are always aware that they don't know everything, that their vision of reality could change at any moment. The good ones are, at any rate.


John said...

Greenmantle was really good, but I always wanted to actually live in Tamson House (from Spiritwalk and Moonheart).

Of course I really wanted to live in Ghormenghast, but that isn't by DeLint.

Qalmlea said...

I've read Spiritwalk. Not one of my favorites, I must confess, but still enjoyable. I got Moonheart at Powell's on this past trip, so I'll start reading it at some point.

And I don't know much about Gormenghast. :^)

John said...

Ghormenghast is this huge, rambling, run-down castle in Mervyn Peake's trilogy, Ghormenghast, Titus Groan and Titus Alone.
There is also an unfinished fourth novel Titus Awakes.

I read the first two, but got distracted about 1/4 of the way through the third, and nvere got back to it.