The "Diana Wynne Jones is Underappreciated" thread

Ozymandius Jones 02-16-2005 07:22 PM
Half of you probably looked at the thread title and went "who?" while some of you went "yes!".

Diana Wynne Jones is, in my opinion, the best female fantasy writer in existence. Yes, even better then Rowling.

Ms. Jones has written over thirty books, most of which are the most original stories you will find in the fantasy section.

Take The Time of the Ghost. This story's ver' ver' confusing. Is it about time travel, magic, ancient gods or all of the above? Which one is "the ghost"?

Or Archer's Goon. Again, time travel, but this time you really don't notice it until it's too late. Aweful will remain one of my favorite literary characters.

Another one of her good books (although I will say Dogsbody is the only DWJ book I didn't think was good) is The Ogre Downstairs. Children vs. Stapsiblings Vs. Stepfather vs. The Living Toffee Bars. THis book had me in stitches all the way through, and is my favorite book by DWJ, which is saying a lot...

So how about you? Favorite book?
Pygmalion 02-17-2005 07:50 AM
I have to admit, I read her Howl's Moving Castle because Hayao Miyazaki was making a movie of it, and for once I wanted to see the source material before seeing his take on it. Last year, Zola very kindly gave me a copy she had, and I read it on the trip home. It's a very good book.

LillyRose 02-17-2005 01:33 PM
Yes! Thank you! I agree! She is much better than Ms. Rowling , no disrepect intended. I love Harry and his world, but Diana's worlds are so much better. Her characterization is more adept, her plots more complicated, and her humor more mature. I like to say that HP is good "gateway" fiction, in the sense that you get the kids reading with it, then say "Okay you like that now here's the really good stuff." And one of the first people I recommend is Ms Wynne Jones.

The principal reason I love her books is they make you work for them. Your mind has to be fully engaged to follow what she's saying, but you're having so much fun you don't even think about the effort involved. Diana makes you find your own answers in her work, and I love an author that can do that.

Of course, my favorite Diana Wynne Jones book is the one with that ending. The ending which confuses some, outrages others, and was a bittersweet happiness to yours truly. I am speaking of course of Fire and Hemlock. Brilliant book; her best imo. Frustrating, haunting, absorbing, and layered as all get out.

People who love it have read it cover to cover at least twice; you have to, in order to take it all in. Which is why I love this book. It can be read on at least three levels. (Adventure/Psychology/Romance) The characters are engaging; there isn't one I don't at least understand their function even if I don't love them. The magic is subtle and creepy. And the dynamic between the two protagonists is a delicate balance that's fascinating to watch as it changes.

Okay. I've babbled enough.