Slmstanley's Reviews > Among Others

Among Others by Jo Walton
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Jul 07, 12

Read on July 06, 2012

Set in 1979, this book tells the story of Morwenna, a book-loving Welsh teen who must go to live with the father she never knew, after she runs away from her mother's house. There's magic. And fairies. And world-saving. To tell more would be to spoil you...but trust me when I say that it's not what you think.

This book hit me right where I live. In 1979, I was a bookish 15 year old struggling to understand a society that glorified sports...just like Mori, the protagonist of Among Others. Her discovery of new books and writers mirrored my own at that precise moment in time - her puzzlement over the values held by other people, her recognition of magic at the center of being, and the way books mold her ethics and mores were so like my 15 year old self that I briefly wondered how the writer knew me.

There's a plot - and an interesting one - but the real heart of this book is how books and finding like-minded people saves us and makes us want to keep living. As Mori says, "If you love books enough, they'll love you back."

I checked this one out from the library, but I'll be buying a copy. Save yourself the time and just go buy it.
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Quotes Slmstanley Liked

Jo Walton
“Bibliotropic," Hugh said. "Like sunflowers are heliotropic, they naturally turn towards the sun. We naturally turn towards the bookshop.”
Jo Walton, Among Others

Jo Walton
“Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.”
Jo Walton, Among Others

Jo Walton
“I care more about the people in books than the people I see every day.”
Jo Walton, Among Others

Jo Walton
“If you love books enough, books will love you back.”
Jo Walton, Among Others

Jo Walton
“Libraries really are wonderful. They're better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.”
Jo Walton, Among Others

Jo Walton
“I did not buy a book called Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson, which has the temerity to compare itself, on the front cover, to 'Tolkien at his best.' The back cover attributes the quote to the Washington Post, a newspaper whose quotations will always damn a book for me from now on. How dare they? And how dare the publishers? It isn't a comparison anyone could make, except to say 'Compared to Tolkien at his best, this is dross.' I mean you could say that even about really brilliant books like A Wizard of Earthsea. I expect Lord Foul's Bane (horrible title, sounds like a Conan book) is more like Tolkien at his worst, which would be the beginning of The Simarillion.

The thing about Tolkien, about The Lord of the Rings, is that it's perfect.”
Jo Walton, Among Others

Jo Walton
“The thing about Tolkien, about The Lord of the Rings, is that it's perfect. It's this whole world, this whole process of immersion, this journey. It's not, I'm pretty sure, actually true, but that makes it more amazing, that someone could make it all up. Reading it changes everything.”
Jo Walton, Among Others


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