Kiri's Reviews > War for the Oaks

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
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's review
Mar 10, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-faves, my-comfort-books
Read in January, 1988

I found this in the difficult year immediately after graduating from college, and it was so very much what I needed. A wonderful fantasy. An escape from reality, but also an escape firmly rooted in the very city I was living in. I treasured the entire thing and wished that one day I might write something as concise and descriptive and with such empathetic characters.

The book is simultaneously so rooted in the modern day and yet exudes a delightful link to myth and faerie, to the barely seen.

It's amusing to me that some reviews I've read comment on how dated the music and clothing is - but why? This book is (now) about a time past. Might as well talk about how dated the Canterbury Tales are. The other comment I've read that struck me as "true, yet not relevant" was that this is a band that mostly plays covers, yet has the magic to save the world. Firstly, they do play original songs, and secondly any band spends some time playing covers - it's a form of musical love, an adoration of music itself. Also, the magic that saves the world in this book is the magic of synergy, the sum greater than its parts that some musicians are fortunate enough to achieve.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Sherwood (new) - added it

Sherwood Smith Excellent comment. I think playing covers is a way of communicating with the music--like fanfiction and sequels and homages to themes, and poetry based on fiction (and the other way around). Musicians communicate across the miles and years through music. So Eddi and the band were drawing on the power of centuries of interconnected musical expression in their duel.

Kiri I love the analogy. Look at the Beatles, to pick what some may consider (and I might be among them) the greatest band ever - they honed their craft with cover songs!

Minli This is definitely on my to-read list--I should pick it up this weekend :)

Miriam Also, isn't it expected for new bands playing gigs to do covers? People at parties and bars want familiar songs to dance to. I thought doing mostly original songs was standard only after bands became successful.

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