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Among Others
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2013 Reads > AO: World-related Questions (Spoilers - possibly full spoilers)

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message 1: by Kelsy (new) - added it

Kelsy (kelsyfish) | 4 comments I'm about halfway through Among Others, and I'm wondering who else has been questioning the existence of magic at all in this world.

(view spoiler)

Do the fairies/magic really exist? Or has she created this fantasy reality for herself as a coping mechanism? What do you guys think so far?

Also, I'm not finished with the book, yet! So maybe this stuff will be revealed soon, but I thought it'd be fun to talk about.


message 2: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 848 comments Not specifically related to this, but I don't like it when a book, marketed as SF, could be either fantasy/SF/alternate world OR mental illness. I always go for the "It really IS elves or whatever" answer.

Haven't read enough of this one to know if Walton intends you to wonder. As far as I'm concerned, it *better* be real magic! If it isn't, market it differently so I can avoid it.

Iron Dragon's Daughter, The Stolen Child, and Liar all come to mind. In my view, they are all SFF. Even though at least two of the authors intend you to doubt, quite possibly all three.

I think some people like the ambiguity; in this particular area, I'm not one of them.


John Wiswell | 86 comments I don't actually buy that this is a mental illness. It's either real or she's mythologizing her life in her diary to feel more special and deal with great loss. That is a very different dynamic than the typical "is she crazy?" cop-out, because it's about the usefulness of Fantasy in life. That makes it a much richer experience than most post-modernism.

Some things swayed me to believing one, but they're all later in the book. Don't want to spoil them.


message 4: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 848 comments Would you be willing to put which one you believe in a spoiler tag? I'm curious.


message 5: by Louise (new) - added it

Louise (louiseh87) I don't mind a bit of ambiguity and am quite happy to accept that in this story. To me it doesn't matter whether its part of her imagination, because that doesn't make it less real.

I'll have to try and remember how it actually turns out...


Dazerla | 228 comments I personally believed that she is actually experiencing what she describes, but I can see interrupting it the other way as well.


John Wiswell | 86 comments Serendi wrote: "Would you be willing to put which one you believe in a spoiler tag? I'm curious."

Sure! I just stink with tagging. Let's see...

(view spoiler)


message 8: by Kelsy (new) - added it

Kelsy (kelsyfish) | 4 comments I agree with John's assessment.

(view spoiler)


message 9: by Andrew (new) - added it

Andrew (ajw315) | 7 comments I just finished and found the whole thing quite boring. I feel the fairies and 'magic' is how she copes with her life being what it is.


Hélène | 5 comments I really felt the same way, and am really happy not to be the only one!

For me, it's not really mental illness, but more of a coping mechanism. Her life is so hard at that time, the reality so much for her to beare, that she retreats in her books, and in that universe she used to share when her life was "better". Because everything she went through makes sense this way, and make it bearable. She is really young and alone, and there's no other way to make sense of what happened for her.


message 11: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 6 comments At the star I thought maybe it was all a bit in her head, but by the end I was pretty sure it wasn't.


message 12: by Serendi (last edited Jun 03, 2013 08:02AM) (new)

Serendi | 848 comments I'm going to post something about this in the "Done" thread. Just FYI.

Oh, and thanks, John, for braving the spoiler tags!


message 13: by Nathan (last edited Jun 03, 2013 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments I agree with John but . . .

(view spoiler)


Dazerla | 228 comments Nathan I don't completely agree with you. (view spoiler)


Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments Julia wrote: "Nathan I don't completely agree with you. [spoilers removed]"

All I am saying is thatthere is a way to refuse, reconizing their good intentions, without throwing a fit about it. Perhaps that might have been asking too much of Mori given her emotional state though.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1954 comments I liked the ambiguity because it made this novel feel like it was a work of fact, and not fiction. Because there was deniability, I could completely believe that the fairies and magic are a part of this world, and that Mori might be someone I could meet one day.


message 17: by D. H. (last edited Jun 05, 2013 06:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

D. H. | 100 comments Like a lot of people, I thought it would turn out to be mental illness, but (view spoiler)


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