Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge - D is for Davies and Dahl

I'm going to cheat a bit and have this post do double duty for A to Z and 12 Books in 12 months. This is my author with the same initials as you post except it's not my initials, it's my grandmother's.

One summer in college, I made the terrible mistake of reading 3 books in a row by German authors whose main characters were rather whiny. In fact, 2 of the 3 main characters were really worried that they were bourgeois throughout most of their respective books and talked about it constantly. I won't tell you the three books because one is by an author I actually like a lot and one of the other three I've vowed to read again at some point because I feel circumstances did not give his book a fair reading. The third book I will tell you was Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf which I've always believed to be the root of all this trouble.

Which actually brings us to Robertson Davies. After all that whining I really needed an author who was a cranky old man who wouldn't take all the bourgeois whining seriously. And who might actually box one of their sets of ears. I'm not entirely certain Robertson Davies is all that cranky but The Lyre of Orpheus was just the trick.

And so this winter I turned to Davies again after reading frankly quite a lot of depressing books. This time it was The Deptford Trilogy. A history told through three novels and various viewpoints, it tells the story of the aftermath of a snowball with stone hidden in it hitting by accident a pregnant woman in a small town in Ontario. Apparently the genre is "Southern Ontario Gothic" and while there are gothic elements to the trilogy Davies seems to have his feet too firmly planted on the ground to go for true gothic qualities.

There's really not that much I think I need to say about Roald Dahl. I discovered him as a child through Danny The Champion of the World which for some reason was the only Dahl book my elementary school library had. It's one of his more gentle books that I read over and over as a child. I love his dark, dark short stories for adults and with the Girl have read about every other children's book of his. Time and time again I hear about kids who had no interest in longer books until their parents pulled out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, it's not too late for you to sign up and let me see how you handle the letter Q.

1 comment:

  1. I did enjoy Ron Dahl books when I was a kid. Classic children's books. Thanks for posting.