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Dorothy Dunnett

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed December 1st, 2010, 9:15 pm

Ok, that's good to know. Thanks.

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Mello
Reader
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Mello » Wed December 1st, 2010, 10:40 pm

"Michy" wrote:I just started my first Dorothy Dunnett last night, Game of Kings. (had never even heard of Dorothy Dunnett until joining this forum! :eek: :eek: :eek :)

I am only about 30 pages in, so it is way too early for me bring in a verdict, but I can see what people mean about her writing not being all that easy to fall into. Someone in this thread described her style as "opaque" -- that seems an apt description. Also, at times her dialogue is not easy for me to follow -- I feel like it's going over my head.

At any rate, at this point I am not even close to giving up on it........


I daresay that the first half of Game of Kings is the hardest to get into than all the others. Some 15 years after reading it, I came across The Dorothy Dunnett Companion Book by Elspeth Morrison. It translates and explains a lot! I don’t like reading what I can’t understand so for me it was helpful, but for what its worth I would advise to gloss over all the difficult bits and appreciate that Lymond is a master linguist!

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed December 1st, 2010, 11:09 pm

Thanks for the tips. I think I'll just keep at it without the companion book, since that would probably bog me down too much and make the book feel like work rather than pleasure. However, it's comforting to know they've produced a companion guide, because that tells me that at least one other person has had difficulty "getting" Dunnett, and that I'm not just a big dummy! :D

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu December 2nd, 2010, 12:32 am

"Michy" wrote:Thanks for the tips. I think I'll just keep at it without the companion book, since that would probably bog me down too much and make the book feel like work rather than pleasure. However, it's comforting to know they've produced a companion guide, because that tells me that at least one other person has had difficulty "getting" Dunnett, and that I'm not just a big dummy! :D


No, not at all and the advice is sound. Don't sweat every little detail that you feel you aren't picking up on. If it's important it will be revealed later, but if it's one of her little private jokes or something you need translated to understand you won't miss anything story wise by skipping past it. I expected a tough haul with these, but her style and pacing was so similar to Dumas I fell in quicker than I expected.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

laktor
Reader

Postby laktor » Thu December 2nd, 2010, 7:18 am

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm also interested in giving Dunnett a try, but I would have to invest in purchasing from amazon because her books are mostly unavailable in the big book chains such as Chapters and they are also scarce in my local libraries.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu December 2nd, 2010, 7:29 am

How about asking your local library to inter-loan them for you? Quite often there is no charge, or else a minimal one

laktor
Reader

Postby laktor » Fri December 3rd, 2010, 2:44 am

"annis" wrote:How about asking your local library to inter-loan them for you? Quite often there is no charge, or else a minimal one


Do you mean from another city? I live in Toronto and there are very few copies of any of her books in any of our libraries. :(

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Fri December 3rd, 2010, 3:20 am

"laktor" wrote:Do you mean from another city? I live in Toronto and there are very few copies of any of her books in any of our libraries. :(


Not sure how it works in Canada, but in the US there is quite a network of libraries who participate in the ILL program. My library has an online request form (check with them), and I bang it out and wait to see if I get it, and rarely do they come back and say no, we can't.

Half the fun is seeing where the book came from, and all over the country. College libraries and even one from the library of a Benedictine Abbey.
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Fri December 3rd, 2010, 3:23 am

I got my Dunnett through online book-swap. If I really, really love her writing to the point that I think she would be a keeper, then I will probably buy her other books new. If I like her less than that, then I'll get her other books through the library or book-swap.

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Sintra
Reader
Location: Moscow, Russia

Postby Sintra » Fri March 25th, 2011, 4:33 pm

I've just finished reading Scales of Gold and i really enjoyed it.

Dunnett is of course one of a kind. For me her novels are truly brilliant, but i think of them as mostly adventure, not as historical fiction. They are all high-class adventures, but, let's face it, her books are filled with really improbable scenarios.

And sometimes her characters are just driving me insane. For example, i'm having trouble liking any of the female characters in the Niccolo Series. Katelina and Gelis are so hateful and revenge-driven it's appaling, Charetty girls are simply annoying (especially the younger one, i just wanted to hit her with something in Spring of the Ram). I liked Marian and Margot, but they are hardly in it at all.

In some parts Dunnett is just too complicated for her own good with her labyrinthine plots and smart people. Let's face it, people are mostly not that smart and they don't talk in subtleties all the time.
That doesn't change the fact that Francis is my favourite hero ever. I forgive him everything!

Anyway i really love her books, heartbreaking as they are. But i have to say that my favourites are probably The Game of Kings and The Disorderly Knights.
Last edited by Sintra on Fri March 25th, 2011, 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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