THE LOUNGE FOR BOOKWORMS 5

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Postby truehobbit » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:12 am

Cock-Robin wrote:That's why I just mentioned it has a twist ending in a general way.



Sorry, I don't get what you mean here, Robin.

"Shardik" sounds worthwhile, I'm mentally adding it to my 'to-read' list. :D
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:24 am

Has anyone read 'The Power of Myth' by Joseph Campbell? A friend of mine recommended it and I picked it up from the library..I haven't read it yet though.
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Postby Parmamaite » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:33 am

Hi Truehobbit :hihi: yes, the studies are going according to plan. In this semester I've chosen the modules designed for the international students, so it's all in english. It's quite interesting.

I've read Slaughterhouse 5 some years ago, and really like it, Vonnegut is one of my favourite authors.

I've also read Shardik, plowed my way through it as I found that it dragged, not only in the middle, but all the way through. I guess there's no accounting for taste.
I also had a look at Maia, reading the first part of it, but that was even worse. I simply don't like Adams when he writes Fantasy.

I did enjoy Watership Down though.
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Postby heliona » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:01 am

I've actually only just finished Plague Dogs. I really enjoyed it - couldn't wait to find out what happened in the end. But I'm a bit confused by Cock-Robin's twist ending - I didn't think there was any twist to it. :?
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Postby truehobbit » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:39 am

Rose! :hihi:
I'm afraid I've never even heard of either book or author. Is it non-fiction?

Parma, hey! :D Good to hear studies are going well! :) Wow, some impressive reading. :D

I liked Slaughterhouse-Five, I think it's pretty good, though it didn't impress me so deeply I'd say it's brilliant. :)

heliona, cool, so we can talk without spoiler warnings. :D
I hope Robin gets back in here, as I don't know what exactly he meant by twist ending either.

But, yes, I think you could say there's a twist to it. Thing is, I didn't think it was real - and I just want to know if anyone else who's read it had this impression. :)

You know, where the dogs are dying it ends: Cold. Sinking. Bitter, choking dark.
And then, there's a complete caesura, and the next thing we get is a poem, in which the reader asks the author (ie we move to a different narrative level) if he can really mean to let it end that way and to please let it end happily, and the author says, ok then...and adds the chapter about the dogs being saved.
To me this seemed so visibly alien to the story that at the same time as it offered the more consoling outlook it also seemed to say that it was not what really happened - just a pleasing fantasy the author added for those readers who required it.

It reminded me of Charlotte Bronte's "Villette", which has a similar ending. There, the fiancé of the much-suffering heroine is just on his way back from settling his fortune in the West-Indies to get married to her, when we hear of a terrible storm and it's quite clear that he doesn't return from this journey, but, Bronte adds, she doesn't want to trouble people's kind hearts, so if it makes you feel better you may imagine that he did return...and you just know that this doesn't change what really happened (although it is, of course, ambiguous).

So, what I'm so curious to know is, did you think the dogs were really saved or really drowned? :)
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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:16 pm

Yes, that's what I was talking about. Stephen King does a similar ending to his Dark Tower series, though at first he ends it with everybody living happily ever after, then warns if that is how you want it to end, stop right there. If you read on, the hero of the story enters the tower, and finds the story starts all over again. Just the opposite type ending of The Plague Dogs.
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Postby heliona » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:35 pm

I did wonder if that was what Cock-Robin was referring to. I must admit, that after he mentioned a twist, as I continued reading, I thought perhaps the entire story was in the mind of Snitter or one of the other characters!

As to whether or not the first ending was the "real" ending or not, I'm not sure. Initially, I thought it was (even though there were lots of pages afterwards) but it did occur to me that it was quite abrupt. In terms of the sentences, I mean. It just didn't seem like a proper ending. It was the ending for the dogs, but the story had been told from several people's points of view and Mr Wood had just arrived on the beach with Digby Driver and couldn't see the dogs. There were Army blokes crawling over the sands. Nothing else was even remotely wrapped up. If perhaps there had been another couple of paragraphs detailing what was going on onshore, then I would have been happy that it was the end.

So in that regard, the extra bits didn't surprise me all that much. Especially considering that Richard Adams changing narrative technique mid-way through a chapter even wasn't unusual (after all, he described the Parliamentary meeting in script form; there were various expositions using Digby Driver's articles).

The final ending was a proper ending. A multitude of characters were wrapped up. As I said earlier, I wouldn't have minded (from a literary standpoint) if the dogs had drowned, as long as the story-lines of the other main characters also had some conclusion. As it was, everybody (apart from the dogs) would have left hanging, and that's really unsatisfactory from a reader's point of view.

Also, I believe that Rowf and the experiment he underwent was part of the plot. Never before in the book did he enter water (apart from crossing rivers, really) and here, at the end, his true fight began. Snitter had got them there, thanks to his hallucinations, but it was Rowf having to fight his own demon that would save the day in the end. I don't think Richard Adams would be so cruel as to have Rowf die by drowning. :D

Anyway, did that make sense?

Edited to add that I've just had a quick discussion with Wilko about the ending and he has no recollection of the Colloquy between the Reader and the Author at all, nor the bit full of information regarding Sir Peter Scott. Now my copy is the American version and I know that Hobby's is also. Cock-Robin, is yours the American copy? We don't have Wilko's copy here (which will be the British version) to compare right now, but it's possible that the Colloquy and Biography was added to the American version. (Wilko was adamant that the dogs didn't die, nor was there any hint about it.

If that's the case, one wonders why it was put into the American version.
Last edited by heliona on Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:42 pm

That makes sense to me. I really wanted that second ending to be the one that was the real one. I found out there was a movie made of this book where the dogs drowned in the end, and ended just as abruptly. I need to read this book again, as it was a long time since I read it. And what did you think of the character Tod? He added some interest to it, even though he died saving Rowf and Snitter.
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Postby heliona » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:48 pm

I liked the tod. I wished he'd stuck around a bit longer, but I guess he was just there to keep the dogs going for a wee while and to make them realise that they weren't wild animals, nor could they ever be.

(I added a bit to my previous post which is worth taking a look at.)

I didn't know there was a film of it - I'm not sure I'd want to see it, though. Somehow I don't think it'd have the same atmosphere the book has.

Oh, and one musn't forget Mr Powell. I liked the bit at the end about him and his daughter (which you wouldn't have found out if there hadn't been a proper ending).
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Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for the might-have-beens. - Arthur Ransome

Just because I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor doesn't mean I'm not a lady.

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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:54 pm

I have the American edition of it. I'm not sure what the British edition would have of it.
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Postby heliona » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:26 pm

Well, next time we have a look at Wilko's copy, I'll let you know. :)

Whilst searching on the internet to find any reference regarding any differences between the American and British editions (other than the "dumbing down" of the Geordie accent the tod has), I came across this review on Amazon.co.uk. I can't find anything I agree with in it.

Rowf - a Labrador highly cynical about the human race - and Snitter – a black and white Jack Russell sold to Animal Research and subjected to brain surgery which dampens his ability to differentiate between subjective experience and objective reality - both escape the lonesome confines of the experimental laboratory they are held in and break out in the countryside of the Lake District region. Roaming the fells, they both fluctuate between the desires to have a master and to go feral, that is to fend for themselves andto brave the conditions which are presented to them.

Interwoven plots - implausible in their content but effective in their delivery - ensure that numerous groups of people are on their trail. A self-seeking journalist wishes to whip up a storm of controversy for higher political means; the local farming community, armed with shotguns and strong Scottish accents, wants to end the dogs they consider to be hounding their sheep; the Animal Research Centre, aware of the perennial delicacy of itself and its need to keep a positive media image, wants its name out of the paper and the dogs forgotten; add to that a further plot surrounding the owner of Snitter – which I won’t refer to as it is the only one with an unpredictable conclusion - and you have a compelling, page-turning novel bound to please children, young readers and animal lovers alike.

It is true that the human characters are types, and appear as cartoonist, reduced versions of human beings. The complexities of human behaviour and personality is not explored and each character has a strict role – with predefined thoughts and action - which renders them as rather one-dimensional. Their actions move seamlessly with the plotting of the novel, there is no natural human conflict as the story unfolds and meanders the mountainous landscapes, and this only compounds the feeling of simplicity which pervades the story. They are like the villains, or the heroes, in an episode of Scooby Do. This is more of an observation than a criticism, as it is clear that a story which starts from the premise of talking animals is not aiming for a hyper real, psychological epic. Indeed, Adams does not real explore the issues which interest him through probing individual thoughts and behaviour but through outlining, explicitly and implicitly, the bonds which connect his literary archetypes.

RowfandSnitter are not only more believable, but are also of greater depth. Although I would not go as far to say Richard Adams captures the raw, animalistic feeling which exists in nonhumans and underneath human consciousness (not many writers can), he does go some way to provide insight into what it is like to be a dog in a world increasingly dominated by human values, and, it must be said, human cruelty. Tod, the red fox who appears one-third into the story and who has an infectious way of thinking, adds an interesting element which was surely intended. Here we have the animal which comes third after the chicken and the cow as the most abused, dismissed and tortured animal at the hands of us humans, next to dogs, one of only two animals the majority of the human race are willing to acknowledge as having any worth. What Adams does is show the reader that the fox and the dog may exhibit slight differences in their behaviour and look, but in fear, pain and sentience they are equals. Throughout the book, a true friendship develops between the three animals, but the Tod ends up being cornered by egged-on hounds, and the unpredictability of the outcome does not lesson its emotional effect. By this stage in the book the reader will either hate or love the fox and his ways, and the unceremonious death of the fox – which Adams leaves deliberately vague to capture the sense of indifference - demands our reflection.

It could be said that Adams communicates in the symbols we understand (words) what all sentient beings, to some degree or other, feel and cannot express due to having no vocal chords, nor the higher intelligence to symbolise their consciousness. In this he tells the reader something which an awful lot of humans need to learn – that no being wants to be experimented on, eaten or hunted. He tries to give a voice to the voiceless, and whether he is effective or not is the individual decision of each reader.

His antivivisection stance is implicit and subtle. I estimate that in total there are 40 or so pages of material relating to the subject, and most of that is matter-of-fact description. This novel does not warrant being considered as one in opposition to animal experimentation, as Adams only tells the reader of the reality (the absurdity) of vivisection and the view of the animals about the practise. His view is not biased, but representative, and I suggest that those reviewers who have accused him of being one-sided should realise that they are in fact being presented with the inescapable, and inevitable, ridiculousness of animal experimentation. This book may be complemented by reading Slaughter of the Innocent, or the excellent Vivisection Unveiled, both of which reveal the scientific futility of the horror Rowf and Snitter were fortunate enough to escape.

The simplicity of the book does mask a complexity. On one hand we have a simple, enjoyable tale for child of all ages, and on the other we have the relationship between man and animal played out on a literary setting; a plea for a less hostile, arrogant and divorced view of nature; and a call for self-reflection. Like all great books, we can either read it whilst tucked in bed with cocoa, or studied it in a library. Irrespective of his method of doing so, in urging us humans to stop treating the world as our ashtray and anything which is not human as worthless, Adams deserves our respect.

- Review by ahahashhah at The Plague Dogs on Amazon.co.uk


For starters:

Rowf - a Labrador highly cynical about the human race - and Snitter – a black and white Jack Russell


Rowf is just a large, hairy black dog; no species is given. And Snitter is very specifically a fox terrier, which has significance briefly in the story when he is hanging around a fox. Starting a review with wrong information (especially when it is mentioned on several occasions that Snitter is a fox terrier, so that makes me think that the reviewer didn't pay much attention) isn't a good sign!

... the local farming community, armed with shotguns and strong Scottish accents ...


Eh?!! Since when do people from the Lake District have Scottish accents? I'm offended on behalf of both the Scots and the people of the Lake District. Nowhere is Scotland even mentioned in the book!

page-turning novel bound to please children, young readers and animal lovers alike


Seriously?!! I doubt any child, young reader, or animal lover would be pleased by the graphic descriptions in the novel. And also the long-windedness of the descriptions of the scenery would no doubt put off younger readers.

add to that a further plot surrounding the owner of Snitter – which I won’t refer to as it is the only one with an unpredictable conclusion


Another instance where the reviewer missed out the signs given by Richard Adams. It was obvious to the careful reader on more than one occasion that Mr Wood was alive and that his sister had lied to him. I knew that he would eventually read the articles and of course as soon as a photo appeared of Snitter, the game would be up, so to speak. Now I'm not one to normally see small clues, so if I found this obvious, then it must have been.

Throughout the book, a true friendship develops between the three animals, but the Tod ends up being cornered by egged-on hounds, and the unpredictability of the outcome does not lesson its emotional effect.


I wouldn't have said that there was a "true friendship" between Rowf, Snitter, and the Tod; they just relied on each other. Also, the tod's ending is not unpredictable at all. It is in fact, inevitable as soon as he appears, panting over the horizon, chased by foxhounds.

I could go on about my disagreements with this review, but I'll just get myself into a frenzy. However, I posted here as food for thought. :)
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Postby truehobbit » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:42 pm

Robin, good to know someone read it that way, too. :D

heliona wrote: It was the ending for the dogs, but the story had been told from several people's points of view and Mr Wood had just arrived on the beach with Digby Driver and couldn't see the dogs.


That's an excellent point, heliona.
I have to say, I was so wrapped up with the dogs, I probably wouldn't have noticed the people-plots weren't resolved.

On the other hand, I'm not saying that the happy ending was an actual afterthought. I'm just saying Adams presented this part of the book in such a way that it stands outside the story, as it were.
He needed to focus on the end of the dogs first, and then wrapped up the people-plots together with the 'wishful thinking'-ending.

So in that regard, the extra bits didn't surprise me all that much. Especially considering that Richard Adams changing narrative technique mid-way through a chapter even wasn't unusual (after all, he described the Parliamentary meeting in script form; there were various expositions using Digby Driver's articles).


Yes, that's true.
But the poem nevertheless takes us out of the story itself and shows the author at work, so to speak. And it's saying explicitly: here's a happy ending because that's more comforting and the world is sad enough already.
In other words, it's notably not a happy ending because that's just what happened - which therefore must mean that, in fact, it's not what happened.


Also, I believe that Rowf and the experiment he underwent was part of the plot. Never before in the book did he enter water (apart from crossing rivers, really) and here, at the end, his true fight began. Snitter had got them there, thanks to his hallucinations, but it was Rowf having to fight his own demon that would save the day in the end. I don't think Richard Adams would be so cruel as to have Rowf die by drowning. :D


Another very good point. :D
And of course only the meeting with Peter Scott could bring what you might call Rowf's final redemption in allowing him to be 'good dog' to a master.

On the other hand, in the manner of his appearance Peter Scott is completely Deus ex Machina, which again, in the context of a modern novel can, I think, hardly be coincidental.


Edited to add that I've just had a quick discussion with Wilko about the ending and he has no recollection of the Colloquy between the Reader and the Author at all, nor the bit full of information regarding Sir Peter Scott. Now my copy is the American version and I know that Hobby's is also. Cock-Robin, is yours the American copy? We don't have Wilko's copy here (which will be the British version) to compare right now, but it's possible that the Colloquy and Biography was added to the American version. (Wilko was adamant that the dogs didn't die, nor was there any hint about it.


Well, I had to check the book (which is a US copy, you're correct - but how did you know? :D ) because although I remembered the transition was marked, I couldn't remember how exactly it went, and found that I'd had no recollection of the poem either. ;)

I really can't imagine the poem and biography were added to the US edition only. What sense would that make?


Edit: cross-posted. Hmmh, someone went to great lengths for a review on amazon there. :) I agree there's a lot to disagree with. :D

Edit again: here's an afterthought.
The 'attached' happy ending had something of a dreamlike, unreal quality.
Maybe the dogs were dead, and their being saved is sort of like what they experienced after they were dead?
I'm reminded of reactions people had to LOTR (IIRC - probably to the movies, I'm not sure) - weren't there people who said that all the happy endings were just dreams and the story had really ended with Frodo and Sam on Mount Doom?
And, more specifically about the books, all the people who say that Frodo's going to Valinor is only a nice way of saying he just died?
Just a thought.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:51 pm

Speaking of Richard Adams and his previous book Watership Down, there is another book of similar genre that I discovered simply by accident and has to be one of the best and most exciting books I've ever read. It's The Cold Moons by Aeron Clement. Like WD, it has a pilgimage from a doomed home to a new home, an Elysia, where they would be safe from man.

It has badgers as the protagonists, and is quite a spellbinding story. It shows their going forward against much adversity, and their reluctant leader, Beaufort, shows his character as many other characters, even the cubs. It has many dangers, even from one of their kind who betrays them and sets up a tyrannical rule of others and keeps trying to bring them under his sway.

It is unfortunately out of print due to the fact it wasn't as well-known as Watership Down, but I heartily recommend it. You could find it on Amazon. Well, I gotta go for a while. cya.
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Postby heliona » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:17 pm

Ooh! I love badgers! I shall definitely keep my eyes open for it, thanks for the recommendation, CR. :)

Hobby, I believe we were talking about The Plague Dogs on YM and you mentioned that you had the American edition in reference to some of the tod's language being toned down. :)

See, I didn't read The Plague Dogs and just see the dogs as the main characters (which of course they were) but there were so many other almost main characters that were integral to the plot that leaving them hanging was leaving the book unfinished, as far as I am concerned.

Yes, the prescence of a poem to illustrate the conversation between reader and author does stick out, but throughout the book the narrator makes aside comments to the reader regarding life and events in the book, so this in itself isn't unusual.

Perhaps Richard Adams always intended to end the novel the way he did (the dogs being rescued) but decided to play with the readers a bit. As you mentioned, Rowf fighting his demon and coming out the other side at peace with himself and thus being able to accept that there are good humans out there is a fairly big plot point.

Also, the dogs believe that they are dead and are in doggy heaven. Who's to say that they are not? ;) (Although I suppose the wrapping up of everyone else's storylines would be a bit odd in a doggy heaven.)

The explanation for Mr Powell in particular, with regard his home life and his reasons for staying at the Animal Research Centre, even when he obviously disagreed with a lot of what went on there, is a large part of his character that has been hinted at throughout the story, too. I'd feel more comfortable with the dogs drowning if this had been explained slightly earlier, and that makes me think that this was exactly how Richard Adams intended to write it ie: the dogs were meant to live.

With regard the "last" lines "Cold. Sinking. Bitter, choking dark." I took them to be thought by Snitter, as it is his sentence that drops off in the line before that. To me, that implies that Snitter is the one drowning, and thus Rowf, with his stamina, particularly in water, is still struggling on, to be seen by Sir Peter Scott. Snitter, when hauled aboard, is after all, as good as dead, whereas Rowf is in slightly better condition.

Here's how I attributed the thoughts of the last paragraph:

Red for Snitter and blue for Rowf.


"Can't -- any more -- Rowf."
"Bite on to me, Snitter. Bite!"
"Cold."
"The island, Snitter -- the Isle of Dog! We must get there!"
"Cold. Tired."
No feeling in the legs. Cold. Cold. Longing to rest, longing to stop, losing two gasps in every three for a lungful of air. The stinging, muzzle-slapping water, rocking up and down. This isn't a dream. It's real, real. We're going to die.

"I'm sorry -- Snitter, about -- about the tod. All my fault."
"That's it! Remember -- tod -- tell you -- reet mazzer --"
"What?"
"Reet mazer -- yows --"
Cold. Sinking. Bitter, choking dark.


My reasons for concluding that the descriptive parts are Snitter's thoughts come from the fact that he is the one who says that he is "Cold" and "Cold. Tired." whereas Rowf still has a will to live, to get to the Isle of Dog. In addition, Snitter is the one who is in a dream world half of the time, hence the reference to "This isn't a dream. It's real, real."

So perhaps Adams is playing on the idea that the reader will think that the dogs are dying, when in fact he is going to pluck them from the water at the last possible moment. (Let's face it, all the way through the book, they have escaped by seconds.)
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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:04 am

Oh! That's a wonderful analysis, heliona! I never thought of it as Snitter's thoughts, but it makes sense. I'm puzzling over the words 'reet mazzer,' though. (Greet master? That's my guess.) I've just GOT to find that book again and read it.

Yes, I think you'd just LOVE The Cold Moons if you like badgers. I actually liked it better than Watership Down, not that the other is a bad book, it's great, but Cold Moons is better IMO. Actually I realize I'm comparing apples and oranges, and it may just be personal preference.

I knew I was in for a wonderful story at the opening poem, Perilous Dawn.

Oh, nestling, nestling, are you being born
For your eyes to close and not see the morn?
Oh, nestling, nestling, what can you have done
To return to sleep and not see the sun?
Why do they come to slaughter and ravage?
What have you done to deserve such carnage?
Nowhere to walk or play, you dare not roam,
Yet you cannot stay in this place called home.
Oh, nestling, nestling, have faith to survive,
The morrow you'll find that you're still alive
To seek a haven where man is not seen,
ELYSIA, free and lush, so verdant green.
Time is short, life may soon be extinguished,
ELYSIA you find, or you are finished.


Here's the Amazon site with some reviews, (showing it's not too well known)

The Cold Moons
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Postby heliona » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:23 am

Cock-Robin wrote:Oh! That's a wonderful analysis, heliona! I never thought of it as Snitter's thoughts, but it makes sense. I'm puzzling over the words 'reet mazzer,' though. (Greet master? That's my guess.) I've just GOT to find that book again and read it.


Thank you. :blush: I was wondering about "reet mazer" as well, initially, but upon asking Wilko we decided it meant "right amazing" so the whole thing, "reet mazer yows" is "right amazing ewes", which makes sense. :) (What the tod actually said was "He [Rowf] wez a grand lad -- reet mazer wi' yows, tell him." Note that "mazer" has one "z" so it sounds a bit like "amaze" as well.) Often it's easier to read aloud what the tod says, although I can appreciate that only northern English people will be able to get even a half decent pronunciation! :D

Yes, I think you'd just LOVE The Cold Moons if you like badgers. I actually liked it better than Watership Down, not that the other is a bad book, it's great, but Cold Moons is better IMO. Actually I realize I'm comparing apples and oranges, and it may just be personal preference.


I shall keep an eye out for it. :) In fact, I've just ordered a signed copy off AbeBooks for under £4. :yippie: It's a great website for out-of-print and secondhand books, especially British ones as it is a UK website. (Although I believe they ship overseas as well.)

I knew I was in for a wonderful story at the opening poem, Perilous Dawn.

Oh, nestling, nestling, are you being born
For your eyes to close and not see the morn?
Oh, nestling, nestling, what can you have done
To return to sleep and not see the sun?
Why do they come to slaughter and ravage?
What have you done to deserve such carnage?
Nowhere to walk or play, you dare not roam,
Yet you cannot stay in this place called home.
Oh, nestling, nestling, have faith to survive,
The morrow you'll find that you're still alive
To seek a haven where man is not seen,
ELYSIA, free and lush, so verdant green.
Time is short, life may soon be extinguished,
ELYSIA you find, or you are finished.


That's a beautiful poem. :)
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Postby heliona » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:04 pm

Wilko has just brought his copy of The Plague Dogs back. It is different! (It is a Penguin edition from 1982. Made and printed in Great Britain. My copy is the Ballantine Books edition, from 2007. Published in the United States.)

From:

"Can't -- any more -- Rowf."
"Bite on to me, Snitter. Bite!"
"Cold."
"The island, Snitter -- the Isle of Dog! We must get there!"
"Cold. Tired."
No feeling in the legs. Cold. Cold. Longing to rest, longing to stop, losing two gasps in every three for a lungful of air. The stinging, muzzle-slapping water, rocking up and down. This isn't a dream. It's real, real. We're going to die.
"I'm sorry -- Snitter, about -- about the tod. All my fault."
"That's it! Remember -- tod -- tell you -- reet mazzer --"
"What?"
"Reet mazer -- yows --"
Cold. Sinking. Bitter, choking dark.


ends with a * and right from there it carries on:

Sir Peter Scott, despite his well-known ability as a sailor, did not very often put to sea in winter. ...

Ie:
.
.
.
"Reet mazer -- yows --"
Cold. Sinking. Bitter, choking dark.

*
Sir Peter Scott, despite his well-known ability as a sailor, did not very often put to sea in winter.
.
.
.


So in the British edition, there definitely is no Colloquy and no Sir Peter Scott biography. So, I was right! :D Richard Adams never meant to kill off the dogs. :)

It's very odd that there is the difference between the British and American editions, though.

But does that make you happier, Hobby? :)
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Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:19 pm

Wow. it is quite different. I've had to order another copy as I can't find the one I had. I read a lot of reviews, and those who have difficulty reading it didn't like the regressions and details, sort of like in Les Miserables or Moby Dick, or understanding the dialect, especially the tod's Geordi dialect. But I remember I had little to no problem reading it, and was simply astonished at the double ending.

Sometime, I"m going to have to find a British edition to compare them.
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Postby heliona » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:24 pm

Yes, Richard Adams does seem to be a bit like that sometimes. (I'm only going from having read Watership Down.) As for the Geordie accent, yes, it is quite difficult, although if you read it out loud it is a bit better (and obviously I know some Geordies so that makes life easier!).
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Postby truehobbit » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:21 pm

heliona wrote:Hobby, I believe we were talking about The Plague Dogs on YM and you mentioned that you had the American edition in reference to some of the tod's language being toned down. :)


Oooh, yes, that's right! :D


Also, the dogs believe that they are dead and are in doggy heaven. Who's to say that they are not? ;) (Although I suppose the wrapping up of everyone else's storylines would be a bit odd in a doggy heaven.)


Exactly (in fact, I'd forgotten about that). :D I think the mentioning of the dog island would be another point for their really dying. There obviously is no dog island in this world, so the only place they may be going to is doggy heaven...

But you have a great point with your analysis of the last lines. I agree it's in Snitter's mind that the last line takes place.
Hmmh, might be a good hint for the happy ending being the real one. And, yes, Rowf seems to be still going a bit stronger...


So perhaps Adams is playing on the idea that the reader will think that the dogs are dying, when in fact he is going to pluck them from the water at the last possible moment. (Let's face it, all the way through the book, they have escaped by seconds.)


Yes, if it hadn't been for the poem, I'd definitely have thought that.

Wilko has just brought his copy of The Plague Dogs back.


Great! Tell him thanks for that! :D

(My edition is the same as yours, btw. :D )

So in the British edition, there definitely is no Colloquy and no Sir Peter Scott biography.


:shock:

Wow. Which raises the question, why is it in the US edition?
Surely, the publishers wouldn't put it in of their own accord, would they?
And if the publisher wanted to add something to change the ending, wouldn't you expect that something to make an ending either clearer or happier?
I simply can't imagine a publisher going to the author saying, hey, we'd like to make the ending of your book really ambiguous and incomprehensible...can you?

So - is there a chance that maybe our Ballantine is the original and it's wilko's Penguin edition that had this part taken out, in order to make the ending unambiguous?

It's not that I don't want the dogs being saved to be the original ending, mind you. :D

I just find this very mysterious. And completely fascinating. :D


Edit: reet mazer dialect, it's in the glossary :D (Although, hey, even I would have got that 'reet' is 'right' and 'mazer' must have to do with 'amazing' - guess I've heard a good deal of Northern dialect at moots already :P :D )

Mazer: one who amazes [...] A common term of praise and commendation. E.g., "Yon Raquel Welch - by, mind, she's weel-stacked, a reet mazer!"
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Postby heliona » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:41 pm

truehobbit wrote:
So in the British edition, there definitely is no Colloquy and no Sir Peter Scott biography.


:shock:

Wow. Which raises the question, why is it in the US edition?
Surely, the publishers wouldn't put it in of their own accord, would they?
And if the publisher wanted to add something to change the ending, wouldn't you expect that something to make an ending either clearer or happier?
I simply can't imagine a publisher going to the author saying, hey, we'd like to make the ending of your book really ambiguous and incomprehensible...can you?

So - is there a chance that maybe our Ballantine is the original and it's wilko's Penguin edition that had this part taken out, in order to make the ending unambiguous?

It's not that I don't want the dogs being saved to be the original ending, mind you. :D

I just find this very mysterious. And completely fascinating. :D



Well, having a Sir Peter Scott biography would be a bit strange in a British edition, since one would assume that most British people who have some idea as to who he is.

The way Wilko's edition reads makes more sense and reads more smoothly that the American edition. I don't know, but I would conclude, just from feeling, that the British version is the original one, and perhaps after comments, Richard Adams decided to change it a wee bit.

(Also, there is actually an Isle of Dogs in the UK. And the island that they were vaguely swimming towards was the Isle of Man, as Rowf unknowingly said. I had a bit of a smile at that bit. I think that might have been just a clever piece of wording by Adams.)
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Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Postby truehobbit » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:53 pm

heliona wrote: The way Wilko's edition reads makes more sense and reads more smoothly that the American edition. I don't know, but I would conclude, just from feeling, that the British version is the original one, and perhaps after comments, Richard Adams decided to change it a wee bit.


In which case we'd need to find out why he decided that. :D

(Also, there is actually an Isle of Dogs in the UK. And the island that they were vaguely swimming towards was the Isle of Man, as Rowf unknowingly said. I had a bit of a smile at that bit. I think that might have been just a clever piece of wording by Adams.)


That is cool, I didn't know that. :D
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Postby heliona » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:41 am

truehobbit wrote:In which case we'd need to find out why he decided that. :D


I tried to find any reference to the difference online, but all that came up was differences between the book and the film. *sigh* Since Richard Adams is 89, unless someone else asks him, we probably won't find out. :)
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Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Postby Cock-Robin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:30 pm

I found out my copy of The Plague Dogs came in today, but for some strange reason, Amazon sent it via UPS instead of by the post office. And they're terrible about delivery times. Your entire life has to come to a screeching halt to wait for them. I arranged to pick it up tomorrow at their station. *sigh*
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:34 am

My copy of The Plague Dogs came in yesterday. The package I thougth was that book was something else. A wonderful TORC angel sent me a copy of Arda Reconstructed. It's already a fascinating read. And I can't wait to start reading PD again.
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Postby truehobbit » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:15 pm

Wow, good for you, Robin! 8)

Since Richard Adams is 89, unless someone else asks him, we probably won't find out.


Or, I suppose we could write to him... :D
(I tried googling, too, but no luck. Odd, you'd think they'd account for that in the book. Maybe in a hundred years, when it gets edited like a historic classic... :roll: )

Changing the topic a bit: the last two times I've been to the cinema they advertised a new movie with your name, heliona. :D
I always think it's cool when my own name comes up that way (like in a song-title or a place etc), wondering if you feel like that, too? :)
And if so, I'm curious if you're planning to watch it. :D
Frankly, it looks like it's bound to be even more depressive than the one with my name in it :P :D (Parma found the one with mine for me last year and I had to watch it just because of the name - loved it, yes it was depressive but in a good way :D ). Though I guess yours probably has a happy ending. :D
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Postby heliona » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:35 pm

I haven't heard of it, I don't think. What's it called?
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Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for the might-have-beens. - Arthur Ransome

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Postby truehobbit » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:10 pm

hobby wrote:a new movie with your name


Surprisingly, it's called "Helen". :P
(But I shouldn't tease, it could've been anything with your name in it - the one with my name isn't just "Monika" either, it's "The Summer with Monika" :D Plus, on googling "Helen", I couldn't even find a release date for the UK, so I don't know whether it's already run there or whether you'd not have had a chance to hear of it. :) )
From what I understand, "Helen" is about clinical depression, but it seems to have a bit of a 'love cures all' aspect to it. I'd be interested to know if it ends as well as the trailer suggests, but from what the trailer shows, I don't like the movie much. Not sure if I'll try to watch it. :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4caiLBE ... re=related
:)


Edit: I notice we are over 2000 posts. Hmmh - should I contact Silwen? Or just restart the thread?
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Postby heliona » Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:13 pm

I don't think it matters who starts it. Since this one is going to be locked shortly, I might as well go ahead and start the new one. (Especially since you're not logged on at the moment!)

edit: here's the link to the Lounge thread version 6!
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Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for the might-have-beens. - Arthur Ransome

Just because I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor doesn't mean I'm not a lady.

In Memoriam EDW - March 14th 2009
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