Today’s posts are going to be a little lighter than usual. I’m spending today and probably tomorrow preparing my end-of-year in books review, and also trying to push further ahead in Part Two of my book project (which is finally yielding its secrets to me, though it’s making me fight through every rank and take every trench). Also, Rena Partnerlove is reading Part One, and while I know I still need to fix a lot of things, her initial reports were favorable. At least, she didn’t need a vomit bucket.
Over at Freda’s Voice, they host a fun bit called “The Friday 56.” Go to page 56 of the book you’re reading, post a few sentences. That’s it. I’m finishing up The Dragonbone Chair right now, and since I already know I’ll be recommending this to everyone and their cousins (in other words, for those of you with cousins: please forward my review when it comes out this weekend) I’m posting an interesting page from the first part of this book.
Before he could bring the face around to look at it once more, Malachias suddenly put both hands in the middle of Simon’s chest and gave a surprisingly hard push. He lost his grip on the youth’s jerkin and staggered backward, then fell on his seat. Before he could even attempt to rise, Malachias had whisked through the doorway, pulling it shut behind him with a loud, reverberating squeal of bronze hinges.
Simon was still sitting on the stone floor — sore knee, sore rump, and mortally wounded dignity clamoring for attention — when the sexton Barnabus came in out of the Chancelry hall to investigate the noise. He stopped as if stunned in the doorway, looking from Simon bootless on the floor to the torn and crumpled tapestry in front of the stairwell, then turned his stair back to Simon. Barnabas said not a word, but a vein began to drumbeat high on each temple, and his brow beetled downward until his eyes were the merest slits.
Simon, routed and massacred, could only sit and shake his head, like a drunkard who had tripped over his own jug and landed upon the Lord Mayor’s cat.
Between reading this book the first time in late 1990 and reading it now, I’ve since read the Gormenghast books twice, and I think I enjoy the scenes in the castle more because I can see the influence Mervyn Peake had on Mr Williams’s writing. And like all skilled and talented writers, he works his influence in gently, like an accent, and not in bold strokes with a sharpie across the face of one’s own painting, hoping that a loud caricature of Gandalf or Steerpike will attract readers and not just amuse critics.
Have a fun and exciting morning, and I hope you have good tea, a good book, and a good day.
7 thoughts on “The Friday 56: The Dragonbone Chair”
Good luck with your writing. That quote about “Writing is easy. Just open a vein and bleed” seems to be true (at least for me).
I rarely read fantasy, but I enjoyed the excerpt from The Dragonbone Chair. The author did a great job of “showing” the scene.
My Friday post features Náápiikoan Winter.
I haven’t read this but I’m intrigued. I always enjoy when I can find the influences of other writers or events on writing. It’s kind of a peek behind the scenes.
My thoughts exactly. I’m a jazz musician as well, and there’s a long tradition of showing off a lick or a passage from a musician you admire. I look at writing the same way. It also tells me (a) not to be ashamed if my influences show, and (b) how to make sure they don’t show up too blatantly.
Sounds like quite the fantasy. I’ll be sure to look into it.
That quote about writing sure hits home. I may not have written any books, but writing reviews can even be a struggle.
My Friday 56 from Guarded
You pulled me right in!! 🙂
Wishing you the best in 2017!
And a very happy 2017 to you, too! Thanks for stopping by.
Sounds very intriguing – happy reading!