When I read The 13 Clocks a few weeks ago, I immediately got a hankering for The White Deer, James Thurber’s other brilliant children’s novel.
I remember when I first read this novel. Thurber was still illustrating (they’re so charming!) and it was as whimsical as Clocks without being tiresome or repetitive. It was also much like the fractured fairy tales of my youth (mostly provided by Rocky and Bullwinkle), which made it appeal all the more.
Unfortunately, it was not supposed to be this week’s book. If you look at my updated Books page (which, by the way, has been a bear to update regularly, but I’ve done it!), it says this week was Heart of Darkness. Unfortunately, the person I was borrowing the book from promised to get it to me on Monday, but didn’t get it to me until Thursday. I couldn’t even do a mid-book review on Wednesday like I had so carefully planned! I felt stupid–I should have known to switch over to a different book much earlier.
Now, could I read Heart of Darkness quickly and get it reviewed by tomorrow? Yes. Do I want to? No. I’ve heard so many good things about the book and the subject matter that it really does deserve a week. So, I went to a different book. Having delayed so long, I was unable to finish it tonight. Hence the mid-book review today. On Sunday, I’ll post the review. I hope.
In re-reading this little piece of whimsy, I’ve remembered what it is I love about fairy tales (their enduring nature) and Thurber (his prose). Each brother in this book has his own fairy tale within the fairy tale and there is a sense that, with enough time, the recursive tales would have been continued by Thurber forever.
There is a small Arthurian connection that’s always made me wonder if there’s more that I’m missing. I cannot tell you how dumb I felt when I discovered the connection on my fifth or sixth reading. This reading is dedicated to find the backwards connections. I don’t know that there will be anything to find, but I’m going to go through with a fine-toothed comb (or just my normal reading eyes) to capture those connections.
Hope to see you Sunday!
P.S. I SWEAR I pushed post on this Saturday night! I have NO IDEA why it didn’t post! Now the title of this blog is particularly apt. *grumpgrumpgrump* Clearly I didn’t make the Sunday deadline, but I’m working on the review right now.