Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekly Geeks #16

This week for Weekly Geeks, I interviewed Bart from Bart's Bookshelf about The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and he interviewed me about Tithe. Here are both interviews.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Somer: Do you think the storyline in The Invention of Hugo Cabret could have effectively stood on its own, or do you think its success was wholly a product of the illustrations?

Bart: Hmm... Good question! There's no doubt that there would need to be some work added to the story as, so much of it is conveyed in the images, and despite the size of the book, it is actually quite a slim story (and I don't mean that in a derisory manner as it is only intended to be a short story, not an epic!) even with added text though, I think it would suffer, as the story itself is about a visual medium (film). It'd be a bit like a recipe book without pictures, it'd work, but...

Somer: Do you think that your impression of the book as an adult is different than that of, say, a 10-year-old boy?

Bart: Yes, I don't think (at least I know I would not have at 10!) a ten year old would appreciate the detail in the artwork, and the cleverness of it's execution in quite the same way ;) However I think that as an adult, in that appreciation, I miss out on the simple "Cor! this is cool"-ness (or whatever phrase the hip-kids are using) of it all.

Somer: Avoiding spoilers, as I have yet to read the book, what was your favorite part?

Bart: The art-work, easilly the art-work, you really do have to sit down and 'read' the book to appreciate it fully, you can stand in the bookshop and look at it, and ooh and ahh, all you like, but the moment you sit down to read and see it working properly, it takes it to a whole other level of brilliance.

Somer: This book is huge, and the size could be intimidating to a reluctant reader. How would you convince a young reader to pick it up?

Bart: I don't know, after Harry Potter and Twilight, are big books as intimidating as they used to be? Even if they are, it's not an intimidating book when you start to flip through it, the vast majority of pages have no text on and those that do have nice large print and lots of 'white-space'. I'd probably ask them to just have a look at the pictures on the first few pages, honestly if you can get them to do that, you won't need to do anything else.

Somer: Have you read anything else by Brian Selznick (or illustrated by Selznick), and, if so, how does Hugo Cabret compare?

Bart: No, I've not read anything else he has been involved in. 

Tithe by Holly Black

Bart: What made you read Tithe? Was it the book itself or had you read some Spiderwick stuff?

Somer: I don't actually remember how Tithe originally made it onto my TBR stack. I think the cover must have caught my attention at some point, and I added it to my Amazon wishlist. I got the book as a Christmas gift in 2006 (thank you, LibraryThing tags!). Libba Bray (author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and sequels) has raved a lot on her blog about Holly Black, which also influenced my decision to read Tithe. Even though I realized Holly Black co-authored Spiderwick, it really didn't have anything to do with my decision to read the book at all.

Bart: How would you describe the atmoshere of the book? (Scary, disquietning, moody etc.)

Somer: Overall, Tithe is very dark. The main character, Kaye, is a high-school dropout with a troubling homelife. That sort of sets the tone for the whole book. 

Bart: What was your favourite bit and why?

Somer: I always have a hard time with this type of question. I really enjoyed the entire book. I think my favorite parts were any of the parts set in the faery realm because I like the departure from reality.

Bart: And what as your least favourite bit and why? (I'm thinking here not so much of something that was wrong or did not work, but more of something did exactly what the author wanted it to and either scared you or squicked you out etc. :o) )

Somer: Well, I don't want to give spoilers, so I'll do the best I can. To tell you the truth, my least favorite aspect of the book is the switching of the princes in the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. This is an important part of the book, but I had a really hard time keeping track of which courth Nephamael and Roiben actually belonged to and which queen they were serving. But that may have just been me. 

Bart: And finally, who would you recommend read this book to and why? And/or who would you not recommend the book, and why?

Somer: Anyone who enjoys urban fantasy would likely enjoy this book. Fans of Libba Bray, who haven't already discovered this would probably like it. Kids who have outgrown Spiderwick. I wouldn't recommend this for tweens, as it's just a bit too gritty (speaking as the mom of an almost-12-year-old). Teens, yes, but I would probably want my daughter to wait until she was 13 or 14. Mainly because there are some mature themes (a mom that parties a lot, some sexual content (though no actual sex that I can remember)).


Ana S. said...

Thank you for the interviews. Both of these are books I'm very interested in reading.

gautami tripathy said...

Both seem like good books. I am gonna check out!

WG #16: Interviewing

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

Great interviews! I read and enjoyed Tithe, now I just need to read the rest of the series.

Fyrefly said...

I wandered over here from Bart's Bookshelf...

Great interviews - I had a hard time keeping track of Seelie vs. Unseelie loyalties at the end of Tithe as well. Have you read either of the sequels? How are they?