Saturday, November 27, 2010

At the Back of the North Wind

I finished reading George MacDonald's classic tale At the Back of the North Wind earlier this week, and reviewed it at the Christian Fiction website.  For those less interested in the Christian perspective in the novel, I thought a note here might be warranted.

George MacDonald is a great story-teller.  He can be really funny, and he draws up a past age through his writing.  In his day, children's literature was really just coming into its own, and MacDonald was a big part of that process.

At the Back of the North Wind is addressed to the child reader, but I think it certainly has a much broader appeal than that.  It is a well-constructed piece, fully of whimsy and imagination.  The places the novel takes us are well put together, with images that draw you in to want to read more.

There are many people who might like to lay claim to the title of father of the modern fantasy genre, but I think it is arguable that MacDonald forms at least a good bit of the root system of that whole branch of literature.  At the Back of the North Wind is one of the classic pieces that establishes him in the genre, written back in the days when no one really thought of such a genre existing at all.  He was admired by many writers who came after him, and his fiction left an indelible mark on this whole field of writing that has grown to be so huge in today's book market.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I just finished reading Greg Donegan's Atlantis today, something I finished pretty much in two evenings this week.  It is a fast-paced, fun action tale with lots of sci-fi, adventure, and spy novel elements all mixed in.

Browsing through Amazon, I found the book is the first of a series.  The whole Atlantis Collection - Set of 6 titles - Atlantis, Assault on Atlantis, Atlantis Gate, Atlantis Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis Devil's Sea, Battle for Atlantis is available at Amazon. I think reading them all could be pretty fun, and this first one made me at least willing to keep an eye out for the others.

The story moves along quickly, following the unfolding of an intriguing plot in the company of some memorable characters.  If you're looking for  a way to while away a lazy weekend, you could do a lot worse than Atlantis.  I'm not sure about the rest of the series, but I think I'll find out before long.

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