Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

  • Music:

Additional Note to the Most Bestest Australian Books.

In my desire to amuse myself in the previous post about the ABC's ten favourite books that Australians have, I forgot to mention that there was a children's book list, too. Topping it was Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Now, I'm not a fan of Tolkien, but I don't really think of it as a kids book. Apparently the Hobbit is, but due to my dislike for Lord of the Rings, I never read it. I'm kind of rational like that. But in truth, I'm not really interested in arguing if it is or it isn't. What I am interested in, however, is that the listing of Lord of the Rings as a kids book ties into my long held opinion that generic, heroic fantasy is aimed at a young adult audience. Those books that follow in the tradition of Tolkien (Eddings, Jordan, Williams... I'm about six years out of who is who in that tradition, so fill in your own name as best held) are actually nothing more than books that carry the sensibilities and simplistic cultural values that you find in young adult novels, though occasionally with less preaching about issues. In addition, you could argue that the style used by the authors of mainstream fantasy is deliberately simple, appealing to those who are still finding their way to navigate complex narrative and sentence structures.

In a very simple way, you could continue to argue that the rise of the new weird (which is not so new and no so weird) is due to the rising age of its audience. A large fantasy reading audience that is now entering their twenties, and looking for something slightly different, takes their first step sideways in a tiny way, and ends up with something like China Mieville's novels, which are still, once things are said and done, a fantasy trilogy. Very few people change their recreational habits by huge degrees--rather, they change in slight movements, almost unaware of it until they look back and realise that they haven't read what they read when they were younger for years.

Anyhow, it's just a thought. Could be nothing but MSU.*

* (M)aking (S)hit (U)p.

Also, someone from Malta came by this blog. Cool.

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