Thursday 28 April 2011


Finished April 27
Dragonhunt by Frances Duncan
I heard of this book in a book I read earlier this month, Book Ends. It sounded interesting and I managed to pick up a used copy. It is an older book (published in 1981) but doesn't read that way. I loved the use of words, the imagery, and the story. It read like an allegory to me, perhaps because of the visions the main character, Bernice, has. She was very interesting. At first, I thought she might be autistic, because of the way she avoided social situations and meeting people's eyes, but as I read on, that seemed to be more something she had grown into. To me, it felt like she'd had abuse in her life and had retreated from that.
An example of the wonderful language:

" Bernice now felt she wanted to give George words, felt as obsessed with wanting words as she had felt denying them. She wanted to find exactly the right words with the right nuances, to swim in an ocean of words and by fishing to pull up for his benefit exactly the most perfect word, to lay it at the altar of that smile. She tried, but was not satisfied, for words were too important, too invocative and evocative, and there were elements she wished to neither invoke nor evoke. Also, words had no revocative power; once uttered they remained, objects with separate identities, as palpable as a clam or pearl, able to punish, haunt, wreak havoc with their existence. Better to suppress the desire to give words, to abort their existence."
Not a long book, but an intense one, and one I wanted to savour.

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