Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Had Great Taste for an Elementary School Student

Last night I reread A Wizard of Earthsea so that when I reached Tehanu in my reading list I won't stall on it. The last time I read it I was in the first grade and though I forgot the title and never did look at the sequels (I think they were available at that point but I'm not sure) it had a huge impact on me. Twenty years later when someone mentioned the plot of the book it occurred to me that was what I had read, but by that point I had no tolerance for weak, generic fantasy novels so I didn't bother going back. Besides 95% of what we love as children isn't very good; there's no reason to go back and spoil those memories.

So I didn't have very high expectations when I picked up the book again and I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit. Sure it's been copied more times than I can count at this point and the structure of the novel is more than a little choppy but on the whole it's a strong book. I certainly enjoy the "young man learning to be a wizard" plot more with it than with the Harry Potter series; there was more character growth and world building about magic in three chapters than there was in seven books of Harry Potter.

So obviously I had fine tastes in literature as child. I certainly didn't pick up the book because I had just read The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia and Le Guin's novel had "Wizard" in the title.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.