Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Alternate-universe Amazon

It was basically random associative thinking, but the effect of reading on the one hand a an argument Rousseau makes about whether people naturally walk on two legs or four and a reference to Robin McKinley in Justine's recent post about how to find an agent sent me back to a particular favorite book of mine, McKinley's Deerskin, which aside from its other merits is a great novel about puppies. I love McKinley's books (all except for the Robin Hood one, which for some reason I've never been able to get into) and have read them all again and again. She gets my vote for the first writer I'd look up on the alternate-universe Amazon--you know, where one day (like in a fairytale) you log onto Amazon and look up a familiar author and discover that in the alternate universe they have written the same number of books but COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ONES from the ones you've already read a million times. And the shipping charges aren't any higher than from regular-universe Amazon. I would basically have a fit of joy. The other thing I'd order would be the missing fourth volume of the sequence that begins with this, which is my single favorite novel of all time; while the sequels were unpublished in Rebecca West's lifetime, volumes two and three were published posthumously, and there's a tantalizing sketch of how the plot was meant to round out. In literary terms, the sequels are far inferior to the first one, but I am so obsessed with this fictional world that I really don't care, and would give anything to be able to read the last installment....

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