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Goodbye, Abel

Yeah, I'm still thinking about William Steig. Found a couple of good reviews on the Net, of my two favorite books by him.

"It's hard to imagine that Abel's Island was written only 21 years ago. This delightful fantasy about a mouse marooned on a river island has a timeless quality that succeeds in a way that children's books full of the latest slang and social relevance rarely can. The charm of the book is that it takes itself seriously (not that it's a solemn book), allowing the reader to enter into and maintain the fantasy for the entire story... Abel's Island works on so many levels that it's no wonder it is a classic and a Newberry Medal honor book... Adults respond not only to the story, but to the universal emotions and questions Abel ponders. Steig never talks down to his readers, nor does he simplify Abel's struggles, both real and existential. If you haven't read Abel's Island, take a half hour and treat yourself. If you have, read it aloud as a treat for a friend." (from the review at The SF Site)

And as for Dominic:

"In the tradition of the great picaresques, like Don Quixote, and of the kind of quests that Arthurian knights set out on, Dominic the dog leaves home one day in search of adventure. He immediately meets an alligator-witch, but refuses to let her tell him his future, but who sets him on the right road; a catfish, who gives him a spear that will make him invincible; a fox, a ferret, and a weasel who turn out to be members of the Doomsday Gang, with which he will do battle for the rest of the book; and a hundred year old pig, Bartholomew Badger..." (from the Brothers Judd review)

The alligator-witch had certainly been right, Life wasn't dull along this road. Fighting the bad ones in the world was a necessary and gratifying experience. Being happy among the good ones was, of course, even more gratifying. But one could not be happy among the good ones unless one fought the bad ones. He felt he was serving some important and useful purpose.

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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