The power of words to terrify

November 19, 2010

A very disrupted flight back overnight. I got to National to discover the flight to Chicago was delayed, so I was hurried to a taxi for Dullas,rushed through security for a flight to Miami and then tore between gates in one of those little motorized trolleys to catch the last flight out to Heathrow. It all worked out in the end, but it was a close run thing. It’s essential if you travel a lot not to let yourself get stressed. It all works out in the end, you need to be helpful and persuasive, and use your knowledge of routings (experienced travelers often know more than the agents) to help things out. The more you travel the more relaxed you get about this.

Part of this is keeping your mind occupied and I have been running through Alan Garner’s books on the iPod. Round about the time I was rushing through the tunnels of Miami airport I was with Susan and Colin in their escape from the Earldelving. Now if you haven’t read The Wierdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath then you have a treat in store. I was first terrified by this book, and the Earldelving scene as a child when it was read on Children’s Hour on the Radio. Radio is far more terrifying than television if you have any sort of an imagination. I won’t ruin it for you by describing the events in question (if you want to know see this excellent review) but the quality of the writing, its matter of fact descriptions and complete rejection of sensationalism all contribute to one of the great children’s novels of all time; add the wonderful Owl Service , and Elidor to your reading list while you are at it.

Good writing for children, always appeals to adults, it allows meaning to emerge on multiple levels. It’s why I think authors such as Enid Blyton and Roland Dahl are so poor; they dumn down rather than reaching up

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