March 2011 Fantasy BotM: Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    I hadn't considered one way or another whether Keaton fit into the mythology. Good catch there, Ev. I agree completely.


    spaz -- This was a reread for me and I had a lot going on on the last day I was reading, but I was trying to get through it anyway. So it's possible that I didn't allow myself to soak it in as it deserved. I don't think it's a book that takes well to being pressed through, and I may have done it that injustice this time around as I was rereading more as a refresher than as an experience unto itself.
     
  2. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    I've been haunting the forums constantly for quite a while. Why did I only see this now? Mythago Wood and Lavondyss are two of my favorite books!

    I totally agree with everything Erfael has said. However, I did grow confused quite often while reading Mythago Wood and frequently had to go back and reread passages. This, I think, is due to reading too much of the swords/fireballs stuff of fantasy and not enough conceptual tales such as this book. I have not read it too recently (a few years now) so I should probably go back and read it again, see if that helps at all.

    To answer your questions, Eventine, about the following books: I read Lavondyss 2 years ago. Great book! Real world relationships were difficult for me to place, however, and it dealt with those enough that you need a firm grounding on who's who and how they connect to this person. Mostly, the problem for me lay in the MC's father--in no way was he portrayed to be older than 40 yrs old, definitely not old enough to have a twenty--thirty-something son and a much younger daughter. But then, I guess, as everything is seen through the MC's eyes, you can say that kids do not place their parents in age brackets. That's something that comes with a bit more age than what she has/had. Also, yes, the second book is a much sadder tale. I can see how people might find it hard to get through. However, I did not find it very confusing for the swords/fireballs people like the first book. Perhaps because I had read Mythago Wood and had all the background from that that Lavondyss depends upon so heavily?

    I've also read the third book, The Hollowing, and that was this last fall. If you really like the myth-world/forest-world as someone called it (can't remember nor find it now) then I do not recommend it. At least, don't go into it expecting it to be the same. From my pov, Holdstock did that same sort of thing that some other fantasy writers have done in long series: in early books, distance from A to B takes 1 week to travel by horseback. Later books in the series, it takes maybe an hour or two by the same mode of transportation. Only Holdstock did it with the wood. Still a good book, but totally different I thought than the first two. And so much so that I don't know if I want to get the fourth.

    I know this is a discussion about Mythago Wood and I am sorry for going off topic. Just trying to answer Eventine's questions about the sequels and any that others might have. Glad to see that Mythago Wood is a BOTM, sorry I can't give more to the actual discussion of it.
     
  3. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    I recently read Mythago Wood myself. While I liked it, I wouldn't say that I loved it.

    A snippet from my thoughts:

    The fantasy elements really resonated with me though, Holdstock did a great job of making them seem...fantastic, and totally out of place in the normal run of things.

    Solid book, but not completely my cup of tea.
     
  4. Dorothyd

    Dorothyd New Member

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    it's taking me a while to get round this site, apologies, work tends to get in the way, writing that is!
    Mythago Wood is one of my all time favourite books, I was in communication with Robert Holdstock in my early writing days and treasured the friendship. His passing deeply saddened me.
    Mythago Wood is a complex book of many levels, it depends on your particular interest which way you read it. I am mostly a horror reader rather than fantasy, there are strong horror elements in it, but I did get carried away with the myths and multi layers of the book on my recent re-read, a few months ago, when I wanted to take a sideways trip from my usual reading. One thing I have, which is precious to me, is a photograph Robert took of a tree with stretched out branches which looks remarkably like a green man in a forest, indicative of Mythago Wood.