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Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones [Dec. 3rd, 2014|04:37 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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Review copy provided in e-book format by Tor Books.

This is a reread for me, but one with a long gap between readings. I remember, for example, thinking how right Jones had gotten the details of the convention she's describing the first time I'd read it. But the first time I'd read it, I didn't have so many British friends, so I didn't have the context to know how even more right it was for British conventions. I haven't ever used the closing ceremonies scene from Deep Secret as a Why I Don't Mostly Go To Closing Ceremonies shorthand, but I could. Because the people randomly singing and being annoying and the guest of honor's speech going the same places his panels have gone that aren't the interesting places and...yeah. The thing is, the places this book goes about conventions are both the good things and the bad. There is a Sharyn McCrumb book that's set at a convention that just set my teeth on edge, because it only had the ridiculous/stupid things and not the good ones, as far as I could stand to read. And this is not that.

It's also not all conventions all the time. There's a great deal of cross-world magic plot, people making assumptions they get overturned, people growing into themselves at various ages, and whether or not you are suited for vet med. It's a fun book. It's definitely worth a reread. If you don't go to conventions, it might be an introduction to the hijinks people get up to there (albeit in highly British form; other countries' mileage varying etc.). If you do, you'll recognize quite a bit amidst the Intentions and workings. And you'll know exactly which of your friends to eye suspiciously as a possible Zinka.

(It's Elise. Just FYI.)
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Comments:
From: diatryma
2014-12-04 02:49 am (UTC)
Deep Secret is the first DWJ book that I read as DWJ that hit me. My superpower is picking up the wrong book of hers. It just all worked together, even the parts I didn't click with.
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[User Picture]From: carbonel
2014-12-04 04:46 am (UTC)
Sue Mason?
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2014-12-04 05:44 pm (UTC)
That and The Merlin Conspiracy are two of my favorites of her books.
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[User Picture]From: ethelmay
2014-12-05 02:06 am (UTC)
Note that there are two editions, and the American one is censored (sweary, sexy stuff, for the most part -- not violence, don't be silly).
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-12-05 04:04 am (UTC)
This is a new American edition from Tor Books; its editorial staff would have to speak to whether it is replicating previous American editions or British ones.
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[User Picture]From: ethelmay
2014-12-05 08:27 pm (UTC)
Some of the differences are highlighted here: http://readingtheend.com/2010/02/05/writing-swear-words-in-the-margins/

Does yours contain the word "loincloth"? or "orgiastically"?
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[User Picture]From: ethelmay
2014-12-05 08:31 pm (UTC)
I just checked on the "look inside" feature on Amazon, and apparently the 2000 Tor Fantasy version was the original, so this probably is too.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-12-05 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the version where Zinka is drawing on the guy's thigh and he's wearing leather pants is just rude. Think how hard it would be to get Sharpie off that poor leather.
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[User Picture]From: ethelmay
2014-12-06 04:44 am (UTC)
True! I must confess that as funny as that scene is, I find it more than a bit date-rapey. I can't think of a way to use magic to lure possible sexual partners that isn't ethically problematic, and it's not as though Mr. Loincloth has consented to be drawn on at all, let alone magically.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-12-06 10:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was one way in which Zinka is not elisem.
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