- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Reality Street (21 May 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1874400628
- ISBN-13: 978-1874400622
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Tapestry Paperback – 21 May 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyone fortunate enough to get to Bayeux on a quiet day, with this book, will never look at the tapestry, particularly the fantastical creatures, and allusions, in the same light again. A good read"
The story – about the women who stitched the Bayeux Tapestry – sounded as if it should be a good one. It’s clearly a bolde experyment, hence the faux-Middle English in which it is written. This grated a little, but I could have overlooked it had it not been intercut, on just about every page, by jarring modern idiom (sprung a leak… go about thyr business… did the penny finally drop). I’m sure it was being done on purpose, as part of the bolde experyment, because the author was quite clearly too skilled to do it by mistake, but I didn’t last long enough to work out what that purpose was.
I gritted my teeth when a city’s worth of people took to the forest to live up in the trees and jumped from bough to bough like monkeys: I don’t read books which advertise their magical realism for the very good reason that I can’t stand magical realism. In that jarring modern idiom, it does my head in. If you are going to write fantasy, write fantasy: that’s fine. Magical realism falls with a mighty crash between two stools, and I don’t like falling down there with it.
Our magical realist narrator was living in the trees, and discovering the joys of birdsong. We were clearly supposed to be impressed by her (I think it was) knowledge of the greenewoode, wherein woodpeckers bark. Um, no, they don’t. They cackle, or they drum. Also in the greenewoode sang the skylark.Read more ›
Confused? Let me give you an example of the writing: “Sche arrives during the niht, between the hours of matins and lauds… and quickly the rumour spreads from lit to lit lyk wild-fyr: Aelfgyva has come home!” It’s a bit like reading Trainspotting, you have to use your brain to understand what’s happening – that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you should prepare yourself and bear this in mind before you start.
Once you get past the language, which is deliberate and one of the delights of Terry’s work once you get in to it, it’s actually quite an enjoyable read – another great example of Reality Street publishing innovative work. But the problem with being innovative is that it’s not always guaranteed to make you appealing to everyone – if you get a copy of this and you really love books then stick at it, it’s a long old read but it’s well worth it in the end.