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Doctor Who: Dead of Winter by James Goss
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Title:Doctor Who: Dead of Winter
Authors:James Goss
Info:BBC Digital (2011), Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:11th Doctor, TV, eBook

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Doctor Who: Dead of Winter by James Goss



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A Doctor Who novel featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory. This one's got a rather unusual structure: short first-person chapters from Amy's perspective alternate with letters and journal entries from the guest characters, plus a smattering of one or two other POVs. It uses a few other odd narrative tricks, too. The execution of all this isn't perfect; there was a moment or two where I actually found some aspect of it a little frustrating. But mostly it's interesting and engaging. I've only read a few of the current crop of Who novels, but most of them have been rather boringly conventional in their storytelling, so Goss's willingness to experiment is something of a breath of fresh air.

The plot -- which involves a sort of sanitarium in 18th century France, a well-meaning doctor, and creatures from the sea who seem to offer a miracle cure -- isn't terribly complex, and features some familiar elements, but it plays out in interesting ways, with moments of slight creepiness and an emotionally complex ending.

The characterization is mostly pretty great, with strong voices, both internal and external, and some really nice insights. There is one annoying false note to it, though, in that the Doctor sometimes gets genuinely and gratuitously nasty towards and about Rory, culminating in a disparaging remark about his profession and his sexuality that was both very out of character and Very Not Cool. I can only imagine that this was the author attempting to portray a bit of tension or jealousy in the strange, three-pronged Doctor-Amy-Rory relationship and going slightly too far with it, but it's befuddling, because he does such a good job with that relationship elsewhere, addressing it in ways that are infinitely more nuanced and accurate.

Rating: Despite its flaws -- and I'm really tempted to knock off a half-star for that stupid remark about male nurses -- I'm giving this onea 4/5. It's definitely one of the more interesting and worthwhile Who novels I've read recently. ( )
  bragan | Sep 26, 2016 |
Tom Taylor is a long time Dr. Who fan.
  SCKLS | Oct 3, 2013 |

A splendidly creepy story of the Doctor, Amy and Rory (set between the wedding and the opening of Season 6) at a Swiss sanatorium in the late 18th century where almost nothing is as it seems. James Goss varies from entertaining to excellent as a Who writer, and this is a particularly inventive novel, told from the points of view of various narrators, including the Doctor, Amy and Rory, all of whom turn out to be unreliable in one way or the other. As with any Who-related work by Goss, this is strongly recommended.

I started it by listening to the audio version read by Clare Corbett and then realised I had the paper copy of the book, so read the last two thirds in dead tree format, really because I am a quick reader and wanted to find out what happened; Corbett's reading, and in particular her characterisation of the different first-person narrators with their varying accents, is excellent. ( )
  nwhyte | Jul 28, 2011 |
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"In a remote clinic in 18th-century Italy, a lonely girl writes to her mother. She tells of pale English aristocrats and mysterious Russian nobles. She tells of intrigues and secrets, and strange faceless figures that rise from the sea. And she tells about the enigmatic Mrs Pond, who arrives with her husband and her physician. What she doesn't tell her mother is the truth that everyone knows and no one says - that the only people who come here do so to die" -- Cover verso.… (more)

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