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Here Abide Monsters by Andre Norton
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Here Abide Monsters (1973)

by Andre Norton

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Very dull. A young man getting away from his father and his manipulating step-mother offers to accompany a young woman who is taking party supplies to a friend's cabin by a route known for mysterious disappearances at widely spaced intervals. They find themselves in an alternate world with the geography of the Ohio they left behind but a wishy washy pseudo Celtic pseudo medieval fairy land beset with alien abductions via flying saucers with arbitrarily opposed flying cigars. Neither the fantasy nor the sf elements have roots or depth beyond kiddie TV and while interesting characters are set in place only the slightest play is given to all but one or two. I have enjoyed one or two clear mixtures of SF and mid-20th cent fantasy which have come much closer to working, but this is a flat fail. ( )
  quondame | Aug 6, 2018 |
Second book for my WWE Women of Genre Fiction challenge! I've been meaning to try reading Andre Norton since forever: I know she's not exactly neglected as a female SF/F writer, but she's one of those SF/F giants that I never found time for.

My choice was somewhat dictated by what was available. I wasn't sure what was in a series or not, or whether it mattered, so this one -- obviously a standalone -- caught my eye in the second-hand shop. I always love the idea of fairytale creatures and the real world crossing over, the idea that there's a reason why we used to believe in such things even though we've never seen them before.

I have no idea if this was a good specimen of Andre Norton's work, though. I found it slow, in the first two thirds or so, maybe even three quarters. There was a slow, slow build-up to a massive finish, with the characters taking a huge step in their development in barely a page, at the end... I felt a little cheated, there: I wanted to see an agony of indecision, not the helpless acceptance that we seem to see at the end.

Parts of it are beautiful, though -- the descriptions of the city, of Rita, and the whole character of the Vicar. He was so locked into his faith, in a way that's alien to me. To me, "there is only one source after all, but from it many rivers"; the faith and singleness of belief that the Vicar displays, choosing his one river and following it, not denying the rest but holding to the rightness of that choice -- I admire his faith, but I can't emotionally understand his unwillingness to change when he accepts that the other choices aren't evil, are just as valid. He seems to still say, in the end, "my way is the only way" -- that's what's so difficult for me, though maybe it can be seen as "my way is the only way for me", and that does ring true.

Anyway, I think I enjoyed it overall, but it really was rather slow and, for a while, pretty dry. I don't feel much for the main male and female protagonists, particularly because of how badly Nick sees women. I sort of wondered if Norton was going to have him come to any kind of realisation about that, as part of his growth, but I'm afraid he doesn't. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
A really good book. I recommend it to anyone, any age old enough to read.
  Ron001 | Sep 22, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andre Nortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaughan, JackIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poyser, VictoriaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Bee Lowry, who suggested that Lung Hsin be one of the adventurers in Avalon.
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To Nick's left the sun had hardly topped the low trees.
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Recounts some famous hurricanes of history and describes what man has learned about hurricanes, how they are tracked, and attempts to tame them.

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