HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Among Others by Jo Walton
Loading...

Among Others

by Jo Walton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,4202184,247 (3.96)2 / 456
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, 15-year old Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closests companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.… (more)
  1. 90
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: A young, bookish kid in 1970s England gets tangled up in magical and scary events larger than they are.
  2. 40
    Little, Big by John Crowley (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Similar style and approach to the world of faerie
  3. 30
    The Child That Books Built by Francis Spufford (anglemark)
    anglemark: Both books are about how reading shaped a child, although they are not both viewing it exactly the same way.
  4. 53
    The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Jannes)
    Jannes: Both are fantasy or fantasy-sih books about fantasy readers and how the stories you read hape you and affect your sense of the world.
  5. 10
    Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Both are realistic novels in which the worlds of magic and fairy may be real and/or function as coping mechanisms for the narrators. Beautiful PTSD novels.
  6. 10
    Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Both works have a hint of Faerie, without being clear whether it's real or not. Also bad parents and their struggling offspring.
  7. 10
    The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip (Herenya)
    Herenya: Both stories have a heroine dealing with grief and the sometimes-loneliness of being 15.
  8. 11
    The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Recovering from tragedy, holding to a moral centre.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (217)  French (1)  All languages (218)
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
I know what I was expecting before I had read this novel. I knew it had won last year's Hugo and I've been working my way through every hugo and runner up since they started. What I hadn't expected was an unabashedly delightful review of so many great science fiction novels from the last 75 years, most of which I've also read and delighted over. I loved Mor and was always very proud of her, and who wouldn't be? As long as you are a science fiction fan, using magic as easily as breathing, thinking magic as easily as reading, you and I are her. She is our Everyman.

So, yes, I do normally hit a lot of ratings at the five star level, but is that because I research novels before I read them and only aim for the best? Or is it because I always find something brilliant in everything I read? Maybe both, but I don't care. I love books, I love books, I love books... and my kinship with Jo Walton, even though I have never spoken with her, or even read any of her other novels, is one of karass. Thank You, Jo!
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Among Others worked super well for me, especially considering that there is little-to-no plot and the whole book is a well-dressed bibliography. But the protagonist's (diary author) voice is super strong and realistic, and … okay, let's be honest here: I felt very pandered to in the best way. This book is in some way a modern equivalent to Gaudy Night, intellectual atmospheric pandering to an in-group, and I'm in the in-group, and that's all there is to it. ( )
  _rixx_ | May 24, 2020 |
Obviously I've read this before. Would read it again. Would give 5 stars again. I am just completely in love with it. ( )
  RFellows | Apr 29, 2020 |
I read this book because it is a Hugo Award winner, and after having read it, I have to ask “How?”. Usually, this means that it is not good enough to have won the award, but in this case, I question how it even qualified to be considered.

When you think Hugo Award, you obviously think science fiction/fantasy, correct? Isn’t that what the award is supposed to represent? True, this book mentions magic, but only in the most vague and secondary references. It is almost 100 pages into the story before any element of fantasy appears. It is only in the last 20 pages that any manifestation of magic arises.

The only connection between this story and science fiction is the fact that the protagonist is a huge science fiction/fantasy fan and there are constant references to the books she reads. That hardly makes this novel eligible for a Hugo Award.

This is essentially a “coming of age” story about a teenage girl in 1970s Wales and western England. She is a twin, her sister having been killed. Her mother is apparently a “witch”, though we don’t meet her until the last 20 pages of the book. She sees “fairies” from time to time, but only interacts with them 2-3 times.

This is a moderately entertaining book, but it is not fantasy and is certainly not science fiction by any definition. ( )
  santhony | Apr 27, 2020 |
Not your ordinary YA type novel of a young woman who doesn't fit in, it has different elements that make it both hard to follow and fascinating at the same time. There were times when the reading felt extremely personal and others when it becomes almost too fantasy-ish. But it is a slog to get through in parts, and other parts it is a wonderful read.

Recommended but with some reservations. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
As [Mori] tries to come to terms with her sister’s death through both books and fairy magic, the novel assumes true emotional resonance.
 
There are really two points where the success of the novel as what it is make it fail to connect with me. The first has to do with the books. It's written in the form of a diary, and the form and voice are spot-on. But part of getting the diary form right is that it doesn't provide much in the way of information about the many books that Mori reads in the course of the novel-- you wouldn't expect a teenager with a lot on her mind to do a detailed plot summary of everything she read, after all.

This is no big deal as long as you recognize the references to authors and titles. But if you don't-- and there are a lot of books mentioned that I know about but either haven't read or do not recall fondly-- a lot of significance is lost. The titles sort of flash by as blank spots in the narrative, a kind of "This Cultural Reference Intentionally Left Blank" effect that ends up being a little off-putting.
 
This isn't a traditional fantasy, by any means. But it's a smart, heartfelt novel, with a strong, likable narrator, and many touchstones in terms of other books that will resonate for us, depending on how we felt/feel about those books.

It has also jumped right into my short list of favorite books ever, and it's one that I plan to reread more than once.
 
But, just as the magic, it's a peculiar, unique book. I've read most of Walton's fiction. I like this best, but in some ways it's the least structurally certain of her works; I think the magic that's so subtle it's deniable at the start of the book fails to maintain that quirky quality at its end—and I understand why, but still found it jarring.

Regardless, there's a deep beauty to this book that feels so entirely real I'm grateful for its existence, for the fact that I could read it, and for the way it now graces my own internal library.
 
Among Others is many things – a fully realized boarding-school tale, a literary memoir, a touching yet unsentimental portrait of a troubled family – but there’s something particularly appealing about a fantasy which not only celebrates the joy of reading, but in which the heroine must face the forces of doom not in order to return yet another ring to some mountain, but to plan a trip to the 1980 Glasgow Eastercon. That’s the sort of book you can love.
added by Passer_Invenit | editLocus, Gary Wolfe (Jan 24, 2011)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Waltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen Hayden, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riffel, HannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
s.BENešCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vojnar, KamilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Folio SF (549)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Er'perrhene.

—Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at what younger age?

Any time between 10 and 25:

It's going to improve. Honest. There really are people out there that you will like and who will like you.

—Farah Mendelsohn, LiveJournal, 23rd May 2008
Dedication
This is for all the libraries in the world, and all the librarians who sit there day after day lending books to people.
First words
The Phurnacite factory in Abercwmboi killed all the trees for two miles around. We'd measured it on the mileometer.
Quotations
It doesn't matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.
[On Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd]: He makes things happen neatly, and sometimes they're horrible things, but they're always very pat. I hate that. He could have learned a lot from Silverberg and Delany.
She was looking at a record called 'Anarchy in the U.K.' by a group called the Sex Pistols. It was a very ugly cover, but I am quite interested in anarchism because of 'The Dispossessed'.
Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.
Libraries really are wonderful. They're better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Startling, unusual, and irresistibly readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and science fiction, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. When her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled — and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to a father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England — a place all but devoid of true magic. There, she is tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off...

Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonatham Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude, this is a stunning new novel by an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers such as Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. LeGuin.

See http://papersky.livejournal.com/37282... for the moment of the book's genesis.
Haiku summary
The battle's over
Books keep you sane living in
Ruins with fairies.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.96)
0.5 4
1 9
1.5
2 44
2.5 5
3 143
3.5 59
4 299
4.5 80
5 236

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 146,714,608 books! | Top bar: Always visible