Farthing

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1SimonW11
Jan 2, 2007, 1:33am

anyone here tried Jo Walton's book, farthing?

2Aquila
Mar 27, 2007, 5:04pm

Still haven't read it, because it's still not available here yet, and I don't get books in from overseas often. But it's at the top of my to obtain list - avoiding spoilers for it as the sequel nears publication is getting harder and harder (and I clicked on this link with one hand over my eyes). So I'm really looking forward to reading it. It sounds very interesting.

3darrow
Mar 28, 2007, 4:29am

and I clicked on this link with one hand over my eyes

LOL! That was funny Aquila.

4richardderus
Mar 28, 2007, 9:29pm

Yes, read it, and without spoilering, I found it inventive and interesting and quite an original twist on a genre I had grown weary of...the country house mystery...because of its alternate history setting. The fact that the alternate history was used integrally to the mystery plot was my favorite thing about it. I'd never read anything my Ms Walton prior to this.

If anyone else has read the book...do you think this type of book can be filmed? More accurately, filmed successfully? Maybe a flag difference or something, but would that be enough to bring the whole "difference" into focus?

5yaakov
May 7, 2008, 9:37am

I'm getting in this late. I just finished Ha'penny, the second book set in the Farthing alt history. Has anyone else read them? They were a fun mix of alternate history and old fashioned detective story. I'm looking forward to the next one. I had never heard of Jo Walton until I stumbled on Farthing.

6andyl
May 7, 2008, 10:15am

I'm waiting for Ha'penny in paperback. I have read Farthing and enjoyed it.

I think it could be filmed. Just film it straight, no flag differences or anything like that. It works completely as a mystery. The alt-history bits only start making a difference as the story unfolds and that is part of its charm.

7daschaich
May 7, 2008, 7:40pm

I read Farthing around the beginning of this year, and Ha'penny not long after, enjoying them both. They were also my introduction to Walton, and if I get a chance, I may try to check out some of her other work. A review of Farthing on Amazon by Margaret Johnston made them sound interesting: "Jo Walton is very good at taking something familiar and putting an unfamiliar, intriguing spin on it. Previously, she's done this with King Arthur (_The King's Peace_ and _The King's Name_), Irish mythology (_The Prize in the Game_), and Victorian society (_Tooth and Claw_). In _Farthing_, she takes the traditional English country mystery, adds in alternate history, and comes up with something new and brilliant."

8andyl
May 8, 2008, 5:49am

I think that Jo Walton has described Tooth And Claw as Trollope with dragons.

I have The King's Peace sitting on my unread shelves at the moment. From the reviews I have read it is Arthurian in a way but it isn't traditionally Arthurian. It is a gritty medieval story in a kind of alternate Britian called Tir Tanagiri.

9richardderus
Jun 30, 2008, 11:39am

Ha'Penny was a delightful read, I am really glad that I got it. The filmability of the books, well...I agree that one could simply film them straight, and leave the alt-hist bits to come out later. Perhaps Russell T Davies of the BBC's Doctor Who and Torchwood franchises could be interested in developing these...? He also developed Queer as Folk and Inspector Carmichael is gay, after all.

Side note: I see that we're forgetting this group! I know that LT has a zillion places for us to read and share our ideas about reading, but our shared interest in this fascinating topic of alt-hist, time travel and parallel worlds can claim some of our Thing-time, surely!

What say you all?

10byzanne
Edited: Jul 1, 2008, 2:55pm

I really enjoyed Farthing and hope my library gets Ha'penny in soon.

I have found some good books through this group so I hope it gets busy again. Special thanks for introducing me to Christopher Priest and The Man in the High Castle.

11richardderus
Jul 1, 2008, 9:09pm

>10 byzanne: byzanne: Ha'Penny is worth the effort of nagging the librarians into getting soonr rather than later! in Austin, where I live, the librarians have a policy of doing their best to accommodate paron requests through interlibrary loan, if nothing else...and I happen to know that our library system has several copies of Ha"penny (courtesy of yours truly...I bought four and donated 'em!).

12yaakov
Feb 6, 2009, 3:22pm

Tor has posted a short story by Jo Walton set in the US in the Farthing alt universe.

13richardderus
Feb 6, 2009, 4:15pm

The story, "Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction," is over here for anyone interested. Free to read.

14Aquila
Feb 6, 2009, 4:53pm

It's good, and chilling. It's the very last word that gets me.

15richardderus
Feb 6, 2009, 7:47pm

Yeah. Truly could have been called, or subtitled, "How Good People Go Bad."

16Anastasia169
Apr 4, 2010, 1:01am

Thanks for the link. I picked up Farthing at a grocery store of all places and loved it. When I read it, the sequel was due in a matter of months and I made a mental note. I never got back to her wonderful alternate history, but after being reminded on a couple of threads on LT, I requested the sequel and Tooth and Claw from my library. I look forward to both as I have been convinced that Victorian Trollopian Dragons might be worth checking out if Ms. Walton is in the driver's seat.

17adpaton
Jul 12, 2010, 2:33am

I really enjoyed Farthing, merely enjoyed Ha'penny and did not enjoy Half a Crown. I suppose anything in a Country House and redolent of the Golden Age is guaranteed to appeal to me, and when you add Alternate History to the mix, well, it simply doesn't get much better. Except if you maybe throw in a vampire as well...

18UncleMort
Jul 14, 2010, 3:32pm

Just couldn't get into it. The premise sounded good but it didn't take off.

19Anastasia169
Jul 31, 2010, 2:32am

adpaton - I think we might be kindred reading spirits as I felt the same way about the Walton trilogy. It all worked much better when she was mining the Golden Age formats for her mysteries and alternate histories. I especially liked the references to the Mitford Girls in Ha-Penny, but couldn't get into Half a Crown.

20perian
Aug 3, 2010, 12:01am

I just finished Farthing this week and loved it! I immediately went out and bought Ha'Penny, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I sent Jo a message on Tor.com just to tell her how great it was.