Monday, 19 November 2012
Katie's Adventures in Storyland III
Dear blog, I have neglected you for a shameful length of time. I must apologise, once for my silence and again for the lack of a proper review post now. The truth is, I've been stuck in my biggest reading slump for as long as I can remember. All through November I've had the same book on the go, The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry. Now, I love Stephen Fry, and can get quite stuck into this book when I pick it up, but am finding 101 things I'd rather do than pick it up. Usually when this happens, I've got more than one book on the go, but I've read only one other thing alongside the Fry, and that a reread of C. S. Lewis's The Silver Chair.
I've not been exiled from Storyland, however. Most of my reading time has been spent in editing my friend Elaine Berry's third Wight Moon book (you can read my review of book one here.) What time has been left - when I've not lost myself in the internet's labyrinth - has been spent catching up on film and TV.
Minor spoilers follow.This is escapism pure and simple, a world I can lose myself in - even if I can see most plot developments a mile off, and usually have one character who causes me to shout at the screen every time they appear. In this season, Matthew bore my wrath for making such a martyr of himself for the first few episodes, and when he came to his senses, Lord Grantham took over. If I hear him say, "So you're against me, too," one more time, I might well have to break something. But I suppose this is part of the enjoyment of it - that, and Maggie Smith's wonderful performance as Lady Violet. (I love Maggie Smith.) But though I could have foreseen most of the plot developments, there was a particularly cruel one that came completely unheralded, astonishingly not even hinted at in the media beforehand. Weirdly, though, I woke up the morning that episode aired having dreamed that I'd read of a certain character's leaving the show and rumours circulating on the internet of them being "killed off." (The internet always hints of people being killed off when the actors leave a show, but it doesn't often happen.) Watching the episode later that day, I off-handedly mentioned this dream, but expected everything would come right in the end. It always does. As I said, Downton's plot twists generally aren't twists at all. But that one time, the plot did not take its usual, predictable and fluffy turn, but went down the route of tragedy.