Monday, January 15, 2007

'A Wrinkle in Time'

by Madeleine L'Engle

WINNER of the Newbury Medal, 1963
1st Book in the Time Quartet

(Book #3 for 2007; January book for Our Coffee Rings)

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

With all the reading challenges keeping me busy, I probably wouldn't have bothered reading this if it weren't for the group, but I remembered I had a copy lurking around, and I wanted something easy to read since I'm slightly under the weather. I must have read this as a child since the copy I have is one of my children’s books I rescued from my parents' house, but none of it was familiar. Is that just proof of my terrible memory, or even then was I not a fan? The religious elements reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, which I have a nostalgic fondness for. (I remember reading them as a child!). I can see why it’s still a popular children’s book, but to my jaded adult self, it was rather hokey. Bah humbug!

My Rating: 2/5

Also reviewed at:
The Well-Read Child
Things Mean a Lot
Dolce Bellezza

18 comments:

  1. I never read any of these sorts of fantasy books as a child. I am looking forward to reading this one for the discussion, too.

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  2. hokey?! that's just pooey! hehe I'm kidding. I absolutely know what you mean by hokey. I haven't been able to write my review because everything I write about this book contradicts itself!

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  3. I felt the same way about this book when I read it a few years ago. I thought my disappointment was due to the fact that I had just read The Giver, which I absolutely LOVED! I think perhaps you and I are in the minority with regards to A Wrinkle in Time. I've yet to meet anyone else who didn't like it.

    We are also in agreement on Farhenheit 451.

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  4. I'm thinking of reading this for the book group read too. All I remember about this book was that it was favorite of mine but I can't even tell you squat about it now! Sorry to hear it wasn't such a good read though. Oh and feel better!

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  5. Danielle - Most people seem to like it so it'll be interesting to see what you think of it.

    Heather - LOL! You gave me my morning chuckle (which is nice since Bailey has been soooo naughty this morning!). How about 'cheesy'? ;P

    Les - Yes, I do think we're in the minority- most people seem to love it. I've never read The Giver, I wonder if it would be worth trying.
    Even though I didn't love Fahrenheit 451, I am glad I read it.

    Iliana - Thank you! It's mainly just a niggling sore throat that doesn't really turn into a cold proper. When I reread the Narnia books a few years ago, they were comfortingly familiar so it was good fun to revisit them. But with this, nothing, it was all new. weird! I wonder how much will come back to you as you read.

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  6. I don't like it either. In fact, I don't know that I've ever been able to get through it--as a child or an adult.

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  7. Wow, that's quite a few comments against this Newbury book. I've never read it, but started to listen to it on tape. My player started to eat the first tape, so I had to stop. It was a library copy and they are trying to fix it. I hope I don't have to pay anything. The tape was 9 years old afterall.

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  8. Andi - another vote against! :)

    Booklogged - But you may end up loving it, you never know! Hope the library manages to fix it.

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  9. I just finished it for the first time for the same reason. I liked it quite a bit more than I think you did. I thought the scripture references in the book were a little odd in the way that they really threw me out of the story. I don't have any problem with why they were there, just don't think they were incorporated very well. I loved the beginning of the book...I found Charles Wallace to be such an interesting character. I think I might enjoy the other books in the series more if he is involved more as himself and not a possessed thing. It was alright. I'm glad I read it and can see why it has made a big impression on people over the years. Reading it as an adult I got choked up about the reunion at the end. Sap!

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  10. Carl - I can handle religious overtones if they fit the story, but as you say, in this case they seemed rather jarring. I did enjoy the beginning too, but it lost me after they started their adventure, I just didn't find it believable! And then the sappy ending...lol. Glad you appreciated it more than me. :)

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  11. I agree with you that it's similar to C.S. Lewis, both authors being Christian with a brain. The thing I will always carry away from this novel, which has a special place in my heart, is that love can overcome evil.

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  12. Hi Bellezza, yes that is definitely the message, and it's in no way a bad message, I just personally found it a bit heavy-handed. Luckily there are books a plenty for everyone to find their favourites! :)

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  13. I just finished the book today. I have mixed feelings about it. While it might be a fun adventure story for children, as an adult, it is just not for me. I am not religious, but I don't mind subtle religious themes in books. This was quite overt in parts and honestly I felt a bit uncomfortable. I just didn't expect it to be so obvious. Also (and this is going to sound terribly petty) Meg sort of grated on me a bit after a while, and Mrs Who's constant foreign quotes did a bit too. I really expected to like this much more than I did (maybe I was expecting something different?), but I don't think I will be reading any of the other books in the series. Maybe it would have gone over better when I was a kid. I think I am also in the minority here, too. I would never dissuade anyone else to read it, but I guess it is just not my cup of tea.

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  14. By the way--I loved The Giver, too. It has been a while since I read it, but maybe it was more subtle in its message or something?

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  15. Danielle - Thanks for coming back and posting your comments. It sounds like we had very similar reactions to this book. So if you're petty than so am I, because Meg also started to annoy me as the story went along. At least now we can say we've read it and know what people are referring to.
    It seems like I may have to try The Giver as both you and Les loved it and didn't care for Wrinkle.

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  16. Ok I attempted a review on The Library Ladder and have posted on Our Coffee Rings. I don't think I really had much to say and forgot to add in a few hokey bits! hehe

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  17. I never read this book as a child, but I recently read it for the first time. While there were some appealing elements, I felt the same way you did, and the religious intonations really bothered me.

    My review is here.

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  18. Jill- I felt like I was reading it for the first time since I didn't remember anything of the story. I've added your review to the post. Thanks.

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