Archive for January 28th, 2009

(This post is written by both Pat and Cath)

Ok.. don’t get me wrong, some men have read Anne McCaffrey’s books.  But, Cath and I were talking on IM the other day and the topic of dragon books came up and that, naturally, led to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books. (..and Master Harper Robinton, which both of us are going to fight over hahaha) While talking the fact came up that it seemed to us that we didn’t know any men (except m’ah babyboy Chris) who have read any of the Pern books.

They are filled with great and interesting characters, we both agreed.  Very strong men who were dragonriders and leaders of the Weyrs.  Strong women.  Nearly inhuman problems to be solved, and all around fantastic writing.

Some of the reasons we came up with about why men don’t seem to read Pern are: 

…some men don’t like to read about strong women.

…some men don’t read books written by women.

…some men don’t like fantasy’s that sound too real.

…some men aren’t “into” dragons.

…some men might see the books as too ‘girly’. Ie there is romance, not just between people but the dragons are included as well!

Of course none of these excuses have been asked of the men that we know who read fantasy books.

Apart from my own husband that is (Cath). When I asked him why he’d never read them he replied that actually he had read several. His opinion was that they’re ‘okay’ but nothing special. His reason seemed to be that there wasn’t enough action in them – not enough of the stuff men like such as fighting and war. Plus, there was too much of the kind of thing women like such as emotional and life solving problems. It seems men are not so keen on this kind of introspection.

… one more thought was that these are old books and so are not promoted or out there for some to discover anymore.

…And I also wondered if the fact that a woman, Lessa, is the most important character in the first books made a difference. Do men like the most important character in a book to be a man? Personally, I feel that McCaffrey treats men and women as equals in all the books and for me that’s a plus point not a minus.

The Pern books are among some of my absolute favorite books.  I’ve read them a number of times.  When I do I am totally lost into the world of Pern and the dragonriders with their dragons, the masterharper hall, and other lord holders and the people that live and work in them.

The planet is also very ‘real’. The map and descriptions are so precise that it feels like this place really exists. Especially the southern continent which they rediscover in The White Dragon and it’s like going on your very own voyage of exploration.

I feel drawn to the dragons in Anne’s books because they are friendly.  Because you can bond with them the way you do with your own pet dog or cat.   Of course you can’t communicate with your dog or cat.. but that isn’t because you don’t want to!

The more I thought about Pern the more I tried to think about, “what don’t I like about Pern and life there?”  Well.. besides the obvious of the “killer threads”, life there isn’t easy.  There aren’t a lot of “modern conveniences”.  But even with that, life there seems more intense.. I want to say they work harder and enjoy life harder.  And it’s not even a ‘too perfect’ world. There are unpleasant people as well as nice ones. People don’t get along, are selfish, petty, fall out, just as they do in real life.

Her characters are well developed, as is Pern itself, and you can feel the authors compassion when you are reading her books. (maybe that’s a reason men don’t read Pern?)

So.. we are writing this because we want to know why men don’t read Pern!!

If you know.. let US know! 



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Admit One

Admit One   by Emmett James.



Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Wheatmark (December 30, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1587369133

Product Description
Set in Croydon, South London, in the 1980s, Admit One details how self-deprecating writer Emmett James escaped from the pains of adolescence by going to the cinema. Through wry wit and observation, the writer reflects, obsesses, and rages about film and its correlation to our pasts. Life soon imitates art, and the narrator finds that his true calling is in transcendence from one side of the screen to the other. He decides to leave England for the only place where he can realize his dream of becoming an actor-Hollywood. We follow the narrator on his numerous adventures: as he jumps from forgery to pornography to crashing the Academy Awards under the alias of a nominated writer. All the while, the films that inspired each tale contextualize this humorous collection of stories. The narrator ultimately provides a unique insight into the fascinating industry of film, eventually himself stumbling into the biggest box-office grossing film of all time.

Mr James lists this as a Memoir… and it is exactly that.   He has taken a comical look at his life and how it wrapped around things he remembers from early childhood to grown up with movies.  It seems they have been his passion from the early beginnings of his life when his mother would take him to the movies that inevitably he slept through, to the day he left England for America and Hollywood.

It’s a quick read and, as I said humorous, and true.

The book isn’t long at 220 pages, since it is double spaced and even triple spaced between paragraphs. It looks a bit like they were trying to stretch it into a “book” .  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the read, I did.  And the only fault I can find with the book is that the cost is a bit much for a quick read paperback.

I think I expected a little more from the story.  But that’s my fault.  It does read how the Amazon review states.  I generally think there is more descriptions and making me feel as if I were in England growing up, but instead It could have been pretty much anywhere.  The occasional mention of a town or of London, but the ambience was missing. 

But still a fun relaxing read.. which I think I needed.

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