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Previous Entry New here Jun. 16th, 2008 @ 06:39 pm Next Entry
I know this will probably sound like heresy, but I haven't actually read a Connie Willis novel. One of my best friends Cait wilfulcait passed away last year after a 2 year battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer and she was a *huge* fan of this author. She kept meaning to lend me a book to start with, but with one thing and another, it just never happened. And her hubby packed up all the books of hers he didn't want all pell-mell and I can't find her copies.
After she passed last year, I couldn't bear to look them up, but now I think I can.

So, is there a book of hers I should start with? Recommendations and why you like them (without giving away the plot please) would be very appreciated.
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Date:June 16th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
One of my favorites is To Say Nothing of the Dog. You should probably start with Doomsday though, as that sets up the world building for To Say Nothing of the Dog.
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Date:June 16th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
*The Doomsday Book for sure. That or *Passage.

But Doomsday will help To Say Nothing of The Dog make more sense, and that one is fantastic too. If you are feeling timid, Impossible Things is less of a commitment since it is short stories.

Sorry for your loss and I hope you find some solace in Ms. Willis.

*Both will probably make you cry! But they are no less awesome for it.

Edited at 2008-06-17 03:10 am (UTC)
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Date:June 17th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
Actually "Passage" was Cait's favorite and the one she said she couldn't read again. I'll probably save that one for last.

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Date:June 16th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
Not Passage! I adore Connie Willis and I have almost everything she has written, but Passage is the one I don't own and probably won't read again. Not because it isn't good (it is!!!), but because it's so painful. It's all about death and disasters, loss of memory, loss of self, and though the ending is hopeful, it's not terribly comforting. At least I didn't think so. I cried like a baby through three hundred pages the second time I read it and only finished it because I desperately needed the closure. It was hard.

I do, however, strongly recommend both Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. Both are time travel stories, but they have VERY different tones. Doomsday Book is tragic and moving, TSNOTD is light and hilarious. They have the same basic setting and there are some common characters between the two. To Say Nothing of the Dog is my favorite Connie Willis book (and therefore my favorite book, full stop), but I too would recommend reading Doomsday Book first.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you enjoy the books and feel close to your friend while you read them.

Edited at 2008-06-16 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Date:June 17th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
Everybody seems to like the Dog one, but I'll take the recommendation of starting with Doomsday and working my way to the other one.

Passages is last on the list because of it's content (which I knew about) and how Cait talked about it and why she couldn't read it again. I'll read it, but in a while ....

Thanks for your kind words.
Date:June 17th, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
Actually, I would recommend starting with Bellwether. It is one of my favorites of hers, its shorter, and it will get you used to her style. It is a hilarious book, too. In my opinion its a little easier to get into than To Say Nothing of the Dog.
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Date:June 17th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
oooohhh a 'starter' book. This sounds promising.
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Date:June 17th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)

Another To Say Nothing of the Dog fan here....

I've enjoyed everything I've read by Connie Willis,* but TSNOTD was my first and favorite.

So sorry for your loss.

* Okay, except that short story set in a boarding school (on the moon?) -- way too dark for me. But I've forgotten it's name so this digression is probably totally non-helpful. Sorry!
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