Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Debut Showcase: The Inferior

by Peadar Ó Guilín (website, blog)
David Fickling Books (Random House)
Excerpt (pdf)

STOPMOUTH AND HIS family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live, they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. It is a savage, desperate existence. And for Stopmouth, considered slowwitted hunt-fodder by his tribe, the future looks especially bleak. But then, on the day he is callously betrayed by his brother, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change his destiny, and that of all humanity, forever.

Some debut novels get a lot of pre-publication hype, and this is one of them. A Google search nets reviews and articles everywhere. However, if this novel is as good as Chris (the Book Swede) says it is, then it appears to be well-deserved. (Chris also did an interview.) The first chapter opens with the best hook I've seen in a long time.


Janie Harrison said...

Oh, this one looks really good!

ThRiNiDiR said...
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ThRiNiDiR said...
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ThRiNiDiR said...

I also thought very highly of The Inferior; read my thought's here, if interested.

Man I'm having problems today :rolleyes:

Tia Nevitt said...

(Those embedded links are tricky.)

I'm fairly sure I've read your review, but I'm going over to reread it now.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Thanks for the mention, Tia! :) Reading that review again takes me a while back! Blimey! ;)

Hope you like it if you decide to get a copy -- the guys at David Fickling Books are really nice, so getting a copy shouldn't be too hard.

Thrin -- I keep a document saved with various embedded linky things. Although lately I've been creating so many embedded links for images and banners and stuff that I don't really need it anymore, thankfully! :)


Raven said...

This one sounds potentially intriguing. Great interview, Chris!

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Thank you! :) Much appreciated!

Tia Nevitt said...

I just love it when Brits comment on my blog. Blimey! I'm not sure what it means, but it sure sounds cool.

Do we Americans have any words that you Brits get a kick out of?

And you are welcome.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

I love it when Americans point out that something I'm saying is slang that hasn't transferred across the pond -- it makes me think anew about language, which is always good, I suppose! :)

Blimey! is kind of expressing mild surprise, and is a generally quite happy word.

Wikipedia says: "(Originally "gor blimey", a euphemism for "God blind me", but has generally lost this connotation.)" Something I never knew; I guess the meaning has just diluted from something serious to a quite cheery phrase that is not at all offensive. I love English, and languages in general -- they're alive :D

The interesting thing is that a lot of English slang went over to America, and then died out in England, only to be brought back fifty or so years later -- hence you get lots of moaning over here when some "Americanisms" come back where they came from in the first place!

I can't think of any particular American words off of the top of my head that haven't become so incorporated into "normal" English that the novelty is no longer noticed, but I do love the different ways people from different parts of America speak.

I'm not so keen on the spelling, bizarrely*, but often American pronunciations of words will make more sense. Except for the silent "h" in "herb", of course, which still catches me every time! ;)

*Noah Webster, with his Dictionary of American English, in 1806, has a lot to answer for on that front! He removed the "u" from "colour" and other words, and made other spelling changes deliberately, just to make American different from English.

I like change in language when you can spot the pattern of change in a way a group of people speaks/writes, but when one man takes it upon himself to change it just for the sake of change, it ruins the natural evolution of the language just a bit...

Wow! Sorry. Didn't mean to go on so long! :) A simple "yes" might have done, I suppose! ;)


Chris, The Book Swede said...

PS: Just to add: I like what Webster did with his dictionaries, and his methods of teaching English, and his thoughts on the state of the English language at the time -- I just don't like one man changing spellings, etc, of words ... I'm weird.

Tia Nevitt said...

Wow; did we ever get off-topic! Half of my relatives are in England and Ireland, and when we all get together we have a grand old time, talking about the way we all talk.

I never knew that we Americans recycle British slang!

Raven said...

I don't approve of deliberate language change either. It *does* alter the natural development of the language, and changes in spelling can make a word's etymology less obvious, which annoys me because I like etymology and feel it connects a language to its roots. I remember a proposed French spelling adjustment that would have eliminated some (maybe all?) circumflexes. But the circumflex indicates that there used to be an "s" in the word. It's important (at least I think so). It's also interesting from the standpoint of an English-speaker because it links French words like "foret" (the circumflex is supposed to be over the "e," but I can't insert it in here) with English words like "forest," which still has the "s." Not that the French would really care what English-speakers think. :)

Is it my imagination or does deliberate language change most frequently involve spelling?

Chris, The Book Swede said...

From what I've noticed, it seems to, yeah, though I beleive there are grammar differences between English English and American English? They might just be evolved though, rather than the changes of one man.

I remember a French friend of mine telling me years ago about how angry he was at that proposal (and as he got angrier, he got more and more French, and I understood him less and less), so he was relieved nothing came of it!

Tia Nevitt said...

We also have differences in punctuation. I learned that from Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

I didn't realise that! To use the word that started it all: Blimey! ;)

I'll check that book out soon. I read the first chapter a while back, and felt that some bits were a bit prescriptive, but overall I liked the tone of the writing, so I'm not too sure why I didn't pick it up in the first place! Oh, well.

PS: I nearly always spell "believe" wrong, for some reason -- apologies! :)