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Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling Kindle Edition
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"These essays cast a spell. . . To read them is to be invigorated by the company of a joyfully wide-ranging, endlessly curious and imaginative mind. . . a delightful jaunt. . ."—The New York Times Book Review
"A splendid collection. . . literary insights that will enrich and inspire."—The Wall Street Journal
“Few contemporary writers of imaginative fiction are able to explore large ethical and moral issues authoritatively, accommodating both intellect and emotion. . . Pullman achieves this without abandoning personal responsibility. . . This wide-ranging excursion maintains impressive coherence and is bound to satisfy devoted Pullman readers curious about his illuminating observations and why the appetite for—and value of—fiction is universal, from fire-lit cave to seminar room.”—Library Journal
"A thoughtful collection. . . Despite his declaration in an early piece that, outside of knowing "what it feels like to write a story," Pullman doesn't consider himself an authority on the subject, these smart, insightful, and often humorous essays make it clear that is exactly what he is.”—Bustle
"This anthology of speeches, articles, and forewords by His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman offers fascinating insight into why, and how, a great fantasy author writes. Writers or storytellers of any kind who despair that their craft is self-indulgent will likely appreciate Pullman's thoughts on why fiction is a valuable part of the human experience.”—The Portalist
"Remarkably astute. . . Daemon Voices is a wonderful distillation of decades of writing and thinking about what goes into storytelling. Like his best books, it has a richness of ideas in its wide breadth of topics and illuminating conclusions."—The A. V. Club
“Pullman can unwind certain dense topics as lyrically as a poet.”—The Christian Science Monitor
"[Daemon Voices] reads as if you’re having a highly illuminating conversation with a genius about how the storytelling sausage is made. It’s a portrait of a writer turned inside out, and anyone involved in the same endeavor will feel slightly less insane for having read it.”—Santa Fe New Mexican
"Pullman offers meaty but always lucidly argued ruminations on the nature of story. . . these articles, talks, and introductory essays consistently demonstrate that Pullman. . . is as fine a thinker as he is a storyteller. . . A collection of pieces infused with abundant wisdom, provocative notions, and illuminating insights."—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"This collection of 32 talks, published articles, and prefaces written between 1997 and 2014 by children’s writer Pullman (La Belle Sauvage) addresses “the business of the storyteller” with the quiet confidence of a master craftsmen sharing the tricks of his trade. Though Pullman claims no authority beyond knowing “what it feels like to write a story,” the essays delineate and defend the real work of fiction to nourish imagination, shape moral understanding, and, above all, delight. The book progresses from how stories work—“the aim must always be clarity”—to why they matter, along the way peeking into Pullman’s inspirations (notably including William Blake, Robert Burton, John Milton, and the Grimm brothers), pet peeves (“I shall say no more about our current educational system”), and process. Democratic in his philosophy, materialist in his beliefs (“this world is where the things are that matter”), and with a droll humor that occasionally approaches whimsy, Pullman employs a confiding, ruminative tone, a sharply analytical eye, and a vocabulary free of pedantry or cant to insist on the central value of a sense of wonder. The book is a toolbox stacked with generous, sensible advice for writers and thinkers who agree with Pullman that stories “are not luxuries; they’re essential to our wellbeing.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
SIMON MASON writes books for both children and adults. His first adult novel won the Betty Trask First Novel award, while Moon Pie, a novel for young adults, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction prize. Running Girl, his first Garvie Smith mystery novel, was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book award. Kid got Shot, the second, won Crimefest's best Crime Novel for YA in 2017. Simon lives in Oxford, England. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B078LQN6CN
- Publisher : Vintage (September 18, 2018)
- Publication date : September 18, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 85676 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 489 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #258,957 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This collection of essays is rich with storytelling examples taken from literature, art, and science. A former teacher, the author knows how to engage the reader without talking down. My only criticism is that he tends to go off on a tangent from time to time about his lack of belief in God or Satan, as though that has anything to do with the task at hand.
That said, I consider this book a must-read for any author who wishes to better understand the difference between story and plot, fantasy and reality in fiction, and why anything beginning with “once upon a time” immediately captures our imagination. Well done, Mr. Pullman.
I only have one gripe - I share his dislike of stories that are full of trolls and fairies and elves and weird creatures that have no need to be but are a kind of hopping-on-the-bandwagon of fantasy fiction, but I don;t see that applies to Tolkein, who uses them as Pullman does, taking them from traditions of storytelling, like his witches, night ghasts and spectres. But that's just one of the many articles in the collection, and has good points of its own anyway.