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  #1  
Old 05-23-2001, 11:45 PM
curwin curwin is offline
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When I was a kid, a lot of my friends were into C.S. Lewis or Tolkein. I never enjoyed them very much. But I really liked Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles. I haven't read them for close to 20 years, but they were a great series of books. As a kid I got a letter back from Lloyd Alexander and met him once, which were both big thrills.

Am I alone on this?
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2001, 11:53 PM
Primaflora Primaflora is offline
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Nope. I really like him too and I'm slowly building my collection of his books.

The Disney version of _The Black Cauldron_ sucked big time though
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2001, 11:57 PM
Fionn Fionn is offline
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I was a huge fan of the Prydain Chronicles. I never managed to get the complete set in paperback, just as I never managed to get the complete Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. I'm glad to hear someone else knows about Taran the Assistant Pig Keeper and the rest of the characters, whose names are too complicated to spell from memory. I think Taran Wanderer was my favorite book.
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Old 05-23-2001, 11:57 PM
Kat Kat is offline
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I liked him. I came across Taran Wanderer first, and then had to go back and find the others. I think that was about the same time I discovered the Dark is Rising series, which were also favorites.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2001, 12:03 AM
GilaB GilaB is offline
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I loved the Prydain Chronicles. I read all the other stuff too, but the Prydain books are the only ones that I really remember. I recently decided to buy them and reread them for the first time since I was relatively small, and I was really upset to realize that the dialogue was clunky. I still think that they're great, though, and recommend them to all the kids that I know of the right age.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2001, 12:11 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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I still chuckle over trying to pronounce Fflewdder Fflam's name like it's spelled.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2001, 07:24 AM
Simetra Simetra is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Smeghead
I still chuckle over trying to pronounce Fflewdder Fflam's name like it's spelled.
"A Fflam! A Fflam to the rescue!"

I absolutely loved the The Chronicles of Prydain. I still find myself reading them every now and again just because it's such a great story.

Anyone ever read "The Foundling"? It's a series of short stories by Lloyd Alexander about Prydain... How Dalben got the Book of Three. Where Fflam got his harp. There's a story about Eilonwy's parents called "The True Enchanter". I suggest anyone who's a fan of Alexander to go get it.
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2001, 07:35 AM
lno lno is offline
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Ooooh, yes, very much so. I also found Taran Wanderer first, and then realized it was part of a five-book collection. It was the first set of books that made me sniffle at the end, when Taran and Eilonwy chose not to head overseas because he had promised to build that sea-wall, etc, etc.

(Also, sheesh, you moron! Delegate that stuff and go live forever!)
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2001, 07:44 AM
Verrain Verrain is offline
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The Huntsman. The Cauldron Born! Now those were villians! How is this for irony? The teacher of my Talented and Gifted class assigns The High King, the fifth book!?!?, as class reading. I decided it made a lot more sense after the first four.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2001, 07:53 AM
curwin curwin is offline
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A similiar class of mine in 4th grade (in Rochester, NY) is where I was first introduced to Lloyd Alexander, but my teacher had the good sense to assign The Book of Three. I then went on to read the read the rest by myself.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2001, 07:59 AM
Dak Dak is offline
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The bookks were all excellent, my mother went one further though which is how I ended up witht he name Taran. Surprising how few people recognise it really (ie none).
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2001, 08:22 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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I liked the Taran books, but I loved the Westmark trilogy. I probably read them 30 times. Prydain always seemed sort of cartoonish and safe, but Westmark was a cold hard place where you had to make real hard choices to get what you wanted.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2001, 08:35 AM
Wolverine Wolverine is offline
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Another big fan of the series (and also the Dark Is Rising series mentioned earlier). My character's name in FFVIII is Taran. I picked up the fifth book through one of those Scholastic Reader book catalogs in elementary. Needless to say, I was slightly confused. So I had my mom go back and get me the first four. And yes, Taran Wanderer is my favorite. I actually cried at the whole father death scene. (I was an extremely sensitive child)

I still have the books, maybe I should reread them.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2001, 08:55 AM
JeffB JeffB is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by curwin
When I was a kid, a lot of my friends were into C.S. Lewis or Tolkein. I never enjoyed them very much. But I really liked Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles. I haven't read them for close to 20 years, but they were a great series of books. As a kid I got a letter back from Lloyd Alexander and met him once, which were both big thrills.

Am I alone on this?
I was (and still am) a big fan of Tolkien, Lewis, and Alexander (in that order of preference). The Prydain Chronicles are wonderful books which I reread a couple of years ago. And while I still enjoyed them, I agree with Manda Jo that they are somewhat cartoonish. I also like the Westmark books more.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2001, 01:17 PM
bashere bashere is offline
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I read them the first time about 20 years ago - they were the books responsible for hooking me on fantasy ( Podkyne of Mars hooked me on SF).

I bought The Book of Three last saturday, but haven't worked up the courage to read it yet - it probably won't be quite what I remember....
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2001, 02:51 PM
Beadalin Beadalin is offline
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A Smoit! A Smoit!

Oh, how I loved the Prydain Chronicals. I have read them all many, many, many times. I actually didn't like Taran Wanderer the best for a very long time. I still think it's second to The High King, but then I was fascinated with the Cauldron Born and the idea of Taran ascending to power from his humble beginnings. Good stuff.

I have never heard of Westmark, but now I think I'm going to have to check it out.
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2001, 03:29 PM
Helena Helena is offline
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I've read a lot of Lloyd Alexander's books (not all, but probably most of them) and I took a class on his works at university (BYU). He came out and spoke at the school one afternoon (which was quite a coup for them--he hates traveling and never goes anywhere) and then in the evening he came to our class and signed our books for us.

I have to say his writing isn't GREAT but there's something about the Prydain books that just appeals to many people. Maybe it's the original subject material from the Mabinogian (not that I know much about that). Maybe it's the self-sacrifice. My professor said he always cries when he reads the scene where Fflewddur's harp burns.

I read all the books to my family (parents and sibs) a few years back. The dialogue is a bit clunky in places, but you can do different voices and things to emphasize the character rather than the clunkiness. We had a lot of fun with it. Rhun's "Hullo Hullo!" was a catch phrase around the house for a while.

My husband speaks Welsh, so I've told him that when we read these books to our kids we can do all the names. Gotta love that double-L. As to the pronounciation of "Fflewddur"--The double-F is just F (if it were a single F it would make a V sound) and the double-D is a "th" as in "the."

Gurgi is pronounced "Goor-gee" (both G's as in girl) and means "man dog." Not to be confused with corgi which means "dwarf dog." More than you ever wanted to know, right?

Has anyone scene Lloyd's picture bookThe Fortune-Tellers?
It's a lovely little story with amazing illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman. It's such a universal story it could have been set anywhere, but Trina set in in Cameroon. Apparently Trina's daughter joined the Peace Corps and married a Cameroonian prince, so Trina used her son-in-law as the main character in the pictures. Lloyd is also in the background in one of the pictures, sitting in a cafe with a couple of vultures perched over him.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2001, 04:49 PM
Helena Helena is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Helena
Has anyone scene Lloyd's picture book
SEEN

I'm not sure how I did that.

I have a BA in English--can you tell?
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  #19  
Old 05-24-2001, 04:50 PM
Melpomene Melpomene is offline
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"The Dark is Rising" series was awesome. I loved those books. Even the audio version was really good. Fascinating, enthralling, beautiful imagery, so much fun and really creepy too! Underrated, IMO.

Time to go re-read them, I think. Thanks for the reminder.
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2001, 10:13 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Another Alexander fan here. I remember one of the big things that impressed me about his works was that he actually let his characters grow.

The standard multi-volume story about (and especially for) kids always seems to have the hero very slowly learn some Great Truth in the first volume. The second volume, although with a different plot (sometimes) has the same kid slowly learn the same Great Truth all over again.

Taran got to learn from his mistakes. What he learned from spinning and weaving he applied to learning pottery and he took that knowledge and used it to aid his next task.

The same thing occurs in the Westmark trilogy where the hero goes from an impetuous and frightened kid to a hardened warrior without having to learn the same stupid Great Truth all over again.
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  #21  
Old 05-24-2001, 11:47 PM
Kallessa Kallessa is offline
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Lloyd Alexander has been one of my favorite writers for years. When my nephew showed an interest in fantasy, it was one of the first series I bought him (we now have a tradition that I get him the first two or so books of a new series each Christmas). Prydain has remained a touchstone for all the "journey to manhood/lost prince" books. The Belgarion was almost as good, Harry Potter is more subtle, Lord of the Rings, a different, and much darker version of the mythos, etc. I've really enjoyed discussing these books with him--it's so nice to have someone in the family who doesn't think fantasy is 'weird'. Anyway, I would recommend all of Alexander's books--he's a deft hand at comic storytelling (I disagree with Helena about the quality of his writing, but hey, everyone has the right to an opinion).

BTW, I re-read The Dark is Rising each mid-winter, which generaly means I re-read them all. They're a great read on a rainy winter day.
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