Tam Lin

Tam Lin

Unknown - 1991
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In the ancient Scottish ballad "Tam Lin," headstrong Janet defies Tam Lin to walk in her own land of Carterhaugh . . . and then must battle the Queen of Faery for possession of her lover's body and soul. In this version of "Tam Lin," masterfully crafted by Pamela Dean, Janet is a college student, "Carterhaugh" is Carter Hall at the university where her father teaches, and Tam Lin is a boy named Thomas Lane. Set against the backdrop of the early 1970s, imbued with wit, poetry, romance, and magic, Tam Lin has become a cult classic--and once you begin reading, you'll know why. This reissue features an updated introduction by the book's original editor, the acclaimed Terri Windling.
Publisher: New York : Firebird, 1991
ISBN: 9780142406526
Branch Call Number: FIC Dean
Characteristics: 468 p.
Additional Contributors: Windling, Terri


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Dec 06, 2013

I'll be honest, I felt like I should have liked Tam Lin. And I tried, I really did. First and foremost, you need to be a serious reader to get through the book. The pacing is extremely slow and 80% of it is witty dialogue quoting literature and making obscure references. While I enjoyed it, I wish it had been a bit more balanced with action or romance. If the balance has been tweaked a bit, not just in regards to the subject matter, but the whole plot in general, I probably would have thoroughly enjoyed the novel as a whole. I didn't mind spending almost the entire book on the first year of her school life, but if you are going to spend that much time on it, you can't gloss over the next three years. I also felt like the mystery waa addressed almost as an afterthought between another 50 pages of literary allusions. After all the build up, the climax and resolution were such a let down! The romance is barely addressed, the supernatural mystery is solved so quickly, and everything is just addressed so....rationally. How rationally would you take finding out (view spoiler) To sum it up: interesting, philosophical - but not much actually makes up the substance of the ballad - a woman fighting for the man she loves. It happens, but it is not the primary focus of the novel, which of course I was expecting coming to it knowing the ballad. For the full review head to my blog at OboeChica Books (so long and thanks for all the fish).

Aug 07, 2010

It's a lovely story but over long and contains too many references to literature. It sometimes feels more like reading a bibliography rather than a novel.

Icicle Aug 25, 2009

I re-read this every few years. It's a modern re-telling of an ancient fairy tale but it's the writing that amazes me - so many literary quotes and wordplay. It's delightful.

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