Sunday, December 30, 2007

Overhanging Second Stories

Five Dials
We found this kinda-sorta review of The Face in the Frost a number of years ago. We wondered about it then and – as we clean out some of the darker corners of our email inbox – we wonder about it again now. We thought maybe you’d like to wonder about it with us. Here goes:

The book is progressing along nicely, though it's even more hurried than I remembered. In fact, I'm fairly certain this copy is missing some exposition. I'm reading this small book slowly, to savor it, so it's possible I haven't gotten to this part yet, but I remember Prospero entering this weird town where the houses have overhanging second stories. The author tells how weird it makes the streets seem, and explains that it's an effect of taxes; property tax is levied according to the square footage of the ground floor, only. So, houses build up and over rather than out. Anyway, I've seen Prospero enter a town with "overhanging second stories", but nothing more is said about them. So, either there's another town with weird housing coming up, or else this copy has had some of the flavor edited out of it. I'm guessing the latter. I'll have to get another copy of this book some day.
Prospero easily enters his fair share of weird towns, but frankly we don't recall any passage in Face dealing with “overhanging second stories” and taxes (taxes don’t sound like anything John would write about in any book for that matter). In short, it’s possible the reviewer has gotten a few things backwards, more so confused. But for the record, is anyone familiar with a book that does mention “overhanging second stories?”

1 comment:

Smuggins said...

Hmm, that doesn't seem like something John Bellairs wrote. Taxes?

I was curious though if there was a John Bellairs Biography (book), similar to Ascending Peculiarity?