When I was about ten, I read British Folk-Tales (not linking this to a place where you can buy it because Amazon is selling it at an incredible price of 11,000 rupees) by Kevin Crossley-Holland and enjoyed it. I had my favourite stories in the collection and I read them over and over again.A few years later, I read The Seeing Stone and loved that too, even though the story was familiar, the old tale of King Arthur retold.
I liked the essence of the story. I liked the idea of a quest rooted in the place to which one belongs. I liked the notion of bringing history back to life.
Yet, I found the telling overly dramatic for the proportions of the story. Sure, the quest for angels is beautiful as an idea. The moment in history when the angels were ‘slain’ must have been powerful, but that did not quite come through, at least to me. Rather, I had the impression that a big deal was being made of nothing. There was all the drama and action of crime fiction, with a plot that just did not come through as important enough.
Having said that, though, of course the question comes back – why did I read the whole book then? Wasn’t it because there was something that kept me there?
Sometimes, the question of why we read what we read is truly perplexing.