Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Listened to: "The Black Cauldron" by Lloyd Alexander

Listened to: The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander, 1965, downloaded from OverDrive (2004 edition?).

More great narration by James Langton. I have not recorded a library book talk in a while and figured I could talk about this and The Book of Three. I checked out the books from work and brought them home. My wife asked if I brought them home for Boy #1. I said "No." She said, "I liked those when I read them." I did not tell her that girls are not supposed to read adventure stories featuring boys.

I cannot help but retain my views from 30+ years ago when I first read these kinds of adventure books. I don't want girls reading this stuff. This is guy stuff; stay away. I enjoy the stories and adventures of Taran, Assistant Pig Master but I cannot help but over analyze the novels. I also cannot help but analyze the books as both my current adult status and as my memories of being a kid.

Plot: Assistant Pig Master Taran is home at the farm when warriors start to arrive for a meeting. Troops are gathering to go into evil Arawn's territory and steal the Black Cauldron that is used to make his zombie-like Cauldron Born soldiers. Taran gets to go along. Taran, Fflewddur the bard, and Doli the dwarf are separated from the other troops. They meet up with Princess Eilonwy and Gurgi. They find out where the Cauldron is. They get the Cauldron. Good-guy-who-turns-bad-guy steals Cauldron away. Another good-guy-into-bad-guy gets Cauldron and wants to make his own invincible army. Second good-guy-into-bad-guy is defeated. Everyone lives happily ever after. Except for the dead soldiers. They're dead.

1. Young self: Wow! Swords, horses, adventure! That Eilonwy girl sounds really pretty but what a bother girls are! Camping out, woods, rivers, witches! Out on your own and leading others through danger!
2. Older self: (pompous voice) There are many interesting aspects to this story that appeal to young readers. A young lad in charge of adults. The importance of friendship. Lessons in honor and honesty. Young lad learning that hard work and a positive attitude matched with perseverance will win out. To not always judge others and to look beyond surface qualities. There are some bad people in life.
3. Yeah, I used a semicolon up above. No, I do not know if I used it correctly. I'm clueless about commas, too.

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