Reading “Dorothy Dunnett”

I  have to admit right away that I borrowed the title Reading “Dunnett” from a Facebook group that I belong to.  For fans of Dorothy Dunnett’s books it is a place to gather and read a chosen book together and discuss all the questions and observations that have plagued her readers over the years.

Dorothy Dunnett is the author of several fascinating historical fiction books.  I first checked out “The Game Of Kings” from my library  mainly because it was a fat book which was the beginning of a rather long series.  I was deep in grief at the time, and looking for escapism.  Well, I found it!  At first I didn’t know if I was reading about a hero, a villain, or something in between, however the fantastic use of language by this author kept me reading.  I finished ‘Kings’, and moved on to “Queens Play”.  I still wasn’t sure about her main character, Francis Crawford, but he was growing on me.  Even when I didn’t like how he acted, I found him endlessly fascinating.  So did many of the characters in the books, and I found out years later that many readers of DD did also.

On one of my many re-reads of the Lymond Chronicles I began to notice that she was using words that I didn’t always know the meanings of, and I thought I was pretty literate!  In fact, I found out that there was at least one word every few pages that I wasn’t always sure about. This says something about her writing ability that I was so absorbed in the plots and characters  of her novels that I didn’t even notice all those words at first.  I tried keeping a dictionary at hand to look up all the words that I wasn’t sure of, because her writing is so nuanced that literally every word matters!  However that soon gave away to just indulging in a good read.

When I got my Kindle and began reading Dorothy Dunnett on it, it was exciting to be able to record my comments and questions for future reads, and to look up obscure historical figures and events and All Those Words!

 

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