Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The immortal writers

Famous writers are either long dead, or are gloriously alive and will live forever. Right?

Wrong.

I never even realized that I had this strange assumption until a few minutes ago, when I found out that Brian Jacques died last Saturday. I thought "Impossible! He's got to live forever and keep on writing Redwall books!" But...why should writers be any different from the rest of us?

Jacques' Redwall series were about a group of animals who lived in Redwall Abby. In the first book I read, Mossflower, the abbey had yet to be built. Instead, the animals of the forest were under the power of the evil queen Tsarmina.

I loved Mossflower immediately. I read how the creatures of Mossflower Forest fought back against Tsarmina. I watched as Martin the Warrior came to their aid, and set out on a quest to free the woodland folk. I laughed at the tricks of Gonff the (honest) Thief, who became Martin's closest friend. I was elated when the creatures of Mossflower were finally freed of tyranny, and decided to build an abbey that would one day be named Redwall Abbey.

When I finished Mossflower I read Redwall. Next I read Mattimeo...and I forget which one I read after that. Funny thing is, they weren't actually written in chronological order. I guess Jacques just wrote the stories as they came to him, however they came to him. For example, the novel Martin the Warrior takes place before Mossflower, before Martin has become a great warrior. But it was released five years after Mossflower was published.

For several years I read nothing but Redwall books. I read each new book as it came out, and then I reread all the old ones until the next one was released. I knew those stories inside and out, and I think Brian Jacques was the first writer to make me cry with his book Salamandastron. In any event, whether or not it was the first book I cried over, I definitely found myself in tears over Salamandastron because the characters were so real to me.

Eventually I started to read other books. It's been I don't know how many years since I've read one of the Redwall books, but I remembered them fondly, and it was comforting to know that Jacques was still out there writing them.

Well, he's not writing them anymore.

I think I should reread Mossflower. Also, it's time that I read those last Redwall books that I never picked up.

Rest in peace, Brian Jacques. Or be reincarnated and write some more stories. Whichever you prefer. :) Either way, I think you've joined the ranks of immortal writers.

3 comments:

Sarita Rucker said...

Maybe I should have put this in the post itself, but I found the quote on www.goodreads.com after I hit "post" so I'm putting it here in the comments instead.

"Pick-a-lock, Pick-a-lock, you'll regret the day,
When you took a mouse thief and locked him away,
Silly cat, look at that, it's two for one,
A thief and a warrior, by dawn will be gone."

This is a song sung by Gonff the Thief about himself and Martin the Warrior.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's sad when a beloved author dies and you know that no more wonderful stories or novels will flow from his imagination. These novels sound very good -- I love stories where animals are the protagonists.

Sarita Rucker said...

The stories are definitely very good, and I recommend them.

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