Ahhh, the satisfaction of a completed set. I was most relieved to receive my final instalment last week. Not only because by the end of the penultimate episode, the three heroes were left in a terrible pickle; but also because I had been quietly fretting about how the mask image drawn across the spine would be completed. Call me stupid, but it hadn't occurred to me that the final instalment might be thicker than the others!
The red background in these photos was a surprise inclusion in the last package, I think it's wrapping paper. It's labelled: Linda Florence 2006 for The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. A nice little extra, though the idea that I might wrap the books up and give them to someone is a little peculiar.
Although I struggled remembering the characters from week to week - there was a Comte, a Contessa, a Cardinal and a Colonel - I really enjoyed the experience of reading this. The pace was unrelenting, the heroes in a near-constant state of fight, flight, capture or escape. This meant that the enforced breaks in the plot were often a welcome relief - if I'd read it as a single book it would have become all too much. I imagine that watching multiple episodes of 24 all in one sitting would have the same effect - such intensity over a long period would be hard to take, and the idea that this had all taken place within 24 hours would become ridiculous to the point of incredulity.
G. W. Galquist, the Glass Books author, made exactly this point in his Guardian article, Make 'em cry, make 'em laugh, make 'em wait on the role and challenge of episodic storytelling. He makes several other good points too, it's worth a read.
I'm thinking that some people must be more predisposed to enjoying episodic storytelling than others. As a Lost fan, I relish the wait between episodes. I'm happy with the uncertainty and enjoy thinking about the mysteries from one week to the next. But I know other people hate it, they find it frustrating and pointless. If they don't give up altogether, they want to rush ahead and get the next episode as quick as possible, or seek out spoilers to know what's going to happen in advance.