Author Topic: Redwall  (Read 7913 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Zarpaulus

  • Backer
  • Newbie
  • **
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2014, 10:27:17 PM »
I didn't really read them in any specific order, just whatever I could find at the library.

My fourth grade teacher read the first few chapters of Redwall to our class, after that I read Marlfox.

EscoDingo

  • Backer
  • Newbie
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • Dingo-At-Arms
    • View Profile
    • FurAffinity Page
Re: Redwall
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2014, 12:14:58 AM »
I'm re-reading Pearls of Lutra right now and picked up some old paperbacks of Salamandestron and The Bellmaker, neither of which I have read before. There's a couple I haven't read, and Triss is up there on my to-read. I loved Redwall, Mossflower, and Martin the Warrior growing up. Pearls of Lutra has Grath, one of my favorites.

Georgesquares

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2014, 11:25:42 AM »
Mossflower and Pearls of Lutra were my favorite. Was very disappointed by Outcast of Redwall though, and stopped reading redwall once it veered into black and white morality as opposed to shades of gray when it came to the vermin/woodlanders depictions.  Needless to say, I didn't keep up with Redwall after middle school, much.

I would recommend publication order, hands down.

Also agree, since I think the series starts strong and then gets  formulaic after a certain point. (Taggerung kind of marked the downward spiral IMO.)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 11:36:38 AM by Georgesquares »

Kobb

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
    • Beyond the Western Deep
Re: Redwall
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2014, 07:11:45 PM »
The interesting thing about the "black/white morality" was how Mr. Jacques explained it. He didn't view it as "every vermin character is innately bad and the woodlanders are innately good." To him, there were good and evil characters, and he simply assigned the "bad" species (as traditionally treated in British folklore) to "bad" characters. You could have good and bad shine out of an unexpected place sometimes, but overall that's how it was treated.

This really got problematic in Outcast, though - suddenly you're talking about a child, belonging to a vermin species by birth alone. In that case, the Aesop-style species assignment kinda breaks down and you end up with some really unfortunate implications about nature, nurture, and prejudice. (At least you can have a really interesting discussion about creating your own monsters?)

My issue with the series as it went on was not really a strengthening of the good/evil divide (it was pretty strict all along, with the occasional shining exception). For me, it was the trivialization of the villains. Until the quality ramped back up in the very last two books, the majority of vermin got so stupid that they didn't pose a realistic threat. And the good characters often seemed a bit thick as well (see: Mhera and Tiria's adventures in riddle-solving, in which I kept thinking they had figured everything out... only for them to keep searching for clues, oy).

I'd like to add that I only criticize because I love the series enough to have thought an awful lot about it. In almost every book there's still something I love. And so many A+ characters and stories. c:

Georgesquares

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2014, 11:06:52 PM »
Mhm. You've covered most of what I had in mind.  I've heard the Aesop explanation many times over, which actually begins to cover some of Redwall's tone clash. An Aesop simplifies -- or in most cases, wildy exaggerates -- the struggles of life so that they may be accessible to children. Much of Grimm's fairy tails could be considered tantamount to a modern horror in how bleak they were. Little Red did not have a woodsman to save her. Cinderella's stepsisters were not ugly and in the end they had their eyes pecked out by birds. These Aesops (and Aesop means "lesson") were macabre, harsh stories used to instill cultural morals into children through fear in a dangerous world, where a wolf could actually eat them, and a person could easily get away with murder without the existence of things like forensic science.

That's why I can't see Redwall entirely as an Aesop, because sometimes it wanted to teach us that life was filled with complicated emotions and struggles, and at other times it had villains singing a song and dance number in the swamps. The series teetered between fast paced coming-of-age-adventure novel and an emotionally detached lesson of punishment for strange, clown-like beings in the hides of animals.

I can't really compare the sacrifice and emotional struggle Romsca went through during her death to Princess Kurda falling on her sword.

Redwall was very odd to me as a YA series. Whereas Harry Potter aged with me by tackling things such as poverty and institutionalized hatred as big themes in the books, I felt like Redwall targeted a younger audience as the series progressed while still displaying the oddball torture scene every so often.

I'm not criticizing Redwall's presence of absolute good and evil because that is definitely consistent. But, evil as complicated and something that must be dealt with thoughtfully, as opposed to something that must be punished through divine retribution in a comic tumble off the cliff, was a noticeable change for me in the series.

(If we want to talk about problematic things in Outcast, we can mention  how Bryony thought Veil was great when he did consistently bad things at the Abbey, and then the first time he does something decent and sacrifices his life for her, she decides that he was truly evil-- which was kind of an inexplicable deus-ex-machina to make vermin-woodlander relations the same.)  :(

I have fond memories of Romsca, Basil, Gonff, Samkin and Tim CurrySlagar but there's still something about Redwall that had and always will leave me unsatisfied.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 06:31:18 AM by Georgesquares »

Kobb

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
    • Beyond the Western Deep
Re: Redwall
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2014, 03:32:09 AM »
Very true! It's the inconsistency that really makes it feel wonky at times. Perhaps Mr. Jacques' skill in storytelling was butting up against his desire to write for children in a way he wasn't seeing? You could have an interesting moral dilemma set up in one corner, but the good/evil species divide sits in the other corner, stubbornly unexamined.

And that probably covers my complaint about the villains in the Triss-Eulialia era. In earlier books, villains acted like villains, but even the rank and file were capable of being crafty, and work against the woodlanders at their masters' will. They still felt like people, nasty as they were. But for a while there, vermin would just appear, arguing with each other and generally being dysfunctional until some mildly competent goodbeast chased them off. Removing the complexity makes them make more sense as cartoon baddies (singing their own themesongs at times, you're right, haha), but it doesn't make the story more interesting.

I think as a kid I underappreciated Blaggut. His arc is pretty heartwarming. c:

8BitProxy

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 948
  • Proud Armellian
    • View Profile
    • Just my ramblings.
Re: Redwall
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2014, 07:00:13 AM »
I think as a kid I underappreciated Blaggut. His arc is pretty heartwarming. c:

Who is blaggut if you dont mind me asking

                                                   YouTube | Email

Ratical

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2014, 11:39:11 AM »
I think as a kid I underappreciated Blaggut. His arc is pretty heartwarming. c:

Who is blaggut if you dont mind me asking

He's a sea rat from the book "The Bellmaker". Starts off as a lackey for the villain, but actually ends up being one of the few good vermin characters in the end. He's a little dopey (and apparently kinda stinky), but his heart's in the right place.

8BitProxy

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 948
  • Proud Armellian
    • View Profile
    • Just my ramblings.
Re: Redwall
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2014, 03:13:37 PM »
I think as a kid I underappreciated Blaggut. His arc is pretty heartwarming. c:

Who is blaggut if you dont mind me asking

He's a sea rat from the book "The Bellmaker". Starts off as a lackey for the villain, but actually ends up being one of the few good vermin characters in the end. He's a little dopey (and apparently kinda stinky), but his heart's in the right place.

Oh thanks! i think i can remember him, im so bummed i used to be a redwall nut! but now i cant even remember them! just the fact that i loved them!! i need to reread them in publication order

                                                   YouTube | Email

MrWizard

  • Backer
  • Newbie
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2014, 01:47:01 PM »
I read a few of the books back in Junior High School, and honestly haven't thought about them since. Honestly though, it might be worth it to eventually go back and read a few of the ones I missed (since I've heard there are some quite good books in the series I haven't read through yet). I remember reading Redwall (which was alright at the time), Mossfloower (which I quite liked) and Salamandastron (which I didn't think was very good).

Danaigo

  • Backer
  • Newbie
  • **
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Ninja Media Designs
Re: Redwall
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2014, 03:15:24 AM »
My favorite characters were the squirrel archers. They were so stinkin awesome.  Like forest ninjas, they show up, turn someone into a pin cushion and leave.

Ratical

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2014, 02:27:37 PM »
My favorite characters were the squirrel archers. They were so stinkin awesome.  Like forest ninjas, they show up, turn someone into a pin cushion and leave.

Squirrels get the best actions moments. I always remember Jess in Mattimeo goin' nuts when they were pushed into a corner by the tree rats. She just nabs Matthias's sword and goes ballistic, ending the whole thing in like 2 minutes.

Some long-time fans might already know about this, but there's a site that has lots of frequently asked questions  answered by Brian Jacques, with other pages that give some insight into how the world and characters of Mossflower Wood were crafted. I've always found it very interesting.

http://www.redwall.org/faq.php

I wonder... now that the Master Brian Jacques himself has earned his rest in the silent forest, if we're going to see adaptations of things he was against (Redwall video games, card games, etc.), or if his estate will honor his wishes. My own (selfish) wish: A Redwall RPG or adventure game following an unfolding mystery like in many of the books. They'd have to be handled respectfully, though.

BloodyTrollop

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: Redwall
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2014, 04:18:31 AM »
You have reminded me... I loaned my Redwall books out and would very much like them back... excuse me...
Also, I have a soft spot for Triss myself. Book and Character