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Problems like mine

April 10, 2011

Quest for the Sun, VM Jones

In The Serpents of Arakesh, Adam seems repeatedly to realise that other people have problems too… It starts with his first apparent friend, Cameron: “But people like Cameron didn’t have problems like mine.” (p26)  Cameron comes from a wealthy family and Adam feels completely different: “‘You don’t understand,’ I said hopelessly.  After all, how could he? This house – the computer – the car – the food – every single thing about Cameron was so different from me that we might as well have been in separate worlds.  He could never understand the kind of problems that existed for me.  How could he? How could we even begin to be friends?” (p43)  It reappears with Hannah (“I wondered what it must be like to be the light of someone’s life; to be loved like that.” (p74)), who turns out to be dying… and is there as a miasma around the other children vying for a space on the Karazan team.

Is this some sort of necessary learning curve, attached to the adoption of a community? Is this abandonment of a the-grass-is-always-greener view part of growing up? Is it inherent to childhood at all?

It is also interesting the way this idea of ‘coming from other worlds’ is used to describe difference in a book about a parallel universe … perhaps this needs to be considered more thematically (in light of the direction the rest of the Quartet takes Adam’s heritage in)…

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