Hexwood

Hexwood

by Jones

Hardcover(NEW GREENW)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060298883
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2002
Edition description: NEW GREENW
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.31(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

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Hexwood 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As an unabashed fan, I kind of love being gobsmacked by Diana Wynne Jones's labyrinthine plots that hang together solely by her ability to concisely create worlds strangely logical and magical and fiercely true characters while hilariously eschewing your expectations.I think this is Diana Wynne Jones's most confusing novel, and by that fact alone, gains a great fondness in my evaluation of it. This is the story of Hexwood Farm, where Bannus, a dangerous probability machine that has been mistakenly turned on to create a fantasy football team. This is the story of Ann Stavely, a 12 year old girl who lives by Hexwood Farm and keeps noticing strange people disappearing into the woods. This is a story of the corrupted intergalactic 'Reigners' who have a stranglehold on the universe, threatened only by the power of the Bannus.Any further attempt to explain the plot is likely to be more confusing than enlightening. All the events are out of order, everything both is and isn't what it seems, and through it all, yet... The humor of the moment shines. Each narrative 'layer' of the story is by itself a compelling and holds together surprisingly well through the power of the character arcs- and it still makes sense at the genius/typical slapdash ending (without neglecting the themes of power and possiblity).Is it for everyone? Maybe not. But for the rest of us, I'll continue savoring the sweet bliss of having to immediately flip to the first page again after the last page, for a go for catching all the plot twists the second time around. (Really, I don't think the plot could come from any other writer, it's so essential DWJ genre-mashing.)
Heather_S on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a better book than either its horribly designed cover or badly written blurb would indicate. In fact, it was a great book. Diana Wynne Jones is a wonderful author - why didn't I hear about her until I was 25?
internisus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I sought out and purchased Hexwood after finding it suggested as a good example of a story that unfolds like a puzzle. I enjoy unconventional literature that requires nontrivial effort in piecing together the narrative. Unfortunately, while Hexwood definitely falls into this category of fiction, it is a poor effort that I would not recommend either to the young-adult audience for which it was written or to adults looking for an interesting labyrinth of a plot.Hexwood's central conceit is that a machine whose purpose is to repeatedly test the outcomes of running a given set of elements through an infinite variety of scenarios has run amuck and threatens to engulf more and more of the world in its expanding game space. Although this could be a somewhat entertaining (if thinly veiled) metafictional allegory for authorship, the book has no such intention but instead plays the premise straight. In fact, for the longest time, the idea of the machine seems to serve merely as a license to depict whatever arbitrary events the author desires¿a license of which she takes little imaginative advantage, mostly retreading clichéd fantasy tropes that, in fact, do not become subversive or more interesting in any way from the knowledge that they are illusory.The first hundred pages are a chore, a series of time-skipped scenes vaguely designed to provide purposefully unrevealing glimpses of strange phenomena with inadequately clued rules surrounding carefully ill-defined characters in a terribly bland forest setting. The reader is insufficiently tantalized by the mysteries of the book's first third because the actors, setting, and circumstances lack for compelling detail and momentum.There is a cartoonish aspect to the vague sci-fi wizardry; this may be appropriate to the young-adult audience, but it is not much to my taste. The characters act like they are concerned with the rules of performing magic, but the story's premise essentially provides an unlimited source of supernatural creation that undermines the restrictions which some characters impose upon themselves for reasons that are never entirely clear. The prose itself is nothing special; depictions of characters' thoughts and feelings are nakedly and coldly expository most of the time. The author's approach to characterization is generally not engaging.When the story's science-fiction frame finally begins to disclose the identities of these people, the effect is not one of grasping newfound comprehension but rather simple relief that something is, at long last, actually happening. After the turn, the field of the story rapidly telescopes, but this payoff accomplishes nothing that is worth the cold, wasted space of the long first act.Hexwood is indeed the narrative puzzlebox that I was promised, but¿and I am loath to say this as an admirer of books featuring experimental narrative structures¿it is a failure of storytelling due to the omniscient narrator's capricious lack of interest in engaging the reader for so long. The book is not so much ill-conceived as it is poorly designed; the mysteries of the story neither require nor are improved by keeping the reader in the dark for so long.I would be interested in reading a story that seeks to manipulate the reader through layered and hidden roles and events, but, because the content here fails to justify or make good use of that kind of form, Hexwood comes off seeming vapid, pretentious, and even sadistic. It is confusing for confusion's sake; a pointless book that pretends to be more clever than it is and that does not respect the reader's time.
norabelle414 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very confusing. After two readings, several years apart, I'm still not sure what's going on.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really great book! I love the intricate story line. It really makes you think. So don't read this book if you don't want something to really ponder. It's just so thought provoking. And the characters are really memerable. I don't know why more people don't read this book! So if you're reading this review, I command you to go out and tell all your friends to read it! J/K. But it is a really good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hexwood is a complex story of worlds and invention and identity. Teenaged Ann has been ill, but when she enters Banners' Wood time seems to flow in different directions. She meets Mordian, who seems to emerge from burial in a mound, then sees the creation of a child named Hume and meets a robot named Yam. Somewhere in the brew is a strand about King Arthur and the whole story is so complicated it needs a thorough and perhaps repeated reading. But who cares? With writing as brilliant as DWJ's, every re-reading is a bonus. If it's such a great book, why didn't I give it 5 stars? Well, just because some of her other books are even better!