The Witch Doctor

The world of the Wizard in Rhyme.
M340857
PostsCOLON 1
JoinedCOLON Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:41 am

The Witch Doctor

Postby M340857 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:55 am

This has to be one of my all time favorite books. I've moved a great deal (Wa, Ca, Ma, Japan), and it's one that I've kept in my library throughout.

I love Saul; I think of all the characters, I identify most with him. He's constantly curious about the world around him, a tad bit antisocial, a very critical thinker, humble and nice under a tough exterior and defiant & contrary through and through. And it's a hilarious read. The holy cow moment still gets me, every time.

I cite that book, and it's many quotes from literature, as the prime reason why I became an avid reader, an english major and now a future librarian (hopefully). However, I still am a terrible speller.

Now I think I'll go reread that actually... :D

I always wonder though... what happened to Saul? Did he ever find that heir? Or visit his old home with the Mrs.?
User avatar
cstasheff
PostsCOLON 114
JoinedCOLON Fri May 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby cstasheff » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:21 pm

M340857, I'm very much flattered that you enjoyed THE WITCH DOCTOR so much -- frankly, I haven't received all that many accolades for the book. I was trying to make sure The Matt Mantrell books didn't bog down into the same hero over and over again, and Saul is as strong a counter-hero as I could dream up, but could still believably be friends with Matt. Louis XI was real, by the way, and I identified with him because he was an epileptic, and not terribly well-liked -- but anybody who insisted on trying to put France back together after the Hundred Years' War was apt to rile a few people. Saul has run an errand or two for Louis (the Spider King), though those aren't yet written, but I hadn't thought of him visiting his old apartment with the Mrs. The two of them are living happily in a secluded mountain valley, raising children and studying one another. Saul has, though, responded to Matt's calls for help occasionally, and will again -- in fact, he'll have a crucial part to play in the last book (if I ever get to write it), when all the villains from the whole series come out of the woodwork and drive the good guys into a mountain stronghold in the Alps. While I'm waiting for that, though, I hope you're enjoying the excerpts we're putting on line here. Thanks very much for your compliments.
wd59
PostsCOLON 3
JoinedCOLON Wed May 09, 2012 2:35 am

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby wd59 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:18 am

I just finished, a few days back, rereading this for the umpteenth time - and enjoyed it just as much as the first time! I especially liked being able to read about the world of Mathew Mantrell, or should I say new world, but being able to see totally different characters (especially a new hero) develop. I think the ties to Matt give the reader a great empathy for Saul before the book even gets going.

Great Job!

BTW - I just tonight finished rereading A Wizard In Midgard and enjoyed it too, just as much as the first read!
User avatar
cstasheff
PostsCOLON 114
JoinedCOLON Fri May 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby cstasheff » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:50 pm

Glad you have a taste for the classics, even though they're mine. I will write the last book in the series some day, but since there's no publisher interest, I'm afraid it will be fairly far down my 'TO WRITE' list. You comments do strengthen my resolve, though.
ScreechingSnake
PostsCOLON 2
JoinedCOLON Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:19 pm

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby ScreechingSnake » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:44 pm

I am just now in the middle of rereading The Witch Doctor, and I agree with the person who started this thread - it's my favorite, mostly for its in-depth delving into Good vs. Evil in a starkly dualistic universe, and in general.

Re Saul, I've always been fond of anti-heroes.

I've been reading the various Stasheff series since being grabbed by The Warlock in Spite of Himself back around the time it was published and have been rereading many of them lately - but my wife of some few decades (who's much less of an F&SF junkie) recently picked up the Queen's Wizard after I'd finished it yet again, and loves it. Another victim successfully corrupted - bwahaha!

All things considered I think this is my favorite series as I'm a sucker for bent humor a la Night Court and WKRP in Cincinatti. The Warlock series is wonderful too - the characters have become old friends over the years - but it's not quite as twisted-grin prone as Wizard in Rhyme.

I was inspired to look up Louis XI (our world's Spider King) and gather he was your basic Renaissance manipulator a la the leading families of contemporary Italy and Spain. A quite reasonable choice of avatar.

Enough for now, gotta run.
/Gary (ScreechingSnake's a gamer name I've used for a few decades)
kf6eml
PostsCOLON 213
JoinedCOLON Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:34 am
LocationCOLON Waldron, IN

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby kf6eml » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:08 am

I'm still working on this one. Sorry it's taking so long; The copy I managed to get was so bad that I have to go through it line-by-line, and there are problems from the optical reader that was used to make it - It missed words, misread letters and punctuation, and every single line is carriage-returned, and not word-wrapped. Pain in the...
This seems to be the only copy out there in digital format, which is encouraging, in a way... But irritating. I'm missing pieces, and don't have my paper copy to fill the holes.

One thing about it that is the author's "fault..."
There are a lot of hyphens in this piece. I've taken some liberties here, replacing a few with semi-colons and commas where it seemed appropriate. If that's not acceptable, let me know, and I'll revert them all. It's just that the sheer number of them is a bit overwhelming.

I'm about half-way done, and have a couple weeks of guard duty ahead of me, so might actually make some progress. I'll keep you posted.
User avatar
Ortho the Frank
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 252
JoinedCOLON Fri May 21, 2010 3:57 pm

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby Ortho the Frank » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:04 pm

Wow, thanks! If you're referring to the bootleg PDF version of Witch Doctor, yeah, that was the only version I could find online, too. And yeah, the OCR proofing is kinds craptastic.

As one of his "editors," I've noticed Chris does seems to go through phases where he favors certain punctuation. Wizard in Bedlam was drowning in semicolons; Escape Velocity has an over-enthusiasm for commas. For Witch Doctor, I guess, it was the hyphen's turn. I don't think Chris would mind your proofreading, but the ultimate decision is up to him.

Thanks again for all your help!
kf6eml
PostsCOLON 213
JoinedCOLON Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:34 am
LocationCOLON Waldron, IN

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby kf6eml » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:25 am

I'm not really proofreading; The work was already published, so it's been proofed already. All I'm doing is correcting transcription errors and criticizing. ;)

I don't write much, but when I do, I've noticed that I go through the same punctuation phases. Periods, as it were...
I notice myself overusing ellipses, hyphens, semicolons, and parentheses. I try to go back and mix it up a bit when I proofread, but it doesn't always work.
The story should tell itself, and if that means that there's a hyphen or two in every paragraph, then so be it. The Muse does what she will, and who are we to gainsay? :D
kf6eml
PostsCOLON 213
JoinedCOLON Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:34 am
LocationCOLON Waldron, IN

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby kf6eml » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:54 pm

Just an update:
Our guys are coming back from Afghanistan now, so things are pretty chaotic. Aside from being tasked out on all sorts of details, I have to help rebuild 600 aqualung bottles this week! (Our pilots carry them when they fly... Even though Afghanistan is landlocked. Makes sense to somebody, I guess.) Anyhoo... The editing is not progressing well, recently. It's going to be a while.
User avatar
cstasheff
PostsCOLON 114
JoinedCOLON Fri May 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Re: The Witch Doctor

Postby cstasheff » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:35 pm

Yeah, I think Louis X was a Fascinating character. It helps that he was king when Francois Villon was King of the Paris Thieves (and beggars). If you haven't seen THE VAGABOND KING, tell your local library that they're missing a classic musical. I borrowed Tuan Loguire's mobilization of the House of Clovis from the tale. Out of the whole cycle, I like best that Louis managed to keep the Wars of the Roses going, by helping out whichever side was losing at the moment. It may have devastated England, but it kept their armies from attacking France again. Fascinating character. Gotta bring him back. Thanks!

Return to

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 1 and 0 guests