okay NOW SBD -- funny stuff

So A Civil Campaign, which takes place on a distant planet in the future and Frederica, which is set in Regency England, are more alike than you'd expect. I'd actually pick up and consult the books for this comparison, but
1. I'm lazy
2. I just read them both**
3. the humor is my idea of fun, so I haven't forgotten those bits of the stories. Even though I'd stumble if someone asked me to sum up the Bujold book, because it was jammed with subplots, I did not forget that dinner scene. Nosirree.

The plots, eh, in the end they're both all about marriage. Granted the plot of Civil Campaign is more convoluted and has more characters. But there's love and courtship and the humorous scene that I'm thinking of -- Miles's disastrous dinner party--reminded me of the Lufra the Barcelona Collie scene. The way the people dealt with the physical funny bits was what mattered most.

Yup, the humor in both books is physical. A jumping dog vs. some jumping bugs and a great many offended people. But it's the characters' reactions that make us laugh and the fact that these incidents make perfect sense given the set of people (or animals) that are integral to the story.

That's when that sort of body humor doesn't entirely work for me -- when it doesn't come out of the characters or plot, it just comes out of the blue. Slapstick humor, a man falling on a banana peel, can be sort of funny. But that stuff can be masterful and wonderful when you know how that banana peel got there and when you know what the man's response is, and/or the people watching him fall respond. That's what both authors do so beautifully. The slightly sly or ironic responses of characters. Nothing too obvious, usually. . .yessssssss, so pretty.

** I love them both. I'd read Frederica years ago and this was an audio book. The one thing I was disappointed by on my reread --> how often Frederica calls Alverstoke "odious" Heyer's heroines spend a great deal of time berating her heroes. It's old even when they are gurgling with laughter about it. I hadn't noticed that tendency until I reread the Reluctant Widow.


  1. I can never decide if A Civil Campaign is my favorite Miles book, or Komarr.

  2. Interesting that those are the two you pick because they're not very similar. Komarr's a mystery and Civil Campaign is a drawing room romp. Gad--that woman can write whatever she wants.

  3. Oh, goody! Two Miles' fans. I love the Cordelia's Honor omnibus and went on to try the first Miles book. While I liked it well enough, I was not overwhelmed or intrigued enough to embark upon the series. However, with Cryoburn out many of my book comms are all chatty chatty about Miles. So, do I give this another try? Do they have to be read in order or can either of you recommend the best ones and I can go with those? Thoughts?

  4. I haven't gotten all the way up to cryoburn, so I don't know. I read the others out of order and wish I hadn't. That's not really advice but ummmmm.....Maybe you could read the freebies over at baen? See what you think after that?

    There were three or four free stories there a couple of months ago. Those are the ones that got me caught in the whole series.

    Actually I got caught because I ran out of her other, more recent series. The Lakewalker/sharing knife books are much simpler, more basic fantasy. A nice romance, too.

    If you liked that first Cordelia book, you'll like them.

  5. Thanks for the tip on the freebies!

    I've only the last of the Sharing Knife series to go. I didn't love the 3rd and so it slipped my mind the last time I was at the library. Now that it's been a while I am definitely ready for the 4th book. :)

  6. Heyer IS so much! I didn't think Frederica was pushy but certainly she wasn't preoccupied with getting overly embarrassed about things in life as so many characters are wont to do in books set in this era. I also don't know how anyone can think she is pushy when she's paired with one of the pushiest heroes out there. :)

    I gave the 4th Sharing Knife a try and didn't make it much past 100 pages. I thought it was horrible. I think I will just remember the first two fondly and call that good.


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