Lori's Book Nook

Zed by Elizabeth McClung

Posted on: November 7, 2007

One of the books I’m reviewing is, well, rather brilliant — mesmerizing even. Zed, authored by Elizabeth McClung (Arsenal Press).

If you can read the first paragraph and not be drawn in, then okay, you don’t have to buy it. But if you can’t wait to read more, here’s the first chapter online.

Her name? Zed. Age? Eleven, twelve, maybe thirteen – it wasn’t like she was getting three square a day and multivitamins. She was small, four-foot nothing: thin, grubby, but with a thrust to her chin which told you, as you saw her beetling down the hall towards you – best step aside. Most people were fairly certain Zed was female. Her soft features and long lashes were contrasted by grey uniform coveralls, slick and shiny from constant wear. The hair was the deciding factor, because it fell, wildly uneven, to shoulder length. Once a year, Zed assaulted it with her knife, hacking it back above her ears. She had a habit of tilting her head down and staring up at people from under her bangs. She just showed up one day – no relations, no history. No one knew much about her, and those who did never passed it on. People didn’t gossip about her, at least not more than once, because if she caught them she’d stick her knife point somewhere soft on them and ask, “Got anything more to say, Chuckles?” which, invariably, they didn’t.
Yes, she fit right in with the Tower.

C’mon, Elizabeth! Get working on another one!

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4 Responses to "Zed by Elizabeth McClung"

Do you keep the books? Hope your power is on, I heard you have higher winds than here! Good first chapter, I will read the rest. Thanks.

Yes, I keep the books. But I would also encourage people to buy this one — a first time Canadian author, ya know. 🙂

And no, our power was out for most of the day today…crews have the power back up just in time for the end of the work day. Lucky that.

Not two years ago you were doing a cull. That’s why I wondered if you still kept them. Do you or your readers know if an author gets any credit or acknowledgment when their books are borrowed from a library?

Actually, Lyd, you’re right. I do periodically delete books (“cull”?? What a harsh word for books!!)…Zed is one that will get lent out of the house, but probably not ‘culled’. 🙂

It’s a good question re: acknowledgment for an author. Librarians do have lists of favourites on their websites (and here is a blogger who has created a special search of those sites), but I don’t think there is any other mechanism for beefing up small authors. It’s a constant problem in this world of everyone-has-to-read-the-next-big-hit, the world of Harry Potter and Di Vinci Code.

The key is to get the library users to request that their local library buy the book. I know your local library buys books regularly, Lydia my dear! 🙂

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