After reading Armitt's book on fantasy fiction, I felt about as knowledgeable in the subject as I was before reading it. While her writing seems full of information and insight, I feel some of it is opinionated, unresearched, and really scattered. While reading the book, not only was I confused as to her logic in the order of explaination, but also did not know alot of the material she was rattling off. I just don't understand how I am supposed to pick anything up from a book full of examples that I can't relate to. As a book about introducing someone to fanrasy fiction, Armitt seems to be "swimming in the deep end" without giving myself a chance to learn how to swim.
I am not against Fantasy Fiction, I actually find it to be quite interesting some times, such as Lord of the Rings, but this book made the topic really frustrating. I can't say that I actually have learned anything about Fantasy Fiction, because in order for me to learn about something, personally, it has to be presented in an interesting way. Also with the examples she uses, it seems that I should already have a basic understanding of fantasy fiction in order to get..... a basic understanding of fantasy fiction....
Even looking past the fact that she chooses in depth subject matter, there is still the fact that Armitt is all over the place in her presentation of knowledge. From guessing hidden themes in Lord of the Rings, to explaining how Frankenstein is actually fantasy fiction she jumps back and forth between novels and ideas so quickly that it becomes hard to follow very fast.
This post may not be exactly about Fantasy Fiction itself, but it definitely will save those who are looking for some good information on the subject from a bad read.