Ugh. OK. This one was a little rough. It was such a good concept, but it was sooooo slow. I think the audiobook was about 20-21 hours. It probably could’ve been 10 and it would’ve been better. The premise is that some people in the world are werewolves. They were “infected” with a prion originated in wolves. I nerdily enjoyed the backstory of the disease. I could’ve listened to more about that! It starts out strong too. Patrick Gamble is on a plane flying to a different state (Oregon?) to live with his mom while his dad goes to the […]
This book presents the same interesting challenge that I like in a book: how to deal with an absolutely bad protagonist. I don’t mean uncompelling, but a bad dude. And not actually one super interested in redemption. He kind of is by the end, but only because of the costs he incurs throughout the book. Jude is a semi-retired heavy metal rock star. He’s got a young girlfriend he calls Georgia, from where she’s from. He’s also recently broken up with another similar girlfriend named Florida. You get it. At the beginning of the book he is contacted by a […]
Book synopsis: In a small Arizona town, a man counts his blessings: a loving wife, two teenage daughters, and a job that allows him to work at home. Then “The Store” announces plans to open a local outlet, which will surely finish off the small downtown shops. His concerns grow when “The Store’s” builders ignore all the town’s zoning laws during its construction. Then dead animals are found on “The Store’s” grounds. Inside, customers are hounded by obnoxious sales people, and strange products appear on the shelves. Before long the town’s remaining small shop owners disappear, and “The Store” spreads […]
Two books, very unalike, and yet sharing one general darkness. Death, spoken and unspoken, biogenic and anthropogenic. Non-fiction, and fiction. Come sit and have tea with me, won’t you? The sugar’s right there.
What a wild and crazy ride this book was! Equal parts, horror, humor, coming of age, and a nostalgic love letter to the 1980s. Looking back at that sentence it is clear that Hendrix was being a bit ambitious in scope, as this is a lot to balance, but he does so with ease. I don’t remember ever vacillating so quickly and constantly from laughter to terror, but the pendulum swings back and forth again and again over the course of this book. What starts out as a sweet story of friendship between Gretchen and Abby takes a quick turn […]
I’ve never seen Phantom of the Opera on stage or as a filmed performance, but I have seen the Lon Cheney film of this novel. And that film, like this novel, is an accidentally hilarious (though very entertaining!) melodrama. But at the same time, it’s drama does not fare too terribly well in 2019 awareness of gender relations, that’s for sure. So here’s what’s pretty funny: The Phantom calls himself in my translation as the “Opera Ghost” and signs all his notes as “OG”. He also blackmails the theater owners, and it’s a kind of funny thing. He’s calling himself […]
So like I said the other day with Light Years and how Ender’s Game is just a sub-genre now, the whole “people trying to get to the bottom of a haunted house through a combination of parapsychology, scientific method, and psychical powers” ala The Haunting of Hill House is a sub-genre too. In Shirley Jackson’s novel, which is quite subtle in its narration, themes, and spookiness. There’s a suggestion that our main character’s sense of self and questions about her sexual identity are being explored and exposed in the novel. So this novel is a lot like that: if a […]
“Horror,” Laura Miller says in the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Haunting of Hill House, “turns on the dissolution of boundaries […] between the outside of the body and everything that ought to stay inside.” Maybe the way horror lurks in liminal spaces, only rarely coming right out in the open, has something to do with how much I enjoy the genre. And The Haunting of Hill House serves masterfully as our guide to those cracked and uncertain places.