A FEW BOOKS… 9/2/2016

I recently took note that the majority of my blog seems to have something to do with films and the boob tube or some combination of the two. It’s true that I love both. It is also true that reading is a major part of my life, has been since I first acquired the ability, and I’d like to take a few moments to affirm that. 

I read as often as I can and I read wherever I’m at. I have a paperback handy at work or some kind of e-reading device close by. As a result, I manage to finish 2 or 3 novels a week. That’s not bad when one considers the daily grind of adulthood that likes to munch on creative people’s time. Since I enjoy making pop culture lists from time to time, it seemed an easy thing to share a list of some books I’ve read and enjoyed lately. Maybe this will become a regular thing for me — we shall see. 

Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror — Steve Alten (1997)

Imagine a 14-year-old boy with ADD watches Jaws and The Abyss back to back and then writes a novel, after Wiking all the science, and you have a good idea what this book is like. Its dumb fun, like a good B movie. The scene in which a Megalodon eats a T-Rex is freaking great …I mean, why not have a giant prehistoric fish eat another giant prehistoric beast? So what if they didn’t exist in the same era! If Kong or Godzilla had made an appearance there could have been an epic threeway battle. 

Off Season — Jack Ketchum (1980)

This novel is firmly in The Hills Have Eyes territory. To coin an old adage, it’s not for the faint of heart. It is disturbing, as is to be expected from the author of The Girl Next Door. It is also filled with unsettling observations about the human condition that are only made so by their accuracy. 

Darkness on the Edge of Town — Brian Keene (2008)

An atmospheric, more-than-welcome old school apocalyptic horror novel. The novel reminds me of The Mist, Under The Dome, and Lord of the Flies, and if you are me this is a very good thing. It’s a dark read (literally) yet is filled with a kind of hopefulness that is sometimes lacking in the horror genre. Some people forget that some of the best horror stories are not all crushing nihilism, but that in many, you can see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

The Girl with All the Gifts — M.R. Carey (2014)

This was a pretty big book, is about to have a movie drop, and somehow I managed to skip it for a while … that is to say I wasn’t even aware of its existence. I’m glad I found the book in my haphazard fashion, though. As someone who has complained before about zombie burnout, I found this to be a proof that he genre can still be handled intelligently and interestingly. I found the character of Melanie particularly moving and the facts of her existence genuinely heartbreaking. It’s been awhile since a character in anything zombie-related has made me feel that way. 

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole — Stephen King (2012)

Getting into King’s Dark Tower series can be a pretty daunting task. There are about a gazillion pages and King does not seem apt at building a fantasy world ala George R.R. Martin with A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones). I’m not sure that I completely get The Dark Tower, and will honestly say that I’m looking forward to a film series that might bring it all into some kind of focus for me. That being said, this little companion volume to the series does not really require you to have read everything else as a way in. The story, which is a set of stories that the Gunslinger tells his companions on a dark and stormy night, is compelling and stands by itself. It is also a rather beautiful rumination on guilt and forgiveness. 

That’s about all for now, friends. Be cool. Be happy. 


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