Monday, July 15, 2013

Book report: recent reads

Here's a quick look at some recent reads.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill - In part this feels like Hill's direct engagement with his his father's body of work. But that's probably only partially fair. NOS4A2 directly, engages, uses, has fun with a large number of tropes and ideas that appear in modern horror novels. So by engaging directly with the genre he's also engaging pops, plus there are specific references to King the Elder's novels. But that's all hooey because NOS4A2 is a helluva book. It's got finely drawn characters, it's compulsively readable, it's got some scary moments and moments that will break your heart. If you're only going to read one giant horror novel make it this one. Highly Recommended.

Hombre by Elmore Leonard - I've seen more Westerns then I have read, so I'm trying to make an effort to read some more Westerns, particularly some of the ones that seem like classics of the genre. I've heard Hombre described as the best western ever written, I'd seen the movie tears ago, and I'm a fan of Leonard's so it was a no-brainer to read this one. Hombre is really a study of the titular character but ultimately an inaccurate one because it's everyone else's impressions of him.  One thing that struck me was that this could be adapted for the stage given all of the character interactions and the limited number of set pieces. Highly Recommended.

A Triumph for Sakura by Jason Ridler - The tag line for this one is something along the lines of Vampire Fight Club, and while that is mainly true (or as true as a three word summary can get) what was a welcome surprise was that this was more of a secondary world fantasy. Which is probably just a fancy way of saying that Ridler invests a lot of effort in creating the world in which the story is set. This book is a lot of fun for those who prefer their vampires non-sparkly. Recommended.

1 comment:

Dana King said...

HOMBRE has long been one of my Top 5 western movies. I read the book a few years ago and think it might be the best thing Leonard has written, and I'm a huge fan of his crime fiction.