Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Just Jennifer

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Fiction by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is well-known for his novels (Coraline, The Ocean at the End of the Lane), his short stories, books for younger readers and The Sandman graphic novels.  Here he presents a collection of speeches, articles, essays and shorter pieces that are, according to Gaiman’s own words on the jacket copy “Some of them are serious and some of them are frivolous and some of them are earnest and some of them I wrote to try and make people listen.” He has succeeded.  The book might be subtitled “These are a few of my favorite things” as Gaiman extols libraries, bookstores, and authors and how music, comics, and movies fit in with---or not---a  reading life.

While each piece can be read on its own and out of order, the pieces are carefully and deliberately laid out into meaningful sections beginning with “Some Things I Believe” which lays the foundation for what is to follow, ending with “The View from the Cheap Seats: Real Things” a fitting coda to all that has come before, making it perhaps for effective to read the pieces through in order the first time (and there will be multiple readings) and then re-reading favorite selections.  Smart and fun, but accessible and real, Neil Gaiman professes this is not the “complete non-fiction” …how wonderful for his fans to thing there may be more to discuss, inhale and absorb.

Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

Multiple Bram Stoker Award finalist Paul Tremblay continue to carve out his own genre which is scary, unsettling, horrific and psychological thriller all in one.  In the middle of the night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the phone call all parents dread: her thirteen-year-old son Tommy is missing.  Except the call comes from the friends with whom he was spending the night and not the police, and the friends tell a story of how the three snuck out into Borderland State Park during the night, Tommy running off into the woods never to return; but something doesn’t sound right to Elizabeth.  The police find no clues and have no leads, and Elizabeth becomes convinced Tommy is dead when the ghost of Tommy appears in her bedroom and then her younger daughter Katie, who has withdrawn completely after Tommy’s disappearance, and some neighbors say someone or something, is peering in their windows at night.  When Torn out pages of Tommy’s journal begin to appear, a different version of Tommy begins to take shape, a version that is dark and obsessed, one that may lead to the circumstances and reason for his disappearance, the truth of which may haunt Elizabeth and Katie for the rest of their lives.  A perfect steamy summer, up all night read.

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