I ended up perusing the Greater Phoenix Digital Library on Wednesday and checked out a few books. (What, I was supposed to keep to a list?) Since the data drive on this computer is horked up and, therefore, Adobe Digital Editions is more arduous than normal, I read these books on Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader app on my PC. I still don’t know what Amazon has against page numbers, but otherwise the formatting was good.
The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
After The Two Sams, I was still in the mood for ghost stories. The Woman in Black ended up being much different than I expected. For some reason, I was expecting it to be more romantic. It is, in fact, a straight-up old-fashioned ghost story. And if it was the first ghost story I had ever read, I’d have a higher opinion of it. It is derivative and meant to be so. Hill opts for the gothic novel contrivance of a framing narrator/story, though I’m not sure it’s particularly necessary. The storytelling is methodical and detailed. Maybe even a little slow. Don’t get me wrong; I like these sorts of novels. I wrote one, in fact! It wasn’t the perfect read on the heels of Hirshberg’s more visceral style, but it wasn’t a hardship to read either.
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one either. I had seen the trailer for the movie and heard Mark Kermode reviewing it, but otherwise, I didn’t know too much about the book itself. I was under the impression the it was a kids book along the lines of The Name of this Book is a Secret. While I haven’t read that book, I’m sure it’s not as dark or bawdy (or salty, if you will) as The Pirates! It does seem to have a similar brand of absurd silliness. I don’t mind absurd or silly, but there has to be a dollop of clever as well. The Pirates! didn’t have enough clever in my opinion. Or, I just might be a grump…