Never got into a good reading groove last week. Maybe it was starting out with a DNF, maybe it was trying to push through an anthology, maybe it was starting a new writing project. I don’t know. I bounced from book to book; nothing ever sat particularly well with me. Read 359 pages, about twice as many as I might have read otherwise.
First a mention: I read part of Pandemonium: Further Explorations into the World of Clive Barker. It consisted mostly of interviews with Barker, an author I’ve read a little of and know even less about. The timing of the book puts it after Nightbreed came out. Nightbreed is a movie that everyone wishes was better than it is and Barker alludes to his dissatisfaction.
Mini-Review: “The Man in the Woods” by Shirley Jackson
A week ago, The New Yorker magazine printed a previously unpublished story by Shirley Jackson. “The Man in the Woods” is unsettling. Jackson always presents a world that is askew of our own. Her stories *could* be, but we hope they aren’t. This story has a fairy tale tinge to it. The action takes place in a house in the woods, and our main character Christopher is a student who decided to wander rather than study. He is strangely afraid when confronted with books of history shown to him by the inhabitants of the house. That fear of knowledge struck me as the most interesting aspect of the story.
Mini-Review: Abracadanger by Tracey West
While wandering the shelves, both physical and virtual, trying to find a book to amuse me, I ended up doing a horror/magic search at Open Library. Abracadanger caught my attention by being a choose-your-own-adventure, a style of book that I enjoyed in my youth. This one was fun, filled with giant rabbits, mad scientists, and the ghost of Dr. Presto. My only beef with it is that, while obviously written for a fairly young audience, the writing itself could have been better.