Review: Wylding Hall
Via Reddit, I joined a Discord-based horror discussion group and read Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand with them.
Wylding Hall, a Shirley Jackson Award winner, is told in the style of a “Behind the Music” documentary or oral history of the acid folk band Windhollow Faire. The members of the band spend a summer in an ancient English country house, which results in a legendary album but also the disappearance of their lead guitarist. Ghosts? Fae? Whatever the case, something is not right at Wylding Hall.
Wylding Hall has some genuinely creepy moments. Hand perfectly walks the line between providing unsettling details and being ambiguous enough to let the reader’s imagination do some of the work. All in all, though, I didn’t feel like it held together. It could be that I am missing some underlying theme or structure, but if I am, I am missing all the clues that would lead to a through line.
Review: Victor LaValle’s Destroyer
I’m beginning to worry. I’ve really liked every thing I’ve read by Victor LaValle. At some point, I’m going to be disappointed when I read something of his that isn’t absolutely great…
Destroyer is not so much a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but an extension and a reframing. In one thread of the story, you have the Monster, full of rage and destruction due the fearful violent reaction of those around him. In another thread is Dr. Jo Baker, a brilliant scientist and the grief-stricken mother of a twelve year-old killed by the police. LaValle shows how monstrous the diligent parent might be and wonders how empathy can be situational.
And great art by Dietrich Smith on top of that!
Notes of Peril
Sherlockathon – The last piece of my autumn reading plans is now in place! I’m not usually a “prompt” readathon reader, but this one feels do-able to me. I’ve updated my Fall Blogging Post where appropriate.
The first couple post for my Horror Movie A to Z are up!
Notes of Non-Peril
The tenor of this year has become not expecting anything that I usually look forward to. So, I had kind of written off tennis and the US Open. But it’s happening! I watched tennis this week!
In the realm of weather, it’s still stupid hot. But to the credit of SRP and APS, it’s stupid hot but our power suppliers are still supplying power. I feel bad for all the Californians who are having a very bad weekend.