Search

Jamie Davis Writes

Tag

halloween reading

On My Bookshelf: Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone, by Stefan Kiesbye

your-house-is-on-fire-your-children-all-gone
Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone.

I think I read this because I came across an interview of Paul Tremblay (the author of “A Head Full of Ghosts”) either saying he had been reading this book or recommended it or some such. I must be entering a “Halloween Reading” mood.

The book is gripping / horrifying / crass all at the same time. Christian Bobinski is the narrator of sorts, returning to the small village of Hemmersmoor (in Germany) where he grew up for a funeral. He is now aging, and the stories are those of the children he grew up with. “Time is of no importance.”

Many of the character narratives had me writing “What the Hell?!” inside the book. The stories are intertwined, but they aren’t telling one master story, if that makes sense. They are sort of piece-meal. Because some of the subject matter isn’t pleasant, I found it hard to care about the characters. Some of them are real assholes.

Christian is the most engaging of all, a child murderer, though never caught. Was he possessed? We don’t know if he continued the murders as an adult or not. Two stories are worth the price of admission alone. The first, is Christian’s narrative of his sister Ingrid’s death in the beginning, and his dealings with Rico (a/k/a THE DEVIL HIMSELF). The second story, is around the middle of the book and is told by Linde. She encounters the lost heir over at the manor house in a maze on the property and it is FANTASTIC. I could read an entire book about the discovery of the mad Professor in the lost hedge maze of a grand/yet deteriorating mansion on the moor. Hands down one of the most engaging short stories I have read in a long time.

It was evocative of Alice and the Mad Hatter. I like it when insanity is fun, not scary. “Time is of no importance.”

I liked both of those stories a lot. I can see why the book has been compared to “The Brothers Grimm.” Those fairy tales weren’t for children either.

 

Advertisements

The Galloping Hessian of the Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is only about 40 minutes outside of Manhattan. Made famous by Washington Irving, it wasn’t even called Sleepy Hollow until 1996, when GM closed a plant in North Tarrytown, and citizens elected to get smart and re-brand. Dig the horseman icon at the top of the street signs. Brilliant.

IMG_3100

IMG_3102

The Cemetery is still there, of course, as well as the Old Dutch Church. As we were walking the grounds, I think I just might have stumbled upon the grave of the Hessian.

IMG_3110

I mean, who else would they want to keep locked up?!

IMG_3103

It was not hard to imagine (even in the light of day) the Hessian beginning his ride out of that grave, and trotting down the hill. All the graves are lined up, facing this path, as though they are cheering him on while he rides.

IMG_3109

There is not much of a bridge left at all. More of a site-marker.

IMG_3107

I found a weathered and slightly yellowed copy of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow after we got home from our Labor Day trip to New York. You really owe it to yourself to sit down one of these few remaining October nights and read the story (by firelight, if at all possible). The language is just fantastic. The story has stood the test of time, and it remains today one of the very best scary stories I have ever read.

“There was a contagion in the very air that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land.” 

As always, we log our adventures inside our “Play” Journal, by Stealth Journals. “Play,” is an indexed book journal by Stealth Journals that should be used to record all of your good times.

Headless Horseman Bridge

http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-sleepy-hollow-new-york-2014-10

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑