Jamie Davis Writes


halloween reads

On My Bookshelf: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes

A horror classic, but you will have to work for it! I probably spent five days trying to get through this book. Is it rewarding? Yes. But you will have to work for it! My best guess is that I became stalled because the writing is very poetic, and my brain didn’t logically follow the prose as quickly as I normally would. One example on Page 257: “Every glass threw javelins of light which invisibly pierced, sank deep, found heart, soul, lungs, to frost the veins, cut nerves, send Will to ruin, paralyze and then kick-football heart. Hamstrung, the old old man foundered to his knees, as did his suppliant images, his congregation of terrified selves one week, one month, two years, twenty, fifty, seventy, ninety years from now!”

Multiply that paragraph to fill up a 290 page book, and you can see why I did not exactly fly through this book. It was work for me, not an easy pleasure read.

There are plenty of terrifying scenes involving the carnival and its characters, and the book is absolutely a prime example of how “to get it right” if you are an author studying such things. I’m just saying read this when you have a caffeine buzz, and not when you are tired from having already worked all day!

I did enjoy the feel-good aspect of the father (a janitor in the town’s library) getting to play the hero to his son and his son’s friend, although some might say the Aw Shucks aspect of the early 1960’s does not translate so well to today’s times (which is a shame).


On My Bookshelf: Ghost Story, by Peter Straub

Ghost Story

This has got to be one of the best horror reads I have ever read. Admittedly, the Prologue threw me a bit, but by the time I reached Page 57, I was pulling out my post-it pad and writing: “One of the best ghost stories I’ve ever read.” I was talking about the Fenny and Gregory Bate part, which was really a story within the story (one of the Chowder Society member’s stories).

Page 141 – 142: Love the Dr. Rabbitfoot description.

Eva Galli and Alma Mobley? Shapeshifter, but the same timeless creature in both earthly characters? Some creature is playing a game with the members of the chowder society, and I think it sounds more like a shapeshifter vs. a ghost. Fascinating.

I don’t always, but every now and then I will read other reviews after finishing a book to see what other people are taking away from the read. I seemed to see a lot of criticism about this book in the sense that allegedly it is not a good book for women (the whole Eva accidental death¬†thing, mainly). Bear in mind that this was written in 1979 before the liberal police were out in such full force. Also, it really irks me when a random person¬†writes a criticism about a book allegedly because they feel that the author somehow failed this anonymous reader in some way. “I wanted a story about a woman who graduated from college in 1929 and became a teacher, later becoming the Principal of her school.” Um… okay, well go pick up another book, asshole.

I really wish readers would try to give authors a bit more respect in the sense that, here is a human being who had a story in him to tell. He got it out on paper, and told it, and the book is a wonderful thing. Why can’t we just try to enjoy his work (or any work we are reading for that matter) for what it is instead of getting on the whole “I wish he would have done it this way,” or “I would have written blah blah blah snort.”

Well, you didn’t write it. Likely, you haven’t written anything except a grocery list, much less been published. Peter Straub wrote it, and it could not have been any other way. He wrote what he had to say. It isn’t here to please you per your exact spec and wish. Remember this, please. Sit back and let the author tell you his story.

So I guess I will quit reading other people’s book reviews, because it just winds up making me irritated. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m not saying that we all have to like everything, but I prefer it when reviewers are able to say what works for them, what they find inspiring about the writing, or what doesn’t work. Constructive criticism is fine, but for some housewife to get on the internet and pen ignorant reviews of Peter Straub’s work just really kills me. I can’t take it.

Let the Master be, internet reviewers. And by all means, build a fire and make yourself a cup of tea. Pick up this book and read about what the Chowder Society has been getting up to in Milburn.

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