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Search tags: 7-hiding-under-the-covers
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review 2017-03-18 13:36
Harvest Home ★★★★☆
Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon

Some books have such compelling action that I get completely sucked in, reading to find out what’s next, what’s going to happen on that next page. This is not that kind of book. Instead, it is a slow burning, wonderfully atmospheric story that sucked me into the mysterious events and curious characters, so that I kept reading because I wanted to know more, to mine the hints and subtleties to find out *why* people were doing and saying and events and stories were not matching up. I am not a fast reader, and with baseball games having started, I’m slower than ever, which is why it’s significant that I finished a 400 page hardcover in only four days. And that’s literally all I can think of to say without spoiling the whole plot.

 

This novel is not without its problems. It is certainly dated, but I wouldn’t say that it hasn’t aged well. More that it is an excellent snapshot of the cultural issues and fascinations of early 1970’s mainstream America. Although I have never studied the history of feminism, I am willing to bet that a modern feminist scholar would find a lot to dissect here.

 

One last thought. I first read this book when I was not quite a preteen, because it was all the rage at the time and my parents never noticed when I snuck their adult fiction off the shelf after they were done with it. They never would have let me read the novel equivalent of an R rated movie. So I didn’t have the maturity or the base knowledge to understand a lot of it (no internet in the 70’s and children were much more naïve then), and I’d forgotten most of the plot, so in some ways I was coming to this book unspoiled. And I’m glad of it. This book had been left on my parents’ bookshelves for 40 years, until I found it mixed into a box of my grandmother’s books, when my mother chose to give them to me as keepsakes rather than throwing them out. I was delighted to find it, and now I’m even more delighted after having reread it as an adult.

 

Previous Updates:

Pg 50: http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1540577/harvest-home-progress-50-401-pg

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text 2017-03-12 13:47
Harvest Home - progress 50/401 pg
Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon

"She pointed upward. 'See that blue sky now, that's God's sky. And up there in that vasty blue is God. But see how far away He is. See how far the sky. And look here, at the earth, see how close, how abiding and faithful it is. See this little valley of ours, see the bountiful harvest we're to have. God's fine, but it's old Mother Earth that's the friend to man.'"

 

<shivers>

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review 2017-01-02 17:05
Krampus: The Yule Lord ★★★☆☆
Krampus: The Yule Lord - Brom

This inventive story was a fun read and the illustrations are fantastically creepy. The writing, however, is the clearest and most consistent example of “telling” instead of “showing” that I’ve ever read. The artwork was far more evocative. Altogether, I feel that this would have made a better graphic novel, with the story told through illustrations and dialogue.

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review 2016-11-22 21:35
The Girl With All the Gifts ★★★★★
The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey

This was pretty close to a perfect horror/thriller book for me. I especially loved how the author dribbles out the information so that at first, the reader is aware that something is not quite right, then comes the dawning realization that it’s much worse than “not quite right”, then you’re plunged into action as all hell breaks loose. He develops the characters so that the reader can connect with them all, even just the smallest empathy for the true villains,

except the Junkers, who primarily exist as a plot device and are just a faceless group whom we never meet.

(spoiler show)

 The “scientific” explanation for the book’s events is just enough to be (mostly) plausible without bogging down the narrative. The ending is certainly not Happily Ever After, but offers a satisfying amount of hope for the future.

 

Audiobook version, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive, with an excellent performance by Finty Williams.

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review 2016-11-14 12:50
Something Wicked This Way Comes ★★★★★
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury,Christian Rummel

I can’t do this novel justice with my review. I can only say that I loved it, from the characters and the gorgeously textured imagery to the story itself. I even loved the moralizing about wishes and regrets. My only criticism is for the depiction of women. The only positive female characters, the mothers, are only vague impressions as secondary characters, and the description of women as feeding off gossip was frankly offensive.

 

I listened to the Audible Studios version of the audiobook, and Christian Rummel’s performance was fantastic. He lingered over the text with evident pleasure, allowing the listener to enjoy it fully. Next time I read this book, though, I will do the text version, as I often wished to stop and savor, which is difficult when the audio controls the pacing for you.  

 

I read this for the Horror Aficionados November group read, but also for the Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season. This was for Task the Ninth: The Happy New Year, which was to read a coming of age novel.

 

 

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