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text 2018-10-15 22:36
Reading progress update: I've read 35%.
Joyland - Stephen King

There are times when I wish that Stephen King didn't write horror.

 

"Joyland" hasn't had any supernatural content in it yet (unless you count a little precognition - in which case I guess "A Prayer For Owen Meaney" is horror as well - what a thought) but it is filled with whimsy, nostalgia and a well-crafted consideration of how our concept of grief or bravery or love or even common-sense change as we age. They may not get better but they change.

 

This would be reason enough to read the novel. 

 

I know there must be horror or at least spooky uncanny woo-woo stuff coming. I wonder whether it will the grated Parmesan that completes the flavour of the dish or the limp basil leaf garnish that most people leave on the plate?

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text 2018-10-15 09:13
Reading progress update: I've read 13%.
Joyland - Stephen King

I've had "Joyland" in my TBR pile for over two years now. The Creepy Carnival square on Halloween Bingo finally nudged me into reading it.

 

This is a short book by Stephen King standards but I like that he still takes his time settling into the story and the people. 

 

The story is told by a sixty-year-old man looking back on his twenty-year-old self, something that I am now able (but seldom inclined) to do. King does it with style. His prose is studded with phrases that please me in the same way that the subtle use of chilli does in food. Here's an example that says something I know to be true better than I would be able to say it and yet is still a phrase that fits neatly in the story and comes believably off the tongue of the narrator.

 

"When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction."

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text 2018-10-13 23:25
Reading progress update: I've read 24%.
No! I Don't Need Reading Glasses! - Virginia Ironside,Maggie Ollerenshaw

A few years ago, I read "No, I Don't Want To Join A Bookclub" by Virginia Ironside. It was a diary of her character's sixtieth year and it was that rare thing, a book that was witty, humane and spoke truthfully about getting older.

 

"No, I Don't Need Reading Glasses" is the diary of the sixty-fifth year of the same character. My wife and I are both sixty-one and as we listened to this audiobook we kept finding ourselves laughing and saying - "yes, that's EXACTLY how it is. Why does no one talk about this?"

 

If you in your sixties, or you want to know what it's like to be in your sixties, this is the book you should listen to .

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text 2018-10-11 23:16
Reading progress update: I've read 37%.
The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell

This quote resonates with how I've felt on a number of days recently. Luker describes the punishingly hot coastal resort by saying something like:

 

"This is a low energy place. The kind of place where you can only get one or two things done in a day and one of those is getting out of bed."

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-10-11 11:56
Reading progress update: I've read 17%. I was told this would be good...
The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell

...but I didn't think it would be so original.

 

"The Elementals" has a remarkably powerful, cliché-free start. It embeds your imagination in the South like a throwing knife splitting a rotting log.

 

The style is cinematic in a lots-of-close-ups, see-the-motes-in-the-sunlit-air lighting and strange but intimate camera angles kind of way.

 

The characters, especially Luker and India are engaging and all of it delivered to my ear in R.C. Bray's gravelly but insistent voice.

 

This is going to be good.

 

I'm reading it for the Southern Gothic square for Halloween Bingo.

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