Saturday, May 28, 2016

The View from the Cheap Seats

I was lucky enough to get a review copy of The View from the Cheap Seats, and after reading it, Ive come to one inescapable conclusion: Neil Gaiman is an evil genius with supernatural powers. It's the only explanation. How else could he write a book that's a collection of speeches, introductions, and essays that's not only a great read, but makes me want to run out and buy copies of all of the books he writes about.

The book includes a selection of nonfiction that Gaiman has written throughout his career. The earliest seems to be a review of a book called [Gumshoe] the he wrote for Punch back in 1989, and the most ones dating to 2015. He writes on a lot of topics. There are plenty of essays on books and comics as would be expected from a professional in those fields. There are also several on music including a few, to no surprise on [[Amanda Palmer]]. There are even some deeply moving essays, including tributes to deceased writers and friends and an article on the plight of Syrian refugees.

If you're a fan of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic books, or just like good essays, then this is book is a must have.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Disappearance at Devil's rock

Last year, Paul Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts was viewed by many as the best horror novel of the year. While others may disagree, I don't think Disappearance at Devil's Rock is quite as good, but it's still a very good book.  I think this has to do with the subject matter, which is the disappearance of a child. This is something that parents will find extremely horrifying, but as a single guy, it doesn't really do as much for me.

The book is about a mother whose teenage son vanishes from a local park while he's on a late-night hike with some friends. Soon strange things start happening. The mother sees a shadowy vision of her son. His diary pages mysteriously appear in the living room. A dark figure  is spotted peeping into neighborhood windows.

My main gripe is that I thought the book started off a little slow, and didn't really pick up until about 1/4 of the way into the book when the mother discovered that her son and his friends had been secretly meeting a man called Arnold. At that point I had a hard time putting the book down. I don't know that this book will be my favorite of the year, but its certainly going to be in the top 10.