Thursday, July 12, 2012
What I Read in June
DESERT PLACES by Blake Crouch (fascinating serial killer tale)
THE AVENGERS: The Korvac Saga by Jim Shooter, David Michelinie, Bill Mantlo, etc. (very fun 1970s adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy)
BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS: Showcase Vol. 1 (the first 19 plus issues of this 1980's comic book)
SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD by Robert McCammon (excellent but long novel)
The Sun Never Rises in the Big City by Jeremy Shipp (pretty good SF tale of misogyny)
The biggie of the month was Robert McCammon’s excellent SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD novel. Most readers aware of McCammon know of his excellent novel BOY’S LIFE but his hard-core fans think of him as a top-notch horror writer who retired to get away from the horror publishing ghetto. When he returned to the book world there was an expectation that he would go back to his horror roots but he seems to have had a more ambitious plan for his brand of genre fiction. I have been meaning to read his new work for years as I’ve heard nothing but praise over the past decade for this series that focuses on a character named Mathew Corbett. This is the first in the run, is set in 1699 and tells the fascinating story of a newly established Carolina township that has become convinced it harbors a witch. This being a book written by a former horror novelist I was curious to see if the witchcraft element would ever bring the supernatural into the sharply drawn reality the author paints. I won’t spoil things for those who haven’t read it yet but I must say the book has more than a few surprises and McCammon shows himself to be a fine writer more people should learn of. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Mathew Corbett.
Of the comic book collections I read the Korvac Saga was the more fun. I have a big love for the 1970's era Avengers tales and this sprawling story was well worth the price. The BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS collection was a pretty entertaining read as well but it suffers a bit from the staleness that was a part of a lot of DC's books at the time. I still enjoyed most of the 20 plus issues but it was really Jim Aparo's artwork that made it of value to me. I'm not sure I'll read past this point in the series.