Saturday, September 15, 2012

What I Read in August

HUNTER FROM THE WOODS by Robert McCammon (excellent set of short stories revolving around one interesting character)
LOCKE & KEY vol. 1-4 (fantastic horror comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez)
BABY MOLL by John Farris (uneven but good Hard Case Crime novel)
Granny and the Hole by Derek Koch (solid zombie short story)
FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury
FUTURE NOIR: The Making of BLADE RUNNER by Paul Sammon

A bizarrely mixed grouping of books for last month. The comic book series LOCKE & KEY is riveting stuff- well written, creepy and extraordinarily beautiful to look at it is one of the best horror comics of recent vintage. I can hardly wait to read volume five whenever I can get my hands on it.

HUNTER FROM THE WOODS is a very good collection of tales that covers several years in the life of a British secret agent who also happens to be a werewolf. This character was the focus of the 1989 novel THE WOLF'S HOUR and even though I've not read that book I completely enjoyed this one. I have seen used copies of the older book on the shelf at my favorite used book store so I think I'll have to pick it up soon. McCammon continues to be a writer I love returning to so that I can slowly run through his back catalog. I've yet to be disappointed and there are so many titles I haven't read yet just calling to me. Exciting!

I rarely reread a book but last month I refreshed my memory on two separate ones. I'm a huge fan of Bradbury and his recent passing has had me thinking about his work. I hadn't read any of his classics for years but because I had to buy a copy of FARENHEIT 451 for the teenager to have for his summer reading project I couldn't resist the temptation. Besides, the teenager never made it past the first 25 pages so somebody had to make use of the sucker! It was just sitting there, smiling at me! Predictably, I loved it probably more than I did when I first read it decades ago. I had forgotten how easy it is to get lost in Bradbury's poetic prose and find yourself wrapped in ideas that seem to blossom in every direction. His work always inspires me to look at the world in new ways and refuse to accept my first impression of a person or event. Was he the most humanistic of our fantasy writers? The biggest shock of the book was that I had completely forgotten the entire ending of the story! When it went apocalyptic I was stunned but strangely satisfied that such a sterile, empty society had destroyed itself. This book and its message seems more relevant with each passing year.

I also reread Paul Sammon's excellent overview of the creation of BLADE RUNNER. BR is a film I spent years obsessed with and, although my fervor has cooled over the past decade or so, I am still fascinated with it both as cinema and as a massively difficult creative project. This pass through the incredibly entertaining and compulsively readable book sent me to the Blu-Ray shelf to finally watch the previously hard to find Work Print of the film. I must say I'm glad I went back to this book and recommend it to anyone interested in BLADE RUNNER.

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