Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reading in Hell

Halloween is coming.  It is my favorite holiday.  Summer is finally over and the dark is creeping in.  Good fiction comes in the winter, and I’m ready for the blankets.

A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans
George can’t hold his newborn.  In fact he runs out on the child and the mother.  He’s afraid, and for a good reason. His long dead father was plagued by demons and so is George.  He doesn’t want his child to be affected.  This story has just as much heart ache as terror.  What starts out as eerie but normal quickly dissolves into madness, and we don’t know who to trust.

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
Are you there Madison, it’s me sexual frustration?  Madison can’t remember how she died when she wakes up in hell.  She thinks it was a marijuana overdose and her cynical twelve year old perspective floats seamlessly between growing up with high status parents to the features of hell.  This book shows a mixture of old style with a few new tricks that help move the plot along.  The details and style are high, but the ending is very much Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder.

After the Paperman Comes by Heywood Steele
A retired detective sits on a bar stool trying to turn down a case as a Grim Reaper clocks into to his 9 to 5.  Both men are friends to death, but can they face what happens after the paper man comes?  Some scenes are a little campy, but the dialogue is classic.  It’s the baby book Joe Lansdale and Raymond Chandler wanted to make.  When you run across the burly smartass bartender give him a nod for me.