Groovy & Wild Films from Around the World

Sunday, December 02, 2018

3 Books a Month – November (Fall Reading... Still in the Mood for Horror)

After taking the first 10 days off from the Reading Challenge in November, and following the first regular-sized novel, I was then forced to move to some shorter novels for fear of not being able to live up to the 3-book challenge this month. A couple of these shorter ones were by Stephen Kin / Richard Bachman, and since his new book “Elevation” clearly states that it is in fact a novel right there on the front cover, then I'm going to say this swift little number totally counts. “Elevation” is a read-it-in-one-sitting novel, to be sure, it actually turned out to be one of my favourites by Stephen King, following an outrageous premise with our trusted author guiding the rather poignant plot through his well-drawn-out characters. This I read after the so-so “The Longest Night”, an old direct-to-paperback novel by 80s horror scribe J.N. Williamson. The book started off well, with a violent shoot-out in an old bordello, but the the ghost story remained at a simmer despite the good characters. I was actually really looking forward to this one, too. So back to King (or Bachman, rather), for the last of the original Bachman books that I'd never read – “The Running Man”. I remember I'd tried to ready this book back in 1987 after finding a paperback copy featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Save-On-Foods – and promptly lost interest when it was clear withing the first two chapters that this was going to be nothing like the Schwarzenegger actioneer... Actually, I'm glad I waited, I would not have appreciated the biting dystopian satire as much back then. (Try reading this thing now in post-9/11 Trump times. Yikes). Still needing my retro-horror fix (I guess), I came across a copy of Harry Adam Knight's “Worm”, about the attack of several gigantic worms – and I was hugely surprised by this one – not just fast-paced and gory, but really well written, to boot, and the horror circled around a neo-noir-ish hard boiled world. I found out later that Harry Adam Knight was actually a pseudonym for a celebrated Australian author, who'd had a handful of his genre novels turned into films during his lifetime (he died in 2005). After these four horror novels (well, maybe “Elevation” wasn't exactly horror), I had the inspired notion that I could get two more “Preacher” books in – alas, I got one down. But overall, not too shabby for missing the first third of the month. I'll be starting December with the next “Preacher” graphic novel, though.