Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Vacation Reading

As some of you might remember, my family and I went to Myrtle Beach recently for my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. We were there for a whole week, and I took off an extra week from work after that, meaning I had a lovely two-week vacation. Heaven!

During this delightful vacation, I read an out-of-print book my husband found and bought for me from someone online: The Elementals by Michael McDowell. This is a horror novel, leaning rather toward the Gothic more than anything else. It has some pretty glowing reviews up on Amazon, so I was anxious to read it. I was not disappointed.

My first impression, during the prologue, was that all of my editors would have a collective heart attack. It's set in L.A. (Lower Alabama, of which the author was a native) and is written with a fair bit of local "color" in the dialogue. Example: "We're gone do this" instead of "We're going to do this". It even threw me off a few times, and I was born and raised in L.A. But dammit, I loved loved LOVED this book. I loved recognizing landmarks the author mentioned in Mobile, Gulf Shores and the miniscule towns in between. I loved the perfect descriptions of slow summer days at the beach with nothing to do but swim, walk on the beach and listen to the waves. I loved the incredible Gothic beach setting of Beldame. Most especially, I love the gradual build-up of a horror that you can't explain or escape. There are some stumbles. There's a villainous father who is TSTL and whose actions I didn't buy for a hot minute. What he did seemed to be stuck in there just as a convenient way to accomplish what the author needed accomplished. For the most part, though, The Elementals was a wonderfully atmospheric, well-spun tale of terror. I'll be reading it again.

So, that was my vacation reading. Starting on Stephen King's latest, Under The Dome, next. Although, I just received the marvelous gift of Jane Arden: Space Nurse from the wonderful TeddyPig (thank you Mr Pig! you are the bestest!), so I'll probably read that one first *g*
What about you guys? What good books have you read lately?


Chris said...

I usually can't remember what I've read longer than 30 minutes ago without checking my LibraryThing, but I literally just finished "Cooking with Ergot" - delightful!

Ally Blue said...

Wasn't that an awesome story? I loved it :D

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