February 21, 2013

Read Aloud Update

My daughter and My Lovely Bride really loved Wildwood, so take what I say with a pile of salt, but...I just didn't.  Love it, I mean. It was fine and all.  It had all the elements you'd expect it would.  Physically, it's a gorgeous paperback.  I liked the deckled pages, the thick paper cover, the brilliant illustrations by Carson Ellis (of Benedict Society fame).  But I never bonded with the main character and the writing was a bit flowery for my taste.  And, well, it kinda dragged for me in spots.  But it was, you know, fine and a pleasant enough read-aloud and quite imaginative.  I guess I'd give it 2 1/2 or 3 stars out of 5 if I had to.

Ah, the perennial classic.  This was chosen for their Mother/Daughter book club which met this past Monday (which we had off of school).  I liked that it wasn't a movie tie-in cover and, well, how much better it was than Wildwood.  I remember reading an essay once, I think it was by Clive Barker, comparing and contrasting the horror writing of Poe vs. Stephen King.  A King novel is perfect at making everything seem realistic and lulling you into details of the real world, then sliding the supernatural elements into that and making it seem so real at the time, but not necessarily sticking with you afterward.  But Poe, in something like "The Masque of the Red Death" in just a handful of pages, creeps into your unconscious forever.  That's ind of how I feel about these two books.  Wildwood was entertaining as far as it goes, but I just don't think will get it's hooks into our collective unconscious like C. S. Lewis has.  Upon close scrutiny, there are many holes that appear, but nobody really cares about those.  It's just a fun fantastic tale that will continue to hook readers far into the future.

Then we watched the 2005 film version.  I think the whole book club is getting together this weekend to watch it as a group.  Tilda Swinton was a magnificent White Witch in that.  I loved the detail of her wearing Aslan's shorn mane as she rides into battle at the end.  Now onto some Carl Hiaasen...