Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Gargoyle...and More

I have said this before, but here goes once more...nothing beats being a neighborhood bookstore! Over the years, we have become just another neighbor here on 17th and New York Ave. Watchful eyes worry when someone comes in a few minutes late, and always check to see if anything is wrong. We have neighborhood snow shovelers, lawn mowers, frequent customers, who have grown to be friends, and a cheerful bunch of store babies, each with big eyes, big smiles and big personalities. And many of them paraded through here Trick or Treating. Oh, we had quite an assortment...there were jungle animals, gypsies, Star Wars characters, even a cheerleader dripping with blood!

Here are a couple of our neighborhood friends.

Look. Even a witch doctor stopped by!

Back at the homestead, trick or treating was a little lighter and quieter. My traditional "Pinhead" pumpkin graced the front porch, and I forced the beast to wear the same costume she has worn for the past five years...a little green hat that is never in the right spot. Usually, she's a annoyingly yippy when anything disrupts her schedule, but on Friday, she took her greeter stance for most of the night.

I finished The Gargoyle this weekend...finally. Horror is not my usual genre of choice, but this book was more than horror. The author, Andrew Davidson, tells a fine story, and it was not the primary plot that kept me riveted. Woven into the story of the burn victim and his mysterious visitor, are mini-epics about ancient battles, morality tales, and one of the most wrenching love stories I have ever read. In an earlier post, I may have mentioned that his perfect, but gruelling details kept slowing me down. I can only take so much description of life threatening accidents, and painful medical procedures before I have to take a break and read something calmer. However, Davidson senses when comic relief is needed. At one point, I was ready to give it up entirely, when he broke the tension with a nicely turned, and very funny phrase. An unwanted visitor arrives on the scene and we immediately understand that she is controlling, powerful, smug, and intimidating. Then Davidson describes her physically as an "anthropomorhic butterball turkey,"...perfectly juxtaposed against the pages and pages of intense character and plot development.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. And I would go so far as to say that Stephen King and Ann Rice have some fresh, skilled, quality competition. But, my guess is that for many high profile writers, competition simply offers a nice, big challenge, and and I just bet that King and rice are revving up to go out to kick some butt with the next wildly concocted tale of good verses evil.

So, now I'm on to Boy by Raul Dahl, and working to finish Bill Bryson's Shakespeare.


The Taffetas keep getting better and better. I have an MP3 recording of a couple songs, and if I ever figure out how to attach them to this blog, you can have a sneak preview. Or...just stop by LaDeDa on Nov. 22. Lesley Kagan will be reading from Land of a Hundred Wonders at 11:00, and the Taffetas will sing a few songs right after she is done. More to come on that soon