OUT AND ABOUT:
Aside from visiting family over Christmas time seemed to get away from us, though we managed our annual trip to Killerton House, a National Trust Property, to see the themed decorations. This year was The Night Before Christmas but we were a little disappointed when comparing with the previous years. Still, the day we went was perfect with crisp sunny weather, particularly when in the days after much of the UK would see nothing but rain.
Have started Daredevil having watched the other Marvel series and so far find this to be my favourite, though I have one pet hate that seems to run through many television shows. There’s not a second to spare, but the characters have time for a long heart-felt discussion.
Also spent time with our favourite Christmas films, which invariably include two black and white originals, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Bishop’s Wife. Both have several messages as appropriate today as they’ve always been.
Though we enjoyed the BBC adaptations of His Dark Materials, and The War of the Worlds to various degrees and though I freely admit to only seeing the second part, I disliked their updated version of A Christmas Carol, which I found distasteful and boring.
The Salmon of Doubt, Douglas Adams
A collection of essays and a well put-together but incomplete last Dirk Gently novel, I can see how this will always garner mixed reviews. Overall, I enjoyed this book as there’s something poignant about reading Adams’ words one last time that makes this a fond farewell, but the lack of an end to the Dirk Gently book left me disappointed and wistful, but the story was shaping up so well I’m glad to know as little as I now do. Maybe one for true aficionados but a touching book to add to a collection.
The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Trembley
My first read by this author, but not my last. I wasn’t sure about the style at first, but that made it different and I was so quickly drawn in and almost instantly riveted. A cabin in the woods, end of the world, hostage situational horror story with a twist and real uncertainty that digs into surprisingly emotional depths, and an end I found satisfying. If this is indicative of this author’s work, I’m in for a treat with his other titles.
The Reddening, Adam L.G. Nevill
The Reddening paints a highly descriptive portrait of the South Devon coastline unlike any I’ve read before, bringing the setting to life and creating a realistic landscape in which anything, even the horrors of the book, seems possible. Nevill’s way of writing horror through not only what is said but also what’s not said, and left to the imagination, is perhaps worse than the words on the page. Several scenes had me so engrossed I even jumped once when I lost track of time, disturbed by someone coming home and opening the front door. Nevill writes intellectual horror enhanced with a rich vocabulary.
The Bishop’s Wife, Robert Nathan
As a fan of the original black & white film, I was curious to read the story. Only able to find this as a 99p download, I took the opportunity. Though the basis of the plot is present in both, they are very different, expressing both similar and yet varying philosophies. I have to accept I prefer the film which injects humour and perhaps a greater depth to the story.
I’m reading two other works I’ll review in the new year.
My short story, Remnant of a Haunting, a follow-up to my novel, A Very Private Haunting, is now available as an exclusive edition anthology, Loose Ends, from Candy Jar Books.
A re-write and extended edition of a work I’m editing seems to want to change tense on me. I’ll be annoyed if I change my mind and have to set it back, but it is tightening the story.