What I gave up on:
Let me preface this by saying that I love Rebecca and I REALLY love My Cousin Rachel. I thought I would adore Daphne Du Maurier’s short-story collection Don’t Look Now. I hated it. I simply couldn’t finish. The first story (“Don’t Look Now”) was fairly interesting, but I thought the ending a bit ridiculous. I read the second story. Meh. I started the third story. Double Meh. I couldn’t quite but my finger on why these should-be-thrilling stories were so lackluster. Then it hit me. Timing.
Telling a scary story is much like telling a clever joke, the timing has to be right. Du Maurier’s short stories are too long. Now I’m a fan of a longer story / novella but the writer must be able to sustain that level of suspense. I felt as if Du Maurier just needed a good editor; someone to tighten the prose. Her stories went on and on and on and on and I soon lost interest. I couldn’t care one fig what happened to the characters and my imagination was bored.
What I read:
The Du Maurier collection put a damper on my reading this week, but last night I picked up Susan Hill’s latest novella, The Small Hand. Holy Geez it was creepy!!! In fact, I had planned on using my Wednesday morning at home to draft blog posts. Instead I brewed a pot of Irish Breakfast tea, grabbed a quilt, curled up with the cat, and read my eyeballs out. The story is so unnerving. I think it was a bit like The House at Riverton meets MR James AND Henry James. Go. Read it right now. I’ll wait here.
What’s up next:
Fables #13 by Bill Willingham: I realize that getting into novels before going to bed is folly; inevitably I spend the night reading away and am one grumpy library girl the next morning. To curb my novel spelunking I’ve taken to reading graphic novels or short stories before bed. The reviews for this volume of Fables are less than stellar; I’m not a fan of the Jack spin-off series, but I will read this volume because my OCD will not allow me to move to volume #14 without having read volume #13.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel: It is time. I have been saving this novel for a few years and I feel it calling me. Time to dive in to some historical novel goodness.
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton: I really enjoyed The House at Riverton and I can’t wait to read this one. After The Small Hand I find myself needing some more decaying English countryside and dark secrets.
And now for some library loot: