Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two books you should read (or buy for your child to read)

Hi All,

So friends of mine have published books lately. I thought that I'd give you a heads-up about the books and then encourage you to go and buy them. Why not, right? If you're illiterate you have an excuse. Or if you die while reading this post. Otherwise, you have none.

Book 1: David Hickey's A Very Small Something. Dave is the first buddy of mine who's written a kid's book. That's because, for the most part I hang out with the Triple Ds: Degenerates, Drifters and Dope fiends. All of whom are righteous cats, really cool; there's nothing I prefer of an evening than to hang out under the train trestle drinking Sterno, sandwiching the mushrooms that grow in the soft loam between thick slabs of Government Cheese, playing my harmonica, and painting lascivious watercolors of Handsome Maggie who has been known to doff her knickers for a Snickers (bar).

Where was I? Oh, yes. David Hickey's children's book. Dave's a great poet who has written two very well-received books with Biblioasis, a respected press, and he approached them with an idea for a children's book and I guess they were like: Let's do it! Like I said, Dave's a fantastic writer with a childlike sense of wonderment; if I had a child, I would read this book to said child. In fact, I'm going to kidnap a child just so I can read this to him or her. I'm a fount of great ideas!

Dave's book

Book 2: Michael Rowe's Enter, Night. There could not be two different books, I don't think, than Michael's and Dave's. Michael's is a vampire novel---but before you start thinking about twinkling vamps or those lush vamps of Anne Rice's New Orleans, think again. Michael's tale takes place in Northern Ontario, in a mining town of Parr's Landing. It's a vampire book much more in the style of Salem's Lot: these aren't sparkly vamps who dress in frilly-sleeved silks. These are mean, nasty, predatory hunters. They are remorseless and not to be reasoned with. Quite frankly, they're scary as hell.

But there's more going on in this novel than that. Michael gets the characters right. He writes from the heart. The scenes of a boy and his dog are particularly memorable and touching. This is one of the touchstones of a good horror book: as a reader, you've got to care about the characters to give a damn about what happens to them. Michael makes you care.

Michael's book

And now, as the old gypsy lady says in The Simpsons: You buy! You buy!

All best, Craig.

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