October 30, 2013
After a 10 month hiatus, I am relaunching my column “The Book Monster.”
For those who have never visited my column before I would like to welcome you and invite you to keep coming back. I also invite you to read some of my old columns. The Book Monster discusses books, publishing news, authors, literature in pop culture, and anything else that has to do with books. Feel free to comment with Facebook. I would also love to hear from my readers whether you have questions, comments, etc. You can contact me by e-mail (the box with the “e” inside, below my bio) or via Twitter (the box with the “T” inside).
To my readers both faithful and intermittent I apologize for the abrupt death of the column in December; my career took me elsewhere.
This being the eve of Halloween I feel inclined to touch upon Edgar Allan Poe, father of the horror genre, who appeared last week “South Park” as the original goth. During the episode titled “Goth Kids 3,” Poe accused the goth kids of South Park Elementary of being poseurs. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone never fail in their ability to polk fun at anything and everyone, and their portrayal of Poe was hilarious.
Poe’s masterpiece “The Raven” may be his best poem, and Christopher Walken’s reading of the poem is excellent. Enjoy:
This past weekend I read Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline.” I heard the Tim Burton adaptation of the book was terrible and I have never seen it. The New York Times Book Review dubbed “Coraline,” “One of the most frightening books ever written.” With a review like that I couldn’t resist reading it. “Coraline” follows in the tradition of C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” in that Coraline finds a door in her home that leads to another world, only this is a world where everything is a sinister replica of the real world. Quality of plot and quality of writing made it easy for me to overlook the fact that the book is written at an elementary reading level. I wish I could’ve read “Coraline” when I was a Goosebumps obsessed third grader, but I still loved the book as an adult. This book wasn’t the most frightening I’ve read, but as far as children’s literature goes this book takes the cake.
Technology has changed the face of the publishing industry and online literary journals are popping all over the internet and the best thing about them is they are free. Wig Leaf publishes fiction under 1,000 words a handful of times every month, although I have not figured out their publishing frequency. I cannot vouch for all the fiction that is published on the site, but I have come across a few great stories at Wig Leaf. Finding a short story worth reading only takes a little bit of searching on this site.