Life Amongst the Dead

It seems to me that either I’m getting older and my intolerance for wasting time is growing or else there is a lot of crap being published these days. Probably both, though more the latter than the former. Too often I pick up a book, get about five or ten pages into it and begin wondering to myself if I’ve read the damn thing and just forgot that I had. So, I check the publish date and find it was published like yesterday. Cliched characters, formulaic plot, grossly overwritten or under, a story which you know exactly how it’s going to flow and how it will end before you’re finished with the first chapter. No wonder the publishing industry is going down the tubes and why the bulk of my reading these days are mostly books I read long ago and by authors who knew how to do it right. Donald E. Westlake comes to mind, as does Elmore Leonard.

With so much same-old-same-old bullshit being published, it seems a wonder that I ran into two books recently, nearly back to back, that put a serious crimp in my reading speed because I didn’t want them to end. My previous post noted one of those, The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King, which, I will say again, you MUST read.

The Graveyard Book.

What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? I mean, it won the Newberry Award so that pretty much says it all. But what can I say? That it was enchanting, wonderful, totally absorbing, different? Ah yes, different. That’s what I want. I mean, depending on who you ask, there are anywhere between 7 and 30-odd plots to plunder and the only thing that differentiates them is how the author presents the plot within the story. The publishing industry seems to think we want the same thing over and over and over. Well, sorry to disappoint them but I don’t. I want different. I want new. I want creative. And The Graveyard Book is all that and more.

Don’t be scared off by the YA classification. This is a book for everyone. Trust me, you’ll love it. And, if you like this one, try Gaiman’s Coraline. A most excellent read as well.

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