Tag Archives: vampires

The Monday Book: STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher

storm frontFinding ourselves headed 12 hours by car up the road to Wisconsin for the Fox Cities Book Festival, Jack and I put out a plea to friends for recorded books. (We forgot our town library doesn’t open until 1 pm on Saturdays, and we were supposed to leave that morning.)

Several friends brought us books, and the first one we put in as we drove was  Butcher’s introductory mystery of The Dresden Files, an ongoing series about a wizard named Harry Dresden.

The first book came out in 2000, and proved so popular that Volume 15 of the Dresden Files is due out in May of this year.

The writing is a hoot. Think Philip Marlowe meets Charlaine Harris. “Magic noir” is what I called it as we began laughing out loud at some of the great one-liners, sardonic toss-off remarks, and zany plot twists of this book.

The wizard is tall, dark and handsome, an old-fashioned courtly gentleman, a powerful practitioner, and at the same time something of a screw-up. If the book is a bit predictable, sometimes facile, well, you don’t really mind ’cause it’s such rip-roaring fun.

The hero wears a long dark Australian cattle rancher coat. He has a nymphomaniac skull named Bob working for him. His cat doesn’t respect him. Think rescuing damsels in distress, in low-cut evening gowns, in vicious thunderstorms, but with vampires, demons, and drug dealers, oh my. It’s a send-up of every serialized adventure guy-hero genre, ever: part mystery, part swashbuckle.

Jack and I laughed out loud at several lines, but one of my personal favorites was, “I was so mad I could have chewed up nails and spit out paper clips.” It’s overblown high-jinks fun, Butcher’s stuff. And it makes the road much, much shorter. We actually had to turn it off coming through Chicago. I kept swerving from laughter.

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Filed under book reviews, humor, Hunger Games, publishing, reading, small town USA, Uncategorized, writing

Season of Horror has Begun

Lock your doors. Turn up the lights. Don’t answer that knock. The season of terror has come.

The garden produce is ready.

As Halloween approaches and the publishing industry flings its fall line of vampires into the reading metropolises of the world, we small towners know the difference between urban fantasy fear and the truly terrifying realities of rural life.

The gardeners–those quiet neighbors with the unnatural interest in what’s in the ground behind their house–are walking the Earth at night. Nobody knows them very well, but they’re easy to spot in straw hats that hide their glowing red eyes. Like zombies of the apocalypse, they stagger along sidewalks, dripping red tomato blood from shopping bags hung on door handles, leaving butternut squash the size of baseball bats in unlocked cars, pushing piles of pickling cucumbers through a broken shed window.

Unlike zombies, the gardeners can run fast. Sea water won’t melt them, silver bullets can’t bring them down. Stake a tomato and it grows faster. This is the Unstoppable Invasion that horror fans have secretly feared for so long.

True terror is this: Soylent Green is zucchini.

So lock your doors. Don’t go out at night. The bad harvest moon is rising, tugging at the blood of every home-grown vegetable to rise and incite the sinking of fangs–or dentures, or whatever–into its flesh. Resistance is futile.

(Caption Contest V closes tomorrow! Visit August 14 to leave entry and view others.)

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Filed under folklore and ethnography, humor, small town USA, Uncategorized