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Old July 2 2008, 08:02 PM   #145
Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

That's a great review, Brendan. I think our opinions on King are pretty similar, so I might give Duma Key a look. I thought about waiting for the paperback in October, but now I see it's on Kindle for $9.99, so I'll probably snatch it up that way. Same for 20th Century Ghosts, which you mentioned earlier.

Dracula was fun to read again, and the annotated version was pretty educational. Stoker wasn't an especially good writer, and the novel has some pretty weird flaws and lapses in logic, but I like it.

I read Ghost Story a couple of years ago, and while I mostly enjoyed it, the last third/quarter kind of ruined it for me. I'll hold off on that until you've finished it, but I'm sure you'll see what I mean when you get there.

I think it's one of those rare cases where the movie outshines the book, at least from a story/structural perspective. Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that the movie had the good sense to just stick to, well, a ghost story.

I'm not certain what I'll read next. I'll either read Return of the Wolf Man or another recent purchase, Jane-Emily: And Witches' Children by Patricia Clapp. The latter is kind of exciting, because I've heard about it for a while, but it's been out of print for thirty years. This new reprint is pretty sharp, and the reader reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I've been in the mood for "young adult" read, so I think it will fit the bill nicely.

Here are a couple of recent DVD purchases that aren't quite horror, but they're sort of peripherally related:

Houdini: The Movie Star. This set is great if you're a bit of a Houdini buff, like me. It's got all of the films in which Houdini starred, from 1919 to 1923, including the serial The Master Mystery. It's packed with additional bits, like some of his filmed escapes, and the only known audio recording of his voice, from a wax Edison cylinder. (The same clip heard here.) It's just a great little set from KINO.

Icons of Adventure Collection. Ignore the crappy cover art, this is is a great two-disc collection of four of Hammer's adventure films. All four movies look pretty good, and you've got three of them with Christopher Lee, but it's actually The Stranglers of Bombay that had me most excited about this set. These are very rare films, so it's great to see such beautiful transfers. And if you don't want to see Christopher Lee playing a pirate, odds are I just won't like you very much as a person.
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