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thebookdevourer

The Book Devourer

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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Mary Roach
Stories: All-New Tales
Lawrence Block, Richard Adams, Roddy Doyle, Jeffery Deaver, Chuck Palahniuk, Joyce Carol Oates, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Straub, Michael Marshall Smith, Michael Swanwick, Tim Powers, Joanne Harris, Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, Stewart O'Nan, Jeffrey Ford, Walter Mosley,
The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters I thought this Victorian "ghost story", set in Postwar England was more of a historical fiction novel with a subtle supernatural thread sewing it all together. I have to say, it didn't rope me in at first. I didn't feel very connected to any of the characters and never DID find one that I particularly liked or identified with. The closest I came was with Betty, the young house servant. But overall, I thought that the atmosphere of Hundreds Hall was authentic and the story, while a little dragging at times (which I believe was part of the strategy) was good. I DID feel like the characters were one-dimensional and that is what made this book less than great. I have read that some people found it wordy, but I didn't mind, because like I said, I was reading it like a historical fiction novel, and they usually ramble on at great length to interest readers in the setting, both chronologically, socially, and culturally. I think that this book would actually be one of the few that would translate even better on film, if the director stuck with the novel. The subtleties and creepy happenings would be more eerie to witness than to read about. Seeing an elderly woman hanging on the backside of a door, the running past a door's keyhole, sets up a little like the unseen terrors in Paranormal Activity or The Entity. There were parts of it that reminded me of [b:The Turn of the Screw|12948|The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics)|Henry James|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31rAkcucrQL._SL75_.jpg|990886], as in people who think they may be going mad when, in fact, they are witnessing supernatural events. This was the first of Waters' books I have read and I'd like to see what else she has up her sleeve.I appreciated how Waters tied in the theory that people can actually psychologically manifest "supernatural" things to occur, and that debate between real or imagined was illustrated muchly in this novel. The theme of a man attempting to control the emotions of a woman (Dr. Faraday and Caroline was pretty glaring and to me, extremely interesting. It also reminded me of PA and I thought the scariest part of that dynamic was when Dr. Faraday refused to admit at the inquest that there was a supernatural force present in Hundreds Hall that was the root of the family's problems, and instead let everyone think that Caroline had simply become unhinged and killed herself. From what I hear of her other books, and strong women's power themes, this was a little bit man-hater-ish. But I love Tori Amos too, so there.