Monday, December 27, 2010

My Booklist #9

1. Just Arrived: Crisscross, by F. Paul Wilson. Two things I've decided about Repairman Jack: I love the pacing and I love the character. Wilson's style is spare and it moves; because of this he packs in the maximum amount of action. Also, even though I loved Roland of Gilead (Dark Tower) he was too "heavy". Too solemn. Too driven by his "quest". Jack is just a regular guy caught up in events not of his making. Much easier to relate to and follow; easier to root for.

2. Currently Reading: Koko by Peter Straub. One word: substance. The real horror behind Straub's novels are human horrors: loneliness, madness, grief, guilt, self-loathing, trauma, violence, scars...which is not to say he ignores the supernatural. He weaves all that together with finesse and style. An interesting note: by accident I've read his Blue Rose trilogy backwards. I encountered The Throat (Book Three) several years ago, read Mystery a month ago, and am now reading the first book in the series, Koko.

3. Just arrived: Pork Pie Hat, by Peter Straub. Cemetery Dance had a whole batch misprinted or something, so they offered them on MASSIVE discount. Score for me. Again, I know this will be a winner before even reading. Why? Repeat one word: substance.

4. Just Finished: Gateways, by F. Paul Wilson. Some cool revelations in this cosmic battle that Jack's been recruited into, we meet his dad and his dad finally gets to see that Jack is a man of honor and action, not just an appliance repairman. AND...the bad guy from The Keep makes his appearance, The Adversary Himself. Hot times in Florida for Repairman Jack.

Jack: Secret Circles, by F. Paul Wilson. The YA adventures of Repairman Jack before he became Repairman Jack continues on swimmingly. It's a shame there's only supposed to be three of these, because - like the adult series - Jack and his cohorts are just so blasted readable. Easy to get behind and root for. And, I love the 70's/80's nostalgia. Anyway, I'm also loving how the YA series loops into his "Secret Histories of the World". It's been awesome reading the two series side by side.

The Haunted Air, by F. Paul Wilson. Another reason why I prefer Jack to other "mythos-characters" is his growth. Jack's world is constantly changing and he's had to adapt, while still being the same old Jack. Also, it's interesting the quick "two-step" Wilson had to do: the first Repairman Jack novel, The Tomb, came out early eighties. It was supposed to be a standalone novel. Fans begged for more Jack until finally Wilson brought him back in 1998 with Legacies. HOWEVER - Wilson has written the novels as if everything has happened to Jack within a year or so. A neat trick, that.

Other Books in the Pile: The Outsides by S. E. Hinton; Mean Streets by Jim Butcher et al; Ranger's Apprentice by Jon Flanagan; ArchEnemy and Seeing Red by Frank Beddor; Blood Trail by C. J. Box; Hell Hollow by Ronald Kelly, Reborn by F. Paul Wilson.