Just hanging around on a Saturday night. Let's see what is interesting.
Reader Book Review for Jennifer Hillier's "Creep"
I believe I have the best set of readers out there. Many long time readers have been with me since the beginning (Watchtower, 4 years!). Reader Gawains is another long term contributor here in the comments section. I sent Gawains a copy of Jennifer Hillier's novel "Creep" a while back. He was kind enough to send me a review of the book (that I passed on to Jennifer) but I figured I would put in on the blog to highlight Gawains effort and a well written review of a book I really liked. Here is Gawains:
"Okay, let’s see. We’ve got sex addiction, serial murder, dead co-eds all over the place, a kill room, dismembered bodies in the basement, one in Puget Sound, anxiety, paranoia, lust, rage, stalking, obsession, disguises, rohypnal, kidnapping, bondage, sensory deprivation, adult diapers, psychological manipulation,, a professor with a serious problem, a fiancé with performance issues, a graduate student with hidden secrets, a girlfriend who is totally depraved, a private detective who doesn’t see the big picture until it almost kills him, a last minute rescue (by a Texan with a Remington 700 no less—and for those of you who don’t know, in the original Dracula, what kills the evil vampire is not a cross or a stake, but a Texan with a Bowie knife), and another killer left on the prowl. Sounds like a mosaic of modern America.
When I was a kid, my mother and sister had this thing for serial killer books, true crime novels. They would read them, and every morning at breakfast they would talk about their nightmares. Hell of a way to start the day, you know. So, finally, I started reading them. Helter Skelter, Bundy, Gacey (to this day I am afraid of clowns), the Hill Side Stranglers (that one scared me the most), I read them all. It caused me many sleepless nights, so I am well versed on this particular pathology.
As an English professor, I didn’t really teach “English.” Yeah, sure, I gave the obligatory lessons on grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling, when I noticed recurring mistakes my students were making. What I actually taught was The Scientific Method. I never taught creative writing, although I did teach some classes on literature, which is to say literary criticism and interpretation. The same pattern applies. The key to writing an effective novel is to create interesting and believable characters, put them in situations, and see what happens. Of course, the author has an idea in mind, but it’s all about how the story unfolds. My mother read this book in one morning. She couldn’t put it down, even blew off work to finish reading it. (If you had any idea how rare that is, you don’t know her; she’s a workaholic.) But she doesn’t read the same way I do. She reads the story. I look more at how the writer structures, organizes and develops the story.
What Ms. Hillier has done in this book is off the map. Her characters are twisted, the situation bizarre, and the outcome unpredictable. I found this book engaging, though I rarely read in this genre, which is the psychological thriller, but I found it interesting. There are many plot twists, unexpected developments due to misdirection. And at the end, nothing left but fear."
Odds and Ends
Random stuff for Saturday night.
-Centralia Pennsylvania has an underground coal fire that will burn for, well, forever.
-My friend David Batista knows way too much about the game Gears of War 3.
-Do you know who Xenia is? You do now.
-Enjoy this one in a million paper airplane shot!
Have a good night.