Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#3 - Reading Lately

In prep for WHC in Austin next week, I've spent my month reading as many books by the other writers who will be there.  Here's a quick rundown:

The German by Lee Thomas -Ernst Lang is an ex-German soldier living in the U.S. during the WWII.  When kids in town start dying, he becomes the main suspect. It's been a couple of weeks since I finished this novel, and Lang has stuck with me.  He's unapologetic about who he is in a time when being perceived as anything but normal is dangerous.   I enjoyed the hell out of that aspect of the book.  In fact, I think is this Thomas' most mature and professional work to date.  His previous publications all rang true for me, but something about this novel really made me think I was reading a full-blown, top shelf talent.

Fated by S.G. Brown - Fate, Death, Lust, Envy, Luck, Gossip, Karma, and others wander the planet doing the jobs tied to their names.  The thrust of the novel is main character Fate falling in love with a human woman, but a good deal of the book is Brown's hilarious opinions on the current state of affairs in our world.  I think it took big balls for Brown to tread into territory made famous in Gaiman's Sandman comics, but he makes his own mark with these characters, writing them differently than Gaiman did and - this is comparison is going to be strange - writing with an attitude and edge that reminds me of early Elvis Costello albums.  Anyway, a great, fun read.

Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett - During the Depression, a group of travels chase a murderer named by the hobos Mr. Shivers across the country.  This book has great mood and tone, and one very unsettling scene in a jail cell.  This is Bennett's first novel, and I'll be picking up his second book, The Company Man, soon.

Still have a few other novels I'm hoping to read before next week including Gemma Files' A Book of Tongues, which I should hopefully get to tomorrow.

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