Sign Me Up: The Bag of Bones Read Along (BOBalong)

Bag o Bones Read Along

Because Revival was not as exciting as I had hoped it would be, I am going to revisit one of King’s older books. Why? Mostly because Trish announced it and made it sound like fun. I mean, no one wants to be left out when there is a read along to be joined. Plus, I’ve already made my reading goal for the year so this is just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like to join us, check out her post for all of the details but basically you have all of December to read it and it’s readily available from the library since it’s an older title. I seriously just downloaded the library e-book and there were many copies for the taking.

Come on. Join us. You know you want to.

Review: Revival

RevivalRevival
By Stephen King
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476770383, November 2014, 405pp.)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

A young, impressionable boy is taken with the local minister and his ability to make things magical, but when their faith is tested, both battle their own demons to survive.

The Rest of It:

Jamie Morton is only six-years old when Charles Jacobs comes to town. Jacobs, married with a young son of his own, quickly takes a liking to Jamie and his family. In fact, many of the folks in town begin to attend church again just to hear what the new minister has to say and when Jamie’s brother loses his voice in a freak accident, Charles Jacobs comes to his aid and heals him. Not with spiritual healing, but with electricity.

After a tragic accident, Jacobs faith in God disappears entirely and what he chooses to hold dear, are the electrical experiments he’s developed over the years. Traveling from town to town, he reinvents himself, peddling what is essentially lightning and a whole lot of fanfare. It’s at this point in his life, that he runs into Jamie again. This time Jamie is an adult, battling a wicked heroin addiction. Can Jamie be saved?

King has said in many interviews that Revival is his return to true horror. I believe his definition of horror and mine vary greatly these days. Perhaps writing about a heroin addiction IS horrific, given King’s personal battle with drug and alcohol addiction but the story itself is not scary in that “clowns in the sewer” way. Nope. It reminded me a lot of Frankenstein and the one Mary Shelley reference did not escape me. I hardly think it was a coincidence that he included it because just as I was thinking ‘Frankenstein’, the name dropped.

Without being specific, lots of terrible things happen and they are all devastating. Devastating enough to absolutely wreck a person and let me tell you, it tore me up. These characters are damaged and flawed and King does damaged and flawed so well.

But…

The story lagged for me and since I was expecting a real horror story, I was slightly disappointed with the direction that it took. It seemed too safe and yet, I still enjoyed it. What King nailed is childhood itself. Those moments where Jamie is young and all of the wonders that go along with childhood… King was spot-on with them. That sense of innocence lost? Heartbreaking.

ReviveMe 2014

A group of us read this together and I must say, it was pretty quiet on Twitter. Nearly everyone was curious as to where the story was going but there wasn’t a whole lot to discuss. Compared to his other novels, the ones he is known for (IT, The Shining, The Stand, Carrie), this one seems a little thin but if you dig deep, there is substance there and some well-developed characters to spend some time with.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: Countdown to Thanksgiving (I think)

Sunday Matters

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it so. I’ve been thinking about the meal and our day-long pajama party. What could be better? The fact that Christmas has been pushed upon us so soon, really gets to me! Just a few years ago, you’d wake up the day after Thanksgiving and everything would be transformed and you’d be anxious for Christmas. Not now. Sigh.

Of course, time seems to be flying by too. Tuesday, The Teen takes his first in-car driving lesson. He’s also looking at colleges. I think The Girl has skipped over the Tween stage and gone right into Teen. She’s been a real treasure lately. Smirk.

Last night we hit the ice rink. Everyone was bundled up in coats and scarves which was funny given it was close to ninety degrees yesterday. Us West Coasters try really hard to create seasons for ourselves but it’s not working out that great.

The first shot is The Teen and his girlfriend. The second is The Girl and her friend, The Girl is on the right.

Ice Rink

Right Now:

Sitting here with a cup of coffee as the rest of the house sleeps. It’s a beautiful day and yes…sunny!

This Week:

Driving lessons, Annie rehearsals and some doctor stuff.

Reading:

  • Driftwood by Elizabeth Sutton (REALLY enjoying this one)
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (at a suburban BBQ a man slaps a child who is not his own. Drama!)

Watching:

The same two shows that I always watch, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead. Both happen to be really good this season. I saw that Snowpiercer is on Netflix instant view. I’d love to sneak that one in today,

Making:

Even though it’s warm out, I am craving chicken noodle soup. Yes. NOODLES. I’ll use gluten-free ones which won’t quite be the same but so be it. When you’ve got a craving, you gotta satisfy it. I think biscuits are called for as well. Mmmmm.

MS soup

Grateful for:

I am grateful that I am able to take a good chunk of time off for the holidays. I’ve got Tuesday off for Veteran’s Day but I will be taking Thanksgiving week off and a couple of weeks around Christmas. I LOVE and need this time off.

Happy Thought For the Week:

Stephen King’s new book comes out on Tuesday. Revival is said to be his return to TRUE horror and of course I am hosting a read along for it. If you want to read it with us, you can check out the details here:

ReviveMe 2014

 

What are you grateful for today?

Announcing the “Revival” Read Along!

ReviveMe2014

When King releases a new book, you pay attention. I  know when he released Mr. Mercedes a few months ago, folks who didn’t even read King picked it up and were pleasantly surprised at the story telling contain within. He is quite the story teller and that is the one thing I say over and over again to readers who are afraid to read his stuff. Granted, some of his stuff can be terrifying (IT, comes to mind) but many of his books are good stories and memorable characters. Good versus evil. I love it.

This year, fans get to gush over another book release! Revival hits the shelves on November 11th and I am SO there. Just in time for my holiday reading. I love to read something really good over Thanksgiving break and the anticipation of a big release is almost too much for me! Do I buy the Kindle version? The hard copy? Both? Ah, decisions.

The only thing better is getting to read it with others. Wanna join me?

Details:

-The read along begins on November 11, 2014 (release day!) and ends on November 30, 2014. Take longer if you need to but it’s Uncle Stevie! Chances are we will finish early.

-This read along will take place mostly on Twitter using the hashtag #ReviveMe2014. Use the hashtag to share your thoughts while reading. Search for that hashtag on Twitter to see what readers are saying.

-Since most of us have to buy the book on release day, this will be a “fly by the seat of your pants” read along without any structure! Just read, comment if you feel the need and enjoy it! A lot of us did this informally with Mr. Mercedes and it was fun to catch people on Twitter talking about the book.

Are you in? A good resource for you is this site! It’s his return to true horror. Be ready for it.

Sign-Ups

To sign-up, click on the green Mr. Linky below. It asks for blog URL but if you don’t have a blog, just use my URL. Anyone can sign-up.

Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes (Read-Along & Final Update – Part Three)

Something Wicked

Something Wicked This Way Comes
By Ray Bradbury
(Avon, Mass Market Paperback, 9780380729401, March 1998, 304pp.)

The Short of It:

The calliope music signals that the carnival has arrived, but the carnival itself is a host of horrors for the inhabitants of this small town.

The Rest of It:

I can sum this story up in just  a few words. Hallucinogenic, batshit craziness.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about part one and part two and today, I am happy to report that our read along is complete! Part three, titled, ‘Departures’ was both strange and welcome. It’s been a crazy ride. Bradbury’s imagination was all over the place and it was hard to work the reading into my other reading. It stuck out like a sore thumb.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but like it? Not really. It’s not really the type of book you like. That said, I can’t imagine reading it at any other time of the year because the setting and time frame just beg to be read in the Fall. Yes, I think WHEN you read this is very important. It DOES put you in the mood for Halloween and out here in sunny, Southern California with our never-ending 85 degree temps, I need all the help I can get.

The book though, it’s very disjointed. Odd. Feels a little nightmarish. I had two read-alongers listen to the book on audio and they gave-up on it. I think it would be very hard to follow on audio and that’s a shame because listening to a spooky book is so much fun, usually. What was Bradbury trying to accomplish with this one? That is the question I keep asking myself. The first part really set the stage, but the middle section was very difficult to make sense of. I will say this, it came together at the end and I found the end notes very interesting.

Peril the Second

This book counts towards the R.I.P IX Challenge!

Did you know that Gene Kelly was the reason this book was written? Apparently, Bradbury was good friends with him and always wanted to work with him, so he pulled out some of his story ideas and Kelly decided that this story, would be great to adapt in some way. It never worked out, but Bradbury then took it and turned it into a novel which later became a movie after all.

I’ve never seen the movie version of this book but recently, on American Horror Story, a new character was introduced (Mordrake) who reminds me a lot of Mr. Dark. This season of AHS seems to be paying homage to classic horror movies like Halloween and the like, so seeing Mordrake  in the freak show background does make me think that maybe the movie of Something Wicked might be better than the book.

Have you read this book or seen the movie?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Something Wicked Read-Along Update – Part Two

Something Wicked

A couple of weeks ago we talked about part one. We are now approaching the end of our read along. By today, 10/24, we should be wrapping-up part two, Chapters 25-44. This section is so bizarre and strange.

  • Continues to be very atmospheric but less so than part one.
  • What is up with the witch? The hot air balloon was a nice touch but strange and nightmarish.
  • Will & Jim continue to be too much alike. I like to refer to them as “Wim” because I have given up trying to tell them apart.
  • Will’s dad. We knew something was up with him but the whole thing with his hand… I can’t make sense of it.

On Twitter (#EnterTheRingmaster) one blogger wondered what Bradbury was on when he wrote the book. That’s a good question because part two seemed a little disjointed to me. You’ve got this crazy witch chasing the boys and the visuals he uses to tell that part of the story are so odd. Mr. Dark is still after the boys as well but he seems less of a threat than everyone else and virtually no time is spent AT the carnival. Another adult has been turned into a child, but for what purpose? Will’s father comes to their aid but it’s still questionable how he fits into all of this. I’ve spent the last day pondering what I’ve read but my thoughts are all jumbled up. Partly because of how this part was told. It’s a little chaotic. Pursuits and chases can be like that. I am anxious to see how this story ends.

Next up on the schedule?

  • Finish Section 3 (Chapters 45-54) by Friday, October 31st

If you wrote-up a post, just add the link in comments or feel free to comment away here or on Twitter using #EnterTheRingmaster as the hashtag.

Something Wicked Read-Along Update – Part One

Something Wicked

Our read along for Something Wicked This Way Comes is in full swing! By today, 10/10, we should be wrapping-up part one, Chapters 1-24. What do you think so far? Here are my thoughts and then I have some questions for you to ponder:

  • Super quick read. The first 24 chapters flew by.
  • Very atmospheric. Think dark clouds, wind, dry leaves and the smell of ozone.
  • Odd narration. The language is a little stilted. Almost like a regional thing but not quite. Didn’t take long to get used to though.
  • Two main characters, boys, Will and Jim. Too much alike. Hard to determine who is talking sometimes.
  • CRAZY happenings involving a carousel and a weird little ‘nephew’ of one of the neighbors.
  • Right now, I am totally sucked into the story which promises to be very strange from what I’ve read so far.

Now, a couple of questions for you from Shmoop.com:

  1. We have a third-person narrator in this novel, but how much of this narration is influenced by Will and Jim’s way of looking at the world? That is, how “close” is the narrator to our main characters?
  2. What do you think is the target audience (age group) of Something Wicked This Way Comes? How might its meaning change for readers of different age groups?

Everyone on Twitter (#EnterTheRingmaster) has mentioned the narration. It’s a little odd. One blogger said the flow was a little difficult to pick up, but once she got over the hump, she was totally into the story. For me, the third-person narration is not an issue but the language, prose, whatever you want to call it, was a little disjointed at first. It did kind of add to the story though because it felt to me as if I was listening to someone from another part of the country. How close is the narrator to the boys? I’d say pretty close, almost too close because I am having a hard time keeping the two boys separate in my mind.

The target audience? Good question. Although the main characters are young boys, I’m not sure that’s the intended audience. There is something going on with Will and his father, something that maybe only an adult can appreciate. There is the whole old versus young thing too. I’m not sure a young person can appreciate youth when they have it. Do you?

My feeling right now is that the fun is just beginning. Part one dealt with the arrival of the dark carnival and part two is titled Pursuits.

If you want to still join us, it’s not too late. It took me one sitting to read through chapters 1-24. The biggest challenge will be finding a copy.

Next up on the schedule?

  • Finish Section 2 (Chapters 25-44) by Friday, October 24th
  • Finish Section 3 (Chapters 45-54) by Friday, October 31st

If you wrote-up a post, just add the link in comments or feel free to comment away here or on Twitter using #EnterTheRingmaster as the hashtag.

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