Monday, 19 September 2011

Skeleton Crew - the stories so far

So much for writing about each story… I’m partway through the antepenultimate story of the collection Gramma, and have the time for quick round-up so far. I haven’t stopped to do a bit for each story, mainly because I’m conscious of how long it takes me to get through each book and want to keep going. I’ve enough (mainly self-imposed) distractions, without constantly breaking off from reading to cobble together some trivial and obtuse reflections.

Here There Be Tygers

The Monkey
Not bad.

Cain Rose Up
Not bad. An obvious precursor to the Bachman book; Rage

Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut
I liked this one quite a bit. I know the fantasy element was king, but I was most taken by the gentle earnestness and almost childlike honesty and wonder of Homer’s character.

The Jaunt
I realised, reading this story, what turns me off of science fiction as a genre. The gimmicky imagination of futuristic details, from the names of newspapers to spaceship systems, galaxies and planets and the attempt to make the impossible sound simultaneously fantastical and commonplace bores me. I’m a bit too lazy to wade through the assimilation of all of that conceit to find out whether the story is actually worth reading. It’s just the icing, when what really matters is how good the actual cake is. Luckily, I really liked The Jaunt. I didn’t see the end coming, but then again, I rarely try to second guess story arcs and endings and was happily swept up, surprised and horrified by it. Nice.

The Wedding Gig
A decent read, but nothing special. Probably most interesting to me for its Prohibition setting and detail.

Paranoid: A Chant
Poetry takes a fair amount of effort for me to even begin to give a shit. I’ll confess to being a lazy reader, especially in my approach to King. By that I mean I’ll be present enough to follow the narrative, suspend my disbelief and generally be an active reader in entertaining the ideas as presented and making necessary leaps, but I’m not approaching him with anything resembling literary criticism. Nothing has the potential to kill art quite like study and criticism. Poetry doesn’t do much for me. I can’t be bothered to deconstruct it or engage in trying to fathom the arcane references and stylistic implications of the form, meter and rhyme. I go through a perhaps biennial phase of immersion in poetry, but that’s about it. Sticking it in the middle of a collection of King’s short stories is met by a skim-read at best or skipped at worst.

I know, I’m an ignorant prick.

The Raft
Not bad, not great.

Word Processor of the Gods

The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands
As soon as I realised it was from the same world as The Breathing Method from Different Seasons, I got excited. As the one story from Different Seasons that was completely new to me, I got a lot from it ( returning to that world heightened by anticipation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly in the same league and not nearly as satisfying. Not shit, though.


The Reaper’s Image

Pretty good but a part of me wishes it had been longer and Nona was real.
For Owen
See above – (Paranoid: A Chant)

Survivor Type
Great stuff. Proto-Palahniuk?

Uncle Otto’s Truck
Not great, not altogether shit.

Morning Deliveries (Milkman #1)
A nice little sketch.

Big Wheels: A Tale of The Laundry Game (Milkman #2)
A decent enough read but there wasn't much point overall.  Bob killing his wife was a nice touch, though.

Marc Maron's WTF podcast.  Awesome.  Great guests.  I'd go so far as saying it eclipses his stand-up too.  Which is not a statement I make lightly.

Also, Chris Hardwick's Nerdist podcast.

Also reading:
Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth.  Amazingly good.

The Office (US) - much better than I expected and a really good show in its own right.
Louie - the second series is as good as the first.

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