Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Being Dead" by Vivian Vande Velde

I must preface this post by saying that the Mesa Public Library Friends' Bookstore in Los Alamos ROCKS. I have found buried treasure and I didn't even have to dig. I brought home eighteen, count 'em, eighteen books today, half of which were on my list of books I want to read, the other half just looking too intriguing to pass up, and most of which were only 50 cents each (and only slightly used)! An even better deal than paperbackswap.com! Now my stack of books to read is so tall that it threatens to topple over on me in my sleep, but that's a good problem to have. (Not falling books waking me in the night, but having a plethora of good and as-yet-unread books on hand).

The first of the eighteen books I chose to read is a collection of 7 ghost stories. I love a good scare! These stories were deliciously and satisfyingly creepy. The book was written for "ages 12 and up," and through most of the first story I thought about passing this on to my book-loving daughter next (as long as she could get past the cover art), but the story turned out to be just a little too creeptastic. And if I wasn't yet convinced, when the protagonist of the sixth story called her boss an anal sphincter (in the vernacular), that sealed the deal. My daughter can wait a few years before reading this book.

I do wish I could find someone who has read this book so I could discuss the story entitled "Shadow Brother" with them. Ambiguity is stalking me again. Kevin was haunting his father, and the narrator (Kevin's sister Sarah) hints at why this might be, but it's not spelled out for me. I want to know the truth! I've been told it's out there.

All in all, this collection of stories is a bunch of shivery fun. I was quite pleased that the book contained no stories with a silly punch line like "Vicks will stop that coffin!" or "inside the ancient box they found the source of the mysterious rapping noise, and it was . . . wrapping paper!" On the other hand, I'm not afraid of the dark or expecting a corpse to creep up behind me after reading it (which is probably a good thing). To me, this means the stories were just spooky enough.

1 comment:

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

Ooo-- this sounds good-- I don't read lots of short stories but when I do I like to read creepy ones or sci-fi ones or faerie ones.

Thanks for leaving link to this review on Mrs. BG! I like your blog but don't see where to follow???