Last weekend, I asserted that I didn’t care much for vampire stories. So why did I choose to read ‘Salem’s Lot? It was a combination of little reasons, I suppose. After finishing up The Sharing Knife series, I wanted a new audiobook to listen to during the many hours it took me to paint Max’s room. And I was sort of in the mood for a Stephen King book. And I do have that reading challenge going with myself to read/reread all of his fictional works. And Scribd had this one available. (I listened to slightly more than half of it before quitting Scribd. The library didn’t have it in audio, so I finished it reading my print copy.)
Anyway. I read this oh-so-many years ago. Like in high school. So yeah, 35-ish years back. And back then, I loved it. This go round, well, not so much. Yep, disappointing.
King’s books tend to have things that I find problematic in them. But I usually find so much that I love about his books that I can enjoy them in spite of problems. I generally find his stories quite interesting, often downright gripping. But even more than that, what makes me love his works so much are his characters. He makes characters come to life so damn well. I usually feel like I know these people. Some I love, some I hate…but I always feel something. And that’s where I feel let down this time. I just didn’t connect with anyone, accept possibly Matt Burke. And maybe Jimmy Cody. Oh yeah, there were people that I didn’t like, but they felt a little flat. And it’s not that I disliked the main characters, but I just didn’t feel like I got to know them well enough to really care all that much.
And frankly, an okay story with okay characters just didn’t do enough to make me put those problematic issues in the background. Unkind ways of referring to fat people, certain sexist elements, a mention of rape that felt inappropriate (not really in a dismissive way, but more in a I-don’t-think-you-truly-understand-what-it’s-like way) and others that weren’t quite gratuitous but came close to being so. So yeah, this reread wasn’t an awesome one for me. But at least I get to cross it off my list…so that’s something…I guess..
I had much better luck with Parasite by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire). Much better, as in I loved this book! This is my favorite kind of sci-fi. The medical sort. And there was definitely enough creepiness, enough unsettledness, to make me feel this is RIP-appropriate. Heck, the character of Tansy alone is enough to make it RIP-ish! 😛 So yep, we’ve got unsettling medical “breakthroughs,” and some intriguing, slightly off characters, and sweet dogs, and some characters that you’d like smack their smugness right off their faces, and science, and that overall feeling that you just don’t know who the hell to trust. I’m not sure if what’s revealed at the end of this book is meant to come as a surprise, but I tend to think not. Anyway, I am eager as all get out to start the second in the series, Symbiont.
I listened to this as an audiobook; audiobooks have suddenly become my new best friends. It’s hard to believe that just a few months back I never listened to them…and now I always have at least one going.
And finally, there was Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn. Another audiobook. Eva had mentioned the series on Instagram just when I was needing a new audiobook. I figured if she was enjoying them, I would too. And a cozy mystery sounded perfect for my addled brain.
And yep, I did enjoy it. Quite a bit actually. I adored Daisy Dalrymple. Independent, extremely kind, ambitious, intelligent. She didn’t completely abandon the “rules” of upper class life, but she didn’t feel the need to judge people on ridiculous notions of what’s proper.
I was a bit annoyed with the events at the end of the book, but then was made less so when it was acknowledged that such a “solution” was a privilege only someone in the upper classes could have gotten away with. So yeah, I do think I’ll be giving the next one in the series a go.
And hooray for me! I actually completed Peril the First! In fact, these are books 3, 4, and 5. And four was the goal.
It’s almost time for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon again. October 17th, to be exact. I’ve come to the conclusion after all these years that this will always be bittersweet. It can never be anything but. Sadness and joy. It is what it is. I will never, ever not miss you, Dewey.
I think I’m going to leisurely participate in another readathon during the month of October as well, the Fright Fall Readathon. It’s one of those more laid-back weeklong sort of readathons, and it runs from the 5th through the 11th. It does have the requirement that you read one scary sort of book as one of your reads, but that’s not a hard rule to follow, considering we’re smack in the middle of RIP.
I also signed up for Andi’s #15in31. I tried to resist, really. Largely because I know I’ll fail. But what the hell, huh? Knowing I’ll fail is a horribly lousy reason to forgo trying. So yep, 15 books in 31 days.
October, you’re going to be awesome!