Joe Hill

Readings: Hill, Faye

Now that I have moved and unpacked all my things, I am trying to get back into some sort of a routine. It’s harder than I thought it would be; for several days I could not even remember what things I used to do before the Month of Anxiety and the End of the World (aka March). What was the last book I read from start to finish?

It seems like I did not do any reading in March at all, but as I think back, I realize I did finish Joe Hill’s The Fireman in two or three days. In retrospect, it wasn’t a wise choice to read when my mental state was already not particularly steady. It’s big and on fire. People already refer to it as Hill’s magnum opus, which I suppose it is, but I don’t think it’s my favorite of his. It is very good, though. I remain a fan of N0S4A2 (as much as its title annoys me). But The Fireman will please you if you like your novels in high gear for many many pages. It’s out in May.

janesteeleAfterwards, a couple of books were picked up and then abandoned after a handful of pages, and then I read a memoir that was fine until it used the ‘t’ word to refer to a certain type of bar. It seems that its author is one of those gay men who remain largely ignorant of the fact that certain terms are no longer kosher to use (see also John Barrowman’s usage of the same word a few months ago).

And then I picked up something I did not expect to like. It did not seem like my type of book at all, but a number of people mentioned it was quite good, so I decided to give it a shot. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is definitely delightful, smart, and witty. It is a reimagining of Jane Eyre, wherein Jane happens to be a serial killer (“Reader, I murdered him.”).  I never particularly liked Jane Eyre, to be honest. Maybe I have been waiting for this iteration.

 

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Re-reading Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

book_1_welcome_HCI am very attached to my graphic novel series. I re-read Transmet once a year. I have almost all Absolute Sandman books (ran out of money at one point). Unlike regular sci-fi and fantasy series, graphic series are the only ones I binge on. I came to Sandman pretty late, and I ended up reading the entirety of it in just a couple of weeks during one particularly boring graduate class (no, I didn’t fail). I am pretty sure I breathed and ate Sandman. It is almost entirely certain it gave me weird dreams.

And so for the last two days I binged on Locke & Key, which might be my favorite series at the moment. The last volume is out, so I could sit down and be disturbed and unsettled for two entire days, and that is a good thing.

I almost did not pick these books up because I didn’t particularly like the art. At least at first. I eventually got the first volume from the library purely because of Joe Hill. I was still riding the Joe Hill high after finishing his NOS4A2 (which, despite a somewhat gimmicky title, is an excellent horror novel). I figured I could get over the art if the story was good.

Which is exactly what happened. The next day, I went back to the library and checked out the rest of the volumes. And when I got to #5, I almost cried, because I had to wait for the end, and I didn’t think I could stand it.

alphaomegaI obviously survived that particular book trauma. Now that Alpha and Omega volume is out, I could once again sit down and swallow all of Locke & Key at once. The second time around it really hit me how brilliant this series was. Even the art. I like the art. I think it’s perfect for the story, it’s distinctive, it’s sharp. The characters are great. The entire thing is spooky, unsettling, traumatic, and just altogether astonishing.

/gushing off