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Up the Hill to Lovecraft

All right, sorry for the bad pun in the title of this little post. I just wanted to quickly let you know that I just finished reading Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. I know I’m late to the game on this one, but you might be, too. Or maybe you haven’t read it because it’s a comic book/graphic novel. It took me a bit to actually read it, I’d had it sitting on my iPad for most of this year (and I’d meant to buy the damn collection for several years). Everything I’d read about Locke & Key has made me want to read it. Rave reviews. As time passed, I almost became fearful that the hype would hurt the book once I got to it.

It didn’t. Locke & Key reads like an HBO show. It’s multilayered, intelligent, filled with emotion, and scary. This book actually scared me. Joe Hill mesmerizes me with his prose work. His scripting for Locke & Key is every bit as careful as his prose, his characters every bit as fleshed-out. The story never feels forced and the characters are believable. Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is great. At first glance the characters seemed to cartoony for my tastes but that feeling didn’t last. It’s the details in every panel that helps with that, not to mention the subtle characterization in his drawings. His art won me over within the first page and I can happily say I’m a fan now.

So that’s my ten cents on Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft. It’s rare that I get so excited about something, but in this case I can’t not be excited. It’s not as good as I’d heard it was, it’s better.

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Reading, Reading, Reading

I’m not fond of being a slow reader. I discovered I read slowly fairly early on. There are people who read two books (or more) a week and that just befuddles me. There are occasional books that will take me a week to read, but often a book–a novel, that is–will take me a month, which is one reason I attempt to read more than one book at a time.

My mother used to read nearly a book a day, and at first that kind of upset me. Sure, I was 13 and she was 27 years my senior, but still. As I got a little older, in high school, I discounted her total by saying, “They’re mostly Harlequin novels.” This wasn’t an entirely fair assessment. Yes, they were formulaic. Yes, they were often the size of the covers for my Stephen King novels, but still, they were books. My mother, who bought a Kindle a few years back and hasn’t read Harlequin novels for probably 15 years, still manages to read several books a week. I’m still stuck with one or two a month.

I had a professor last summer who said I wasn’t a slow reader so much as a careful reader. I have professed to enjoy letting the language of the novels I’m reading to melt on my tongue like good chocolate, but is that a good thing? I know it’s not a race, but come on.

The book-a-month isn’t set in concrete. There are novels that I speed through. Nonfiction also tends to move faster. But it still stings. On Twitter, I feel stupid posting my #Fridayreads because many times it’s the same goddamn book! Here’s a for instance for ya:

I just finished rereading Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels, including the new one, The Wind Through the Keyhole. Eight books in this series. I began reading them in January. I finished The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (I read them chronologically, placing The Wind Through the Keyhole between books IV and V) last week. I even put down the other novel I was reading, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad, to focus my attention on Unca Steve’s books. Of course, within days of finishing The Dark Tower, I finally finished Goon Squad (I loved it).

Because of my slowness, there are many books I haven’t read that I desperately want to. I have had books in my To-Be-Read pile for nearly a decade. Of course, there are always new ones added. It doesn’t help that classes I’ve taken throughout those 10 years have forced me off my own track and onto their tracks for a bit.

So I do my best. Right now I’m reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which I’ve never read and was at the top of my stack o’ books even before his recent death. It’s length makes me believe I should be done with it by the end of this week, maybe even sooner. I’m also reading Joe Hill’s Locke and Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft. I may also begin one of the nonfiction books I have about the television industry, one by Bill Carter and the other by Warren Littlefield. There are still some writing friends whose books I have to read, not to mention the classics….

Yeah. Well, I have my work cut out for me. Enjoy your reading, while I might be behind, I know I’ll enjoy mine.

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