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October 6th, 2019

horror consumed

In theory I was trying to write these on Wednesdays, as a kind of expansion on Reading Wednesday, but Wednesday is just a terrible day for me to try and compose thoughts about things, and I'm officially giving up on that.

Books / Comics
Thornhill by Pamela Smy. This YA book is half diary entries from Mary Baines, bullied resident of a children's home in 1982, and half illustrations following the story of Ella, a girl who moves next to the abandoned children's home in 2017. Mary loved making puppets; Ella finds their remains scattered around the grown-over garden and sets herself to restoring them, which she has plenty of time for, since her mother is recently dead and her father works a lot and leaves her home on her own for sometimes whole days at a time. I was looking for a spooky vibe, and this does kind of have it, but even more than most ghost stories, this one was just so damned tragic, and the ending, which I think was meant to be spooky-yet-heartwarming, was even more tragic.

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crooks. At long last I got around to reading the eight and final volume of this gorgeous horror/dark fantasy comic, about a girl in rural New England circa the 1920s. The watercolor artwork was absolutely wonderful to look at all the way to the end. I had a little trouble following exactly what happened in the climax, or why, and I'm not sure it's quite a satisfying conclusion; I feel like I'd need to read the whole thing from the start to decide. But if you're looking for a gorgeous, spooky read with lots of complex female characters, you could do much worse than this.

Audio Dramas
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Somehow I stumbled on the BBC audio drama adaption of this classic Lovecraft story, now set in the modern day, and I enjoyed it for the most part. The premise is that a pair of podcasters look into the mystery of a man disappearing from a locked room in a mental institution, and find a lot more than they bargained for.

It was properly scary, IMO, especially as I hadn't read the story and didn't know what was coming. However, I felt like it really didn't stick the landing, in the sense that by the end I wasn't sure what I was meant to understand had even happened, much less why various parties had been doing what they were doing. SpoilersCollapse )

On the whole, it was a fun listen until the end, and I would really like someone else to listen to it, too, so I could compare notes. Alternatively, maybe reading the original Lovecraft story would shed some light on what the adaptation intended.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

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