All Hallow’s Read: Pass It On!

Published by Kirsten on October 12th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

All Hallow’s Read is a Halloween tradition sparked in 2011 by Neil Gaiman, who suggested that it’s the perfect time to gift someone with a scary book. I’ll let him explain.

Note the part where he said to visit the library because the librarian is a great source for information on scary books? Take that to heart. Visit the All Hallow’s Read website here. You can find ideas for good scary books here at Monster Librarian, as well. If you haven’t started this tradition yet, this year is the time to start. Let the shivers start!

 

Help a Reader Out: Edgar Alllan Poe Historical Mystery

Published by Kirsten on October 8th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday rolls around and we get this request. How timely!

A reader asks:

I’m looking for a book about Edgar Allan Poe that takes place around the time of Poe’s death, and takes place in Baltimore. It is a mystery and I think the cover is gray and Poe’s name is in the title.

Ooh, I know this one!

It’s The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl. A young Baltimore lawyer with good propects who is also an admirer  of Poe’s, indignant with the tarnishing of Poe’s reputation at his death, starts prying into the details at the expense of his own reputation, finances, and sanity. It’s not horror, although some horrific things happen, but the author does an amazing job of recreating historical Baltimore and tracing the theories of exactly what did happen to Edgar Allan Poe.

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Music Review: Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera

Published by Kirsten on September 30th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

  Dreams in the Witch House:  A Lovecraftian Rock Opera

Presented by The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, executive producer Mike Dalager

Platinum West, 2013

Available: Pre-order (MP3 and audio CD)

Running Time: 65 minutes.

 

Adapting H.P. Lovecraft into other media has not always been the easiest thing for writers, directors, and producers. It is one of the many reasons Guillermo Del Toro’s forthcoming $150 million epic take on At The Mountains of Madness has generated so much interest and dread among lovers of the author’s work. He just doesn’t translate well to other media. Films like The Thing or Alien, though not created from Lovecraft works, are often considered more stylistically Lovecraftian than the films actually adapted from his stories. However, I have now discovered a very faithful adaptation of Dreams of the Witch House, and quite an unusual one: a rock opera. It’s the most interesting tribute since the silent film Call of Cthulu.

The audacity of executive producer Mike Dalager’s project is my favorite thing about it. Writing a rock opera based on a beloved story is challenge enough; try doing it with over a dozen voice actors, a six member rock band that lives in various countries, organizing recording in LA, Sweden, and Denmark, and then paying for it all without a record label backing you financially. It is quite a feat.

The opera tells the story of Miskatonic University mathematics student Walter Gilman, who is having nightmares while staying in Arkham’s infamous Witch House.  Brown Jenkin (Chris Laney) is a hybrid humanoid rat-like creature who torments the sleeping math genius as he unlocks the secrets of universe and opens up travel to other planes of reality. The songs range from operatic metal to straight rock, some with a 90s feel.

To say I am impressed by this project is an understatement. I think every Lovecraft collector or library should have this in their collection cross-referenced to his books. Highly recommended, with a big thumbs up for horror fans, and anyone who collects rock and metal music. Appropriate for ages 12-up

 

Reviewed by David Agranoff

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