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

Help A Reader Out: Spooky Story Collection for the Younger Set

Published by Kirsten on September 29th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

Someone HAS to know this one. How many children’s books out there can possibly have housecleaning witches, spooky skeletons, Nessie, and a family of ghosts, all inside the same covers?

Tracy says:

This book isn’t part of a series like “scary stories to tell in the dark” or “goosebumps” and it’s for a younger demographic than those. It is illustrated and has several spooky themed short stories. One was about a grumpy witch who finds happiness by opening a cleaning service. I specifically remember her kicking a child’s tricycle and saying “get your ding-dang tricycle out of my driveway”.

There was also a story about a skeleton who liked to jump out from behind a gravestone to scare people, but one day he tried to scare a scotty dog and the dog stole his tasty leg bones.

There was a story about someone playing bagpipes on Loch Ness and disrupting Nessie.

The last story was about an extended ghost family getting ready to go out haunting for the night. The mom was ironing everyone’s sheets, the kids were playing with the ghost dog. The last page of the book showed the mom and dad ghost kissing the kids and tucking them in to bed. I think the back cover had the ghost family on a pirate ship. I can’t remember what the front color looked like but it may have been ghosts in a castle.

I obtained the book in the early 1990s.  It’s probably first published around then.

Thank you.

Let’s see if we can help Tracy out. Please let me know if you have ANY ideas!

Book Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Published by Kirsten on September 28th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

   Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Delacorte Press, December 2014

ISBN: 978-0385743891

Available: Pre-order (hardcover and Kindle edtions)

 

Hot on the heels of her two previous books (Timeless, Timekeeper), author Alexandra Monir gives us Suspicion, a tale of secrets and suspense that lurk behind the iron gates of a modern day “Downton Abbey,” the magnificent and mysterious Rockford Manor.

Imogen lived in New York as a young girl, but she would often spend summers in Wickersham, England with her family at the grand estate known as Rockford Manor. One summer, while Imogen, her cousin Lucia, and friends Sebastian and Theo, are busy helping the groundskeeper plant flowers, Imogen accidentally discovers that she has supernatural powers – and a remarkable green thumb.

One night as she and Lucia are asleep in the boathouse, Imogen wakes to a raging fire in the garden, and sadly, both girls lose their parents to the devastating blaze. But not before Imogen’s father reveals there’s something special hidden within the garden’s curious maze. It’s decided that young Lucia will stay on at Rockford Manor in the care of her grandfather and a house full of servants, while Imogen is whisked back to New York, to live with friends of her family.

Over the years, the girls lose touch. Yet right before her high school graduation, Imogen’s past catches up with her. She receives word that both her grandfather and cousin have died, making Imogen sole heir to Rockford Manor and all of its twisted secrets.

For fans of The Princess Diaries or the classic Rebecca, this is a good fit –  and it looks like the author has left some wiggle room for a sequel, too. Recommended for ages 12 and over.

Contains: Teen Romance

 

Reviewed by Tina Mockmore

 

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