Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dawn of the Dreadfuls, by Steve Hockensmith

This is a prequel to Seth Grahame-Smith's pastiche, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I've reading in a streak again--vampires and horror. Must be approaching Halloween. I enjoyed the beginning of this book more than the end. I got just a little tired of the slashing off of limbs and rotting corpses. The idea of framing all this with the Bennett girls and Victorian England is interesting, but I did not find myself completely engaged. It could be that I need to go back and reread Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. I might enjoy the irony and off-play a bit more if those two were fresh in my mind.

Overall I am beginning to wonder what is causing the upswing in vampire, zombie, and horror genre. It is definitely a strong current in youth culture. It could be that they are just following a trend, beginning with Harry Potter and moving on through Twilight series. But, I expect it must be something a little more deep than just that. I put the horror genre in parallel with the mythology (Rick Riordan & Michael Scott) and think that perhaps it has a larger cultural significance. In the last great depression we saw lots of romantic comedies. I wonder if this is somehow a new for of escapism or a desire to play out the possibilities of overcoming supernatural forces (like the economy) with friendship, loyalty, and bravery.

Hockensmith has also written several novels based on Sherlock Holmes. I think those might be a good choice for my next read. On the other hand, it may be time for a real adult book. My friends are recommending The Help and I am also considering reading Freedom by John Franzen. However, after working through The Passage, by Justin Cronin I am cautious of popular reviews.

So many books--so little time!

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