Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Books, Books, Books
I've gone through a myriad of books at a surprisingly fast pace, even for myself, I think. As a teen, I read because it took me elsewhere, and now I've returned to that habit, pushed there from boredom, or sadness, or anxiety. I could list the many books that I've read in the past two weeks, but I'll only mention two: the first I finished last night before drifting off to sleep at one in the morning. I've noticed Lillith Saintcrow's books on the sci-fi/fantasy shelves for quite awhile, and I finally bought one. I enjoyed the book, but as of yet have not been able to get a hold of the following two in the series, which are apparently available, but always sold out. So, I moved to her more well known series, the Dante Valentine books. Or the first one, at least. Working for the Devil was so good, despite it's sadness. It mixes a futuristic view of the world with a unique twist on how close Hell is to the world at large. I can't say that I appreciated her view of Hell as less evil and more a parralell universe with different ideas of how things are, or even the idea that we, as humans, were created -not by God, but by demons. Yet somehow it all combined into a fascinating, fast-paced, magick-filled story that makes me really look forward to the next in the series.
The book I moved on to today is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, by Gregory Maguire. I've read a few of his books, beginning with Wicked, and I keep coming back to them. There's something about the way he takes a well-known fairy tale and flips it around, letting you see the other side of what it could be; somehow fitting his ideas into the fairy tale and yet making an entirely new one at the same time. When you read a fairy tale as a child, the story is what it is: oh, yes Hansel and Gretel survive after almost being eaten by a wicked witch. The End. But Gregory Maguire seems to see beyond the story: why was the witch the way she was? What brought her to that point? What must her life have been like? Were Hansel and Gretel really good little children? Or was there something beneath the surface that, in the end, makes you wonder if the witch should have won instead?
I've only just begun Confessions, but already I am enthralled. This story does not use the point of view of Cinderella, or Clara as she is so named in this book, but is told through the eyes and voice of Iris, the younger step-sister. Already the fairy tale is taking shape, and yet forming a new one all its own.