So here we are, another month, another handful of books. February marked the one-year anniversary of the blog, she here’s hoping for another year:
Night Shift by Stephen King
One of the things that strikes me about Stephen King’s writing is the way in which he puts ordinary people in extraordinary situations. He stretches his characters to the limits, throws them to the edge of chaos, and lets them play. And boy, does he play. Having now read two of his short story collections (the first being the more recent Just After Sunset), I can safely say that I enjoyed the earlier works more than the more recent.
I don’t usually read horror fiction, as most of said genre leaves me disappointed. Perhaps it is just my lack of experience but it’s just something about reading these terrible things that leaves me feeling empty. “Jerusalem’s Lot” is the first work of fiction that truly, completely, terrified me. I had a hard time sleeping after this one.
In fact, I am noticing a trend in the short stories I like more than the rest when it comes to Stephen King: The stories I like all draw heavily from the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. I guess I am just a sucker for the supernatural.
The Legacy and Starless Night by R.A. Salvatore
The works of R.A. Salvatore serve as a comfort blanket or a favorite treat. They are my guilty pleasure. I cannot count the number of times I have found myself pulling out one of these worn paperbacks to revisit the adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden and his friends. If there was one fantasy place I could visit, it would be the streets Menzoberranzan, minus the drow. The city would have to empty out for a few days so I could have my fill of exploration without fear of being mercilessly murdered, thank you very much.
Three things draw me to Salvatore’s prose. First, R.A. Salvatore writes, hands down, the best combat sequences I have ever had the privilege of reading. If I could even begin to compose the fluid battles he so eloquently puts to the page, I would be set for life. As it is, I am content to continue to be a happy onlooker. Second, I love the colloquial language he uses in his prose. There’s just something about seeing familiar words and phrases peppered within an unfamiliar setting that brings a smile to my face. Finally: Characters, Characters, Characters! Do I have to point out that Salvatore has breathed life into some of my most beloved fantasy characters? Can you guess which ones I like best? Here’s a hint: not Drizzt.