Three Gaiman Adaptations

       

Neil Gaiman is a popular author across many genres and audiences, and some of his work for young adults is the best I’ve read. I found Coraline to be chillingly spooky, on par with some of the creepiest and most unsettling horror I’ve read for adults (I’ll never forget that first encounter with the other mother and her glossy, black button eyes). And his Graveyard Book with its unassuming orphan child hero, Nobody Owens, was a delightfully original take on some fairy tale stories.

So I had high hopes for the graphic novel adaptations; this is a format that I’ve come to really enjoy personally. The artwork in all three adaptations (The Graveyard Book is divided into two volumes) is appealing and clean; I found the work in The Graveyard Book to be particularly imaginative (although the fact that the first volume is drawn by a variety of illustrators is a bit jarring at transitions from one section to another). It’s interesting in this case to read these volumes because I’ve never before read graphic novel adaptations of pre-existing stories (except some Shakespeare and classical texts like The Odyssey, all of which have hewn pretty closely to the original story).

Read more

Frighteningly Wholesome Lit

In the month of October I picked up a couple of YA horror novels to help me get in the mood for Halloween. For whatever reason, I ended up reading one of them, Cuckoo Song by Francis Hardinge,  in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep. It took me a while to finish, and it was almost Thanksgiving by the time I did.

So my timing ended up being off for a horror story, but that’s okay, because Cuckoo Song isn’t really a horror story per se, although it’s pretty creepy and definitely has some twisted elements. Cuckoo Song tells the story of Triss, a perpetually ill child who’s sheltered by overly protective parents. Her older brother has just perished in World War I and her younger sister seems to harbor a thinly-veiled hatred for Triss. The book opens with Triss having suffered a terrible accident but being unable to remember any real details of the incident. She finds herself ravenously hungry, but normal food won’t satisfy her hunger–instead, she resorts to eating dolls and scraps of dresses. Weird, right? It only gets stranger.

Read more