June 26, 2009
I Am Legend
I saw the Will Smith movie I Am Legend a while ago, and really liked it (which should come to absolutely no surprise to those who know of my fascination with creepy monsters that go bump in the night). Somehow though, I had never read the book. Then I discovered that one of my favorite comic writers, Steve Niles (who wrote many of the 30 Days of Night books), had done a graphic novel version of I Am Legend. Somehow I felt if I was going to read it, I should at least start with the original book, and I’m so glad that I did.
The movie tie-in version of the book is actually a collection of short stories by Richard Matheson (not sure if this the the case with other versions). It leads off with I Am Legend; after a plague decimates society, infecting the living and creating vampires, Robert Neville finds himself as quite possibly the last living human on earth. It was creepy, but ultimately just a really sad, kind of heartbreaking portrayal of a man faced with the utmost loneliness.
There were a couple of other stories that I were just the right amount of weird and creepy. There were a couple that I really liked. The Near Departed, had a tinge of dark humor when a mysterious client plans for a death. In From Shadowed Places a young man suffers the wrath of an angered witch doctor. And my favorite, the uber-creepy Prey, where the trapped spirit of a bloodthirsty hunter escapes from it’s prison. Definitely an enjoyable collection, I can’t wait to look for more books by Richard Matheson.
March 26, 2009
Bonechiller by Graham Mcnamee
I don’t scare easily; I enjoy everything about zombies, monsters and other things that go bump in the night. I find very few things scary (except, perhaps the movie The Descent). So imagine my surprise when I realized that while reading Graham Mcnamee’s new book, Bonechiller, I was holding my breath a bit, every so often glancing up wide eyed and stealthily checking out my very quiet house.
Bonechiller takes place in the far north of Canada, in the sparsely populated town of Harvest Cove, where the days are short and the nights are long and cold. Danny and his father are relatively new to the town, trying to escape the memory of his recently deceased mother. One night after hanging out with friends, while on his way home, Danny is attacked by…something. He’s unable to get a good look, but he knows it’s bigger than any dog, wolf or bear he’s ever seen. It sticks to the shadows, slowly toying with him—stalking him like prey—until it corners him and bites or stabs him (Danny’s not really sure) and then runs off into the night.
The next day, he’s pretty sure he may have imagined the whole thing; until he noticed a small blue mark on his hand and finds animal type footprints at the spot where he was attacked. As strange things beginning happening, Danny realizes that there is something out there in the darkness, and that he and his friends must stop it before they just disappear into the Arctic night.
Combining monsters and aspects of Inuit folklore, Mcnamee’s Bonechiller is a riveting read, perfect for those who enjoyed Darren Shan’s books and are now looking for another creepy title.