Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And Procrastination Hits Again

So I'm in the midst of editing two cookbooks at the moment, one in the proof stage and one in the pre-design stage, and I find myself getting very distracted. First off, I'm particularly anal so it really bothers me if I feel like something is out of place. For instance, my desk is a wreck at the moment and I keep catching glimpses of this pile of stuff out of the corner of my eye and it's keeping me from accomplishing things. I'm not kidding. It's bothering me so much that I desperately need to clean it but I keep telling myself that I don't have time so I'm really not getting anything done. It's terrible and I'm sure that it points to some strange psychological issue that I should pay someone to work out for me. 

I'm distracted and blogging : ) See, procrastination rearing its ugly head!

After finishing Jonathan Maberry's latest last night, I moved on to Keith Donohue's Angels of Destruction. Now I'm not quite finished, but I thought it would be a good idea to post something about Donhue's other title, The Stolen Child. But, Donohue's debut hit shelves while I was still working at the bookstore and not yet doing my reviews, and seeing as how it has been a while, but I still want to let you guys know about it, I will have to defer to the wonderful reviewers at PW:

"Folk legends of the changeling serve as a touchstone for Donohue's haunting debut, set vaguely in the American northeast, about the maturation of a young man troubled by questions of identity. At age seven, Henry Day is kidnapped by hobgoblins and replaced by a look-alike impostor. In alternating chapters, each Henry relates the tale of how he adjusts to his new situation. Human Henry learns to run with his hobgoblin pack, who never age but rarely seem more fey than a gang of runaway teens. Hobgoblin Henry develops his uncanny talent for mimicry into a music career and settles into an otherwise unremarkable human life. Neither Henry feels entirely comfortable with his existence, and the pathos of their losses influences all of their relationships and experiences. Inevitably, their struggles to retrieve their increasingly forgotten pasts put them on paths that intersect decades later. Donohue keeps the fantasy as understated as the emotions of his characters, while they work through their respective growing pains. The result is an impressive novel of outsiders whose feelings of alienation are more natural than supernatural."

While the specifics have left me, I can tell you that this is one book that you don't forget. As I said, I was still working at the bookstore at the time in question and this was a title that my friendly rep brought me - I got to meet with her when she came to the store and she usually had her top picks set aside for me, the books she recommended highest out of that batch of releases. Stolen Child was one of those titles that the company was pretty excited about so I was, in turn, excited to be reading it. 

At the time, my other was doing some work for a local company that did promo videos and the like, and he had been asked to shoot footage of a local 24-hour film festival/contest. I remember it was not too cold out at first, but I was wearing sandals and ended up runing down to a little shoe store to buy some ridiculously overpriced socks to keep my poor toes warm. And I dragged The Stolen Child with me. So as I sat, shivering while my other filmed students and locals running around, I also sat completely mesmerized by Donohue's book. I'm not kidding here. Just like his stories take on an almost fairy-tale quality in subject, his voice is, as one reviewer put it, simply magical. His use of traditional folk tales brings a great fantasy element to a book that goes beyond simple genre labels. 

I'll be reviewing Angels of Destruction this weekend for the Bookbitch, but you guys should all know that it is just as wonderful as The Stolen Child. It's difficult to compare these to other titles, but if you're looking for a sort of literary read (I mean book clubby read here) with a fantasy element, this is it for you. I honestly think that Angel may even turn out to be better than Stolen Child, so you have something to look forward too!

1 comment:

Vickie said...

I have THE STOLEN CHILD as an unabridged audiobook. It's been on my shelf forever it seems. I started to read the book, but when I saw the audio version available, I sent the book to trade heaven and picked up the BOCD...and it's been languishing since. Time to dig it out and listen.