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01 November 2010 @ 09:18 pm
R.I.P. Challenge book #6, and wrap-up  

As I continued to be in a reading mood, I didn't watch any films from my provisional list after all. Instead, while browsing my bookshelves, I picked up this book by Richard Brautigan and discovered the title (The Hawkline Monster: a Gothic Western) was surprisingly apt for this time of year, if not for the Challenge.

But even though this quick read (many short chapters, each starting on a new page) was funny and frequently made me giggle, enough eerily strange things happened in it to make it appropriate after all. This quote from page 46 displays the nice mixture of wacky humour and foreboding:

The road stopped like a dying man's signature on a last-minute will.

It is difficult not to give too much of the plot away, so I'll just quote the back cover:

In the dead centre of the Dead Hills of Eastern Oregon stands Hawkline Manor, an elaborate Victorian mansion, festooned with chandeliers and valuable paintings, and looked after by a giant butler. It is the home of the two Miss Hawklines [Misses Hawkline?], beautiful, generous with their favours — and identical. But it also houses a very unwelcome guest... whom Greer and Cameron, professional killers, are required to dispose of.

I've had a soft spot for Brautigan ever since reading his short story "The Weather in San Francisco", and have read several more of his short stories since. When I came across this novel at the book market a few years ago, I snapped it up immediately. I sort of regretted this impulse buy later on, but now I'm glad I bought it. Brautigan is not to everyone's taste, but I really enjoyed myself.


To wrap up: although I had chosen to do Peril the Third (one book), I have read all four books on my provisional list (abandoning one of them), plus two more.

I have watched none of the films on my list, but I did see several things on TV that qualify:

Belgian TV showed El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth). I would call this a grim fairytale, but boston.com placed it on #17 in their Top 50 scariest movies of all time, so I figure it counts. Good film, beautiful art direction, and what I particularly liked about it was that the faun was such an ambiguous character: I wasn't sure until the end whether his intentions were good or evil. 3/5

Belgian TV has also started broadcasting True Blood, but after seeing the first two episodes I decided I didn't like it enough to continue watching.

Dutch TV is broadcasting Sherlock at the moment. I had missed this when it was shown on the BBC and so was taken by surprise by the massive amount of fangirly squee that suddenly erupted around LJ. Now that I know it consists of only three episodes, I'm even more surprised by the level of fandom it has generated so quickly. Anyway, I have seen two episodes so far and it's good, mysterious fun. 3.5/5

And last night I watched the Psychoville Halloween special, by two members of the League of Gentlemen. I had watched and enjoyed last year's series, so made sure not to miss this. It was deliciously creepy.

These two little trick-or-treaters showing up on the misanthropist clown's doorstep were the scariest in my opinion. They didn't do or say anything, just stood and stared, and stared, and stared, unnerving not only the clown, but me as well. 4/5, and I was pleased to learn there is going to be a second series.

As always, many thanks to Carl for hosting the R.I.P. Challenge! I had a great time.

Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: The passenger - Iggy Pop
castallia: bookcastallia on November 2nd, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
I should check out the Brautigan book; I love his stuff but I haven't read that one.

Also, I didn't realize you liked Iggy Pop! I think he's awesome. :)
Mnemosyne: gilbert fun_lethe_ on November 2nd, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
It is a fun read! I love Brautigan's sense of humour.

Ah yes, Iggy. :) "The Passenger" is one of my favourites.
heartofdavid: squirrelappleheartofdavid on November 5th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
The Brautigan book sounds excellent, and I love the cover!

I didn't manage to catch a single decent Halloweeny type film, seems all the stations were showing Friday the 13th marathons or other slasher-kills-the-morons excuses for horror. Poop! But, I did manage to catch an episode of the television show Friday the 13th, which I had completely forgotten about. Do you remember it, a guy and a girl who manage an antique store where all the goods have curses or some weirdness attached to them, and they are trying to find all the items missing from inventory, get them back and lock them up to keep the world safe from them. Wasn't a bad show, as I recall, or at least I very much enjoyed the episode I saw - I used to watch it regularly. Here's a link to the wikipedia article - the show was not related to the movies of the same name, mercifully.

Edited at 2010-11-05 11:31 am (UTC)
Mnemosyne: affection_lethe_ on November 6th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
That Picador cover is great! I think it helped influence my decision to buy. :)

I don't think that show was broadcast here, it doesn't sound familiar at all. Seems to have been nicely creepy, though.
heartofdavid: alicenonsenseheartofdavid on November 5th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC)
And thank you for your always entertaining and informative posts. Perhaps you should make up other challenges, just for fun, like...oh, I don't know, how about the "Get Stuffed" challenge, it could be about books/shows related to food or that have something edible in the title. Well, maybe that's not the best example but not too bad for my brain at 6:35am, lol.
Mnemosyne: thinking_lethe_ on November 6th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks!

If you would host the "Get Stuffed" challenge I would certainly join! Otherwise I'm not really one for challenges. I like the R.I.P. one because it fits the season, anyone can complete the first level, and I like to read thrilling/supernatural books at this time of year anyway.

Carl also hosts a fairytale/fantasy reading challenge, but it takes place in the spring and I prefer reading those kinds of books in the winter.

Last year I came across the What's In a Name challenge. It was fun going through my bookshelves to see which books would fit, but in the end I decided not to join. It shouldn't become homework.

My reading mojo is in great working order now anyway. I have several books lined up, and I also have winter plans. If I am very enthusiastic about a book, I promise I will blog about it (if that was your reason for suggesting a new challenge)! :)