Book/Film Comparison: Somewhere In Time: Time Travel and Lost Love

Having just immersed myself in both the book and the film Somewhere In Time, I felt it was absolutely necessary to dedicate a post to them both. Incidentally, the original title for the book is Bid Time Return by the masterful Richard Matheson. The was changed for the film to make it more accessible, although I prefer the original (of course, don't I always??). However, I'm happy to report that Matheson also wrote the screenplay, which is why it translates so well to the big screen.

Now this is most definitely not the first time I had heard of, or seen the film. I've no doubt watched it at least a dozen times throughout the previous years. But this is the first time I had read the book, devouring it in a scant two days. At first, I didn't care for the choppy sentences, or the way Richard (our hero and main character) 'spoke'. Perhaps my seeing the film first so many times clouded my judgement there, I'm not sure. And there are several elements I didn't care for in the book, but I won't cloud your opinions with spoilers here.

Two fascinating things happened during this two-day immersion of book and film:

  • It rekindled my lifelong interest in time travel
  • It rekindled my admiration of Christopher Reeve, and what he brought to the role coming immediately off of Superman. 
Time travel has always interested me, and perhaps science will catch up with it someday. They now say that time travel to the future is possible, but not to the past. Hmm... All of our selfish desires aside, going back to the past would indeed be a wondrous, and most likely dangerous feat. One that we mere humans at our current stage of evolution could not begin to handle properly.

Christopher Reeve portrays Richard flawlessly. I found myself conducting a sort of character study of 'Richard', noting the changes he goes through after just the first sight of the photograph of Elise. These changes are subtle, yet significant, and differ slightly from those in the book. The sincerity with which Christopher plays Richard is so genuine, so believable, and very touching. The same can absolutely be said for Jane Seymour, as Elise. No one else could have played her so beautifully, and a lot has to be said for she and Christopher's chemistry--one that would last many years after the film. She has named one of her sons after him.

So for those who are rolling their eyes, scoffing at this 'gushy love story', let me enlighten you to a few things. It was a string of men who believed in this story so much and got it made into film. Everyone who worked on the film did so for less pay than they were accustomed to getting, for sheer love of the project. In fact, the music, which was so essential to the story line, was done by John Barry (Goldfinger, Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves just to name a few) as a favor to Jane, his dear friend. A testament to the power of this 'gushy love story' had over many people.

Obviously, I cannot recommend the book and the film highly enough. Both are expertly executed, and make for great storytelling. The one thing I will say is perhaps to read the book and then see the film, if you have not already seen it. Heart wrenching, beautiful and an interesting idea of time travel and lost love. Don't forget to watch the wonderful documentary on the special features of the DVD. It will help give you a true sense of what it was like to make a film of this nature, in this time period. Just lovely.

Book Review: Less Than Zero & Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

Less Than Zero Bret Easton Ellis
 Going in to Less Than Zero, I was not even aware that there was a sequel. But I had of course seen the 1987 film, and was really looking forward to reading the original story. I was not prepared, initially, for the melancholy tone of the book. But at around 100 pages in, I began to relish it. The tone and writing style reminded me of The Bell Jar, along with its easy to read format.

If you've only seen the film Less Than Zero, not much will be spoiled for you plot wise, as it's nothing like the book. Perhaps the overall mood is the same, and the film is beautifully shot. But you're in for an almost completely different story within the book. When I finished it, I wanted to know what happens to Clay after college, and was not left wondering long, having read shortly afterwards that there was indeed a sequel called Imperial Bedrooms. Read on...

Imperial Bedrooms Bret Easton EllisI did not have high hopes for Imperial Bedrooms, as I was left with a rather flat feeling after reading Less Than Zero. I understood what was different about Bret Easton Ellis' writing style, for it to have been so well received in 1985, but I just didn't find it that impressive. So going in to Imperial Bedrooms, I just thought I'll find out what happens to Clay, and it will be a quick read. The book is set (in real time) 25 years after the end of Less Than Zero.

A quick read indeed. I was able to finish it within 24 hours. Quite a feat for me, as I'm a busy lady and tend to be a bit of a slow reader. The first half of the book absolutely flew by, and I inhaled the first 100 pages in nothing flat. 25 years makes a good writer even better, at least one would hope, and this is certainly the case for B.E.E.

The second half of the book did not fare so well for me, I found it tedious and drawn out. The 'murder mystery' plot line running through it had become wearisome. Perhaps this is because Imperial Bedrooms was at first just a short story, later fleshed out to novella length. It shows. But that's just my non-expert opinion. That being said, I enjoyed it more than Less Than Zero, but I seem to be in the minority in that opinion. So read it for yourself and see which camp you're in. more thing...the event which occurs within the last 10 pages or so put me off my food. Perhaps that's just my sensitive nature, but you have been warned.

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 4: Dark Fantasy

Ok, this episode basically wrote itself. All I needed to do was figure out the order, and just how much of the Legend soundtrack I was gonna play. The format once again slightly changes with this episode, but I think it came out fairly well. So let's check out all the goodies within this episode...

Clearly, this needs no intro, I just wanted an excuse to show that gloriously iconic album cover featuring Mr. Tim Curry in full Darkness regalia. Part of me is happy that my copy is warped to shit, meaning I will never be able to sell it because of its current condition. However, you can purchase the vinyl or CD format, or even the film on Streaming or Download or Blu-Ray from these hotlinks provided.

This soundtrack, to me, is perfect. It instills the same feelings I had the very first time I heard it, way back in 1985. Truly magical.

Choosing the books to talk about in this episode was a no-brainer. I knew exactly which ones to choose, and not just because the Fantasy section of my personal library is quite limited. 

First up is honestly my favorite book ever, Are All the Giants Dead? by Mary Norton and illustrated by the infamous Brian Froud. A magical fairy tale about fairy tales for kids and adults alike. 

Next is the ONLY 9-volume series I have ever read, or probably will ever read. This is the Witches of Eileanan series (or Dragonclaw in the UK) by the very prolific Kate Forsyth. The commitment is truly daunting, but worth every.single.minute of your life. Below are the original 6 volumes in the series, followed by the additional 3, an offshoot, called Rhiannon's Ride.

Then I went into my love affair of Neil Gaiman the writer, but more importantly, the man. He has been a source of pure inspiration for me not only as a writer, but as a reader as well.

It was a real pleasure to be able to play a couple of spoken word tracks from An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer. If you're a fan of either, I highly recommend picking it up. A double live album full of all kinds of treasures.

Even though I am an ardent fan of Neil's for the person he is, more than for his writings, I especially enjoy his short story collections, of which there are several. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is added because it's probably my favorite novel of Neil's.

HONORABLE MENTION: Unfortunately, I failed to include this little book into Neil's section. It is the written form of his 'Make Good Art' commencement speech given at the University of the Arts Philadelphia 2012 graduating class. 

...and because it is just that good, here's the actual speech from the man himself. It doesn't matter which form of art you work within, his words will put a fire in your belly to get out there and DO IT, whatever IT is.

With that, there's another episode in the can. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. Please stay tuned for episode 5 due to air on Dec. 11th. Thanks for listening!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 3: Retro Sci-Fi

Let's get spacey! Episode 3 of A Shadowed Path podcast has us rocketing backward....or is that time for a retro Sci-Fi audio experience. Off we go!

The first and third tracks come from this hilariously awesome album, part dialogue, part music, all awesome. RIP Mr. Spock, surely you've found another planet that is far more logical to inhabit. Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space has just been reissued on vinyl too!

From there I discussed a bit about I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. A few months ago, I posted a more in-depth review of this fantastic book, it's no wonder it's a classic. Fair warning, it's dark, and some might say a bit depressing. But hey, that's life, and it's well worth the read.

Then I talked a little about Harlan Ellison, who is without a doubt one of the most interesting writers of our time. Below is just a bit of my personal collection, but if you want to begin a collection of your own, these titles are available on the website.

Moving on, we went into The Terminator soundtrack, one from the expanded score, and one from the original soundtrack. Good stuff there, both albums are essential.

Since the new Blade Runner just came out, I thought I'd revisit the original and drool over Rutger Hauer a bit. And if you haven't read his autobiography, this is what it looks like and I highly recommend picking it up.

Finishing off the episode, I thought the New American Orchestra's version of Vangelis' Blade Runner theme (ending) was a great way to send us off to the stars. I hope you've enjoyed our little trip into space. Until next time...

New Favorite Podcasts List Part 2

Now that I've been aware of the podcasting world for almost a whole year now (did you read in part 1 that I'm sometimes late to the party?) I thought I should write a part 2 list of some of the podcasts I've been regularly listening to, and a few I've just found.

Speaking of just being found, it puzzles and saddens me that these podcasts should be so difficult to find in the first place. I guess that's because there are so damn many of them, you gotta wade through the high seas of mediocrity to find the good stuff. And I feel podcasters shouldn't have to rely on 5 star reviews just to be found. But I digress...

Here now is the continuing (and always changing) list of podcasts I'm listening to and enjoying. Hopefully you will find a few that you will enjoy as well...

Shockwaves is the podcast for Blumhouse Productions which I'm sure I don't need to explain. And even though I'm not normally a fan of a multiple host 'cast where everyone winds up talking at the same time, or over each other, but everyone is knowledgeable and have very similar tastes to mine, so I can overlook that. Rob G in particular, who also co-hosts Two Dudes Talking with Tony Giles of The Damn Fine Network, knows a lot about a lot and he has great insight into plot lines and such.

Mysterious Radio is another interesting paranormal podcast, K-Town is a great host and she has very interesting guests on talking about all things strange and unusual. The push to get new subscribers is a bit tedious, but I fully understand why they need to do it.

Wondery has a great collection of podcasts, Inside Psycho and Inside The Exorcist are two of them. Fascinating behind-the-scenes info and details of the authors from story inception through completion and beyond. Great stuff.

Just recently, I found a couple of fantastic Goth podcasts. I was surprised to find so many of them. These were found through Stitcher, but are available on iTunes, Google Play and the like as well. The Requiem hits every major goth/light industrial vein straight to my heart, Looking forward to catching up on all the previous episodes!

GothCast is another all-talk podcast I just stumbled upon. Here again, knowledge is king, and I find myself agreeing with most everything discussed. I like the no BS format, and the guys are extremely knowledgeable for someone (seemingly) so young. Give 'em a listen!

Keep checking back for updates to this podcast list, I'm always searching for new ones, and unearthing older ones. Stay tuned!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 2: Halloween Hootenanny

The veil is getting quite thin now kiddies, our beloved Halloween is almost upon us and so is the latest episode of my new podcast A Shadowed Path. This episode of course had to reflect the holiday, as well as give you tasty treats to savor. Listen here:

Starting us off was another track from the excellent Halloween Hootenanny compilation album, a spoken word piece from none other than John Zacherley, horror host extraordinaire. Another track completes the episode in a gloriously ghoulish fashion. Hunt down the album on CD or the rarer vinyl edition, and you'll be happy you did.

I couldn't call myself a Halloween aficionado without playing John Carpenter's theme from Halloween, but with a twist.. This EP is called Zombie Zombie Plays John Carpenter and features remixes of several JC tracks, guaranteed to get yer booty shakin...

Then came a little bit of Halloween silliness from 2005 called "Do They Know It's Halloween?" an obvious jab at a similarly named holiday track from the 80's--which I actually have a huge soft spot for, so shut up. A rare-ish find on vinyl, and features multiple versions according to taste.

Next began the Written Word segment, featuring the trailer from 1976's The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. I have loved this movie for years, as twisted as that might be. And the original novel the movie is based on is a super treat as well. Tea, anyone?

Then I talked about the surprisingly great Sleepy Hollow novelization, and (poorly) read aloud a spooky poem from the darling Poems Bewitched & Haunted book you see on the end there.

Now we really start heading to the Darkside with this classic theme kicking off The Spoken Word segment, where I mention my three favorite Tales from the Darkside Halloween-themed episodes...

...and of course the outro, which is just as delightfully scary...

Moving on to my FAVORITE clip of the episode, taken from 1979's When A Stranger Calls, proving that films watched as a child can STILL scare the crap out of you.

If the film doesn't scare you enough, maybe the soundtrack will...

Alrighty, enough scary stuff. Lightening things up with a little classic Rocky Horror...

Ok, ok...I know you wanna see the clip too..

Then I snuck in a couple of sweet treats...another favorite from Tim Curry, but perhaps not as well known, Paradise Garage keeps the gritty grind going.

Next up, another tasty treat from Count Indigo off the Harpsichord 2000 double 10"....meow...

And finally, The Final word segment, where I like to give my shout-outs and thank you's. Once again I must thank Tony Giles of The Damn Fine Network for giving me the opportunity to join the podcasting world, and for producing my podcast like a pro. Help us out by becoming a Patreon subscriber so we can continue to bring you all the cool things.

My long-time, long-distance pal Joe Wallace must be honored for his invaluable assistance at taming the Audacity beast. We definitely get by with a little help from our friends. Vinyl junkies will want to check out his brand new, bitchin website A Store Called Death.

I hope you've enjoyed this visual representation of the podcast, and will join me on Nov. 13th (barring any unforeseen delays) for episode 3! You can listen to the podcast via the website, or through your favorite podcast listening app. Also available on iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, etc. by just searching the title or better yet subscribe to The Damn Fine Network so you never miss an episode. Stay tuned...

New from LaCreeperie - A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode #1: Witchy Women

It gives me great pleasure to write this post, announcing the debut of my own little podcast, A Shadowed Path. The podcast will run bi-weekly on Mondays via the Damn Fine Network of podcasts. Listen here: 

This post is meant to be a visual representation of all the things I talk about in the episode, so if there's something that interests you, you'll know what to look for.

We begin the episode with the title cut from the Vincent Price spoken word album Witchcraft & Magic. I couldn't think of a more fitting way to introduce this episode entitled "Witchy Women". Pictured below is the vinyl format of the album.

After the intro, we went into a little Siouxsie, and I would be remiss if I did not show the great video for the song, "Face To Face" from the Batman Returns soundtrack.

Next up, we heard my favorite track off the Nightmare On Elm Street 4 soundtrack, "Therapist" by Vigil. 

Following that was the first segment, "The Written Word" where I discuss favorite books and authors. This episode featured Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter and Silver Ravenwolf. Clicking on the names will take you to the website, and any titles I currently have available by said authors.

Grooving on, we heard "Ribcage Mambo" by Frenchy, off the Halloween Hootenanny compilation from 1998. All killer, no filler.

The next segment, entitled "The Spoken Word" featured a jazzy trifecta of witchy tunes from the Mad Monster Party, and Bell, Book & Candle soundtracks, and the theme song from Bewitched sung by Steve Lawrence (cuz I'm cheesy like that). Don't judge me monkey...

(I realize this clip is out of order, apologies!) The intro to "The Spoken Word" was a clip from the fantastic 1990 film The Witches, adapted of course from Roald Dahl's beloved book.

What is this, a freak-out?! I indulged myself by assaulting your ears with the trailer from 1976's 
"The Witch Who Came from the Sea." It makes me belly laugh every damn time...

Moving on to the final segment, entitled "The Final Word" This is where I like to give shout-outs, thank you's and offer info I deem worthy to bring awareness to.

Dark Town Sally is one of my favorite artists, she creates (among other things) dreamlike witches, each in their own little Halloween world. Truly beautiful. Unfortunately, she and her family (and countless others) have been affected by the devastating hurricane Maria. Give her a follow on Instagram to enjoy her lovely artwork, and there should be links available there for appropriate organizations in need of donations directly aiding Puerto Rico.

Dark Town Sally Webshop

Podcast Master Mr. Tony Giles is entirely responsible for A Shadowed Path podcast. His network is, in my opinion, of a very high caliber so I had my work cut out for me. Every show is a winner, and I hope to live up to the quality of his other shows. The chance to bring books, music and art into this medium has been a secret desire of mine, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity. I hope you'll stick with me, I promise I'll get better!

The Damn Fine Network has a Patreon campaign, and would welcome new patrons to help keep the DFN on the air, and expanding content.

The Damn Fine Network Podcast

My Final, Final Word of the episode is a message I want to shout from the rooftops: BE YOURSELF. IT'S OK TO BE DIFFERENT. And I could not say it any better than Mama Cass does in the 1970 film Pufnstuf, as you see below. I encourage you to pay close attention to the lyrics, and hear how relevant the words are today, nearly 50 years later. The whole soundtrack is wonderful!

P.S. I hope you'll join me on October 30th for episode 2 of A Shadowed Path. If you have any questions or topic suggestions, feel free to contact me on Instagram, or the Contact tab on this blog or via the website.

Book Review and Book-To-Film Comparison of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson 1997 Edition
Having previously never read I Am Legend, I thought now would be an opportune time, especially in the current socio-politic state of the world. I'm very glad I did because it was a very eye-opening, educational and thought provoking read.

I Am Legend was written in 1954 if you can believe it, making it 63 years old. And it's as remarkable today as it was then. Perhaps even more so, because it doesn't feel like Science Fiction, it feels more like a possibility.

Forget what you've seen in the classic 1971 film adaptation The Omega Man, a very interesting example of social commentary in its own right, but nowhere near as revealing as the book. However, it seems as though the part of lead character Robert Neville was created for Charlton Heston, as he is described exactly as we see him in the film. Forget the 2007 version starring Will Smith too, which has its merits, but gets lost in so much CG and over-the-top action just to keep the modern day viewers interested. This story needs none of that. It is simple, straightforward and believable in that if you thought you were the last person - human being that is - on Earth, what would it do to your state of mind, and your ability to survive?

The last third of this story is gripping and devastating. We witness Robert Neville lose the last shred of hope, accept his fate and realize just how little man has evolved. And for us, 63 years later, it's sobering to think that we are more like the 'vampires' in the story than anything else. As a result, I'm more than a little sad, but also in awe of Richard Matheson's insight into humanity, and his ability to articulate such a poignant, and shockingly real view of human nature and our own potential destiny.

Are you thoroughly depressed now? Maybe this will cheer you up... There are several other stories in this anthology, but there is one called Prey which I'm pleased to report is the original story which became the final segment in the 1975 made-for-TV anthology film Trilogy of Terror starring Karen Black. Richard Matheson himself wrote the teleplay along with William F. Nolan which stands to reason why this adaptation is exceptionally faithful to the original story. And a real treat.

Like this edition? You can purchase it here and I will receive a penny or two for your referral!

Book Review: Darksong by Jean Simon 1990 Evil Radio Run Amok

 This one not only pulled me in because of the cover art, but because of it's premise. I dove into it right away in case it sold in the shops. A fairly quick read for me because of the font and page count.

Half way through, I almost gave up. It's not that it's boring, it's just rather high in the melodrama department. The "scary stuff" is limited to a few sentences, effective in nature, I just found myself wanting more of it. Men might find it tedious and much like a Harlequin romance, without the romance. Funny, because a cursory research on the author shows her first book was indeed, a Harlequin-type romance novel. Darksong is her first horror novel.

There are a few surprises, and interesting kills buried between the many pages of family drama. What perhaps is most disappointing is the wishy-washy heroine--granted she is under the influence of evil, but I found her to be kind of weak for a real estate agent single mother of two, even for the late 80's when this was no doubt written. (Published in 1990).

I stuck it through to the end, which was not fleshed out well, and with no explanation of the evil torturing the characters. Very few answers are offered, and even less scares. Kudos to the art/marketing department for the creepy and compelling cover art, it definitely does the job even if the content does not.

A Very Personal Post: LaCreeperie Writes A Book

At long, long, long, LONG last, I am finally entering full-on writer mode. Last night, while reading a Halloween anthology, I suddenly had an epiphany; I need to write a Halloween anthology myself. For as long as I can remember I have been the appreciator, the critic, the promoter of horror books and it's high time I wrote one myself. So full disclosure, you're reading it here first, I AM WRITING A BOOK. Let me explain...

The struggle I've had with just writing yet another book that may or may not get any kind of interest has been very, very real and a bit debilitating. I assumed it was the other debilitating affliction which plagues almost every writer; self-doubt taking over yet again. But no. I have always been a non-conformist, forever taking the less-traveled path in all things under my own control. So I was finding a lot of difficulty getting the excitement going for the writing I have been working on previously, and discouraged by that. What I have come to realize is that I want to put something out there that hasn't been done seven trillion times, but previously had no idea what that was, or should be. Until now.

Halloween themed books are very few and far between. I'm not really sure why that is, but I'm very glad of it because it's one of the main reasons why I am going in this direction. Also, I won't pretend it's not a perfect book to promote myself, (being that I run a horror themed bookshop) in addition to Amazon, and will be publishing it in ebook and Kindle formats, with the hope of a softcover edition to come within a year.

I am being completely transparent and open about this because I finally, FINALLY know I am on the right track, and have a (mostly) clear view of the path ahead. Stay tuned for updates on the book, which I will post here, as well as some tidbits on Instagram. I am shooting for an  October 2017 release, which does not give me much time AT ALL. But if all goes well. I'll have it ready for upload by Halloween this year. Why couldn't I have had this epiphany a few months ago, so I'd have more time?? Typical me. But I arise to the challenge, let's see what happens...

P.S. This has given me the idea to do a Halloween Anthology post, featuring the titles I have in my collection, or have read. That'll be fun, right? Stay tuned!

To Podcast Or Not To Podcast...and A New Bookshop: UPDATED!

 Recently, I entertained the thought of starting a podcast, thinking I might have something new and valuable to add to the podcast community that wasn't a re-hash of the thousands of podcasts out there. I truly wanted to bring a fresh idea to a tired one, hoping to grow awareness within the horror community not only of my online bookshop, but of other worthy interests in the way of art, music, lesser known films and the like.

Isn't it funny how these things work? Now I DO have a podcast! I never would have thought that's how things would go, but they have so I'm running with it. Just as I had dismissed the idea of starting a podcast--not even knowing the first thing about how to do that--Mr. Tony Giles of The Damn Fine Network asked if I would be interested in being a part of his podcast network. So of course I jumped at the opportunity, and as of this post 5 episodes are available. Be sure to check out the podcast and it's corresponding posts here.

Additionally, I have just re-opened my old record shop and have included vintage books there as well. JustCoolRecords now features not only vinyl records, but also Pop Culture, Biographies and Music themed books. In my effort to keep LaCreeperie about all-things-dark-and-creepy, I am currently in the process of removing these categories from LC to make room for more of what sells best; mainly Horror, Halloween, Paranormal and Gothic titles.

I hope you'll check out the not-so-new digs. Even though JustCoolRecords has been closed for the better part of a year, it is back up and running for the foreseeable future. The podcast will continue to bi-weekly, indefinitely.

Book Review: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

 As I've said before on this here blog, I'm a late bloomer. I'm also old. So I suppose it may come as a shock to some to learn that I have only just finished reading The Little Mermaid for the first time. It made me smile, it made me cry. But not for the reasons you might think. Intrigued? Read on...

First of all, I now understand where most mermaid stories have come from, or are/were at least inspired by. The fact that this story was written in 1837 absolutely blows my mind. Not because it's still around and being newly reprinted for the ga-zillionth time. It blows my mind because somewhere along the centuries, we've rather lost the desire to create and/or read stories with less-than-happy endings. Although this indeed has a happy ending, just not the one most have come to expect.

I'm not mentioning any spoilers here because I think everyone should read it. But the one thing I will mention is that the last couple of lines--which are simply a thinly disguised warning to children to be good and obey their parents--and included in most fairy tales, felt like an afterthought, and unnecessary. But hey, that's just me. Read or reread it, as the case may be, and decide for yourself.

P.S. Want another bombshell? I've never seen Disney's mega-hit animated version either. And at this point, I'm not sure I want to.

Book Review: And I Don't Want To Live This Life by Deborah Spungen

 Sid and Nancy...the names are synonymous as heroin and track marks. Few of punk rock's most sensational stories are as compelling as this one. Hard-edged proof that truth is stranger than fiction.

Being a punk rock fan nearly since its inception, I had of course heard the basics of the Sid and Nancy story, and fell in love with Alex Cox's 1986 film of the same name. I had no other curiosity about the tumultuous existence of Nancy Spungen, mostly because she has most always been depicted in a most unflattering light.

So when this book came across my path, my first thought was that it would be great for the shops. But as I glanced thru the blurbs on front and back cover, I found myself opening to the first page and scanning the first few lines...

Well I was immediately sucked in. In fact, I didn't put it down for 50 pages (which is a lot for me as I'm a bit of a slow reader). It was completely fascinating from the very beginning, and I proceeded to inhale it every free minute I had for the next 48 hours, until it was finished. (Also no small feat for me at 430 pages in such a short time, I'm a busy lady).

I can easily and honestly say this is one of the best books I have EVER read, and I'm old and have read a LOT of books in my life. Not only is the story absolutely, insanely insane, but it greatly appeals to the writer in me in a non-fiction capacity. See, Nancy's Mom was not planning to be a writer, she had many other ideas for her career as an educated, middle class person. But this story begs to be told, not only because of the notoriety surrounding Nancy's short, wild life, but for the family and friends that survived the affects of the devastating tornado that was Nancy Spungen--truly from the moment of her birth.

I'll give no other details here, because you MUST read it for yourself. Suffice it to say that you will in no way be bored, even if you only have a casual interest in Sid & Nancy, or if you're a hardcore fan.

Reading The Classics of Gothic Fiction: Dracula by Bram Stoker

You would think tackling a classic like Dracula would be a difficult job, and it's true that it's taken me a while to get to a place where I could decide what I wanted to say about it. I mean this is a worldwide, beloved classic of gothic fiction; the parental story that has birthed an unfathomable amount of other books, films, art in its many forms, and the list goes on....Then why am I so disenchanted with it? Why have two solid, serious attempts to read and absorb this most famous of stories, both lead to only getting 2/3 the way through the book? I simply cannot bring myself to finish it. Am I missing the most crucial parts? Perhaps, but I don't think so. At least if any of the films are any indication. I know that literature of the period in which Dracula was written are notoriously slow-burns. In other words they take a long time to get to the good stuff, or the really scary stuff, or the big payoff at the end. In fact I read a lot of Edwardian/Victorian gothic fiction, so I'm well used to the language and styles of writing in those periods. Well, I gotta say, after seeing the many film versions of Dracula, I know how it ends well enough to get the gist.

Am I jaded by my love of the films of Dracula? Most notably Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 effort which is labeled as Bram Stoker's version, and happens to be my favorite? Maybe so. But where is this great love story between Dracula and Mina in the book? Each diary entry (for the most part) is so long and laden with overly descriptive passages that my mind constantly wanders, or I start skipping through the blah-blah-blah parts.

With all of that being said, it did start off well, and I was really enjoying it up to about the halfway mark. I love the language of the 18th & 19th Centuries, with their flowery descriptions and proper dialogue. Easily painting pictures in the mind of that most intriguing time in history. So WTF? Why can't I bring myself to finish it? Maybe I'll revisit it someday, and the third attempt will be the one that takes, but until then, I guess it just looks pretty good on my shelf.

Friday Night Videos Week 2: Darkwave Delights

I'm about to do something I NEVER do, and that is promote a Facebook community. First off, you should know that I believe Facebook is the devil. I absolutely abhor it on so many levels...but being a small business, it is a necessary evil. Granted, I spend as little time there as possible, choosing to give most of my daily social media time to Instagram. Yeah, I know they're owned by Facebook. But enough of that...

So I guess you could say I'm cheating this week with my Friday Night Videos, as I have not made this list, but it is SO GOOD I just had to blog about it. It would have taken me months to compile a list as extensive and diverse (within the darkwave etc. genres) as this. So have a look at Old School Legacy: Gothik New Wave Post-Punk on Facebook, you'll be sooo glad you did.

I wish I could figure out how to post the video list here and have it play continuously, but I'm not that technologically astute, so the link to their videos will just have to it is: Old School Legacy Video List

Until next time, enjoy!

Book Review: Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds

Here's another book review for you,.. Rip It Up And Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds is the latest text I'm devouring, and so far, so good. I like that the chapters are segmented into groups of bands, sometimes by year, and sometimes location. Simon has definitely done his homework, but it helps to have been there, in the UK. where most of the Post-Punk scene developed. It also helps to be old enough to understand the movement, yet young enough to dig it. 

Chapter 16 particularly intrigued me; Sex Gang Children: Malcolm McLaren, the Pied Piper of Pantomime Pop. His recount of Malcolm's devious dealings differs greatly from, say Adam Ant's version in his autobiography: Stand and Deliver. I had always thought that Adam was being rather gracious regarding his version of how the original Ants left and went to form Bow Wow Wow under Malcolm's tutelage. I suppose we'll never really know now...

This particular edition came from the UK, because a little research birdie told me that the US version is missing over 200 pages of info. I'll never understand why publishers do this, but whatever. I ordered my copy from Amazon UK, and it was really reasonable. There is a companion book to this called Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews  which I will no doubt invest in soon.

If you're a Post-Punk junkie like me, you'll love the in-depth info Simon provides on the actual bands themselves, and the records they put out in the day. There's a great index in the back, as well as a thorough timeline on the Post-Punk history, for quickie reference.

Pick this up and play some records.