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I rarely read a book more than once. It just seems like poor time management: why retread old ground when yet to be discovered books lie in wait? Of course I’ve made exceptions, but generally that’s exactly what they are: exceptions, special authors whose books have something new to offer upon further examination. I usually go back for the authorship rather than the singular work. I first read the Lord of the Rings trilogy in grade school.
Last summer film crews descended on Tulsa to film The Killer inside Me, a film adaptation of Jim Thompson’s pulp classic. Like other pulps, The Killer inside Me celebrates the lurid, sensational aspects of fiction. Pulps were created for the everyman. They were not written for critics; in fact many consider pulp hero fiction the antecedent to modern day comics.
Sometimes a novel traffics such beauty it feels foolhardy to assign descriptors, analogies, adjectives. It becomes a visceral thing. Sure it evokes a myriad of emotions beneath, but what you’ll also notice is tight and lumpy and hard throats. Red welled eyes. Quickened breath. A disregard to your environment. Time stops or time flies but you can’t discern the difference. Patrick Thomas Casey’s debut Our Burden’s Light is such a novel. The writing is brave and formidable.
With George Mann’s The Affinity Bridge I made my first foray into the Steampunk genre, an offshoot in the tradition of SciFi, that looks to the past-albeit an alternative past- rather than the future. Steampunk is characterized by using the era of steam power, often Victorian England, as the setting.