An Atomic Moo Book Review
I’ve been trying to write this review for about a week now, but I just keep tripping over my own life. Actually, I think I owe Titan an apology. They’ve sent me a stack of books to read and review, but personal, “my life’s a mess” stuff has kind of kept me occupied. However, things are getting better, and (as hard as it may be) I’m working to focus more on this site and exploring being a creative. Which means that hopefully, I’ll also get back my reading time. Hopefully.
Anyways, now out through Titan Books is a pretty niffty (yeah, “niffty”) collection of short stories by Kim Newman. This collection of short stories takes readers through the in and outs of 19th century macabre, old Hollywood, and even the life and times of a Martian movie star (I kind of especially dug that one). Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is a collection of twenty-one short stories by a master story teller. Newman’s versatility as a writer is on full display here as he effortlessly switches gears from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s in such a way that totally engulfs the reader. Which is pretty damn amazing (for the books of his I’ve read) how he can perfectly capture the tone of the selected era when he writes. I think what enjoyed most about these books though was he hit (on almost every story) my kind of geeky fandom. I love old horror films, and when he wrote about American International Pictures being cursed by Vincent Price, or “Jack the Ripper” murder mystery based on the fall of EC’s Comics (not called EC comics in the story, but totally EC), I was digging it! Even his short stories that dealt with classic horror tales like Jekyll and Hyde, or a brilliant take on the Invisible Man, were incredibly entertaining to me. There’s not a lot of people I think I can go to (in my small circle of friends) and discuss my love of old Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing flicks, or how I have Treasure of the Sierra Madres and Casablanca pretty much memorized (not that there’s a lot/any of Bogart in this book, just saying…), but I think Newman would get it, and that’s kind of cool getting some of that fandom coming back at me through his short stories.
I honestly don’t have a lot of criticism for this book. Well, maybe that Newman’s enthusiasm for fandom can go extremely deep and it is possible to get lost in the references and parodies, but that only if you’re kind of in the know. For any casual reader, this a collection of really fun stories, and I highly recommend it. Also, go rent the Raven, and I hope you dig Price, Karloff, and Lorre and their best(?). Yeah, matter of opinion, but check it out all the same!
Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is available in bookstores now, or you can get your copy online at Titan Books!