Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From The Horrors of War To Just Plain Horror

Finished Gust Front by John Ringo today, finally, and I must admit, I'm getting a little burned out on military SF for now, having gone from Wentworth's Hrinnti series to Drake's Hammer's Slammers to Ringo's Posleen war almost without pause. So now I'm reading something completely different, suggested by Jess Nevins and Chris Roberson at ArmadilloCon.

I'd never read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, although I'd seen several movie versions. But after being burned by several failed attempts at reading classics above my level as a child (in my youth, I got somewhere between a third and halfway through Frankenstein and Dracula and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea {failed to finish that one twice} and The Time Machine and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, which was not at all like the Invisible Man movies, BTW), I've always been a little leery of reading classics for their own sake. Not that I was unable to understand the books, although a lot admittedly went right over my head. They were just boring for a kid raised on The Brady Bunch and Space Ghost, Jonny Quest and Gilligan's Island.

I've rectified some of that lack in later years. I did get all the way through Frankenstein on my second try, and whizzed through The Time Machine. I read The Iliad once for the hell of it, and I read The Sun Also Rises on a dare (the deal was that I read Hemingway while my friend read Stephen King - neither of us liked what the other one loved).

So Nevins and Roberson said that Jekyll & Hyde was a great book to read, well written in a style that hasn't dated nearly as much as other authors of the period. They also mentioned a lot of gay subtext, which is not so much an attraction, except I just had to see it for myself. And as I'm about a third of the way through right now, I have to say: I see it. I don't know if I'm only seeing it because I've been told it's there, like listening to "Stairway to Heaven" backwards, but I definitely see the intimation.

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