Monday, December 12, 2011

That is about it for 2011. See you all on 2012

With my son’s first birthday party, the closing of a very busy working year and a planned family Christmas I am afraid that this is the last post of 2012. 2011 was a rewarding year and I am looking with pleasure in retrospective. It is true that 2011 came with a tight and hectic schedule, but that proved to be only a small and easily surmountable inconvenience. The blog suffered a bit. Well, suffered more, but I do hope that 2012 would see a return to at least half of the usual posting regularity. Therefore, a bit early, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book trailer - "The Christmas Spirits" by Whitley Strieber

One of the first horror novels I read was Whitley Strieber’s “The Forbidden Zone” and although some of the details are a blur now this particular novel is part of the group that made me love horror fiction so much. It is also true that since then I didn’t read any of Whitley Strieber’s novels for reasons that are not quite clear. Well, I do have such a chance now, thanks to Hodder & Stoughton that provided me with a copy of Whitley Strieber’s ebook, “The Christmas Spirits”. And since Christmas is almost at the door it seems like an interesting seasonal reading. Not only that, but it also has a more than interesting trailer too.

George Moore is a modern day Scrooge, a futures trader who drives his staff hard, and won't let his assistant go home to look after her autistic son on Christmas Eve.
Like Scrooge he is mean with money, but he is also mean with his sympathies and his time. He has to swerve to avoid putting money in a charity box and also crosses the road to avoid a family he thinks are probably gypsies on his way to dinner at a cheap cafeteria. An old man sitting nearby looks as if he might be looking for the warmth of some human contact. George refuses to meet his eye and hurries home.
Various slightly odd, even disconcerting things happen. He encounters a nun who looks like an elderly child. He sees a Santa in the window of a department store, who seems to emerge from his Grotto, look confused, and is then surrounded by small elf-like figures who drag him back behind the curtains. Finally, when he arrives back in his apartment the old man from the cafeteria suddenly appears and reveals himself as George's old mentor in trading and in greed. Bill Hill reveals that he is dead and that he has come to give George a warning. He warns George he will have three visitors that night, and then in a flash he disappears.
So it comes about that, as Bill Hill said, George receives three visitors that Christmas Eve, just as Scrooge was visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. But these are not the ghosties and sprites that frightened Dickens's readers. George's visitors are more ambiguous, more frightening to a modern sensibility. They are visitors that will give even today's reader goose bumps.
They take George on an emotional journey that like Scrooge's journey - and the journey in another Christmas story, It's a Wonderful Life - teaches him the true value of Christmas, the true meaning of life and finally ... how to love. This new classic is both very scary and very Christmassy.