Mooresville Public Library

Mooresville Public Library
MPL Courtyard

Monday, November 28, 2011

If You Like Quirky Stories ...

3 Very Quirky Tales, by Randy Attwood, is available through as a Kindle edition.  For a detailed review, click here.  To see if the Kindle e-book is available through the eIndiana Digital Consortium, click here.  You will need your Evergreen Indiana library card.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Living (and Loving) in the Past

Science fiction/horror author Richard Matheson once saw a portrait of late 19th/early 20th century actress Maude Adams and was struck by her forlorn expression.  What secret, hidden sadness lay concealed behind her eyes?  For a novelist, that's sufficient material to begin researching in earnest.  The result was Bid Time Return (1975), a science fiction romance novel that combines two genres with grace and style.

The book was adapted into a movie entitled Somewhere in Time (1980), starring Jane Seymour, Christopher Reeve, Christopher Plummer, and Teresa Wright.  Subsequent editions of the book appeared under the film's title.

Anyone familiar with Matheson's science fiction and horror fare will recognize his signature style, in which an ordinary person is faced with extraordinary circumstances and must adapt his or her preconceptions to face new, challenging realities.  All of Matheson's primary characters must run this gauntlet, and how they survive (if, in fact, they do) tells us a great deal about ourselves as well as them.

Richard Collier searches for a way to leave the 1970s behind to travel back in time to 1896 to meet Elise McKenna, and, with any luck, have her fall in love with him.  Richard had already fallen in love with her when he saw her portrait at the Hotel del Corodado, near San Diego.  Tears will surely well-up in your eyes as the story unfolds.  Whether these are happy or sad tears you must decide.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Death Rat!

What does a recently-fired, 60-ish writer of boring academic books about Minnesota do to make ends meet?  Why not write about six-foot giant rats that supposedly terrorized northern Minnesota communities a century ago?  It's fiction, of course, but try telling readers and the publisher that.

So goes the tale of Mike Nelson's Death Rat! a Novel, by Michael J. Nelson.  This was Nelson's first novel, but it glows with his characteristic wit and social commentary.  It is filled with strange characters stumbling into unsuspected plot twists.  You may find yourself laughing out loud, but that's okay.  A well-written, humorous story should do that.

Mike Nelson's Death Rat! a Novel is available in the Evergreen Indiana online catalog. Check it out with your E.I. Library Card.

My colleague, Cauli Le Chat, has ventured her two cents in reviewing this book, so I'll link you there if you would like our feline roving reporter's perspective.  Surely a cat would have something interesting to say about giant killer rats.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Night in Lisbon, by Erich Maria Remarque

There are boat loads of World War II adventure/suspense novels, but a few shine as living tributes to the people who suffered and endured during those terrible years when so much evil stretched across continents.  Erich Maria Remarque had seen some of this evil first-hand, and his accounts of war time, for both the first and second world wars, are riveting, chilling, and realistic.  Surprisingly, there are glimmers of hope and optimism, as is the case in his novel The Night in Lisbon, first published in 1962 (1964 in English).  [The book is not to be confused with the movie One Night in Lisbon (1941), a "screwball" comedy starring Fred MacMurray and Madeleine Carroll.]  The setting is a single night in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1942.  The narrator, a refugee from the Gestapo, desperately seeks travel papers and two tickets of passage onto a ship bound for America and freedom.  He encounters Schwarz, who has the necessary papers and boarding passes, which, amazingly, he will give to the narrator  in exchange for one night in which to tell his story.  It is a tale replete with tragedy, terror, suspense, adventure, and--most importantly--romance.  If love can exist amongst so much that is sinister, then there is good reason to hope.