Thursday, September 25, 2008
Well, that was different!
What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?
And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?
Pick a taboo, any taboo.
You will find it broken in Dirck Van Sickle's Montana Gothic and, chances are, you will find yourself totally squicked out in the process.
I read it because years ago someone in the western lit thread at Readerville mentioned it as one of the books he was taken with, but felt he could not recommend to anyone. Of course, I had to learn the why of that for myself.
This is the kind of book that when a friend sees you reading it and asks what it's about, you reply, "Trust me: you don't want to know." If the friend persists (and mine didn't), you say, "It's like Faulkner or McCarthy, I guess. Really dark Faulkner or McCarthy."
(Actually, now that I think about it, it has RIP Challenge written all over it. Or, if you're tired of reading titles from a banned books list and wondering when you get to the end of them what got their challengers all worked up, this is the perfect antidote.)
Montana Gothic. If you dare.
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