Friday, May 17, 2013

Reading Plan and Book of the Week - Horror - The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson

Horror is one of my least favorite genres and if I were not reading according to a reading plan, I would probably never read horror. It is important to me to be a well rounded and well read reader's advisor so I do follow a reading plan. 

The reason I don't usually like horror is because I experience books with all my senses and very frequently horror novels or stories stink! Not the writing, not the characters, not the plot; it is the smells described that really get to me as well as the freaked out feelings. When I read Stephen King's Christine, I had to drive with all my windows open in the dead of a Colorado mountain winter with temps in the negative numbers because of the horrible corpse smell in the book. Also, I am susceptible to nightmares.

I had avoided the Repairman Jack novels by F. Paul Wilson because I was scared to read them. I didn't even read the YA prequels but now I want to. The purpose of horror is to scare the reader. It gets the heart pumping in fear. Because the aural import of books to my brain doesn't affect me as much or as intensively as reading, I've found audio books the best way for me to read horror.

In The Tomb, first in the Repairman Jack series, Jack who fixes things, sometimes with fatal results, is introduced. He lives completely off grid in the "John Twelve Hawks" sense of the phrase; fake IDs, no bank accounts, no credit cards, no written contracts. His ex-girlfriend Gia asks him to look into the disappearance of one of her elderly great-aunts-in-law. While not the type of case he usually takes on he agrees because he still loves Gia and her young daughter, Vicky. The same day he is contacted by an Indian diplomat who wants him to recover a necklace stolen from his elderly grandmother who is in the hospital dying. Jack explains it's not the type of case he works on, the man offers him a princely sum just to attempt it and a matching sum if he can do it before midnight. 

Jack, for all his ruthlessness, strength, daring, and street smarts is amazingly a character who seems real and more than the sum of his parts and is even vulnerable, in a manly way. Wilson made me really care about the characters and I was not happy to finish the book because I wanted to spend more time with them. 

While this was horrifying with plenty of carrion stench and monsters both human and demonic, everything meshed and made for a great story with meaning rather than shock for shock value. The look into how actions a hundred and fifty years in the past in India impacted the present in New York added interesting facets and depth to the story. 

I'm glad I follow a reading plan because it made me read a book I would not have ever otherwise picked up and made me think about what a genre I ordinarily avoid could offer to readers.

The Tomb has been recently published in audio format. I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series.

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