Sunday, October 4, 2009

Short Story Sunday - Nocturnes by John Connolly


I woke up this morning feeling the chill in the air. Autumn has arrived in all it's wonderful glory!! (actually, I don't think summer was every really here. I remember spring, then lots and lots of rain. Now, Autumn!) It's in the low 50's, and I'm getting the kids ready for Chad's football game. But before I go, I wanted to do a Short Story Sunday Post.

I'm pretty sure the last Short Story Sunday I participated in was last year, during the RIP challenge. In fact, it seems the only short stories I ever read are during RIP. I've never really been a big fan. It takes a special writer to be able to do the short story right. It's hard to create characters that people want to get to know and care about in only a few short pages. Neil Gaiman can do it. So can Stephen King. Joe Hill has a little of his daddy's talent as well. Can you tell the only short stories I read are spooky?? I've tried a few others, but none really captured my interest too well. Until now.



A few years ago, I read a wonderful book called The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. I can not begin to tell you how much I loved this little treasure. (Instead, I'll just point you to my review. I gushed enough here.) Suffice it to say, if you haven't read the book, it's a wonderfully dark, sinister fairy tale and worth ever second you have the cover opened.

But today, we are going to talk about John Connolly's book of short stories: Nocturnes. I've missed the first half of the RIP Shorts Challenge, but I won't miss another Sunday.

The Cancer Cowboy Rides is the first story in the collection, and one of the longest. The cowboy's name was not Buddy Carson. The cowboy didn't have a name, not now. There may have been one a long time ago, but if there was, then it had been lost to him for many years. Jim Lopez was the Chief of Police in the small hamlet of Easton, New Hampshire. It was quiet and small, a place where everyone knew your name. And he loved his town. Being Chief of Police was easy in a town like Easton. There was never a lot of trouble....at least there wasn't until the day Buddy Carson arrived in town and people started getting sick. Really sick. It seems that everywhere the cowboy touches, cancer seems to spread. And it's up to Lopez to save not only the ones he loves, but the entire town of Easton from the Cancer Cowboy.

Mr. Pettinger's Daemon is the story of Mr. Pettinger. He was a chaplain during World War II and had seen the horrors of war first hand. Now that the war had ended, he is trying to pick up the pieces of his mind and move on. The Bishop has decided to move him to the tiny parish of Chetwyn-Dark to recuperate. Mr. Fell, the minister there now has seemingly had a "crisis of faith", and needs to be replaced. It is up to Mr. Pettinger to find out what has been going on in this tiny parish. And to find out exactly what has been trying to dig itself out of the crypt that is directly beneath the church in Chetwyn-Dark.

Finally, we have The Erlking, which is the tale of something that goes bump in the night. The Erlking, that steals children away from the beds, never to be seen again.

I love this time of year!! I love the scary story and the urban legend. And I love tales of things that go bump in the night! I had to look up The Erlking to find it's origins. It is found a lot in old German poems and ballads and is described as a "malevolent creature who haunts forests and carries travelers off to their deaths". But Connolly's short story is based on a ballad by Goethe called Der Erlkonig, who preys on children, in the forest. And it literally sent shivers down my spine. Not bad for a story that's only 10 pages long!! Connolly definitely joins the ranks of Gaiman and King as a talented writer that can scare you with the short story!! (I know. This isn't much of a review. I have problems with reviewing Short Stories! Maybe next week will be better!) Till next week then!!

13 comments:

Andi said...

I WANT THIS BOOK! I bet my library has it. Yay! I adored The Book of Lost Things, too, and this one sounds just as fantabulous. Thanks, Steph!

Literary Feline said...

Yes, there was definitely a chill in the air this morning. My allergies followed right behind. LOL

I haven't yet read The Book of Lost Things, but I've hard great things about it. I have heard good things about Nocturnes as well. I am glad you are enjoying it! Spooky short stories are a lot of fun. :-)

I hope you have a great week, Stephanie!

P.S. I hope you received your prize in my giveaway? Loose Girl? I posted it in the mail to you last week so if it hasn't arrived yet, hopefully it will soon.

Tif said...

I loved Book of Lost Things! In fact, I would love to re-read that one!! Absolutely amazing!!! I have got to add this one to my wish list!! Must, must, must!!!

Cass said...

I just read Nocturnes too! (Based solely on my love for The Book Of Lost Things; Nocturnes seems like the closest I'm going to get to more writing like that from Connolly.) Despite the over abundance of vampires lately, I really enjoyed the one in Nocturnes about the gardener. It was (is it possible?) cute/scary.

Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

Chris said...

Seriously...I picked the worst time EVER to go on a book buying ban! I know what you mean...there are very few authors who do short stories well for me too, but these really sound good! Did you see that Connolly has a new book out?? And it looks amazing!! I'm sure you saw it because I was tweeting about it like crazy the other night when I went to the bookstore like an idiot :p It's called The Gates and I want it!

Nicole said...

I don't read a lot of scary stories but I am reading some for this month. Something about the change in season and anticipation of Halloween has me getting really into a few spooky stories this year.

Kailana said...

I know! Fall is here, I think! I really need to read some Connelly. Too many tempting books!

Trish said...

I love fall but I'm not looking forward to the colder weather! :)

You've reminded me of how much I want to read The Book of Lost Things--must pull that off the shelf soon! I didn't realize that he also had a book of short stories, but I'll be on the lookout for it. Love the cover!

Ladytink_534 said...

I've been meaning to pick up John Connolly's books for awhile now. Seems to be the perfect time to do so now!

Debi said...

I've had this one on the shelf waiting for me...thank heavens, because after reading your post, I'd be in a serious funk not being able to go and buy it. :D
Spooky, creepy, eerie short stories are definitely my faves, too!!! You know whose short stories you should read--Daphne du Maurier's. Okay, I gush about her short stories too often, but seriously, Stephanie, I really think you would LOVE them, too!

Nymeth said...

Like you, I loved The Book of Lost Things (along with 80% of the blogosphere, really :P), so I'm thrilled to hear this short fiction is good too! And I also love this time of year :)

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

All of those shorts sound awesome! Love the cover too, very eye-catching but spooky too.

Sneakers hobbies said...

we have lots of
spyder jacket
spyder jackets
spyder jackets
spyder jacket
spyder jackets for cheap
mens spyder jackets
mens spyder jackets
spyder jackets for cheap
womens spyder jackets
spyder jackets cheap
spyder jackets cheap
womens spyder jackets
spyder jackets for men
spyder jackets for men
cheap spyder jackets
cheap spyder jackets
cheap spyder jackets
cheap spyder jackets
discount spyder jacket
discount spyder jacket
discount spyder jacket
north face jackets
north face jackets
cheap polo shirts
north face jacket
cheap north face jackets
cheap polo shirts
Columbia Jacket
Columbia Jacket
ralph lauren jacket
ralph lauren jacket
wholesale polo shirts
wholesale polo shirts
welcom to our store.