I have few rules for what I write here; one of them is to write within half an hour of finishing a book. (These aren’t serious book reviews — sorry to dissapoint. I just want to remember exactly what I was thinking when I finished a book, before looking at and listening to other people’s opinions may have changed my mind.)
The fact that I finished Rose Madder on Saturday and am writing about it six days later says a lot. (This entry is back-dated to provide an accurate listing.)
Take the movie “Sleeping With the Enemy”, add pointless supernatural elements, ratchet up the gore, and you get Rose Madder. It’s tied to the Dark Tower series, according to the listing at the beginning of “Wolves of the Calla”, but only through vocabulary; the book is just as tied to any of the other King books it jokingly references. The book is told from two different viewpoints, and one is set entirely in italics — sometimes for page after page, which makes it very difficult to read. The build-up is good but the payoff is meh, and only the extended coda rescues the book even a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this were a second pass at a much earlier “trunk novel”.
I wish the first book of 2004 was better.
It Got Away: I didn’t read Coraline soon enough and it had to go back to the library. Ah, well, I’ll get it again.