Monday, May 25, 2009

Lemony Snicket's Horseradish

I admit I was expecting something funny. Instead, I found Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid to be as bitter as the root after which the author named his book. It is pessimism and cynicism with a little dark humor thrown in--not what I was looking for to begin my two-day reading project. It's my own fault. It was the only book in my To Be Read pile that even hinted it might make me laugh.

The best part of Horseradish, in my opinion, is the story the author tells in his ten-page Introduction. "The story concerns a woman who lived in a small grass hut with her husband in a remote village surrounded by an enormous field of horseradish, which is a very bitter root." The tale goes on to describe the woman's search for answers to a series of questions, beginning with, "Is life more than sitting at home doing the same thing over and over?"

Another reader might be delighted by Horseradish, so I won't pick at it any longer. After all, it only took an hour to read from cover to cover. The back cover reads, "Life is a turbulent journey, fraught with confusion, heartbreak, and inconvenience. This book will not help." I agree, but then, I don't think that was the author's intention. The book, published by Harper Collins in 2007, is priced at $12.99 retail, although amazon.com has it discounted to $5.49. And while you're there, please read some of the glowing reviews for this book.

So on to number two on the reading list: The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli. I'll blog more about this one (and the author, with links) tomorrow, because I haven't finished it yet. At least I had a better sense of what I was getting into when I chose this book. Piccirilli is well known in the horror genre, and has only recently taken to crafting mysteries. His books are dark, but well written. The Midnight Road won an International Thriller Writer award, and The Cold Spot was one of the five Edgar nominees for best paperback original this year.

I will leave you with the first sentence of The Cold Spot: "Chase was laughing with the others during the poker game when his grandfather threw down his cards, took a deep pull on his beer, and with no expression at all shot Walcroft in the head."

Yes! Must go finish this book.

8 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Interesting about the Lemony Snicket book. I've read "interviews" with him before, but he was definitely in character. My son enjoyed his novels, but I was always curious to discover more about the mysterious author. It sounds as if he's got an unusual outlook on life.
Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

K. A. Laity said...

That's an absolutely marvelous opening line for The Cold Spot. I felt like standing up to applaud, it's just so good. Wow!

Helen Ginger said...

That's a great opening line for The Cold Spot. Any line that immediately grabs me and makes me go, "whoa!" is a winning opening.

I sure would have thought Lemony Snicket would be funnier!

Helen
Straight From Hel

alexisgrant said...

Good for you for getting so much reading in! I just finished a book too... It feels GOOD!

Jina Bacarr said...

I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more about "The Cold Spot" tomorrow--a terrific opening.

Jina

http://tinyurl.com/BerlinSexDiary

N A Sharpe said...

I am also surprised about the Lemony Snicket book. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Cold Spot. What an opening! That definitely gets your attention and pulls you right in!

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Enid Wilson said...

Where do you find the time to do all these? Blogging, writing, commenting, twittering and reading!

In Quest of Theta Magic

Karen Brees said...

You've definitely got a wide range of reading tastes, Patricia. That can't help but inspire your writing.