Books Read – August 2014

This month’s reading list is a little shorter than has been the norm just recently, with only seven titles on the list. Mostly this is because one title in particular took me the best part of two weeks to get through. Without any further ado, here’s the list of books read for August.

Endurance – A Novel of Terror; Jack Kilborn (2010)
Trapped – A Novel of Terror; Jack Kilborn (2010)
Bloodchild; Octavia E. Butler (1995)
The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy; Mervyn Peake (1946-1959)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane; Neil Gaiman (2013)
Elric: The Fortress of the Pearl (Moorcocks Multiverse); Michael Moorcock (2013)
Vurt; Jeff Noon (1993)

The Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake is one of those works that I’ve always been told I should read, and regularly turns up on ‘books you absolutely should read before you die’ lists. Well, having now slogged my way through all three books in the trilogy I have to say I’m not convinced. Not that I thought it was particularly bad; I just didn’t think it was all that good either. Certainly not one I’d include on my own list of all time favourites at any rate. Sure, I can see why it deserves to be counted as a seminal work, but in my opinion it hasn’t aged all that well. Or maybe I’m missing the point somewhere, which in itself is evidence that it just didn’t capture me the way other works (Dune, for example) have done. Ah well, you live and you learn.

My first taste of Octavia Butler, on the other hand, has left me wanting more. The one I read this month, Bloodchild, is the ebook release of one of her short stories and if it’s indicative of her writing style and tone then I’m going to enjoy reading the omnibus edition of her Patternist series next month.

I well and truly enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s Ocean At The End Of The Lane, and while I won’t go as far as saying it’s better than American Gods or Neverwhere, I certainly think it belongs on one of those ‘must be read’ lists I mentioned earlier. If you haven’t already read it yourself then I’d certainly say give it a try.

Vurt is one of those books I’ve read a few times before and enjoyed enough to keep coming back to it. The same goes for Fortress of the Pearl, and indeed most of Moorcock’s extensive back catalogue. As for the two Joe Konrath/Jack Kilborn books on this month’s list, both were fun, in a creepy and slightly disturbing kind of way, and show a different side to that writer’s style.

So that’s my round-up for this month. Next month will be more of the same in some respects, with a couple of indie authors on my list for September. I still have a few Konrath books to work my way through as well, though I may save them for a later date. We’ll just have to see.

As usual, if you have any recommendations then by all means leave them in the comments below.

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