At the beginning of the month I blogged about Neil Gaiman's fantastic All Hallow's Read idea. Judging by the number of times it is getting mentioned on Twitter it sounds as if the 'tradition' is really taking off this year, especially over in the US. My All Hallow's Reads gifts have been dispatched to various households around the UK, and I know that many others have been doing the same. Perhaps we can make this just as big on this side of the Atlantic over the next few years.
What would you All Hallow's Read be? Changeling author Steve Feasey has kindly joined us here on The Book Zone to tell us about his choice.
The book that I’m going to recommend for All Hallow’s Read is Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg. I read this book while on a caravanning holiday with my family when I was about 14. I was reading a mixture of books at the time, and I thought this would be the perfect thing to bridge the gap between my love of horror and my newly blossoming liking for crime thrillers.
During the holiday, my family would often go to the club on the caravan site, and having seen my mother do the Birdy Song dance once was enough to make this teenage boy decide to boycott the place for the remainder of the stay. I found myself alone in the caravan with Hjortsberg’s book. To say the experience of reading it alone there, with the sea wind rocking the entire structure back and forth, added to the fear the book instilled in me would be the understatement of the century!
It’s a brilliantly written novel, and having seen the film adaptation, Angel Heart, since reading it, I was extremely glad that the book came to me before the film. Written in a Chandleresque, hard-boiled detective novel style, the basic premise is that a private eye is hired by an enigmatic and sinister client to find a missing person. The investigation quickly turns into a living nightmare as our hero, Harold Angel, gets drawn into a world of dark forces that he can’t even begin to understand.
The twist at the end is, for those who haven’t seen the film, simply brilliant.
Not an easy read, but well worth the effort for lovers of dark fiction.