Monday, September 17, 2012

Readalong Wrappage - The Little Stranger and IT!

It's Monday before noon and I'm already making up words!!! Watch out!

So I have MUCH MUCH to do today with The Little Stranger Readalong (#TLSread) wrapping up and the IT-along midway point postage due.

Admittedly, I skimmed through this one as opposed to a concentrated re-reading. I read it a shortish while ago and was familiar with most of the details. However, I can't say that it creeped me out ANY LESS than the first time. 


A number of participants have commented in their mid-way and closing posts that they didn't find this book particularly scary. I think I must just be a scaredy freak, but this book terrified me. Psychos, blood and guts, and general "horror" don't scare me particularly. Gross me out, yes! Scare? No. But malevolent spirits and creeping things that can't be SEEN, seriously scare the poo-schnickens out of me. 

From the moment the smudges started to appear, I had that creeping feeling. Oh, and that creeping/walking mirror? Oh my Lord. It's that slow build-up of terror that really gets me. As the characters became more troubled and unreliable I got progressively more unsettled. The biggest deaths seriously unsettled me. 

But what I love most about this book is not the scary. It's Waters' deft hand at the writing. I'm a serious sucker for unreliable narrators and ambiguous endings. I love what they require of me as a reader. The idea of Dr. Faraday as The Little Stranger -- as this want, and need, and cloying anxiety -- is just fascinating to me!!!! The shifting of classes is always of interest to me as well, and this book put a great, interesting spin on those concerns. 

To read a deeper, awesomer (yes, awesomer) post, try Fig and Thistle. SO INSIGHTFUL!

The second order of business is to check in for the IT-Along!!! I admit, I'm doing horribly with this one. Snail reading. I just can't seem to sit down and commit, though I am really enjoying the writing so far. Keep in mind, I haven't read anything of King's in probably 15 years or so. I'm reminded of how wonderfully he captures the minutia of his characters' lives. It's their personal quirks and proclivities that give each character a distinctive personality. That said, my GOD it's a lot of backstory! Although, I was happy that King introduced the scary clown so early in the game. Gives me hope that things will really get truckin' here in a bit. 

This one is less scary to me than The Little Stranger because it is far more overt. And I think I've seen the movie SO many times that I'm desensitized. ;)

How's your reading going?


  1. The Little Stranger is soooo creepy! It freaked me out. I'm like you, the things you can't see are the scariest. I loved that book so hard.

  2. Er, I think IT is way creepier than The Little Stranger. Although I felt a little let down by the end, just like with TLS. I guess I've just read too many books by Stephen King and Clive Barker? :S

  3. You may want to consider downloading the audio for IT; it's absolutely engaging and entertaining. Steven Weber just does such a fantastic job with it that when I start to read it, I just put the book down and I instead hit play on my iPhone. Much more interesting this way! I cannot stop listening to it!

    I should have joined the Sarah Waters' readalong since I have yet to read her work, but I don't know when to find the time! Argh, these doggone creepy books that are so fantastic, begging me to read them!

  4. I LOVED TLS!! So glad you had a read-a-long for it, because it got me to finally read it - hurrah! Am going to work on my post about it and link it to The Estella Society page and RIP VII. And, I thought it was more creepy than scary - which I loved!!

    Am wishing I had joined in on your IT-along. Sounds like that one is quite a read ;)

  5. Waters' writing is fantastic. I listened to it while busy cleaning and I wonder if that made me miss out on some of the creepiness. It just didn't scare me that much, but IT is freaky.

  6. I think cloying is the exact right word to describe Faraday. I thought of it as I was driving home today and then also read it here. I'm with you on the way the fear builds. I just don't read the ending as ambiguous. I totally accept the idea of the poltergeists and how they work and believe that Faraday is at the root of it all.
    Ended up loving this book. Thanks for introducing and hosting.

  7. The clown is starting to lurk and it's freaking me the fuck out. Otherwise, not much else is going on...

  8. I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds good, I'll have to check it out. :)

  9. This was my first Sarah Waters book and I really enjoyed it. I loved how as a reader I was expected to think and deduce for myself. The ambiguous ending was excellent.

  10. I'm enjoying my time with the clown and am finding parts of it freaky. There is definitely A LOT of backstory!


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