September 2010

The Bad Beginning

If you’ve ever watched the film A Series of Unfortunate Events without reading the books, you may have wondered if there was actually ever a real book at all. The film is quite bleak and disturbing—though my husband and I enjoyed it very much—and perhaps a bit too dark for younger children; however, it’s no darker than, say, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, or Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. The difference is that rather than being made through animation, the movie is live action.

Dennis Lehane, "Gone, Baby, Gone"

I don’t usually do books with recurring heroes. Cotton Malone in Steve Berry’s The Charlemagne Pursuit, and Michael Gruber’s Jimmy Paz in Valley of Bones come to mind as the few attempts I’ve made into “Another X adventure” or “Another Y novel”. To be fair, I don’t like the two books that I just mentioned, and I don’t like their swashbuckling, daring heroes, either.
Thus, I didn’t know that Dennis Lehane’s Gone, Baby, Gone was a recurring hero novel until I was about a quarter-way through the 512-page book. But by then, I couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t put the book down until I finished page 512.