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08 October 2011 @ 12:19 am
That's what 'ran away and was never seen again' means in these parts. It means 'eaten'.  

“There are people whose eyes you must avoid, whose attention you must not draw to yourself. They are strange, parasitic creatures, lost souls seeking to stretch across the abyss and make fatal contact with the warm, constant flow of humanity. They live in pain, and exist only to visit that pain on others.
A random glance, the momentary lingering of a look, is enough to give them the excuse that they seek. Sometimes, it is better to keep your eyes on the gutter for the fear that, by looking up, you might catch a glimpse of them, black shapes against the sun, and be blinded forever.”
John Connolly

So says the author responsible for my post. His novel, The Book of Lost Things, is a modern-day fairy tale of sorts.

The story follows twelve-year-old David, who we find in the beginning to be mourning the death of his mother. High in his attic bedroom, David recedes into himself, turning to the books on his shelf for companionship. But soon the books begin to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family starts to fall apart around him, David himself is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

“These stories were very old, as old as people, and they had survived because they were very powerful indeed. These were the tales that echoed in the head long after the books that contained them were cast aside. They were both an escape from reality and an alternative reality themselves. They were so old, and so strange, that they found a kind of existence independent of the pages they occupied. The world of the old tales existed parallel to ours, as David’s mother had once told him, but sometimes the wall separating the two became so thin and brittle that the two worlds started to blend into each other.

That was when the trouble started. That was when the bad things came. That was when the Crooked Man began to appear to David.”

The Crooked Man. How can I possibly describe such a villain to you?

To me, he is without a doubt the most frightening and sinister character that I’ve ever come across in all of literature - EVER.

Essentially he’s a twisted, terrifying version of Rumpelstiltskin. A creature that lurks in the corner of David’s vision all throughout the novel. Just the description of his appearance alone sends a shudder down my spine:

“The figure was slightly hunched, as though it had become so used to sneaking about that its body had contorted, the spine curving, the arms like twisted branches, the fingers clutching, ready to snatch at whatever it saw. Its nose was narrow and hooked, and it wore a crooked hat upon its head.

It seemed to be debating with itself as to what to do next, for David saw its left hand move to its pointed chin and stroke it softly. While it was thinking, it glanced over its shoulder and down toward the woods below. It saw David and froze for an instant before dropping to the floor, but in that moment David saw coal black eyes set in a pale face so long and thin that it seems to have been stretched on a rack. Its mouth was very wide, and its lips were very, very dark, like old sour wine.”

Like Rumpelstiltskin, he wants children. But not to raise them as we are led to believe in the original fairy tale.

No, he wants children in order to eat them.

He eats their heart in order to live forever and he keeps their soul in a jar for all eternity so they can never know peace...

Oh, and guess what?  He travels by burrowing into the ground… @.@

He spins around really fast and drills down into the earth, dragging children with him into the dark tunnels of his lair- tunnels which are said to house numerous horrors and visions that children are NOT supposed to see. Like grotesque and cruel images of adult content. Devices of torture that the Crooked man gleefully inflicts on his captives. And the whole place is rank with the stench of death and misery.


 I mean, dude the image of him alone is enough to curdle my blood. But add the fact that he lives in the freaking ground and I run screaming.

 He is just too scary to ever really do justice in words. If you have read this book, you need to. It’s the kind of book that stays with you forever.

So that’s my bone-chilling tale. There are many others that I love and could talk about, but this one sticks out the most to me.



Jenny: cute_horrorvive028 on October 13th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
* Is dying of laughter*