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Seanachie: A Boston Irish Storyteller and Part-Time Shaman

Books about place, magic, Faeries, Ireland, sex, God, and love

Currently reading

New Orleans as It Was
Charles "Pie" Dufour, Henry C. Castellanos
New Orleans after the Civil War
Justin A. Nystrom
Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland (complete: First & Second Series)
Isabella Augusta Persse (Lady Gregory)
Bright Dead Things: Poems
Ada Limon
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Mark Manson
Desire: Poems
Frank Bidart
Selected Poems 1976-2012
Jorie Graham
An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry
Wes Davis (Editor)
I Am An Executioner: Love Stories
Rajesh Parameswaran
An Artist of the Floating World
Kazuo Ishiguro

Gods and Monsters: A Novel (P.S.)

Gods and Monsters: A Novel (P.S.) - Christopher Bram Originally titled "Father of Frankenstein" and subsequently changed to "Gods and Monsters" to match the movie version, this novel is a subtly charming rendition of the last two weeks of the life of James Whale, director of horror flicks Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (as well as many others). At this point in his life, Whale has just recovered (somewhat) from a stroke and is living alone in his mansion. After making the acquaintance of his young, butch, former Marine yardman Clayton, Whale sets in motion a hare-brained scheme to end his own life.

What gives the novel texture are the nuanced portraits of the unsophisticated but ultimately soft-hearted Clayton (who is encountering a professed homosexual for the first time in his life -- that he knows of) and Whale, who is haunted by his working class origins in England as well as by his haunting experiences in the Great War. In particular, Whale's mix of the maudlin, queeny repartee, and a drole and dismal gallows humor drive the narration.

Bram's prose is workmanlike and simple, but the portraits are nuanced and there is a sprinkle of Hollywood glitz over the whole. Bram's amusingly self-deprecating Afterword (written after the film version's release) is a humorous counterpoint to the novel's inevitable end.