Which didn’t happen for me with regard to maintaining this blog. My apologies. No excuse, other than the fact that I’ve been doing my best to get shit writ for the aforementioned Seekrit Projekt.
It’s not always easy, particularly when you’ve got an actual job (yes, yes, I am well aware of how much this sounds like an excuse, Judgment Gorilla, thank you, you’re a star). Exhaustion is one of the bugbears of modern life, and creative effort is the first thing to go when the brain is trying to figure out what to toss out. That and exercise. Holy shit, I’ve gotten none of that.
I fuck up, I try to forgive myself, and I move on.
This isn’t a review blog, sensu stricto, but I like to pass things along that I find beautiful and/or interesting. And boy, have I got a pisser for you today.
The Fisherman, a newly-released novel by John Langan, kicked the living shit out of me. I say this as the highest praise. It’s intense.
Okay–you know the first few minutes of the movie Up, where the animators line up and take turns punching you in the stomach?
It’s a lot like that, but without the whimsy of a flying balloon-house to look forward to.
It’s actually one story, that of two widowers who find fishing as a refuge from their pain, wrapped around another story told about a haunted area called Dutchman’s Creek. There are skeins of Norse myth, Herman Melville, and the good ol’ fashioned Fish Story shot through the nested narratives, and some of the most arresting scenes a book has ever made my brain see, but at the core of the story is Capital G Grief. Big grief, as big around as a sequoia, that nobody could ever get their arms around.
Langan paints the grief of the two characters, Abe, the narrator, and Dan, as being related subspecies, but whether you’re being attacked by a lion (Panthera leo) or a tiger (Panthera tigris), you’ve still got to deal with the fact that you’ve got fangs and claws in you. But the sadness doesn’t overwhelm the horror–that’s much bigger, and made all the more effective for the protagonists’ state of mind.
I give this book five Weirdo Fish out of five. Go get it.
Also on the media consumption cavalcade this long weekend was The Witch (I’m spelling it regular because the way the posters spelled it, The VVitch, made me prounounce it Vivitch, and it got on my nerves). Fantastic little movie, and one in which (no spoilers) everybody got what they deserved. The clothing, sets, and even the English accent were heavily researched, as was the witch-lore that comes down from Puritan New England. Five pots of baby fat out of five.
And, just because the world has gone absolutely fucking Fury Road since the last time we spoke, please enjoy a baby gorilla looking tough. THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, JUDGMENT GORILLA.