Bram Stoker (Abraham Stoker) Author of Dracula. Died 1912
Brian Lumley has a new mass market paperback, The Taint and Other Novellas. It is set in the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. I sometimes like to read about crawling horrors and Innsmouth. Brian Lumley is a very good horror writer in the adventurous style.
The Dangerous Alphabet, a children's book by Neil Gaiman came in. I read it. It was short and enjoyable. The pictures are more silly and grumpy than scary. There are monsters, ghosts, pirates, and critters chasing the two adventurous children seeking after treasure. The illustrations are by Gris Grimly. The book is a set of thirteen illustrated couplets that are not quite right. The couplets are alphabetical in nature.
It was fun to read in a kind of oddball way. It reminds me a bit of Mercer Mayer's There's A Nightmare In My Closet. It has that go away monsters kind of feel to it. The artwork feels a little bit similar also.
Right now, I am holding The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean. I have not read it. I am not sure that I want to even read it yet. There is a cd with Neil Gaiman reading the story in the back of the book. I think it will be fun to listen to Neil Gaiman reading a children's book on the stereo.
I read the story on the train home. It was short and entertaining. It is a swapping tale, where one person swaps an item from one person to another. In this case it is the child's dad who other children find boring and keep swapping away for different things like an electric guitar or a gorilla mask. The child with his sister must retrieve their dad back because mom said so. I rather like the idea. The dad does little except read the paper. The artwork is very different for a children's book. Dave McKean creates an almost surreal style of drawing.
Then I listened to the CD in the back of the book. Neil Gaiman has a very pleasant reassuring voice which made the reading quite entertaining. He also has good rhythm and is not too fast so it is easy to follow what he is saying. I enjoyed it in both the audio and print versions.