Review of The End of the Sentence

The End of the Sentence is amazing. The End of the SentenceNot only is this well crafted novella a great read, it is also a fitting companion to the autumn winds of October and the upcoming Halloween.

On the face of it, this is a short book about a man running from his past and looking to build a new future. That future turns out to not be what he thought it would be when when he encounters ghosts, murderers, and monsters far out in small town Oregon. But that is only the face of it, and there is more. Oh so much more.

In equal parts ghost story and murder mystery, horror tale and modern fantasy, the authors have woven a story out of elements so familiar that they feel like our own history, but they have threaded these among circumstances so foreign, and at times horrifying, that we recoil. After recoiling though, we must look back and, with the author’s firm hand upon our shoulder, we are drawn back in, and deeper in.

The themes of loss and redemption, grief and hope, abandonment and determination arise again and again to intertwine with every character we meet. These are themes familiar to us all, so familiar that we can forget they are traits of other people’s tales as well. And we may also forget that each of us may respond to circumstances in ways both different and perhaps horrifying.

In The End of the Sentence, Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard have created a wondrous tale of a new American mythology. I anxiously await whatever they will come up with next.

Coraline – Neil Gaiman

Still on my Neil Gaiman kick, I picked up Coraline from the local library. My daughter laughed at me and said that some of her friends at school had read it. For what it’s worth, I have no problem reading “young adult” books and told her as much. She shrugged saying that at least her friends had said it was a good book.

Coraline is a short book of about 160 pages and is a very quick read. Originally written for Gaiman’s daughters, it is the story of a young girl who feels bored and unappreciated in her home and end up finding herself in adventure on “the other side” that will not only bring her some excitement but also give her self image some definition.

As for a review? Good book. Definitely dark and maybe a little too dark for those under say, 11? Over that age there should be no problem at all with the imagery and action. It may even be ok for kids under that age since there is no outright blood, gore, abuse, etc… But, if the young adult in question already has a fear of what is under the bed or in the closet, this book will only make that fear worse. Oddly enough I watched the movie “Bridge to Terabithia” last night with my kids and wife. The movie was certainly more disturbing than this book. By a long shot.

On a side note there is a movie adaption of Coraline coming out soon. Gaiman posted a like to a video of the trailer which is up on YouTube so check it out here.