The Too-Good Book Blues

I’ve just finished reading a book that I’ve had in my “to read” queue for far too long: Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts. It came highly recommended from a number of sources, and though I don’t usually read horror novels, I have to say, it’s a hell of a ride. Possession. Fear. Devils and demons. (Maybe? Or maybe not? The book and its main character are kind of agnostic on the point, which is frustrating, but also powerful.) And a blindsiding final twist that doesn’t disappoint.

It’s one of those literally unpotdownable stories that keeps you breathlessly turning the pages.

Which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it fills my head with all sorts of ideas and aspirations in addition to just being a bloody enjoyable waste of time. Bad because it’s over now, and I have to pick up something else to read, and whether the next tome I pick up will even come close is anybody’s guess.

English needs a word for this feeling: that vague hopelessness you feel after tearing through a proper humdinger of a story, that creeping suspicion that what comes next can’t hope to compare. (The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows should get on that.)

In fact, I think it’s partially this feeling that’s had me so on the ropes creatively lately — in addition to the move, which swelled up and rolled out of control like the Thing and, bloblike, consumed my entire summer, I read John Scalzi’s Lock In at the beginning of the summer and it so filled me with this sensation that I couldn’t get interested in reading anything else for about a month. I pawed at Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and it just seemed to drag on. I nibbled on Matt Haig’s The Humans, and, though it’s really very entertaining (an alien puts on a human skin to stop a scientific discovery from reaching the light of day), I just kind of stopped reading it for reasons I can’t properly identify. Nothing wrong with the books. They just didn’t exactly seize me by the lapels.

But Head Full of Ghosts did, and now I have to deal with that. The next book up is Michael Crichton’s Micro, which I bought at the bargain bookstore and have put away 150 pages of in just a few nights. Not a bad start.

And, for that matter, look — it’s got me posting on a weekend again. Maybe the haze is lifting.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

4 thoughts on “The Too-Good Book Blues

  1. We all want you back.

    We want you back in the saddle, atop of the glorious grey mare named “Accidentally Inspired”.

    We want you back on the horse riding into town just like you used to: hair in the wind, one hand gripping the reins, the other tossed stylishly in the air with your holstered six-shooters strapped to your sides – a Wild West wordslinger of the highest order sweeping up all in his path with his breathtaking descriptions,sagely observed insights and hilarious fired silver bullets of crackup-comedy.

    We want it all again.And we want those novels. Published. With a price tag on them. So we can buy them.

    We’ve been surviving like a Peyote cactus in the desert on slim pickings for a while now, all the time wondering,” When will he ride back into town again…not just for a fleeting glimpse but to stay?”

    We know you’ve had it tough. Hell, life, the banks and the move have surely all together kicked enough desert sand in your face of late to bury you knee deep.

    We know you’ll be back (and by ‘back’ we mean like you used to – twice a week like clockwork) but like impatient children on a journey we’ve all started asking, “Are we there yet?”

    Liked by 2 people

      • You’re suggesting that part of the description recedes believability?

        Let me add while I’m here, Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts has been on my ‘to read’ list for a while as well. Last chiller I got through was “HORRORSTOR” by Grady Hendrix, a ghost story set in an Ikea store.


  2. I wish there was a word for that too. it feels like saying goodbye to real people. Hopefully I will see them again but if I don’t there are many people more to engage with. And yet they will always hold a special place in my heart and some day. Some day it will be awesome to meet up with them all again.

    Liked by 1 person

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