What I’m Reading

I was lucky to have a copy sent to me by the publisher. I was very taken with Strandberg’s Blood Cruise and I’m happy to inform you that The Home is also excellent – albeit a quieter and more intimate horror.

Once inseparable, Joel and Nina haven’t spoken in twenty years. When Joel’s mother Monika develops dementia, he has no choice but to return to his home town. Monika needs specialist care, and that means Pineshade – which also means Joel is going to have to deal with his one-time best friend, for Nina works there.

It’s not long before Monika’s health deteriorates – she starts having violent, terrifying outbursts, and worse, she appears to know things she couldn’t possibly know. It’s almost as if she isn’t herself any more… but of course, that’s true of most of the residents at Pineshade.”

If you’re anything like me the possibility of ending your life with dementia in the company of strangers is a real fear. Or that you may be called upon to send a parent to such a place. So a horror story set in an old people’s home, where the residents are losing themselves, is an excellent setting for pushing those buttons. Strandberg has a talent for creating believable characters and although the action isn’t as gore splattered as Blood Cruise there were still some very wince-making descriptions.

I very much recommend this.

Next up for me is Ian Dunt’s How to be a Liberal which I pre-ordered

I’ve been reading politics.co.uk since 2016 (I wonder what massive political upheaval caused that?) and thought I’d try a longer piece of Dunt’s writing. I’ve only read the first few chapters but I think that the introduction – of how Nationalism consists of six lies (individuals don’t exist, the world is simple, you mustn’t question, institutions conspire against the people, difference is bad and there is no such thing as objective truth) should be taught in schools. I feel the current march of illiberal regimes, ‘fake news,’ creeping fascism and other such ills are a failure of our education system. Anyway – this is currently the book I have a bookmark in – heavy subject but written in an easy to read and engaging style.

Published by suttope

Pete W Sutton is a writer and editor. His two short story collections – A Tiding of Magpies and The Museum for Forgetting – were shortlisted for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards in 2017 & 2022 respectively. His novel – Seven Deadly Swords – was published by Grimbold Books. He has edited several short story anthologies and is the editor for the British Fantasy Society Horizons fiction magazine.

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