Book Review – The Dark Man

TITLE: The Dark Man
AUTHOR: Stephen King
ILLUSTRATOR: Glenn Chadbourne
FORMAT: Hardcover
PUBLISHED: 2013

The Dark Man is a poem that Stephen King wrote years ago for an assignment in college.  He wrote it as a poem.  In this edition, it’s illustrated with pen drawings.  Also, the edition is laid out in the rather unconventional 7×5 inch (yes, landscape) format.

So, the poem is interesting, but as I read it, I found myself wishing I could just read the damn thing and not have to see the illustrations.  Sometimes I felt like having to flip the page every couple words took away from the flow the words should have had.  Fortunately, I got my wish at the end of the book.  Reading it in a crap format, I assumed it would be beautiful, but the flow got lost in the illustrations.  Reading it in a normal format, it actually was beautiful.  Hauntingly sad. Scary in a very human way.

The illustrations are interesting.  Some have things hidden (like the scratched form of a face coming out of a tree branch), some do not.  But some would very much have benefitted a larger format or being in color.

Which brings us to the review, and for that, I am torn.  The poem gets a very different rating than the book.  But this is a book review site.  We’re reviewing the whole package.  For that I give it 3/5 pages and a piece of advice.
Read the poem first, then start from the beginning.

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Book Review – The Mildenhall Treasure

TITLE: The Mildenhall Treasure
AUTHOR: Roald Dahl
ILLUSTRATOR: Ralph Steadman
FORMAT: Hardback
PUBLISHED: 2000
NOTE: This was originally done as a story for the New Yorker just after WWII. It was redone into a children’s book in 1977.

The Mildenhall Treasure is the true story about a man named Gordon who is asked to plow a field because a man named Ford is too busy to do it himself. When plowing, Gordon finds a treasure trove of Roman silver. Unfortunately, Ford is a greedy crook and he cons Gordon out of it.

There’s not much to say about the story, and since it’s true I can’t really comment about much of the content. I will say that I was aware of the story beforehand, though, and I liked the presentation of this. I would, however, have liked to have actuall names of people and not just “a man named Ford” for the characters at play, but that was the writing style at the time.

Again, not illustrated by Quentin Blake, who did most of Dahl’s stuff, but the illustrations for this are in some cases actual oil painting, and they’re awaesome. I actually sat there wondering which ones I’d want on my wall if I were given a choice.

Still, it’s slightly short of perfect, so 4/5.

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