Now firstly, we’ll start with the small print, ‘they’ do say honesty’s the best policy and I wouldn’t want you to come away feeling disappointed like when you try to return a top only to discover the retailer in question only gives out store credit…cheapskates!
So, with that in mind, holds up hands apologetically I’m no academic…my bonce is too big to suit one of those caps although I wouldn’t mind the gown, it’d hide a plethora of sins. This is just a little chat, a suggestive word in your ear from yours truly, a humble recommendation of a book and author I love. For I might lack most of the credentials to qualify for Mastermind, but if I did ever manage to blag my way onto that famous chair (which always makes me think of Dr Claw of Inspector Gadget fame) my specialist subject would be John Connolly.
And there we begin, the man, the myth, the legend!
I’ve literally finished reading his latest Charlie Parker novel A Book of Bones yesterday and I’m at a loss as to what do with myself. I’m sure the husband if I asked him would have a few mundane suggestions but you’re a long time dead and I’d rather sniff books and write this whilst I eagerly await the next installment #ParkerFaithful
I won’t give away plot spoilers so there’s no need to alarm you by shouting ‘look away now’, you’ll find nothing of that nature here.
How can you trust my judgement to read it I hear you skeptically enquire? Well…first off, I usually approach John Connolly’s books like an all you can eat buffet, I starve myself of literature for a few days and then devour it like someone’s going to take my plate away. However, a modicum of decorum has taken root of late and I courted A Book of Bones over a couple of days (I know! Unbridled willpower!) Usually I’ll clumsily snatch quick 10 minutes here and there, all fingers and thumbs like a boy at a school disco, but this time around I exercised some discipline and waited until my shifts off to read it leisurely, ensuring a continuous accompaniment of tea and biscuits thus enhancing my reading pleasure.
As I say there are no spoilers, but what I will say is for me, it’s up there with Every Dead Thing as one of the best Parker installments and whilst I won’t give anything away I will say there were some moments in there that left me as shook as the first time I watched The Red Wedding episode of GoT!
For me a hero is measured by the gravity of his adversary. The real draw of all the Parker books isn’t just Charlie Parker, brother Louis and Angel (and who can forget the Fulci brothers) but their nefarious counterparts. Is it wrong to say that I equally enjoy his nemesis’, with Mors and Quayle at the top of the pecking order.
I suppose the main reason you can trust me is because I’m not some ‘fly by night’ – I’m invested in Parker, I have ‘time in’ as Kevin Hart would say. There’s no monetary gain for me, I’m not some dodgy bit coin peddler trying to flog fake monopoly money or build some pyramid scheme, think more your local persistent Jehovas Witness, except I’m trying to recruit Parker acolytes. Although if I did take bribes lowers voice I once saw (at a John Connolly book signing no less) a chap wearing a remarkable Parker tour date T-shirt and it took all my will power to refrain from physically assaulting him and legging it with said garment.
But I can’t take credit for discovering John Connolly myself. It was my dad who got me on the case! We’re stretching back over 20 years here, back when I was working as a waitress at a cocktail bar – okay I wasn’t, I was a receptionist at a small family law firm and stuttered every time I tried to pronounce ‘solicitors’ (which was handy!).
Once I had read it cover to cover it was as if I rejoined the world with a fresh pair of eyes. It re-lit my passion for reading and for writing. I’ve since read everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, by John Connolly since, with the exception of the Chronicles of the Invaders series and that’s only because I’m a giant wuss and alien type stuff creeps me out***
It isn’t just the characters and the imaginative plots; it’s the way John Connolly writes that keeps you hooked. There’s a poetic nature to it that resonates.
But don’t just take my word for it…step into his honeycomb world.
*** An example being I tried to watch the film Life recently. ‘What’s the harm’ I thought, it ticked major boxes; Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and space…what’s not to love? Well…I didn’t count on ‘Calvin’ which is the ridiculous name they gave to said alien lifeform. I knew he was a wrong un just from the name. Think about it, I bet you can’t name one decent Calvin, and that DJ doesn’t count – I suspect that isn’t even his real name. Suffice to say the foreign entity was particularly gruesome causing me to hysterically hide beneath my dressing gown for the majority of the movie and requiring the ‘big’ light to remain on all night.