When I heard about the book series, I wanted to read just to get a better idea of del Toro’s storytelling and writing style beyond the screen. I’ve been a fan since Pan’s Labyrinth (though technically Hellboy, director wise) and even saw the film in theaters. Afterwards, I made an effort to see more of his original works, but so far that’s resulted in only watching The Devil’s Backbone (for shame LA). I plan to redeem myself, somewhat, by catching his Gothic Romance, Crimson Peak in theaters soon. Apparently the genre is something that’s been reiterated by not only del Toro, but the actors as well. I imagine this is because many assume it’s another horror/ghosts flick. I am not familiar with the genre much myself, but am definitely looking forward to the story and all the wonderful imagery I’ve come to expect from del Toro’s films.
Whenever I come across anything described as “unique,” my right eyebrow raises ever so slightly, but with respects to Henderson’s debut novel this is fair.
Stranded in Sunshine is the story of what happens when 11 people are invited to live in a recently abandoned shopping mall in order to create, a small sector of, civilization anew. While the premise may read as the plot to a reality show, it’s in the method Henderson chose to deliver the story that helps it earn its “unique” cred. Each chapter is through the eyes of a different character and plays out like a satirical soap opera.
“‘Forget technology, we’re starting… drum roll, please… A Better Place.’”
I found a quiver of arrows in the forest. What the hell? It’s 2015.
I never learned archery, perhaps this was a sign from the fates to start. I stowed them in my messenger bag and searched around for any clues to the previous owner. Nothing.
I continued walking oblivious that someone was watching me. Discovering a clearing, I placed a blanket down next to a stream and started reading. Several pages in, I heard someone emerge from behind the trees.
“You have something that belongs to me.”
I handed them over, what an unusual way to make friends.
I didn’t snag this one on a whim. It was recommended, and over the years I heard good things, but it took me a while to acquire simply because I kept forgetting when on the prowl for new reads and expanding my collection. I decided it would be next because it was more challenging at 580 pages than the other works I’ve read this month. I may have mentioned I’m not the fastest of readers, and because of this I can easily talk myself out of choosing a book to read. Anything beyond 400 pages starts to look intimidating and the “task” of getting through it can be overwhelming, especially if anyone else knows I’m supposedly reading it. And I just don’t trust myself to be able to tackle the works within “reasonable” amounts of time. But the only way to help improve my reading speed is to keep reading and keep taking on those that take longer to digest, at least on the surface. So far, I’m a little more than halfway through, and pleased with the pace I’ve been going, almost to the point of proud. But that won’t happen until I can check it off as read. Invisible Man hasn’t disappointed either. The writing is far more engaging than I was expecting based on the synopsis and so well executed. Some paragraphs sing almost poetically while others push you to read more, and it makes me pause to reflect and consider things about myself and those around me. And really it’s just been the kind of book I need to read at this moment in my life. So if you were one of few that encouraged me to pick it up. Thank you.