Sunday, January 28, 2007

Books I'm Embarassed To Say I Haven't Read Yet: The Ceremonies by T.E.D. Klein

T.E.D. Klein's The Ceremonies appears on many lists of top horror novels. (Cliff cited it as a candidate in discussion on Charles' post about great works.)

I've owned it for about 25 years, and it's remained in what I consider my active stacks--books waiting to be read on the shelves vs. the books in boxes. They just don't all fit. I'm Sid and I'm a biblioholic. (I confessed in a post once upon a time.)

Mostly books I've read but want to keep are stored, though some books I don't expect to read quickly get tucked away. My interests ebb and wane. Sometimes I vacation from one genre for awhile, then some interest-flint strikes steel and produces a spark that sends me to dig out titles or series.

Somewhere in all of those mixed metaphors, some titles languish even though they remain in my line-of-sight.

I read Klein's collection of novella's Dark Gods when it came out and was enraptured by his fresh-take on things Cthulhu and more.

I heard from many people how great The Ceremonies was and I've always kept it handy. Just haven't read it.

I know it's a wonderful exploration of character and horror, that it follows a scholar to rural terrain where strange things transpire as he delves into gothic literature. I know it's an expansion of the short masterpiece "The Events at Poroth Farm" and I know it's something I should have read long ago.

I just haven't. I've passed it up from time to time for lesser works, quicker reads, lighter page-turners. For some such behavior is not a problem, but I know better.

Fortunately, in straightening books and re-organizing as I've been doing lately--trying to alphabetize and make my office livable--books' spells work on me. The back-cover notes call, their spines whisper when I pass the shelves. They even taunt me with what a Rod McKuen poem once dubbed "un-read smugness."

So I'm working to rectify my sins. I'm almost 100 pages into The Ceremonies, a point of no-return.

After that, well there are others for another day.


Charles Gramlich said...

Sid, this is one of the best descriptions of Biblioholism that I've ever read. I love the piece about "the back-cover notes call..." It happens. It happens! I hope Elora Fink reads this. She is perhaps the worst Biblioholic I know. I hope you enjoy The Ceremonies as well. I'm sure you will.

Sidney said...

I appreciate that. As I look around on Library Thing I see there are quite a few people who suffer the same vice.

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