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My Motto Is Encourage, Don’t Deny

October 1, 2012 - Author: newscoma

I was allowed to read anything when I was growing up. I want you to know that. I read Stephen King books when I was in third grade, “The Exorcist” in fourth. I read everything I could get my hands on and a big deal was getting to go to Waldenbooks at Old Hickory Mall in Jackson, where we were never denied a book to read. The library was my friend, but they rarely had horror novels (I really don’t know why), but you could occasionally find Ray Bradberry or Isaac Asimov. Best day ever at the Weakley County Library was finding “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson.

When I got a little older, I went through author phases. Probably the most significant one for me was John Irving, whom I read nonstop while I spent nine months in Europe. It seemed that his books just fit my time there. Reading the words on the pages allowed my mother to explain things to me when I asked questions about issues or dialogue I didn’t understand. She did it in her own way, guiding me from the early years of school to adolescence and into adulthood. It was a bonding item for us. She loved horror novels as much as I did, although I could never find her passion for historical fiction.

It worked. The books we read created lively conversations. It was about family and creativity and imagination and living through the written word. And it was the discussions that inspired that made most any book a part of our family.

Lora wrote today about her love of books and directed her readers to the Banned Books Week website. To be honest, I knew it was going on, but, as Lora makes me want to learn repeatedly and all the time, I headed over to the Banned Books Week link. I went there and rooted around, wondering what made the list this year, and I think you guys may want to know that even at 50+ years, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is still on the top ten.

I’m a Southerner folks, and “To Kill A Mockingbird” is still one of my favorite books. It really is exquisite and painful, and I honestly can’t imagine it not being in this world.

You see, I come from a world where books were encouraged. My parents just wanted us to read. They wanted us to read everything, because it opened up the world.

My motto is encourage, don’t deny. It always has been a way that I believe in thanks to my parents.

Comments are closed - Categories: Tennessee

My Love Affair With Richard Matheson

December 12, 2007 - Author: newscoma

Yeah, my normal stuff is by the way side this very cold, yet balmy, yet confusing evening.

I’m writing about a love affair of mine that is passionate and filled with so much desire I cannot stand the tingling I feel.

It’s filled with craving of things I cannot write, but I admire.

I love Richard Matheson. I like horror novels like I Am Legend so this is up there with one of the best. It was written 11 years before I was even born and it is extremely timely for the world we live in.

You don’t know him? Yeah you do. Have you seen Duel, the first film of Steven Spielberg?

There is so much more. You may not know his name, but YOU know him.

He wrote I Am Legend in 1954. Yeah, you get the picture. In my second month of blogging, I talked of this of my extreme joy of reading this book. Matheson, Jack Finney, Harlan Ellison

I adore you.

I defer to my younger self:

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – If you like horror novels, and I do, this one rocks. Who is the bad guy in this novel? Sort of reminds me of what’s going on right now in the world, the isolation, need for social grounding and the fact that nothing appears at it seems.

What I didn’t say almost two years ago is how that this novel deconstructs the vampire myth in a way that, if you like horror novels, will make your throat clench. How it throws away the Romanticism of the undead and knocks it on it’s head because it’s not about eternity, but about survival is just … sweetly horrific.

It’s more than about the undead, it’s about changes in evolution.

It’s about the death of a society, of a generation.

And, it’s about things that wipe out the planet. The Ebola Virus, Aids, War … it’s about the annihilation of our planet  due to things we have no control of.

And how one man must survive.

The claustrophobia in this book, written more than a half a century ago, will make you retreat into your darkest place.  Because it’s just damn well scary.

Man, I’m sure that non-fans will scoff but how sweet, how exquisite I’m making this out to be, cut dangit, it is.

How evil, yet not. See, that’s what this is about. It’s about the human condition during fear and loss of control. It’s about changes in this world. Oh, Richard, you are my idol. I’m so serious.

The novel is about how the one man’s isolation against the apocalypse. It’s about evolution of our species. And, it’s about sometimes we are right.

Then sometimes we aren’t.

Oh, dear, this is sweet. And I’m looking at this novel as we speak.

Now, I haven’t seen the latest movie, but I will say that Vincent Price’s The Last Man on Earth was very much a Vincent Price movie.

Charleton Heston’s The Omega Man was not bad, but not great.

I’m so hoping, Will Smith, because I dig you and I think you are groovy. Please, let this be good. Third time is the charm.


Yes, the book is delicious. Will the third movie honor Richard Matheson’s work?

I hope so. Because Robert Neville is the Holden Caulfield for those of us who love the horror genre.

Mr. Matheson, thanks for changing it up. You are inspirational.



I’ve gushed enough. Whoops.

Now, go here if you are bored by my love of the horror genre. Yeah, I know, I know.

Comments are closed - Categories: Tennessee