Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Two Sams

When I was packing for my vacation I collected up some reading materials to take with me, one of the books I got for Christmas was The Two Sams by Glen Hirshberg. I had started to read one of the stories earlier when I got the book, but got side tracked by my Leather Bound Edition of The Snowman’s Children also written by Glen. Well as we all know my school year got completely crazy after Christmas and I just didn’t get the chance to pick it up again until last week.

I was looking forward to delving into this book, mostly because I wanted to see if he was able to captivate me as a reader like he did with the Snowman’s Children. Part of me was scared to read it, not because it is in the horror genre, but because I had a sort of weird connection with his first novel. Although Snowman’s was a work of fiction, it was loosely based on the premise of something very real, real events that I remember living through. The way he described the area in Oakland County and the characters, he could have easily been describing the kids in my neighborhood, hell even me, and in many ways he did describe my fears quite eerily.

Anyway, so I started to read and well I have to say I was not disappointed in the least, and frankly I can’t wait until he writes another book. Glen wrote five short stories for “The Two Sams” collection, all of the stories are out and out showstoppers, I know how hard it is to write and well Glen makes it look effortless. Although I have never attempted to write fiction of any kind, I can see how aspiring writers would read his work and basically say “why do I even try?” it’s that good.

I am not going to give a synopsis of each story because well I want you to read the book, but I will talk a bit about my favorite one. “Mr. Dark’s Carnival” reads like a good old fashioned ghost story, the main character is a college professor who has had a life long quest to debunk the mystical carnival that the story’s title describes. A sort of Montana plains Urban Legend of sorts....that is until he receives an real invitation to visit the carnival one Halloween night. Part of him wants to prove the legend to be a hoax but ironically even more of him wants to experience it, really experience it. Glen does an awesome job of throwing a modern twist into the story as you experience the main characters quest to debunk the traditional structure of a ghost story while all the while becoming completely absorbed within it.

Reading the Two Sam’s convinced me that his first novel and its affect on me was not a fluke, I honestly thought I would at most get a quick scare and then put the book down and quickly forget what I read. But Glen has a way of working on your Psyche, and leaving you with a chill running up your spine for quite some time..
So buy the book, even if you are not a fan of the horror genre you will enjoy his work, and YOU know who---ahem, get the book and read it if you haven’t already, you are missing out on some good stuff!!
Once again you blew me away Glen, thanks.
You can order Glen's book on Amazon.com