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The Bone Key (2007)

de Sarah Monette

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4482856,874 (4.14)56
An unwilling foray into necromancy makes Booth attractive to the creates who roam the darkness of the world. Ghouls, ghosts, and incubi single him out as one of their own in these ten stories.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 28 (següent | mostra-les totes)
You couldn't possibly think of a more unlikely hero than Booth. Yet the stammering and introverted museum curator is the perfect protagonist in these ten short stories. The stories tie into one another perfectly, and let you watch the growth and development of the main character. The smooth prose of the author are contrasted by Booth's poor attempts at speech. Monette creates a surreal world whose supernatural presence in the book is real enough to make your heart beat a bit faster the next time you find yourself alone in a dark room. ( )
  littoface | Feb 2, 2024 |
I was genuinely worried there for a while that I just don't really like horror (or at least—horror writing; horror movies of course take the cake). But worry not! It's just bad horror (writing) that I dislike.
These stories are fun, though probably not particularly scary, and well paced; though I think some points where (I think?) I was supposed to realize the subtle horror that had been there the whole time...um..where is this sentence going? What I mean is sometimes I think the "subtlety" of it didnt work, maybe because it was just too subtle or maybe because I'm just dumb. But there were several points where the main character apparently is stricken with growing realization about, um, something.
Speaking of: the main character, the subtitular Kyle Murchison Booth, is compelling, too, a fun twist on the smarmy academics of Lovecraft and co., and the stories do good work at developing his humanity without it being the main focus of most of them. In fact I think that background work, developing Booth as well as the world at large, is the high point of Monette's writing, and justifies the packaging of these as a collection, a pseudo novel, rather than real stand-alones. That being said, I think they could be read as stand-alones, or anyway could be read in basically any order, though I wouldn't recommend it. ( )
  maddietherobot | Oct 21, 2023 |
Maybe most of my ranking is for "Elegy for a Demon Lover", but well... It's just a very good short story in a collection that, by any other author, I might have dropped. It's not Monette's fault, so much as I tend to find horror rather boring. And prior to Elegy, there was a story ("The Inheritance of Barnabas Wilcox") with one of my particular horror squicks. But I pressed on because I love Booth, and Monette's writing is wonderful, as usual, and I'm glad I stuck around, because I've reread Elegy four times now and adore it. The following short story, "The Wall of Clouds", is also very fun with its whump, and "The Green Glass Paperweight" is lovely, as well.

Booth is similar to Monette's other protagonists in that I love him, and I want to wrap him in a warm blanket because he's had a rough go, and he has shades of Felix in his more timid moments in "Doctrine of Labyrinths". All in all, a good anthology. If you read nothing else, read "Elegy for a Demon Lover". It's far and away the best short story here, and the sort of sequel "The Wall of Clouds" is good, as well. ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
It's been a while since I read Monette - I remember reading Somewhere Beneath These Waves taking the ICE in Germany back in 2016, which was very nice. These short stories never quite wore out their welcome, despite being focused on one man. I didn't really end wanting more, though.

The Bone Key was very centered on a very specific atmosphere, which was great. I love the research done into making Booth a very focused type of scholar. I love the old religious names. For instance, one would think of Mildred as an old lady now, but we go through the diary of a Mildred from childhood to old age. I had to look up some of the religious references (such as the writing on the wall) - it made the early church education feel useful, for once. And again, it really focused the time period, since you need scholars who are educated, probably through the church, but are not monks or natural philosophers.

Anyway, this is all a creeping, quiet horror. I was never going to have nightmares, but the stories were kind of shivery to read on a dark, rainy night.

Despite being so long, I think The Wall of Clouds or the Venebretti Necklace were my favorite stories. ( )
  Tikimoof | Feb 17, 2022 |
The intro blurb makes much of this book taking inspiration from Lovecraft and M R James. I felt that it surpassed the writing of either because at its core there is a very well developed character who I could empathise with and care about, which meant that all the odd goings on actually mattered.
Very enjoyable, hopefully there'll be more. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
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Thomas, Lynne M.Introduccióautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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this book is dedicated to

M. R. James

(1862-1936)

and

H. P. Lovecraft

(1890-1937)
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This book is a series of interconnected short stories, written between 2000 and 2006. (Introduction)
I was contemplating the fragments of an unidentified animal's skull, late on a wet, windy Friday in March, when a voice said, "Booth? Is that you?" (First Story)
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An unwilling foray into necromancy makes Booth attractive to the creates who roam the darkness of the world. Ghouls, ghosts, and incubi single him out as one of their own in these ten stories.

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