I’ve been planning The Suicidal Book Club for a while, but I have a problem. I am the slowest reader in the history of mankind. It’s not that I can’t read or don’t like to. I quite enjoy it, but the written page has the same effect on me as a handful of percocets. I’m not sure why that is. I’ve also never written a book review, so this is a first for me. Pray it doesn’t go horribly wrong. Gauging a writer’s ability is something that I dread for the very same reason that I’d hate for someone to pass judgement on me. It happens every day in my comments so you’d think that I’d be used to it by now, but I mostly don’t pay attention to the mouth breathing dicks who I think I suck on some personal level because we disagree on the qualities of movie x. But I digress.
I should probably get the book review faux pas right out of the way now so we can move on to a more important critique. I hate the cover art on these recent Roc Trade paperback editions of Kiernan’s novels. They say you should never judge a book by its cover, as the old cliche goes, but bearing this in mind, I probably wouldn’t even look at the synopsis of the novel on the back if it first meant being drawn to it by these covers. Each has the same sort of treatment and the publisher seems to employ the same artist for most of their paperbacks. They also recycle the same moldy old blurb from Neil Gaiman on each one. Follow Neil or Caitlin’s twitter feeds and you’ll realize that they’re both quite friendly and have much more to say than the usual bard and poet line from the covers. So with all this shallow bitching aside, allow me outline a few reasons why you should be reading The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan.