Brad's Reviews > The Highwayman

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
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Apr 02, 11

bookshelves: macabre, children
Read from April 01 to 02, 2011, read count: dozens

This book might be the single biggest factor in my daughter's fascination with the macabre and spooky.

Seven years old now, Brontë loves anything horror. She loves to be scared, and her artwork reflects that. She draws zombies and vampires and all the girls in her pictures look like the lead actresses from any Tim Burton movie you'd like to choose.

When she was very little, just a toddler, some friends gave us The Highwayman, and it's rhythm fast made it a favourite around our house. Both Brontë and Miloš loved to have it read to them late at night, and I couldn't resist obliging them. Only recently, however, have they really grasped what was going on. They always knew the general plot, (view spoiler) but the nastier bits of the story, (view spoiler) are finally coming clear, and it is making Brontë love the story.

The gothic creepiness of the artwork only makes her love the poetry of Alfred Noyes more.

Imagine that. A girl named Brontë in love with all things gothic. I wonder what she'll make of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre when she's old enough? I'm guessing she'll be extremely proud of her name. I just hope it doesn't become a weight around her neck.

In the meantime, I'll keep reading this to her until she's tired of hearing my voice and is busy reading it to herself. It's a great book. Perfect for all the little horror lovers in your life.

Time to go play Frankenstein with Brontë and Miloš. I'm a lucky Pa.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (last edited Apr 02, 2011 04:28PM) (new)

Kelly I love this poem! Did you know a woman called Loreena McKennitt set it to music? Also one of my favorite songs for many years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2CFM4...

(She's also done it for the Lady of Shalott- but I guess that's more of a teenager poem. :))


message 2: by Brad (last edited Apr 02, 2011 05:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad I did, Kelly! And she's Canadian, which makes a big deal to us Canadians, or pseudo-Canadians which is closer to my truth.

And thanks for the fix, Sherri :)


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve This sounds wonderful. Our youngest boy like scary stuff (just like his parents).


Brad Scary stuff is the best, isn't Steve? We just watched James Whales' old Frankenstein today. What a groovy way to spend a lazy Saturday.


message 5: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Brad wrote: "I did, Kelly! And she's Canadian, which makes a big deal to us Canadians, or pseudo-Canadians which is closer to my truth."

Ah! Makes sense that you would know her then- I love her!

Also I forgot to say this in general- great review. I love when the enthusiasm shines through like this!


message 6: by ♥Xeni♥ (new)

♥Xeni♥ I really dig the names you chose for your children!


message 7: by Megan (new)

Megan Sherri wrote: "I recall that this particular poem has been set to music. I remember seeing it performed during my ren faire days. Drama! Drams! Lots of fun, too. Wish I had a recording of it."
Lorena McKennitt did a recording of it. Normally I hated poetry we took in school, but this poem always stuck with me.


message 8: by Steve (new)

Steve Brad wrote: "Scary stuff is the best, isn't Steve? We just watched James Whales' old Frankenstein today. What a groovy way to spend a lazy Saturday."

Brad, absolutely. Whale, Val Lewton, Karloff, etc. (I love the original Karloff Mummy movie.) Hey, about a week ago I finished a book that may interest you, titled
The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror; Revised Edition with a New Afterword, by David Skal. It's a terrific cultural history. I didn't write a review at the time, but I highly recommend it. At the time I was reading it, I couldn't put it down.


Brad That sounds awesome, Steve. Going to add it to my to-read right now. Thanks for the tip.


message 10: by Justine (new) - added it

Justine Your daughter's name is Brontë?! What a wonderful choice. She's lucky to have such a beautiful name :)


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