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The Elementals
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Monthly Reads > July 2016 The Elementals by Michael McDowell

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message 1: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Thread for discussion of Michael McDowell's The Elementals


Char I'll be lurking around for this one. :)


Latasha (latasha513) I'm in. going to see if I can borrow someone's copy.


Tony | 53 comments I've ordered a copy. He is a writer I've never encountered before. Blurb sounds interesting - hope the contents are good too!


Char Valancourt Books is giving away free audios of this book. By my count there are 4 left, no strings attached.
Here's a link: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Char Tony wrote: "I've ordered a copy. He is a writer I've never encountered before. Blurb sounds interesting - hope the contents are good too!"

You may be familiar with his work as he was the screenwriter for Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas.


Latasha (latasha513) Charlene wrote: "Tony wrote: "I've ordered a copy. He is a writer I've never encountered before. Blurb sounds interesting - hope the contents are good too!"

You may be familiar with his work as he was the screenwr..."


whoa I had no idea.


Latasha (latasha513) ok, don't hate me but I did go ahead and start reading. I'm not very far into the book, around 20%. so far I really love the feel of this story.


message 9: by Ronald (new) - added it

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 557 comments I'm 10 percent done with the book, according to my Kindle. The books reminds me of the Gothic fiction of Shirley Jackson, including its macabre humor.


Latasha (latasha513) I'm afraid to say what it reminds me of because I don't want to hear a bunch of negative comments about someone I love so much. :( but it isn't Shirley Jackson but I do like her too.


message 11: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments C'mon Latasha, be yourself. I promise not to sneer at somebody as intelligent and nice as you. As for the others, just ignore them.


Latasha (latasha513) lol. it makes me think a lot of anne rice's mayfair witches. not that they are just a like, but as I'm reading this one I recall Riverbend, Deidre in her rocking chair on the porch, things like that., the murals on the wall, what that one mayfair lady kept in the attic. I mean this as the highest form on compliment for this book. i love anne rice and I'm so thankful for her talents and that she shared them with the world.


message 13: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Interesting observation.


Latasha (latasha513) Chapter 9- spooky & sad


Latasha (latasha513) Chapter 11- what kind of relationship does India have with her father?!?!


Latasha (latasha513) I'm up to chapter 19. I still love it.


message 17: by Ronald (new) - added it

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 557 comments I'm 33 percent done with the book. Michael McDowell is a good writer and this novel is a style of horror I like. My running rating for this book is 4 stars.

But I think I'm going to put this book on hold temporarily, for two long awaited books, MARKED TO DIE and SYLVAN DREAD, arrived
today.


Latasha (latasha513) Stopping at 63%. I do not need to be reading this in the dark....right before bed. Odessa & India is getting ready to take care of some business.


Kirstin | 120 comments I had the same experience with this book, Latasha! I had to turn the lights on and watch some television to be able to sleep. :)


Char Latasha wrote: "Chapter 11- what kind of relationship does India have with her father?!?!"

I know! That was a relationship...I had no idea as to what to think of it.


message 21: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Be sure to mark spoilers!


Latasha (latasha513) I didn't spoil anything, I promise. Chapter 22-
Oh dear lord!! I'm glad I'm reading during daylight hours.


Latasha (latasha513) 75% why has this not been made into a movie?!


Char Latasha wrote: "75% why has this not been made into a movie?!"

I know, right? I bet it wouldn't be as scary as the book, if they did.


Latasha (latasha513) Charlene wrote: "Latasha wrote: "75% why has this not been made into a movie?!"

I know, right? I bet it wouldn't be as scary as the book, if they did."


yeah! Guillermo del toro or james wan please!


message 26: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Del Toro could do it but it's actually not really up his alley.


Latasha (latasha513) But I love him the most! <3


Latasha (latasha513) I thought I missed it but India 13 if anyone was wondering.


Latasha (latasha513) I'm done! That was a great read.


David Brian (davidbrian) | 39 comments Latasha wrote: "I'm done! That was a great read."

I read The Elementals a few months back. It was one of the best books I've read over the last several years. Really good read!


Char Since I scored a free audiobook of this, I'm re-reading it now. I'm enjoying it immensely. :)


message 32: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony | 53 comments I'm about a quarter into the book. It's a very 'talky' novel. If I had to describe it thus far, I'd call it a 'Gothic soap opera'. The Beldame set-up is wonderfully evocative. I'm enjoying the novel.


message 33: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Southern Gothic


Latasha (latasha513) did anyone else keep slipping up and reading beldame as bedlam?


message 35: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments I listened to an audiobook for part of this being on one of my cross continent voyages, so I never got that messed up. It is funny that even in audiobooks narrators will sometimes say the wrong word and it is not caught in editing. There was at least one here but since I was driving I didn't annotate it. I think he used the wrong name in some phrase.


message 36: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony | 53 comments Some of the characters have non-standard given names (Dauphin, Luker, Odessa). Are these southern US names? The author's preference? Or are they meaningful?


Latasha (latasha513) I line in north east TN and have never heard those names before.


Latasha (latasha513) Live* dauphin means the prince of France right?


message 39: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony | 53 comments Latasha wrote: "Live* dauphin means the prince of France right?"

Thanks! I suppose the name fits his position in the Savage family.


message 40: by Randolph, Randy (last edited Jul 15, 2016 11:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Latasha wrote: "Live* dauphin means the prince of France right?"

The heir apparent to the French throne.


message 41: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Tony wrote: "Some of the characters have non-standard given names (Dauphin, Luker, Odessa). Are these southern US names? The author's preference? Or are they meaningful?"

Not common but plausible. You see a lot of odd sounding names in the South, odd to Northerners anyway. Odessa is a city in Ukraine I believe.


message 42: by Randolph, Randy (last edited Jul 15, 2016 11:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments Beldame is an archaic variant of beldam which means old woman, a malicious and ugly woman, especially an old one; a witch. Not a very subtle piece of symbolism.


Latasha (latasha513) Well I was close :) that's awesome to know Randolph. Lol, I don't think we have odd names down here :p


message 44: by Randolph, Randy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Randolph (us227381) | 161 comments I live in South Carolina and have previously lived in Texas, they can seem odd at times but usually go back to, scottish, Irish, or welsh.


Char Savage mothers eat their children up!!


Char I just finished listening and I loved it just as much this time around.


Scott Man, this book reached such a peak...and then crashed and burned.

The first half was great. I was even thinking this could be a rare five-star read, or at least four. My expectations were set high by Toplin.
I loved Luker and India and their open relationship with each other. They provided some good laughs in the beginning.

The scene where they looked at the photographs was very creepy, but it was the only scary part of the story. (Note to self: Disregard Poppy Z. Brite's blurbs, she exaggerates.)

It was shortly after this that it all zoomed downhill. Magic seeds?? Odessa thinks closing doors will stop spirits? They can animate sand! Her reasoning seems to be they don't know what exactly they are so who knows, it might work. Weak.

Lawton's fate was predictable.

Why did any of them stay there? More to the point, why did they keep going back? Luker's explanation of "it all just seemed like a dream afterward" didn't do it for me.

So very disappointing.


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