I finished Bradford Morrow's The Diviner's Tale
over the weekend, galloping through the last third of the book with gooseflesh on my arms, completely spellbound by this cut-above-the-rest literary ghost story.
Diviner's Tale's protagonist is Cassandra Brooks, a misfit schoolteacher in rural Delaware. Cassandra is also the daughter of Nep Brooks, and like her father, and her grandfather, and her male relatives back as far as they can trace, she is a diviner, and can find water by walking land with a forked stick in her hand. Half the time, she's not sure if she's kidding herself or not, but she finds water, and everyone around town -- including her twin sons, whom she is raising on her own -- knows it's true.
But Cassandra doesn't just divine water. Sometimes, she divines the future, something she discovered as a little girl, when she unsuccessfully begged her heroic older brother to skip a road-trip, a trip that proved to be fatal. These "forevisions" have driven her half mad at times, but she thinks she has things under control.
Until the day she finds a hanged girl in the woods where she is dowsing for water for a new housing development. Terrified, she calls the police, who can't find her girl -- but who do later find a mysterious runaway girl nearby. This kicks off a series of ever-more terrifying visions that are made all the worse by her deteriorating relationship with her family and the mysterious, threatening notes she's started to receive.
Spooky as hell, beautifully written, tight as a tripwire, The Diviner's Tale isn't quite like any ghost story I've read before. Morrow's prose is lush and eccentric and beautiful, somewhere between Bradbury and Kerouac at times, and his characters are superbly realized and gloriously imperfect.
The Diviner's Tale (Amazon US)
The Diviner's Tale (Amazon UK)
In honor of the great director Jonathan Demme who died yesterday, please enjoy this bloopers reel from his classic film Silence of the Lambs. More horror film blooper reels at TVOvermind.
“Quid pro quo – I tell you things, you tell me things.” Edited by Jon Tomlinson; Narration: Andy Geller; Executive Producer: Dustin McLean (CineFix)
Disney is contemplating opening a luxury Star Wars themed resort next to the Hollywood Studios park at Disney World, which could feature multi-day live-action role-playing games that run overnight, with guests staying all night in the park to interact with costumed characters and automated elements (droids, etc) to game out scenarios.
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]