Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"STRAIGHT ON 'TIL MORNING" by Christopher Golden

Part coming of age tale, part fairy tale, Chris Golden's Straight on 'til Morning made me laugh on some level - in a good way - and had me skipping words - in a good way - because I was so excited to find out what would happen next.

The book starts out as a very real look at childhood in the eighties. The descriptions of the kids are accurate. They're largely from broken homes, and trapped somewhere between the realm of cartoons, comic books, and tree forts, and the realm of beer and sex. They are part of tight-knit cliques, and their major concerns grow out of dating relationships.

That's the first part of the book.

The second part takes you away to a world where Golden's imagination is unleashed. No holds barred. A world - a Neverland - where death and magick are only a footstep away. It's funny, because though the two parts are probably of equal length, I'm sure that I read the last half in about a third of the length of time it took to read the first. The second half of the book is nonstop, fast paced fantastical adventure. Not that the first part of the book is bad, not by any means. Golden tells the story through the eyes of the kids, and is spot on with their observations... maybe too spot on. As I was reading the book, I found myself chiding some of the main characters for taking superfluous things far too seriously, and yet, after thinking about it, I was the exact same way at 13. You take everything far too seriously. Those 'tween years are some of the hardest, and Chris Golden made me remember why.

The edition that I read, pictured above, had an additional short story at the end entitled Runaway. The story is about an event that occurred in two of Straight on 'til Morning's main character's lives, preceding the main story. I found it interesting that the story could have easily been the prologue of the novel. A very good book.

For more on Christopher Golden check out his website: http://www.christophergolden.com/.

Rated 4 out of 5

(Originally reviewed in "The Daily Cave" on January 30th, 2007)

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