Thursday, August 24, 2006

Book-A-Day #37 (8/23): The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide, drawings by Edward Gorey

I’m writing this post in Word, because my first stab at it imploded when I tried to “save as draft.” (I suspect the wonky Internet access here at the Hilton was to blame; it runs along just fine for a while, and then suddenly nothing connects for the next five minutes.)

Anyway, today’s theme is More Book-A-Day Tricks.

Yesterday, I read about a third of an upcoming fantasy novel, in between various bits of Worldconning. That’s not bad for a convention day, but I was nowhere near finishing it. (I read another ninety pages of the same book today, mostly while standing on lines at Disneyland, but I’m not going to finish it today either.)

Luckily, I expected this. So I brought a secret weapon with me to Anaheim (in with the stack of other books I’m reading for various reasons): a 3-in-1 of children’s books called The Treehorn Trilogy, by Florence Perry Heide and illustrated by Edward Gorey.

I pulled that book out, read the first story in it before bed, and voila! I had just read a book.

The Shrinking of Treehorn is OK, but it’s not very Gorey-esque. Of course, Heide wrote it, and she isn’t Edward Gorey, so there was no reason to expect this to be all that much like the pure Gorey books. I’ll admit that the setup was promising: a young boy discovers that he’s shrinking, and the various adults around him either ignore it or blame him for it. But the boy eventually figures out the cause, and fixes this problem, which is an un-Gorey ending; I’d half-expected him to be randomly eaten by a bear.

So this is of interest to Gorey completists (like me), but not otherwise all that great. Maybe the later stories will pick up – we’ll see.

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