The Two Mikes

The Two Mikes
Ever wanted to talk with someone about a book you just read? You could just join a book group and talk about it, drink a little, veer off on tangents, work back around to the book again, and finally wrap it up by picking the next book.

But what happens when the book you just read is about about hungry zombies or a haunted house, and your Eat, Pray, Love–reading friends aren’t really into reading it, much less discussing its finer points? That’s what we’re here for. We Two Mikes will be your virtual book group for discussing new and interesting and old and half-forgotten horror books.

If you want to follow along with us, look at the next forbidden book on the table and start reading.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Episode 128: Tim Powers's The Stress of Her Regard

The Two Mike's rip out their charred hearts and shove them into a paper bag as they read The Stress Of Her Regard by Tim Powers.  Can they free themselves of this everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink-blood-sucking-Nephilim novel by climbing the Swiss Alps or do they just need to down a few hundred cocktails?

It's Cocktail Time!

Maid of the Mountain

2 shot German Brandy like Ashbach
1/2 shot Kirschwasser

Shake with ice. Pour into a tall glass and top with club soda and cherry bitters.

Song: %Origin of Love% by Mika

1 comment:

Emphyrio said...

Thanks guys. I guess I'm somewhere between the two of you in my happiness with this book. As I read more about their lives, the more the lack of fleshing out of biographies needles me.

By happenstance, I came upon Lita Judge's newly published Mary's Monster, an illustrated biography, in free verse, of Mary Shelley. These were just kids! Shelley was 20 and Mary 16 when they ran away (with Claire) across a devastated-by-war Europe. Mary was pregnant from the tryst they had near her mother Mary Wollstonecraft's grave.

By 24 Mary was a widow. Byron died at 36. No wonder they were so awful with money management.

Shelley would have been forgotten if Mary hadn't edited and published his works over the next 28 years. He'd had no success with his poems during his life. He was reviled as an atheist and despoiler of girls.

It's a quick read, in the YA section. It's fascinating, surprising and tragic. Sample poem:


JULY 1822

I fear we will not escape
the destiny I gave my unloved Creature.

Shelley's demons turn his thoughts murderous.
At night he wakes me from sleep,
screaming that he dreamed his hands were gripping my neck,
strangling me.

His poetry is filled with images of the dead.
He hallucinates nightmarish visions
of bloodied people standing atop the sea,
their eyes hollow,
their bones showing through their skin.

I can do nothing but watch
as he becomes completely disillusioned.
Life and love are only mirages to him.
It is death alone that holds his fascination.

I must turn toward living and keeping our son safe.
I no longer beg Shelley to stay when he sails
with Edward into another restless sea,
even tho0ugh I know he dares the wind
to show him the mysteries that haunt him
about what lies beyond the grave.

Day after day
I wait.

But he does not return.


The next poem is about his drowning and cremation, of course. And his heart wasn't wrapped in butcher paper, but in a manuscript page from Adonais, the elegy for Keats, and kept in Mary's desk!

Powers missed the mark when he didn't delve into these peoples' lives and relationships more. Dreaming of strangling your wife!