Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,

46 of 50

  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu
  21. Merton, Thomas — The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith
  22. Alexander, Lloyd — The Castle of Llyr
  23. Zelazny, Roger — Lord of Light
  24. Card, Orson Scott — Ender's Game
  25. Clarke, Arthur C. — Childhood's End
  26. Grahame, Kenneth — The Wind in the Willows
  27. Dahl, Roald — James and the Giant Peach
  28. Lewis, C.S. — Out of the Silent Planet
  29. Lewis, C.S. — Perelandra
  30. Milne, A.A. — Winnie-the-Pooh
  31. Card, Orson Scott — Speaker for the Dead
  32. Bester, Alfred — The Stars My Destination
  33. Greene, Graham — The Power and the Glory
  34. Gaiman, Neil — Neverwhere
  35. Ballard, J.G. — The Drowned World
  36. Ballard, J.G. — Crash
  37. Joyce, James — The Dubliners
  38. Le Guin, Ursula — Tales from Earthsea
  39. Le Guin, Ursula — The Other Wind
  40. Asimov, Isaac — The Robots of Dawn
  41. Dick, Philip K. — A Scanner Darkly
  42. Stewart, George R. — Earth Abides
  43. du Bois, William Pène — The Twenty-One Balloons
  44. Wells, H.G. — The Time Machine
  45. Toole, John Kennedy — A Confederacy of Dunces
  46. Silverberg, Robert — The Book of Skulls

The Book of Skulls is an intriguing read. Four college seniors head west during their Easter break in search of a monastery of sorts where they may find the secret of eternal life. However, eternal life comes at a steep price: one of the four must commit suicide and one must be murdered by his companions.

The characters are expertly brought to life as the narrative is told, in turn, from the perspective of each. Very human, each has their flaws as well as their redeeming qualities. I couldn't help speculating, over the course of the novel, on who would die or, indeed, if anyone would die at all. One is kept guessing until the end, but ultimately things end as they really must.

My one and only complaint is that there were a lot of allusions, usually to Jewish culture, Greek mythology, or ancient history, that I didn't get and had to look up. The narrative doesn't suffer if one doesn't understand the allusions, but I'm anal about looking up these sorts of things (which made reading this during my commute a bit of a challenge at times). And if I, with all the trivia I have stored away, didn't understand the allusions…. Anyway, if you're going to read The Book of Skulls (and I highly recommend it) have a dictionary or internet connection handy.

Apparently, a movie is being made based on the book. I'll be very interested in seeing how they execute that. It may still be a couple of years before The Book of Skulls hits the big screen. In the meantime, go read the book.

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