When True Genius Requires a Little Explanation
I know a Good Story / February 2, 2016

Some books are a hit for a day; some dominate the bestseller lists for a season.  One or two books can be considered touchstones for the decade but very few make it to true classic status.  But there is a work of fiction that seems like it never leaves the public consciousness.  In 150 years it has never been out of print, but it’s been adapted into almost two dozen films, five comic books, countless plays and electronic media and it’s probably the most quoted work of fiction in literature.  People either love it or hate it but everyone who reads knows there’s something special about Alice and her Adventures In Wonderland.  They linger in the mind. The joke of it is, this book has been loved and read for so long that a lot of the material Lewis Carroll referred to in this classic (and its sequel, Through The Looking Glass,) is no longer available to the regular reader.  We follow the serious-minded Alice through her nonsensical adventures and admire the imagination and poetry in the story so much we accept it without thoroughly understanding it.  So, I suggest you take the journey one more time and re-read Lewis…

When the door to the unknown opens
I know a Good Story / February 21, 2015

Every once in a while an author comes along that recalls the viewpoint of a child.  Not any child in particular, only what it was like to always be the youngest person in the room, with the most amount of instruction, whose opinions carry the least weight in a family.  Because, along with being loved and read to and coddled and warm, that’s what it feels like sometimes when you’re a kid.  Anyway, Neil Gaiman knows that.  Like Roald Dahl and T. H. White and Lewis Carroll before him, he remembers how even loved kids sometimes want more from their lives, more attention, more influence, more glamor.  And he puts this in his books, along with what comes from granted wishes.  The man’s written many terrific books but if you’re not familiar with his work, may I begin the acquaintance?  Let me introduce you to someone special, a girl named Coraline. Coraline is a girl with a problem.  As a matter of fact, she is bored.   Her family’s moved into a very old house that has been turned into apartments and her parents have focused on their work.  Her folks love her and care for her but, right now,…