So far so brilliant

Bag of Bones

So far so brilliant

Bag of Bones

So far so brilliant
New books dissected over email.
Oct. 4 1998 12:09 PM

Bag of Bones

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Dear David,

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What a fabulous finale, but also wonderfully creepy, in a way I'll briefly explain. I was, most of the week, actually thinking about The Brood, although I saw it only once long ago, and had forgotten the name until you mentioned it. It probably lurks somewhere beneath my Stephen King chapter too. It wasn't the pyschology or the danger of the movie that got me, it was the feeling that those murderous creatures were simply real, that is, beyond metaphor. And the feeling that I'd understood something that I'd always known without understanding: Anger does do those sorts of things and the crucial difference is not between literal and metaphorical manifestations but between places on a scale. Mercifully, most of our angers are low-scale and small-result; but this is usually more a matter of luck than of virtue.

Thanks to you too for this discussion--I never knew where it was going to go and it always went somewhere terrifically (or horrifically) worthwhile.

Yours, Michael

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David Edelstein is Slate's movie critic and author (with Christine Vachon) of Shooting to Kill. Michael Wood is author of Children of Silence: On Contemporary Fiction and a professor of English at Princeton University. This week they discuss Stephen King's Bag of Bones (Scribner; 560 pages; $28).