9 Feb

I’ve been in a reading slump lately. There are a couple of books that are relatively appealing that I’ve read through more than half of. But, I can’t seem to get inside any of the characters, nor can I put myself into their settings. I just seem to be going through the motions of reading ‘til I tire. I think I have readers’ block.

I came across Thomas Tryon. Actually, I found a few of his books hanging out in my personal library at various different shelf intersections so, I thought, why not? I remember reading Harvest Home in the 70s. Tom Tryon was an actor back in the day, and that he left his acting career to be a full time writer was appealing to me, so I gave his work a sampling. Since then, I’d forgotten about Harvest Home, so I started reading it again. I also began reading his first publication: The Other. Both books are a horror fest of creepiness. I like creepy.

Harvest Home (1973) is about the dark side of a small idyllic New England town. Thomas Tryon masters the slow-burn in this eerie sense of dread, and as Clive Barker so eloquently puts it, “There is no delight the equal of dread.”

The Other (1971) focuses on twin brothers – somewhat of a ’bad seed’ story. Psychological horror story about what happens when one brother is frightfully good and the other frightfully evil.

Since I haven’t been ’feeling’ either of these books, though both well written with good, delineated plot lines – as horror goes, I thought a change of pace to spark the neurons a bit was in order, so I read a children’s book. Not one of those Dick and Jane books, but one-foot-over-the-line into Young Adult territory:

The Door in The Wall (1949) – Newbery Award winner 1950; and The Lewis Carroll Shelf Award 1961.

Entertaining read through the eyes of a ten year old boy living in the 14th century. When his father goes to war and his mother sets out to tend to the Queen, little Robin falls ill. Fearing the plague, the servants abandon him, and Robin is left alone. A monk, Brother Luke brings the boy to live in the monastery, where he is taught many things including patience and strength.

The use of literary imagery is vivid, and the story told, mostly in parables, is one of a learning lesson. An easy light read. Just the ticket to jump-start anyone’s reading momentum.

“When you come to a stone wall, if you look far enough, you will find a door in it.”

Doubleday book for young readers 1949 paperback  121 pages

Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers 1949 Paperback 121 pages/historical adventure-medieval fiction.


Harvest Home – a Borzoi book/Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1973 hardcover 402 pages horror suspense fiction; The Other – Fawcett Crest Book 1971 hardcover 288 pages/psychological thriller fiction


2 Responses to “THE DOOR IN THE WALL”

  1. chowmeyow February 20, 2015 at 8:59 p02 #

    Hello – I’ve just discovered your blog via Forrest of Book’s blog. I enjoyed your thoughts on The Door in the Wall – my goal is to read all Newbery award books (not something I’m working on very quickly – but still a long term goal) but I haven’t read this one yet. I’ll have to pick it up soon!

    • WORDMAN February 20, 2015 at 8:59 p02 #

      Hello Emily, and thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoy The Door in The Wall! I took a meandering ‘walk’ through “The Universe and Everything” this morning, and I like it. I’ll be joining your blog now. Thank you again.

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