There’s an accepted adage that one should ‘never judge a book by its cover.’ Sorry Mr. Adage, but that is exactly what I am going to do. Not only am I going to judge the cover, but I an going to evaluate the paper, fonts, and even the box it came in. I am going to offer my opinion on the illustrations as well. And my opinion is this = Saul Goodman. (it’s all good, man!) Oh and the story is all right as well.
Why all this mumbo-jumbo about the physical book? Well see, I stumbled onto Author William Meikle’s thread on Goodreads.com. He posted a link to Dark Renaissance Press –the publisher for his book – The House on the Moor. Unfortunately, the Dark Renaissance website is down at the time of this post. But Meikle describes exactly why I was attracted to his book in his blog. I’ll leave it to the author to tell you about it:
The Deluxe Hardcover Edition is bound in smooth black leather, and the front cover stamped with a haunted house in red foil, further enhanced with solid black headbands and a red book ribbon. The book will be protected by a black slipcase and deluxe hardcover edition will be signed by the author and the artist.
The Signed and Numbered Hardcover Edition is bound with the printed front cover art. It is furthered enhanced with black headbands, and a black book ribbon. The signed and numbered hardcover edition is signed by the author.
Now how could a lover of haunted house literature such as myself not be interested in something like this! Then, after seeing the illustrations of the talented M. Wayne Miller , I was sold. See some of Mr. Miller’s work below:
In the age of digital downloads, I am impressed that authors such as Miekle take the time and effort to publish a well designed, hardcover book. Not that there is anything wrong with ebooks – I read the all the time! I publish them myself! But the pleasure of holding a book, flipping through the paper pages and then storing it on a cherry wood shelf cannot be replaced. The House on the Moor is joy to multiple senses. I have already expressed how attractive the book looks. But there is more. The cover is feels smoothly sensual when an open hand glides across its surface. And it seems to have that new car smell! Ah but it is a book – so the olfactory pleasure is, perhaps, more intellectual?
As for the other senses, I wouldn’t know how it sounds; this is not an audio book. I have made no attempt to eat it so I wouldn’t know how it tastes. But what about that other sense, the one called “imagination” which yields the power to bring all the senses together inside the brain? The plot certainly stimulates the imagination. It is a simple yet engaging story, filled with mood-setting charm. John and Carole visit a mysterious old man named Blacklaw in his house on the moor. John’s grandfather Hugh was a dear friend of Blacklaw’s in the olden days. In their prime, both men, bold and dashing, were celebrated for their feats and adventures, until one final act of daring caused Hugh’s demise. This act occurred in the cellar of the house on the moor. John is ready to hear the tale. Cautiously, over the course of several sittings, Blacklaw tells the tale as his energy is slowly drained. It is a story of the occult and magical spells. It is a story that explains the haunting that is occurring inside the house during present time Now readers, cue in the imagination – this power that brings together all the senses inside the brain. I could almost taste the Scotch that guests and hosts of the house drink during the tellings. I could almost feel the warmth from the fireplace and nearly hear it crackling. Could my mind hear the eerie chanting rituals that arise from the cellar? I think so. Could it see all the way up to the top of the library tower, where hidden in the shadows of the rafters was some kind of phantom? I believe so.
This is a book to cherish, to read by the fireplace in your favorite sitting chair with a sifter of brandy at your side. When not in use it belongs on the bookshelf in its protective black case, with a spine of shiny-red etching that spells to each and every onlooker: The House on the Moor.