I have to admit, I get a real kick out of Victorian and Edwardian photography, especially the later. I find it fascinating to see how the Victorians used, what for them, was new technology. Of course, there’s the insanely creepy posed post-mortem pictures and the shrouded mother baby portraits. I actually prefer the strange family tableaus and vignettes though. A flickr search on this subject can provide me with hours of harmless, weird-ass entertainment. I really think it speaks volumes about that period. Behind those grim faces, in a repressed society, with rampant death and disease, there was still the occasional flicker of whimsy.
With that in mind, I had to read this book. The author wrote the novel based on a bunch of strange vintage photos collected from flea markets. For the most part, this concept works, but there were a few moments where the story seemed forced. I did enjoy it, although I’d expected it to be more of a ghost story. Instead, it leaned a little more toward fantasy, with wights, monsters and time travel. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I expected either, but then again, it is classified as a young adult novel.
Apparently, this story will soon be a movie with Tim Burton at the helm. Something tells me this is going to one of those rare cases where the movie outshines the book.