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The Bone Key by Sarah Monette

The Bone Key (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Sarah Monette

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293None38,273 (4.13)48
Title:The Bone Key
Authors:Sarah Monette
Info:Prime Books (2007), Paperback, 248 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2008 Book List, LITA, short stories, ghosts, supernatural, horror, Mystery, archives

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The Bone Key by Sarah Monette (2007)


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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
You know, the more I think about this book, the more I really love it. As stated elsewhere, it's a a series of interlocking short stories in the life of Kyle Murchison Booth. It's set in some historically nebulous time in the years after WW2, but the protagonist is so NOT grounded in the physical world that the lack of a detailed setting works very well. The things he pays attention to are exquisitely detailed, and I love that because specific detail ought to reflect what the pov character cares about.

Best for my inner language geek is the phenomenal amount of word-porn in this book. Booth's narration uses old words, antiquated words, and words whose primary meanings have gone far afield from their rare usages -- which leads to some lovely poetic double readings throughout the book.

The ending (SPOILERS AHEAD) given in The Green Glass Paperweight was kind of huge for Booth and makes me wonder what happens next. We're led to believe he recovers some freedom to feel, but I'm not sure we see enough to believe in it. *ponders* ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
I think this will be one of the rare books that improves as it sits in memory. It's a collection of short stories that follows a progression, a character development and graceful reveal with no info dumps, no clunky "this is why I'm the way I am."

Kyle Murchison Booth is the kind of damaged and endearing Sarah Monette excels at. Through the stories, he progressed from helplessly watching eventually to acting and having an effect on the results. At the same time, his history comes out in these glimpses and flashes that make you hungry for more as you're aching. ( )
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
Kyle Murchison Booth is the kind of character who really needs a hug, except if you did hug him he'd probably end up shaking from the trauma for days. He's an immensely Lovecraftian character, more so than anyone else in these stories; in fact, I think he's the only character who knows what kind of universe he's in.

As horror, the first few stories in this collection didn't work so well for me, but the last two or three did. (Oooh, that hotel. *shudder*) As a modern retake on Lovecraft & the early twentieth century ghost story, they're all quite good. And as stories about Kyle Murchison Booth, they're fantastic. Monette's talked about writing more, and I can't wait. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
The Bone Key is a surprising book.

Meet Kyle Murchison Booth, who works in a museum where he catalogues items. In the number of short stories in this book, that follow up on each other and show more and more of Mr. Booth’s life, thoughts and past, we encounter all kinds of amazing people, things and… other things. Mr. Booth is perceptive to many things, and he is not the average person. Just leave him in his quarters with his books. But life itself of course won’t allow that.

If you enjoy macabre things found behind double walls, ghosts and oddities, you’ll appreciate The Bone Key.

I'd give the book 4.5 stars. ( )
  paganpaul | Dec 9, 2012 |
I enjoyed this collection of short stories far more than I expected. ( )
  KarenIrelandPhillips | Jun 5, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Monetteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, Lynne M.Introductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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this book is dedicated to

M. R. James



H. P. Lovecraft

First words
This book is a series of interconnected short stories, written between 2000 and 2006. (Introduction)
I was contemplating the fragments of an unidentified animal's skull, late on a wet, windy Friday in March, when a voice said, "Booth? Is that you?" (First Story)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809557770, Paperback)

The dead and the monstrous will not leave Kyle Murchison Booth alone, for an unwilling foray into necromancy has made him sensitive to-and attractive to-the creatures who roam the darkness of his once-safe world. Ghosts, ghouls, incubi: all have one thing in common. They know Booth for one of their own . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:57 -0400)

An unwilling foray into necromancy makes Booth attractive to the creatures who roam the darkness of the world. Ghouls, ghosts, and incubi single him out as one of their own in these ten stories.

(summary from another edition)

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