The Cape--SPOILERS

Joe's first collection.

The Cape--SPOILERS

Postby Betsy_Boo on Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:16 pm

Ok Guys...I promised I'd give this a go, even though I'm nervous as hell.

Usually, when I read something my first time through it is entirely emotional. So the first time I read "The Cape", I have to say it wasn't my favorite story in the book. It's a great story and very well written, but I just didn't like Eric. I didn't like how he treated people...on the other hand, I kind of understood a bit because everyone in his life had all these expectations of him and all he really wanted to do was move to Alaska and enjoy life. Then again, part of me was saying, well, do it...stop talking about it and do it! I really couldn't understand why his solution to his problems was to zone out most of the time. Then he finds his cape, and he is embued with this wonderful power and what does he do? He uses it to get revenge against his ex and his brother. I guess I've been kind of ticked off lately about people who get their jollies being cruel.
The second time I read it, I really got the part about his brain damage. When he fell out of that tree it really messed him up. It reminded me of a book I read once where this psychiatrist did a study of murderers in prison and found that a very large percentage of them had some kind of brain injury as a child. Eric's reaction to life made sense to me then and I actually felt for him. That brain injury was the beginning of the end for him. If not for the cape, he probably would've continued living in his mother's basement until one or both of them kicked. The Cape changed everything. I guess I was a little sad by this story because it is another instance of power corrupting. One would hope that we could use our power for good...but I guess I've lived long enough to know that THAT rarely is the case. I found this story very similar in theme to "Locusts" in this regard.

Again, this was a very compelling and well written story. I don't want anyone to think I didn't enjoy it...especially the writing. My favorite line is when Eric is describing how he flies with the cape:

"All I had to do to glide forward was look forward, and I was going, as if driven by a stream of powerful but invisible gas, the flatulence of the Gods."

I do love the way Joe writes.
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Re: The Cape--SPOILERS

Postby meridith on Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:52 pm

This story completely fooled me : ) I was really hoping that he would fly off with his ex and they would live happily ever after in Alaska....what does he do, he drops her! wow....

I know that a lot of stories like this can have an unhappy ending but this one suprised me. Like you said, I didn't like Eric!

I loved the descriptions of flying. I don't know how common it is, but when I was a kid i used to have dreams about flying sometimes. I didn't have a cape though, but it kind of reminds me of the way he described it. oh yeah, and I didn't drop people either! LOL. I remember trying to fly up over trees and on top of buildings. Haven't had one in years though!


Betsy Boo wrote:Ok Guys...I promised I'd give this a go, even though I'm nervous as hell.

Usually, when I read something my first time through it is entirely emotional. So the first time I read "The Cape", I have to say it wasn't my favorite story in the book. It's a great story and very well written, but I just didn't like Eric. I didn't like how he treated people...on the other hand, I kind of understood a bit because everyone in his life had all these expectations of him and all he really wanted to do was move to Alaska and enjoy life. Then again, part of me was saying, well, do it...stop talking about it and do it! I really couldn't understand why his solution to his problems was to zone out most of the time. Then he finds his cape, and he is embued with this wonderful power and what does he do? He uses it to get revenge against his ex and his brother. I guess I've been kind of ticked off lately about people who get their jollies being cruel.
The second time I read it, I really got the part about his brain damage. When he fell out of that tree it really messed him up. It reminded me of a book I read once where this psychiatrist did a study of murderers in prison and found that a very large percentage of them had some kind of brain injury as a child. Eric's reaction to life made sense to me then and I actually felt for him. That brain injury was the beginning of the end for him. If not for the cape, he probably would've continued living in his mother's basement until one or both of them kicked. The Cape changed everything. I guess I was a little sad by this story because it is another instance of power corrupting. One would hope that we could use our power for good...but I guess I've lived long enough to know that THAT rarely is the case. I found this story very similar in theme to "Locusts" in this regard.

Again, this was a very compelling and well written story. I don't want anyone to think I didn't enjoy it...especially the writing. My favorite line is when Eric is describing how he flies with the cape:

"All I had to do to glide forward was look forward, and I was going, as if driven by a stream of powerful but invisible gas, the flatulence of the Gods."

I do love the way Joe writes.
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Re: The Cape--SPOILERS

Postby meridith on Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:30 pm

was it by Michael Stone by any chance?

Most Evil

Michael Stone

there is a series on the Discovery channel called "most Evil" and is about serial killers. The series talks about the brain damage issue. Basically the theory is that the majority of serial killers have a combination of mental illness, head trauma (head injury, tumor etc.), and abuse as a child to set it all off. Mental illness alone doesn't cause serial killers, nor does abuse as a child, but all those things combined can create one. The other type of serial killer, including Bundy, includes Sociopaths. basically they are finding that they are "hardwired" differnetly in the brain....they can't really identify with emotions the same way we do. there was another study done on fear and apparently, a sociopath does't anticipate something and become fearful......creepy stuff.....


Betsy Boo wrote:The second time I read it, I really got the part about his brain damage. When he fell out of that tree it really messed him up. It reminded me of a book I read once where this psychiatrist did a study of murderers in prison and found that a very large percentage of them had some kind of brain injury as a child.
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Re: The Cape--SPOILERS

Postby Betsy_Boo on Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:12 am

meridith wrote:was it by Michael Stone by any chance?

Most Evil

Michael Stone

there is a series on the Discovery channel called "most Evil" and is about serial killers. The series talks about the brain damage issue. Basically the theory is that the majority of serial killers have a combination of mental illness, head trauma (head injury, tumor etc.), and abuse as a child to set it all off. Mental illness alone doesn't cause serial killers, nor does abuse as a child, but all those things combined can create one. The other type of serial killer, including Bundy, includes Sociopaths. basically they are finding that they are "hardwired" differnetly in the brain....they can't really identify with emotions the same way we do. there was another study done on fear and apparently, a sociopath does't anticipate something and become fearful......creepy stuff.....


Betsy Boo wrote:The second time I read it, I really got the part about his brain damage. When he fell out of that tree it really messed him up. It reminded me of a book I read once where this psychiatrist did a study of murderers in prison and found that a very large percentage of them had some kind of brain injury as a child.


Honestly, I can't remember the name of the book. I read it long time ago. But it was pretty fascinating. I've been on this quest for quite a while, trying to understand why there is evil in the world. For a long time I believed that it was environmental...nurture vs. nature. But the older I get the more I think it is both. And a part of me is even beginning to believe in evil as a force, unto itself. If anyone is interested in this subject there are a couple of good books out there: The Sociopath Next Door & The People of the Lie. Each book I read brings me a little closer to understanding. I'll definitely check out that DSC documentary you mention.
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Postby grasking on Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:59 pm

Eric gave new meaning to dumping someone.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:17 pm

grasking wrote:Eric gave new meaning to dumping someone.


LOL!! Leave it to grasking to point out the humor for me. You're such a card! I guess I was taking it too seriously. I tend to do that.
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Postby grasking on Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:36 pm

Actually, I found the story dark and Eric disturbed (I guess brain damage will do that to you). I liked the part where Eric was holding the knife and wielding dark thoughts. "It was just a thought. Who doesn't have a thought like that now and then?" Good use of foreshadowing. Excellent horror story.

But I can't resist a using a bad joke or pun now and then.
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Postby sybil on Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:18 pm

i guess i'm warped, because i liked this, and i laughed at the ending, too. i'll reread it and come back tomorrow.
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Postby LauraK on Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:19 pm

I didn't expect him to srop her- but I laughed out loud! then I had to tell my husband why I was laughing.... :twisted:

I didn't think "brain damage" for some reason....will have to read it again.

I've had dreams where flying was that slow, hovering kind of deal. I'd love a cape like that....

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Postby sybil on Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:52 pm

just finished this again, and yes, i LOVED it.

LK...he did have brain damage from the fall. his brother took a fall, too, and went on to be an overachiever...i wonder if the fall affected his brain to be that way.

i really sympathized with eric...no one tried to help or understand him. his brother was distant and always telling him to pull himself out of it and stuff. i would think he'd be a little more helpful, after them both going through that trauma.

angie maybe did care at first. i don't much blame her for being scared when he had the knife in his hands, but after 2 years of living with him, i thought it was rude and cowardly to walk away from him while he was gone.

and his mother...UGH! she didn't give a rat's ass.

i was so thrilled when he started flying! i have recurring dreams of flying...sometimes i'm piloting a plane or hang glider, but more often, i'm just soaring around, and i always wake up feeling so fine! i love those!

anyhow, i thought angie treated him shabbily to the end. and maybe it wasn't so much the fact that he took the revenge on her as joe's writing. she touches his scar and
"It's unbelievable," she whispered. "Think how lucky you were. A few inches lower and that branch might've gone right through your heart."
"Who said it didn't?" I said, and leaned forward and let her go.


that's just so fantastic! like "i'm heartless, and here's proof." delicious!

then he talks about how his brother always made him be the bad guy when they were playing. "someone has to be."

so it's like...well i'd might as well STILL be the bad guy and "fly on down" to boston and see my brother. just wryly funny!

and maybe the cape will work for his brother.
But I don't think so. It didn't work for him when we were children. Why would it now? Why would it ever?

It's my cape.


the italics are mine, but that's how it hit me when i read it.

to borrow a word from stephen king: chuckalicious!!
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Postby Mr._Hex on Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:06 am

I was thrilled with how the story unraveled. Joe Hill took a ridiculous concept and made it believable, then took the whole thing a step further by putting such a dark twist on what would normally be an uplifting fantasy tale. Bravo.
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Postby Manor_Mistress on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:56 pm

Wow :shock: Loved that story! Never saw the twisted ending coming. Was thinking along the lines of "and they flew away together and lived happily ever after". Like some of you, I had to laugh out loud. Brilliant, Joe. :D
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Postby sybil on Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:41 pm

glad i'm not the only one who thought it was more funny than dark!
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Postby Dana_Jean on Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:19 pm

I liked this story. The writing was good. You guys have pretty well said what I would have said about it. But, I didn't laugh at the end, I gasped. I couldn't believe he actually unlocked her fingers and let her go.
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Postby imasmf on Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:45 am

I'm with the laughing people! It was a great story with a great ending! I did wonder what people thought when she was found? Were they checking plane logs and such to see if there was a woman missing? I'd like to see the newspaper reports on that body find!

As to sociopaths & serial killers, I find those shows so comical, the only person who can know the mind of a sociopath is a sociopath. I can tell you most of the qualities people associate with the term "sociopath" are wrong. Also theres a lot of serial killers who aren't sociopaths and even more sociopaths who aren't serial killers. Sorry didn't mean to get lost on that, just an obsession of mine.
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