VOLUNTARY COMMITTAL...SPOILERS

Joe's first collection.

VOLUNTARY COMMITTAL...SPOILERS

Postby Betsy_Boo on Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:56 pm

"Who knows what may lie around the next corner? There may be a window somewhere ahead. It may look out on a field of sunflowers."

I have just read "Voluntary Committal" for the third time and again I sit here with tears in my eyes. I don't know why this story gets to me. I am, as I have stated before, an emotional reader. I suppose I would not have made a very good English prof. because I can't tell you intellectually why some literature is good and some is bad. I can only tell you that I love it, hate it or am totally indifferent to it. I loved this story. I loved "Pop Art" of course, but this one got me where I live. I loved Morris and wish he were my brother. When I read this story I wanted him to make me a box to escape into to find that field of sunflowers...the one I can't seem to find in real life. I related most to Nolan, though...I never dropped a brick onto anyone's car, but I've done some things in my life I'm not proud of and at times they weigh upon me, too. But Nolan is lucky...he's not giving up and yet he does have an out if things get too bad.

I'm not sure what else to say about this except that I really do think Joe Hill is a brilliant, gifted storyteller...and when I say "story teller" I mean that as the highest compliment, even beyond being an "author". It is so rare to find a story teller these days...someone who has the ability to reach into your freakin' soul and pull out feelings you never knew you had. This is the magic of writing. How else can you explain it? I think that's why I am so ready for a new book from you Joe. No pressure, but I'll be waiting.
"We'll always have Paris."

Image
Betsy_Boo
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby Dana_Jean on Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:15 pm

Very nice Betsy. I'll listen to my CD of this story and get on this.
Dana_Jean
 
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:03 pm

Postby Barry_Wood on Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:41 pm

Very nice indeed, Betsy.

:-)
Barry_Wood
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:10 am
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Postby supreme on Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:26 pm

Very good story! :D It kind of reminded me of the movie 'House of
Cards' with Kathleen Turner.
:)
Image
supreme
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:48 pm

Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:54 am

I don't think you're insane PL. When I was reading what you wrote I started thinking about that part in the original Willie Wonka when they are in the boat and all those weird images were on the walls of the cave they were travelling through. I don't suppose that is what you're thinking of, eh?
"We'll always have Paris."

Image
Betsy_Boo
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby meridith on Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:54 am

I loved the description of the boxes in the basement. It made me feel like I was really there. The character development in this story was awesome too...also loved the ending! wow.
meridith
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:28 am
Location: Maine

Postby Betsy_Boo on Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:06 am

You know, I had another thought about this story. Do you remember when you were a kid how much fun it was to play with boxes? Your folks would get a new washer or refrigerator and let you have the box to play with. We always ended up making a fort and we would hide out in it. I remember that for some reason I always felt so safe inside. My own kids were the same way...they loved big boxes. You could decorate them anyway you wanted...and they seemed so magical. I wonder if Joe thought about this when he wrote this story?
"We'll always have Paris."

Image
Betsy_Boo
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby jodi on Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:43 pm

poisonlily wrote:
Betsy Boo wrote:I don't think you're insane PL. When I was reading what you wrote I started thinking about that part in the original Willie Wonka when they are in the boat and all those weird images were on the walls of the cave they were travelling through. I don't suppose that is what you're thinking of, eh?


No, I never saw the original Willy Wonka.


What!!!Youv'e got to see it! I think you'd be surprised how much your description is very similar to the boat scene in the original willy wonka movie.
I heart
Image
jodi
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:42 am
Location: peeking through Neil's windows

Postby Dana_Jean on Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:05 pm

You guys have said it all on this one.
Dana_Jean
 
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:03 pm

Postby sybil on Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:51 am

betsy...my father built houses when i was a kid, and he always had big boxes to bring home and play with. i thought of that during the story, too.
janis the joeker
sybil
 
Posts: 1366
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:05 pm

Postby KingoftheHill on Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:25 pm

These responses are amazing. I, too, found this story perfect in so many ways. The characters were fun. Morris was amazing and the boxes did bring a rush of memories of when I was a kid.

Once again, it's a dark story and there's so much lonliness. That seems to be a recurring theme in Joe's stories. Everyone is loney. Whether it's the dead or the living.

Kudo's to you, Joe. I enjoyed every single story!!!
_________________

Living easy, living free, season ticket on a one way ride... - Bon Scott

The changes somehow frighten me, still I have to smile. It turns me on to think of growing old. - John Denver
KingoftheHill
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:54 pm
Location: Oregon

Postby Betsy_Boo on Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:38 am

You know King...I didn't think of that, but you're right. Loneliness is a central theme through out all of the stories just as much as ghosts are whether actual or metaphorically speaking. I think Joe has tapped into the loneliness we are all feeling these days. I had a discussion the other day with someone about message boards...about how a lot of people use them to stave off that loneliness and isolation alot of us are feeling these days. I often wonder how our culture got to this point.

I also think a lot of them are about losing something precious to us and how we deal with it. There is so much depth to each and every story...several layers beyond being just a ripping good read. When 20thCG first came out and I was trying to get folks to read it, several people would say "I don't like horror stories", but this book is so much more. They just couldn't get past the title. Yes, some of the stories are scary, but they go beyond that. In a sense, Joe uses horror as a device to get to the real theme of the story.

I do hope Joe doesn't get pigeon-holed as a horror novelist, because he has proven with this book that he can write anything. And he can touch us in places we didn't even know existed. "Voluntary Committal" is a perfect example of that for me. I think it's because it speaks to the issues of loneliness and loss that I feel, and yet there is hope at the end. And who can live without hope?
"We'll always have Paris."

Image
Betsy_Boo
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby The_Fourth_Craw on Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:38 am

Voluntary Commital and Pop Art are my two favourite stories from 20th Century Ghosts, but I think Voluntary Commital just wins out if I had to choose between them.

Like all kids I loved to play in large cardboard boxes. Me and my friends also used to make "castles" out of deck chairs and spare blankets which had rooms and doors inside because of the way the chairs were built. I think thats why the story appeals so much, because almost everyone used to do a similar thing when they were small and more innocent.

Loved the Lovecraft reference in the song playing when Eddie disappears. (Anyone else out there a Cthulhu Mythos fan?).

The idea of doors to other worlds also reflected The Dark Tower, which I love and go back to again and again.

I hope that both brothers in the story ended up in the same place...
The Fourth Craw

Image
The_Fourth_Craw
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:42 am
Location: Scotland

Postby Betsy_Boo on Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:24 am

Me too, FC. I wouldn't mind going along myself. :)
"We'll always have Paris."

Image
Betsy_Boo
 
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:20 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby Snooky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:21 pm

I'm not so sure it's lonliness that I get out of this story. If you've ever know a silent genius or an autistic child (think Rain Man, of sorts) they never really feel lonely. They are so obsessed with what's going on in thier minds, they don't worry about what other people are doing.

However, in this story, no matter how removed Morris is, he loves his brother, he's overheard what happened, knows his brother's worry and certainly does not like Eddie because of it.

Like most genius people, they come up with the most incredible yet simple way to get rid of a problem. Now wait...Morris is of higher intelligence; he's tapped into something (I think) quite by accident and now his mazes & boxes have a purpose and meaning. I think he traveled to a few places way before Eddie ever went in. That's why he gave instruction go out they way they went in...in thier first adventure into the octopus. He already knew where his boxes "could" lead. Think about the interiors of the boxes that Eddie described out loud but Nolan never, ever noticed before. Was Nolan so focused on getting this yutz's curiousity satisfied that he just never really looked around or does one see what they want to see inside the boxes?
~If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a terrible warning.~
Snooky
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:01 pm
Location: Looking Over the Gulf of Mexico

Next

Return to 20th Century Ghosts


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest