Friday, February 8, 2013

Radio Week: "City with No Children" by Arcade Fire

Libby is here to finish out Radio Week with a song that will have you humming into next week and two excellent books to read while you're humming. 

City with No Children by Arcade Fire is about growing up and learning about how complicated the world can be. There’s more to life than the neighborhood you grew up in, the classes you took, or the person you hung out with all summer. It’s equal parts a sweet remembrance of the past and an expression of hope for the future that manages to be both naively optimistic and harshly cynical.

The Graveyard Book by the amazing Neil Gaiman is about a boy growing up in a graveyard, the ultimate city with no children. His family is murdered by an assassin known as “the man Jack”, but he escapes and crawls down the street and through the gates of a nearby cemetery where he is adopted by the ghosts and given the name Nobody because “He looks like nobody but himself.” Nobody, or Bod, grows up amongst the supernatural, gets into mischief, and eventually begins to explore the world beyond the graveyard. This is my favorite book of all time ever. The best part of The Graveyard Book is the people. Gaiman’s characters are absolutely brilliant.

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer is also about a boy growing up and interacting with the supernatural, but in a very different way. In the first book of the series, twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is the supergenius head of a massive criminal empire that could use some more gold. Like any smart criminal, he does his research and decides to kidnap a Fairy and hold it for ransom. The plan goes awry when he captures Lower Elements Police (LEP) recon Captain Holly Short, a three foot tall elf who also happens to be pretty badass and not at all interested in being his prisoner. The Fairies are the most technologically advanced society in the world, and they want Holly back, preferably without having to pay the metric ton of gold Artemis is demanding. Artemis and his Bodyguard, Butler, have to negotiate for the gold with a snarky centaur, expert dwarf thief, Commander Julius Root, and the entire power of the LEP. DUN DUN DUM.

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