Two of my greatest passions in life are books and art. So when one man decided to combine the two and create a brilliant world for us to play in…my head just about exploded! A collector of old photographs, Ransom Riggs has developed quite the inventory of unique and unusual pictures from days past. For some of you that may not remember, there was a time not so long ago, when Photoshop did not exist. While there were still ways of manipulating an image, the technology was a far cry from that which we know today. Alas, this post is not a lecture on the overuse of photo editing techniques…this is merely an introduction to images like these:
Kind of weird, eh? These are not just photos, however, they’re the book covers for Mr. Riggs’ Peculiar Children trilogy. This extraordinary man has intertwined the worlds of prose and photography to create a delightfully, creepy set of stories. His characters and plot lines come directly from the pictures he’s collected over the years. Despite a wide array of miscellaneous themes, he’s woven an intricate web that ebbs and flows from one page to another in perfect melody and transition.
Set within a series of “time loops” that take the reader from one year, decade, and generation to another, his words take on the same gothic styling as the photos he’s chosen to use. The peculiar children that provide the series its namesake are unusual, disturbing and lovable all at once.
While I have to admit that the third and final novel in the series, Library of Souls, did not capture my interest in the same manner as its predecessors, the trilogy as a whole provides a whimsical escape from everyday normalcy. Where else will you find a little girl with a serious case of back mouth (just wait and read!) or a boy that houses bees inside of his mouth?
Despite the unusual perfection that Ransom Riggs has created, however, it would appear that these books are about to receive a less than par Hollywood revision. While I hate to speak ill of the great Tim Burton, he has been tasked with bringing the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, to the big screen and seems to have given Riggs’ dark and twisted world a candy-coated treatment. The trailer’s been released and offers little credit to the original feel that makes the books so spectacular. The colors are too bright, the characters too cheesy, and everyone’s peculiarities seem to have been switched around. I have to hope that Mr. Burton has a plan, but at first glance, it looks like we’ve got another bad book to movie experience on our hands.
Check out the movie trailer for yourself and let me know what you think! Oh, and if you haven’t read the books, be a dear and head directly to your nearest bookstore…or you know, just power up your Kindle!