The Art of Darkness

The Yggyssey

March 31st, 2009 by Cobwebs

YggysseyAuthor Daniel Pinkwater has just released The Yggyssey, a Young Adult book about a girl who lives in a haunted hotel.

When I got home from school, my room was full of ghosts…again! They were being invisible, but I could feel the cold spots in the air.

“Did I speak to you ectoplasms about this, or did I not?” I asked the empty room.

Silence. The ghosts were dummying up.

“Rudolph Valentino! I can smell your lousy cigar!”

There was a faint smell of cigar smoke, the trademark of the ghostly Valentino, so I knew he was among them. And my bedspread was rumpled. Probably they were sitting on my bed, playing cards.

“Look, you spectres–this is a young girl’s bedroom, not a club! Why do you have to hang out here all the time? You have an eight-story hotel to haunt. There’s a complete apartment reserved for your personal use. Why don’t you stay there? It’s the nicest one in the whole building.”

The management had sealed off a large apartment because it was way too haunted for living guests to put up with. The hope was that if they gave the ghosts their own space they wouldn’t haunt the rest of the hotel so much. Some hope.

“We get bored,” Rudolph Valentino said. “It’s nothing but ghosts there.”

“So you crowd in here so you can bore me, and stink up my room,” I said. I was mad. I really liked most of the ghosts, but a woman is entitled to some privacy.

Grumbling and mumbling, the ghosts climbed out my bedroom window, made their way along the ledge, and climbed into the window of the apartment that had belonged to Valentino in 1927. I had been in the apartment lots of times. Like the ghosts, I had to climb out my window and go along the narrow ledge to get in, which was a little scary to do if you weren’t already dead.

Pinkwater is also serializing the book, one chapter a week, onilne for free. (It looks like the free online version is probably a limited-time thing; he did something similar with his book The Neddiad–to which The Yggyssey is a sequel–a couple of years ago, but that site is now being cybersquatted.)

I doubt I’ll wait for the whole thing online; I’m sufficiently hooked by the first few chapters that I think I’ll be adding this to Shadowboy’s bookshelf in the near future.

(via BoingBoing)

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