I Pay Tribute to John Bellairs, The Mackerel-Snapping Master of Moppet Macabre

at the University Bookman:

Children fell in love with the tales of John Bellairs (1938–1991) because they perfectly combined creepy and cozy: the laughing skeleton, curled up by the fire with a mug of cider. In novels like The Curse of the Blue Figurine and The Dark Secret of Weatherend Bellairs confronted his child heroes with cruel wizards and apocalyptic prophecies, terrible dreams and grim temptations—often illustrated by Edward Gorey, the other master of elementary-school macabre. Bellairs and Gorey both cherish old houses, weird objects, and the friendships that form among oddballs and outsiders.

more. Bellairs did at times fall into the danger of making the faith a superstition. But our own age is much more prone to the opposite temptation, of making the faith an ideology.


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