Queens' weirdness on display in "Horror House Detective"
by Nigel Chiwaya
Apr 21, 2010 | 13494 views | 1 1 comments | 446 446 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Michael Gold
Michael Gold
Look out, Queens, we've fallen victim to The Weirdness.

Or at least, that would be a convenient explanation for the strange, aggressive, and sometimes non-sensical behavior that we display in our borough.

Writer Michael Gold noticed the weirdness, and the result is "Horror House Detective", a novel in stories about a Queens man who is constantly assaulted by the strange and unnatural, and who decides to fight back to keep himself and his family safe.

Now, the first thing to know about Horror House detective is that it does not read like a regular novel, going from point-A to point-B in tidy fashion, instead it reads more like a comic book, taking the main character, Harold Schreiber (Don't call him by his last name!) from adventure to adventure, all within this borough of ours.

"There's something about Queens that seems to bring out the toughness in people, the combativeness," says Gold about his inspiration to write the book, "It's just some really crazy, out there stuff, teetering on the edge of violence."

Queens residents are sure to get a kick out of seeing their neighborhoods come to life in Gold's book From Ozone Park to Forest Hills, Queens takes center stage in Horror House Detective, and Gold wanted it to be that way.

"A lot of it came from Queens itself," he said, citing one of the book's stories that begins with a man getting hit by an SUV on Queens Boulevard. The man then becomes a vengeful spirit that causes other accidents on the Boulevard.

"Queens Boulevard drives me nuts because I have to cross it twice a day. It's like a NASCAR speedway."

However, Horror House Detective goes beyond the "normal" abnormalities or life in Queens. There's just something odd in Harold's world. As a kid, his mother was very distant, almost cruel to him. His father was kinder, but also very hands-off. And his brother, driven to a mental institution at a young age, becomes a dramatic antagonist later.

"The guy [Harold] feels abandoned by his family, and his brother is in a strange situation," says Gold. "It's a strange feeling that sort of encompasses the entire book. The guy had to grow up very early, and he's not like a regular kid."

Gold, Long Islander who has become a Queens resident though and through (he even roots for the Mets, noting that "rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for the Roman empire.") hopes local people get a kick out of the book.

"I hope people enjoy it," he says. "It's a book for Queens people."
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May 08, 2010

Thank you for sharing this book. I passed it down to many of my friends. They loved it and I will continue to share it.