YA Author Tim Tharp and eBay Promo Codes to Save on Books

Tim Tharp

You are most likely familiar with author Tim Tharp from his third novel, The Spectacular Now which was released in 2008 and turned into a feature length film in 2013. He has written 5 books, mostly in the Young Adult genre. We’ll go over several of his books today, and we also have promo codes for eBay where you can often pick up books for less that are still in fantastic or even brand new condition!

eBay promo codes

If you are anything like me, you own a lot of books. I have an entire closet that is just books, as well as several overflowing bookcases and assorted shelves. It’s such a privilege to be alive in a time when books are plentiful and easily available, but when you buy as many as I do it can definitely add up. That’s why I like to get clever and purchase books from resellers and make use of promo codes to keep my costs as low as possible. The less I spend per book, the more books I can buy! I have used many different book buying/trading websites and my favourite is still one of the originals: eBay. I really like that you can see the rating of a seller before you purchase to make sure you are getting your book from a reputable source, and they have excellent consumer protection policies just in case. However, I haven’t had an issue with buying books off of eBay to date. Everything has arrived well packaged, in excellent condition, and exactly what I ordered.

eBay promo codes

Tim Tharp: the early years

Tim grew up in Oklahoma and started writing from a young age. As a child he enjoyed creating his own comic strips, perhaps influenced by the newspaper that his father was an associate editor at in Midwest City. As he moved into high school he enjoyed two hobbies: football and writing for the school newspaper. In addition to being the newspapers editor, he also contributed a regular column and a serialized mystery story. He wrote short stories inspired by his favourite authors in his spare time as well. Having realized at a young age that being a writer was his true passion in life he attended the Oklahoma State University and majored in both journalism and psychology.

However it was not a simple path for him and he dropped out after the first two years. He spent some time on the road travelling to Chicago, California, and Miami before returning home to Oklahoma. After spending some time working the night shift at a mental hospital he went back to school but bounced off it again after a semester, finding it too restrictive. He spent the next five years working and writing, experimenting with different styles. For the first while he didn’t submit his stories to any publications, and just put them away immediately after writing them. When he did start submitting his stories he was rejected which is a rite of passage for any writer, however he wasn’t sure how to improve. So, he decided to return to university one more time and formally study literature. This time he graduated with a BA and went on to get an MFA as well.

Books By Tim Tharp

Falling Dark: This is a story about what happened to the idealists and the hippies after the 1960s. This is Tim’s first novel, and is not young adult fiction It deals with some pretty dark themes and alcoholism, set against the backdrop of a deteriorating commune in rural Oklahoma.

Knights of Hill Country: This book is about Tim Tharp’s other passion: football. Set in a small town in Oklahoma the Friday night high school football games are must-attend event for the locals. The story follows the star linebacker of the team, who is a hero on the field but having a tough time off of it. He is struggling with his family life at home as well as his best friend, who has suddenly started acting differently. He finds himself drawn to a girl at school, but worries what dating her would do to his image.

The Spectacular Now: This is another story set in high school, centring on a boy who is popular and well-liked but struggling on the inside. He doesn’t like to think about the future, his only focus is having a good time right now. After his girlfriend dumps him and he wakes up on the lawn of the girl next door he starts to wonder if they might not be a good fit. Will he be able to overcome his fears and develop a relationship with her?

Badd: This poignant story is about a girl who’s brother returns from the Iraq war a completely changed person. He was dishonourably discharged for drug possession, drinks and acts recklessly at home, and spends all of his time with a local man nicknamed ‘Captain Crazy’ who had lost a brother during the Vietnam war. She and her brother had originally planned on skipping town when he had returned from service, and she mourns the version of her brother from before.

Mojo: Mojo follows an unpopular boy who is desperate to gain that ‘mojo’ that will make others like him. After finding the dead body of a classmate, he decides to start looking into the disappearance of a rich girl. He recruits two fellow outsiders to help him and starts to figure out that the girls disappearance may be related to the murder of his classmate. A hardboiled detective story set in a modern high school and told with a modern twist.

Short Review of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

bram-stoker-dracula-review

Set in far away Transylvania and Victorian England between the months of April and November, Bram Stoker’s original novel is a series of 27 separate journal entries, diary extracts and letters plus one final note, a catalogue of intrigue, horror and inhuman goings on. Together with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) it completes what might be called a 19th-century trilogy of original gothic horror written in English.

It starts innocently enough with a journey undertaken by a young solicitor, Jonathan Harker, from London to Count Dracula’s castle in eastern Europe, and climaxes with the pale aristocrat’s extermination on page 447, ‘the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight.’

Stoker’s ability to control the narrative from different angles using various personalities – Dr. Seward, Lucy Westernra, Mina Murray/Harker, van Helsing – helps build scene after scene into a complete and powerful whole. There is repetition in parts but it has a personal slant, bringing more colour and detail to the flow. Descriptions of Dracula are spot on. Thin,pale, with an aquiline nose and intense eyes. Picture actors Christopher Lee, Christopher Walken and Jack Nicolson as one character, in a black cape with makeup, and you’ll understand how alarming charm, hypnotic hype and malevolent malice can be perfectly combined. Little wonder Victorians were gripped when the book was first published.   

Things begin to turn a bit weird for the reader when an already imprisoned, stressed-out Harker spots the Count climbing down the castle walls to his coffin in the vaults one night, like some demented giant bat. Add to that a sensual dream involving three women with ‘voluptuous lips’ and sharp teeth, who come to tease the poor, already engaged Englishman and you can understand why some modern critics contend that sexuality is a theme throughout this story. In fact, critics over recent years have gone much further and alluded to sub-themes of rape, homosexuality, misogyny and promiscuity. They see the act of driving a 3ft wooden stake through the heart of a woman for example as a clear representation of sexual intercourse, the stake being a phallic symbol. And the swallowing of bodily fluids and use of the Sacred Wafer, well, this could be nothing more than a parallel with transubstantiation, wine and bread forming the blood and body of Christ.

Religion apart, feminists have opened up the debate about male fears of female influence, especially in matters of sex, claiming that Stoker was a typical repressed Victorian middle-class man who loathed the idea of being dominated by women. Hence, he created the blood-lusty King-Vampire to control all the potentially rampant women but needed good, clean Christians – Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood, Quincy Morris –  to make sure the world didn’t end up nosferatu.

It’s fascinating to note that Dracula’s way into the new environment he sought – the city of London, capital of the British Empire – was via the mind of a crazed inmate called Renfield, under the watchful eye of Dr. Seward. Renfield is the conduit through which the evil Count channels his dark energy as he prepares to threaten the moral order of society.

Renfield’s diet of flies, spiders and birds, all taken raw in his cell, relate to the animalistic nature of the shapeshifting Dracula, ex-alchemist turned bat, then wolf, then corruptor of souls.

Whilst it is true that Victorian ideals meant much repression – women were supposed to be angels of the household, for instance, men in charge of matrimony – is it right to pin postmodern values – ok, our obsession with sex – on what is nothing more than a good old horror story? Since Freud and company got to work on the underlying energies within our psyches however, it’s hard not to dismiss these critical suggestions.

On the other hand, don’t forget that Bram Stoker just happened to be sitting in Whitby library (on the Yorkshire coast of England) one day in 1890, researching into east European history for his new book. He came across the surname of Dracula and liked it. He is likely also to have known that a short story written by William Polidori in 1819, called The Vampyre, could have been a portrait of no less a person than poet Lord Byron, the infamous womanizer. The horrendous crimes of Jack the Ripper in the dark streets of east London in1888 must have been known to him too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crBDVlLxkxQ&

All the ingredients were there. Stoker’s book was published with the author declaring that there was nothing base in it.

So, we’re left with the notion that Dracula is a book about a changing world, the possibility of a disturbing diabolical new order, obscene and irrational, without love, a toxic threat to the established norms. Sounds serious and all too familiar.

To counteract this evil all you need is garlic, a bit of wood, a crucifix, a sharp knife and a steely determined scientist from Amsterdam who says things like : ‘This is no jest, but life and death, perhaps more.’