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review 2017-06-13 00:08
Chocolate Cakes
A Chocoholic's Chocolate Cake Cookbook: ... A Chocoholic's Chocolate Cake Cookbook: 30 Indulgent and Diverse Sweet & Delicious Chocolate Cake Recipes for any Chocoholic (secret or otherwise!) - Gordon Rock

I was able to get this book for free when it was being offered that way, it now costs $3.95. I was not as enthused about these recipes as many required Items that I had not heard or seen before. There were a few recipes that I felt we would try, but not as many as other recipe books. 

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review 2017-03-09 22:30
All Souls' Night by Hugh Walpole
All Souls' Night - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Sir Hugh Walpole

 

All Souls' Night is an excellent collection of stories, originally published back in the 1930's. I listened to the audio version, narrated by the outstanding Matt Godfrey.

 

Not all of these tales were dark fiction or ghost stories, but-of course, those were my favorites. The ones that I enjoyed most were found right at the beginning, namely:

 

The Whistle I love tales about dogs and people that don't care for them. Dogs always know.

 

The Silver Mask Nothing outright horrific, really, but most definitely unsettling and surprising.

 

The Staircase Easily my favorite story in this collection. Featuring extremely keen insights into human behavior, (that stand up, even to this day), as viewed and acted upon, by the house itself. This one blew me away.

 

Lastly:

 

Lilac I thought this was going to be one kind of story, but it didn't go the way I thought it would at all.

 

As I said above, I listened to the audio of this book and I thought the narrator did a great job of bringing these tales alive. I could easily picture everything going on and the English accent was appropriate for the time and age in which the stories were set.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. If you decide to try it out, don't expect all of the stories to be macabre, or to involve the supernatural. These tales vary widely, but all of them feature startling insights into the nature of humanity, and they are still true today.

 

Highly recommended, especially the audio version!

 

You can get your copy here: All Souls' Night (Valancourt 20th Century Classics)

 

*I was provided this audio book free of charge from the narrator, (through Audio Boom!) in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it. Thanks to you both for the opportunity!*

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text 2017-03-02 21:00
I've listened to 20% of All Souls Night and...
All Souls' Night - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Sir Hugh Walpole

 

this book is phenomenal so far! Even though it was originally published in the 1930's, I'm not finding the stories to feel dated. I especially liked "The Staircase" and "The Silver Mask" and I am looking forward to listening to more today. Plus, the narration is absolutely perfect, which is great because I've ditched my last two audios due to narrators that just weren't working for me. 

 

I wish real life responsibilities and, you know, people,would go away and leave me to listen in peace. 

 

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review 2016-10-30 16:48
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume One
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Francis King,John Blackburn,Richard Marsh,Michael McDowell,Stephen Gregory

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume One is one of my favorite collections of this year, and that's saying a lot because I've read some STELLAR collections in 2016. This is one of the rare times that every. single. story. worked.

 

The stand-outs to me were: Miss Mack by Michael McDowell. It's McDowell. How could it not be good? This starts out as such a nice story about a friendship between two women and then it takes a sharp turn into darkness. Permanent darkness.

 

Furnished Apartments by Forest Reid (I would be remiss if I did not mention the excellent intro to this little known author's story. This, and the story itself made me want to immediately read more of Reid's work.) This is a creepy little story about (surprise!) a furnished apartment for rent.

 

A Psychological Experiment by Richard Marsh Most known these days for his novel, "The Beetle", Richard Marsh wrote over 80 books and 300 short stories. This particular tale is a delicious story of revenge featuring some creepy crawlies. I absolutely loved it.

 

The Progress of Arthur Crabbe by Stephen Gregory Stephen Gregory is another favorite author of mine. He's not as prolific as I wish he would be. Valancourt somehow dug up this nasty tale, (which, once again, features a bird), originally published in the Illustrated London News back in 1982. I am so glad they did! I have read everything I could get my hands on from Mr. Gregory. Without Valancourt, I would never have had the opportunity to read this gem.

 

California Burning by Michael Blumlein Michael Blumlein is another author introduced to me via Valancourt Books. They published his collection: The Brains of Rats which contains one of the most disturbing short stories I've ever read. Once again, Blumlein knocked my socks off with this story of a man whose bones would not burn.

 

The Terror on Tobit by Charles Birkin A beautifully written tale and one I found to send chills up my spine. Not only because of the spookiness of the story, but because of the amazing prose. I've never even heard of this guy before, but now I want to read everything he's written.

 

The Head and the Hand by Christopher Priest Probably most well known for his novel The Prestige , Christopher Priest's contribution to this collection was superb. It reminded me a bit of Katherine Dunn's Geek Love and makes me wonder if she ever read The Head and the Hand. It's a rather weird tale, but I loved it. Plus it made me REALLY want to read The Prestige which has been sitting on my Kindle for well over a year.

 

I could go on and on, because as I said every story in this collection worked for me. I can't write a review that's a long as the book though, so just a few more things. The intros to these stories were excellent. Many of them talk about how these authors were prolific back in their day and now have been forgotten. I love that Valancourt is dedicated to bringing these authors back into the public eye. I'm going to do my best to read more of the authors that appealed most to me, like Priest and Birkin.

 

This collection receives my highest recommendation! Every single story is thought provoking and even the introductions to the tales are well written and informative. Plus, these aren't a bunch of stories that you've already read in countless other collections and anthologies. Valancourt worked hard to bring you enticing pieces that will likely be unfamiliar to most contemporary horror readers. All I can say to that is BRAVO! (And MORE, PLEASE!!)

 

Get your own copy here: The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories

 

*A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*

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review 2016-10-21 13:52
Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski, narrated by Steve Rimpici
Braineater Jones - Stephen Kozeniewski

 

Zombie Noir. That's what I'm calling it, since there's nothing else that quite fits this original novel.

 

Braineater wakes up dead in a pool. With me so far? He's on a mission to find out who he was, why he's dead and a number of other things. (Seriously, he has a numbered list of questions to which he's trying to find answers.) To accomplish this, he needs to keep drinking alcohol, because that's what keeps Braineaters like him fresh. Will he get the answers he seeks? You'll have to read this, (or listen to it), to find out!

 

I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit while listening to this on audio. The creativity of both the story and the narrator are amazing. The characters-a dude in a jar, a dude that's just a head, (HILARIOUS!), mix and match prostitutes, (you'll see), are CRAZY fun and the voices that Steve Rimpici comes up with for them are absolutely perfect.

 

I highly recommend the audio book of Braineater Jones. It's funny, imaginative and entertaining. What more can you ask for from Zombie Noir?

 

*This audio was provided free of charge as part of a Sponsored Group Listen in the Horror Aficionados group at Goodreads. Even though it was free, this is my honest review.*

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