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Search tags: 40\'s-Horror
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text 2020-08-14 13:30
#FridayReads 8.14.20

 

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review 2020-08-13 16:05
NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS by (THE AWESOME) Stephen Graham Jones
Night of the Mannequins - Stephen Graham Jones

A night at the movies, a prank gone wrong and a town turned on its head. I never know what to expect from Stephen Graham Jones, and this novella is no exception!

 

Told in the first person, Sawyer explains how his group of friends found an old mannequin in the mud near the river and how they dug him out, dressed him up and put him in a bunch of different situations. They named him Manny. As teenagers often do, they quickly tired of him and now he, (it?), resides on top of Sawyer's dad's old motorcycle, parked in their garage. Manny is resurrected though, to play a prank on a movie theater manager. A prank that, tragically, goes wrong and now Sawyer has to right that wrong-and soon. Will he be successful? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

It's really hard to discuss this tale without spoilers, but, as usual, Stephen Graham Jones threw me a curveball. Everything I thought this story was about was wrong. What I thought was going to happen? I was wrong. What I thought Sawyer would do? He didn't. Why? I can't tell you, you'll just have to read it.

 

Easily read in an hour or two, I've often mentioned that I think the novella form is one of the best ways to present a horror story. Every word has to count, every action leads to the next. It's tight, it doesn't waste time, and when it's done well? It's a perfect little package of darkness that leaves you thinking for days. Bravo, once again to Stephen Graham Jones!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Available on September 1st, but you can pre-order here: NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Tor for the e-ARC of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-08-11 16:18
STOKER'S WILDE WEST by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Stoker's Wilde West - Stephen Hopstaken,Melissa Prusi

STOKER'S WILDE WEST is a follow-up to last year's STOKER'S WILDE. I think this book is even better than the first.

 

Bram Stoker is about to take the theatrical group he manages for Henry Irving to play NYC. He plans to bring his wife Florence and their new son, Noel, along for the ride. Oscar Wilde has recently returned from touring the states and has developed a bit of fame there. When Stoker is asked by Robert Roosevelt to help the Americans in sussing out a nest of vampires, Wilde joins him and we're off for a Wilde ride!

 

Like Dracula, this book is in epistolary form, which I love. Culled from the characters' journals, reports to the White Worm Society, (a group which formed to investigate the occult, among other things), and diary entries, we are treated to different viewpoints of several events. These are really what makes the book, because these entries are often hilarious as Stoker and Wilde do not really care for each other.

 

All kinds of famous people from that time in history show up or are otherwise mentioned. Personalities such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, the Roosevelt family, and Arthur Conan Doyle, to name just a few. All of which contribute to make this book as funny and interesting as it is.

 

The historical fiction, a respect for the original works of these authors, and a great sense of humor all combine with some amazing storytelling in this fun wild west story. Highly recommended!

 

Available today, here: STOKER'S WILDE WEST

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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text 2020-08-07 13:30
#FridayReads 8.7.20

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-08-07 08:33
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Bird Box - Josh Malerman

TITLE:  Bird Box

AUTHOR:  Josh Malerman

__________________________

DESCRIPTION:

"Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.
"

_____________________________

REVIEW:



****************************SPOILERS!!!!****************************



*************************LOTS OF SPOILERS*****************************



I watched the movie and read the book.  I don't get what the fuss was about.  As a horror novel, it might have gory bits, but it just didn't work for me.  I was neither scared, left in suspense or terrified.   Too slow, no details about the "creatures" (their motivations or what they were, which is completely unsatisfying and incredibly annoying), limited atmosphere, limited drama (psychological or otherwise) and I simply didn't give a damn about any of the characters (they were bland).  Also, Malerman needs to do some research on child birth, especially if he is going to write about it.  And calling the kids "Boy", "Girl" instead of their names? What if it had been two girls or two boys?  "Boy1", "Boy2"?  "Firstborn", "Secondborn"?  I'm also failing to see 4 year old kids do any of the stuff the kids do in this novel.  Unless my husband's 4-year old nephew is on the bottom end of the physical and mental scale?  The novel basically comes down to "a bunch of people stuck in a house" dynamics, with the usual associated messiness (no need for nebulous monsters if people want to kill each other or themselves - they do this perfectly well on their own).  The "creatures" come across as simply irrelevant - an excuse for people to lock themselves up.   

Interesting concept, flat execution.

PS:  I did not appreciate reading about the poor dog!!

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