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Search tags: Al-Sarrantonio
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review 2017-10-22 00:37
Halloween Carnival, Volume Two - Brian James Freeman
Halloween Carnival Volume 2 - Glen Hirshberg,Lee Thomas,Holly Newstein,Del James,Brian James Freeman

With Halloween right around the corner, let's get right into this collection.

 

 

Mr. Dark's Carnival - Glen Hirshberg

 

 

A Montana ghost story thats got some nice creepiness. David is a college professor that teaches a class that explores folklore and his favorite part of the course is the folk tale of Mr. Dark's Carnival. For many years, it has been rumored that the mysterious carnival pops up in a rural setting and only a few select people get chosen to attend. David has never met anyone that has personally been to the carnival and doesn't believe it truly exists until he gets his ticket. A great ghost story that has a murky ending.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 


The Facts in the Case of My Sister - Lee Thomas

 

 

David's estranged sister, Joyce, is in the hospital from an "accident". The prognosis isn't good and David has doubts that her injuries were from an accident. When Joyce and he were kids, David taught himself how to do magic tricks from a book he got. Joyce was always his willing audience and participant. Now, David pulls out a trick from his past to learn what really happened to Joyce.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 


Mischief Night - Holly Newstein

 

 

Willard had a good life, a loving family and wife, and looked forward to his retirement. He was never a drinker after growing up with a nasty old drunk for a father. In what seemed like a harmless way to celebrate his retirement, the bottle grabs ahold of Willard and doesn't let go. On Mischief Night, Willard meets a troubled teen that stumbles into his basement. Can one man's bad decisions help alter the path the youngster is headed down?

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 


The Ghost Maker - Del James

 

 

Halloween has it's own set of scares when you're a mob hit man. You have to be on your toes, even if you're the grim reaper. Great voice that makes for a fun read.

 

 

5 out of 5 stars

 

 


The Pumpkin Boy - Al Sarrantonio

 

 

Jody is a latchkey kid for half an hour every afternoon until his mom gets home. He knows he's not supposed to be outside and he follows that rule. Until, one day, he sees the Pumpkin Boy walking past his window and he can't believe his eyes. For police detective, Len Schneider, Jody's disappearance is bringing back old, haunted memories that he's been trying to lock away for 18 years. What started out as a promising novella, fell flat for me with the ending.

 

 

3 out of 5 stars

 

 


Overall, a nice little collection with mostly hits than misses. Well worth the time.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

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review 2014-12-25 00:00
Moonbane
Moonbane - Al Sarrantonio Moonbane - Al Sarrantonio Al Sarrantonio's "Moonbane" is an entertaining Sci-fi / horror novella. If you are able to put critical thinking into autopilot and let someone else take the wheel for a bit, go ahead and give this one a run. If lapses in reality, sometimes brutal lapses, and an "Independence Day" style climax annoy you, give it a pass.

3 STARS
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text 2014-07-08 10:19
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
Stories: All-New Tales - Lawrence Block,Richard Adams,Roddy Doyle,Jeffery Deaver,Chuck Palahniuk,Joyce Carol Oates,Diana Wynne Jones,Peter Straub,Michael Marshall Smith,Michael Swanwick,Tim Powers,Joanne Harris,Gene Wolfe,Michael Moorcock,Stewart O'Nan,Jeffrey Ford,Walter Mosley,

Finally, a decent story. Only took three stories in to find something original and entertaining. Gaiman's up next, but that's for tomorrow. :)

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review 2014-07-05 00:00
Stories: All-New Tales
Stories: All-New Tales - Al Sarrantonio,Neil Gaiman I'll be reading a story a day from this collection, and giving each tale a short review as I go along.

7/6/2014 "Blood", by Roddy Doyle - Three stars. Very short vamp-or-something-like-a-vamp kinda story. The writing is super quick and easy to read. I dig this author's voice and style. Will be looking up more from him.

7/7/2014 "Fossil-Figures", by Joyce Carol Oates - One star. Quite possibly the worst short story I've ever read. Boring, meandering, pointless, poorly-written, unedited... the list goes on. I expected far more from an anthology put together by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Huge disappointment. Almost stopped reading this collection because of this garbage story.

7/8/2014 "Wildfire in Manhattan", by Joanne Harris - Four stars. This story is big fun. A bit of urban fantasy (which I don't normally like) that held my interest, even though I was rather tired when I started reading it. I loved the magic and the mythos, and wouldn't mind reading an entire book about these characters.

7/9/2014 "The Truth is A Cave in the Mountains", by Neil Gaiman - Five stars. This is probably one of my top five Neil Gaiman shorts now. I didn't expect the twist, wasn't expecting a twist at all, and Gaiman nailed it. The story is whimsical and simply written, as most of Gaiman's shorts are. I found myself whisked away into this nameless, ageless past, and this story of a dwarf and his journey. Gaiman's outing is worth the price of this collection by its lonesome.

7/10/2014 "Unbelief", by Michael Marshall Smith - Five stars. Even though this story is shorter than all the rest, it is the most powerful outing yet. Smith was able to elicit a wide range of emotions from me, and that's impressive, given this tale is less than ten pages long. Currently my favorite piece from this collection, and also the most subtle of the lot.

7/11/2014 "The Stars Are Falling", by Joe R. Lansdale - Five stars. This story belongs in the Stephen King collection FULL DARK, NO STARS. It's well-written, unsettling, and unforgiving. While I did feel deeply for the main character, Deel, I'm glad it ended the way it did. A strong outing from horror's red-headed stepchild.

7/12/2014 "Juvenal Nyx", by Walter Mosley - Two stars. This story bored me to sleep four times. I'm guessing it's an original story for a character who's a mix between Blade and Sandman Slim. Whatever, whoever, I just can't be bothered to give a shit. This story's packed full of shit I hate. Vampires, Inst-Love, horrible dialogue, stilted action sequences. Overall just a really shitty story.

7/13/2014 "The Knife", by Richard Adams - Two stars. Not much to say about this bit of flash fiction. Took him about three minutes to read. It was only three pages long (well, two and a half, at any rate). Funny thing is, it reminded me quite a bit of Evans Light's "Cry Baby". Overall, "The Knife" didn't leave much of an impression on me. Just kinda... meh.

7/14/2014 "Weights and Measures", by Jodi Picoult -

Taking a break from this collection. I have some ARCs to catch up on.

To be continued...
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review 2013-01-18 00:00
Halloweenland
Halloweenland - Al Sarrantonio Probably the best of the Orangefield novels. Hardboiled detective Bill Grant is Sarrantonio's best realized character and he stays for then entire novel here. Sarrantonio is trying to capture some of the feel of Charles L. Grant's Oxrun Station novels and stories but he just isn't the writer Grant is. Tying himself to the Halloween holiday especially makes it hard to provide sufficient variety to the plots. Unlike Oxrun Station, these novels should be read in the proper chronology (NOT the order they were written).
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