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review 2017-05-15 20:35
Mind Game, A Blanco County Short Story by Ben Rehder
Mind Game - Ben Rehder

Mind Game, A Blanco County Short Story by Ben Rehder is a fast story to read. It also has a nice twist at the end. I gave it four stars.

 

"Carol Ann could drink more than any three Blanco County cedar-choppers put together. She'd danced on her share of tables, and it was a wonder she hadn't moved to Austin and turned pro. Then again, when you've got a sugar daddy like Frank Landrum, why bother?"

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Blanco-County-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B00DC4WSWY

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review 2017-04-24 11:35
The Best of the Raconteurs
The Best of the Raconteurs - John Lawrence,Tim Heald,Sheridan Morley

I'm calling this finished, even though technically I haven't read it cover to cover.  In part because it's really not meant to be read cover to cover, but dipped into now and again more or less randomly and in part because it's making me itch to see it squatting on my Currently Reading list.

 

The Best of the Raconteurs is a rather large collection of anecdotes, bits from speeches and other odds and ends - some seem almost to be snippets of conversation - collected from an incredibly varied cast of wits including Nora Ephron, William Churchill, Oscar Wilde, and David Niven, to touch upon just a very few.

 

The quality of the entries is all over the place; as some of them aren't more than a paragraph, while others are 2 or 3 pages long, odds were always long that every entry was going to be a winner.  Nora Ephron's entry had me laughing out loud, while Ogden Nash's poem charmed me until the very end, where it promptly made my hair stand on end (which is exactly the effect Nash would have wanted).  Those that fell flat were the definition of unmemorable.  

 

Generally, a good collection, if you like anecdotes, and very likely to have something for everyone.

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review 2017-04-20 18:35
Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories, superbly narrated by Matt Godfrey. I can see now why Stephen King gave Fredric Brown and specifically this collection a special mention in his non fiction book about influential horror written during the 1950's through the 1970's: Danse Macabre.

 

Within this volume, there are nearly 50 stories, most of them very short. There were some sci-fi tales mixed in, but most of these were horror. For whatever reason, these tiny gems brought me back to the stories I read when I first got into horror. I would say the period after Poe, but before King. I did a lot of short story reading back then; I used them as a way to find new authors, and then longer works written by them. Somehow, I never discovered Mr. Brown back then, but I'm so glad that I've discovered him now.

 

There are too many tales to get into here, but a few of the standouts to me were:

 

The Geezenstacks This was Just. Plain. Fun! How can you go wrong with a horror story about dolls?!

 

Cat Burglar That ending cracked me the hell up!

 

There were several stories that began with "Nightmare in..." and I pretty much loved all of those.

 

Matt Godfrey does a tremendous job narrating these stories. I've listened to a few of his audios now, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. Will Patton had better watch out!

 

This collection really stands above most others of its kind, not only from that time period, (the 60's), but this time period as well. That's not to say that some of these stories don't feel dated, because some do, but I don't feel as if that affected their impact. Also, Nightmares and Geezenstacks will not work for everyone, especially those who love their tales to be extra bloody or leaning towards bizarro. Horror was tamer in the 60's, and these stories are a product of their time.

 

That being said, I loved this collection. It had short stories that were actually short, it had a great deal of variety, most tales packed a real punch and the narration was wonderful. I give this my highest recommendation!

 

*I received this audio free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-04-17 13:50
Dark Screams: Volume 6 edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates

Dark Screams: Volume Six was the best installment of this series so far! My favorites this time around were from the lesser known authors, most especially Tim Curran, who deserves to be as famous as Stephen King.

 

Tim Curran's The Corpse King was easily the best story, in my book. Being novella length, Mr. Curran got to do what he does best, which is putting his imagination to work, side by side with his knowledge of history. The result is this nasty, disgusting, and fun story about grave-robbers and what things, (other than corpses), might be waiting for them down below. A resounding 5 stars with applause!

 

Norman Prentiss' The Comforting Voice was a beautifully told story about baby Lydia and how she loves the sound of her grampa's voice. But what happens when grampa passes away? You'll have to read this to find out. 5 FAT stars!

 

The Rich Are Different by Lisa Morton was a nice story, but for me, lacked a good punch. Plus, the insta-love, (a term I learned from my romance-loving friends), didn't really work for me. It was still a cool premise though. 3.5 stars!

 

I liked King's story, The Old Dude's Ticker. It had that feel of a classic SK story, and that's always a good thing. 3 stars!

 

Overall, this anthology was above average, and I highly recommend it, especially if these stories sound interesting to you. There's something here for every type of horror lover, and it's rare that a collection have such a wide range of appeal.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to Hydra for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-03-26 15:42
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden

My favorite stories were:

 

Pop Art

20th Century Ghost

Better Than Home

My Father's Mask

Voluntary Committal

 

My thoughts on this collection cannot possibly make a dent in all of reviews already written about this book. Suffice it to say: I loved it and it gets my highest recommendation!

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