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Search tags: Barks-Audio-Reviews
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review 2019-01-15 18:59
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Ghost Story (Audio) - Peter Straub,William Windom

I originally read this book back in my early 20’s, back before I obsessively reviewed everything I read, and the only thing I could remember about it was an intense feeling of boredom. I later tried to read Mystery and Julia thinking it was me and not the writing. But I couldn’t get through either of those without wishing they’d end with every page I struggled through. At that point, I put Peter Straub down for good. Or so I thought. Back in December, I decided to use my Audible credit on Ghost Story to torture myself, it turns out.  Also, my book buddies were reading it and talked me into joining them but truly I only have myself to blame for thinking I’d matured enough to enjoy it now. Haha. Jokes on me! It was just as boring the second time around. Maybe even moreso . . . 

 

It was just as tedious as I’d remembered. It was so plodding, so slow to me, that I hadn’t realized I had sleep-read the last third. I had to rewind the entire seven hours of this audio because I was left so confused at the ending (who were these people and what the hell was going on?!). SEVEN HOURS. I want them all back and the previous seven too, ffs! What is the matter with me? At any rate, once I forced myself to listen again, this time with all of my faulty listening skills, the book made a lot more sense to me but it was still not very interesting. I tried, damn how I tried, but apparently not all books are made for every reader. Someday I will learn this about myself.

 

This book is not really a ghost story in the traditional sense. It’s about a group of elderly fellows who call themselves “The Chowder Society”. They spend nights sharing “ghost stories” with each other, smoking cigars, drinking spirits and keeping secrets as old fellows do, I suppose. I don’t really know as I’m not an old fellow. The old friends who tell the tale are most definitely haunted but they are haunted more by something that happened in their youth. Something they cannot escape, mwahaha. I don’t want to give the thing away so that’s all I’m saying about that. When the book begins one of the old fellows in the club has died and this stirs up a series of events and endless pages of tangents and memories in which the reader gets dragged along until the conclusion eventually happens. It’s easy to get lost and confused in this story so do yourself a favor and either DNF it or pay very close attention. Don’t be like me.

 

I found some of the stories interesting and there are some disturbing and pervy bits that I found rather comical but the book just went on and on and I felt like I had been reading/listening to it for my entire life. Eventually it did come to an end though and for that I am grateful. My two friends enjoyed this book very much while all I did was complain about the old coots, their roving eyes and their cheating ways and bitch about how confused I was about the time jumps and the plethora of unnecessary characters popping in and out of the story. This may be the last time I’m invited to a buddy read again, lol. So what I’m getting at here is don’t go by my opinion because my taste is atrocious. Also, don’t sleep read your way through this because it will not make any kind of sense.

 

Now I will leave you with my favorite quote courtesy of one of the many side characters whose name I have long since forgotten.

 

“There’s no teaching without beating.”

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review 2019-01-09 18:48
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Bird Box - Josh Malerman
I saw the film before reading the book because I figured my wait at the library would last an eternity. It didn’t because this is how my life works and now I’ve gone and spoiled everything for myself!

Actually, the film is quite a bit different from the movie. The bones are the same but characters, deaths, and many other plot points are very different so it was almost like reading something that wasn’t totally spoiled for me. The only slightly disappointing thing to me was the fact that the threat went unexplained in either version. I was hoping for a little enlightenment because I like answers. Instead I am just going to assume it was Cthulhu's minions come to call and call it a day because that works for me.

As for the audio? It kept me entertained and the narrator was competent and professional but I didn’t feel she voiced Malorie in a strong enough way. With that said, I never wanted to pull the plug and listen to something else and that’s saying something because the last audio I read was rewound at least eight times. At one point I had to rewind 7 hours because I had tuned out. I wish I were kidding (curse you, Ghost Story!).

The characters in Bird Box weren’t as fleshed out as I’d hoped. I didn’t get to know much about Tom besides the fact that he was wise and kind and a natural leader and I was disappointed that the kids weren’t fleshed out at all. Malorie was a sympathetic character because of her predicament but I never felt a strong emotional attachment to anyone which is a bit of shame and a bit of a missed opportunity. Still, the story and atmosphere and creepfest of a plotline almost made up for that fact.

 

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review 2018-12-04 19:01
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

This is such a beautifully told story and I feared it was going to break my heart because books like this usually do. It didn’t and I’m glad for that. It gets all five stars because it never let me down.

 

Kya is just a child when her mother, older sisters and eventually her abusive father abandon her in the marsh. She has no education and must use her wits to survive and despite all of the odds she does. She’s strong, smart and resourceful and even though the church going townsfolk cruelly call her “Swamp Trash” and other unsavory names, as they hold their beautifully clean children close, she doesn’t let it get her down and finds help and friendship in the most unexpected of places.

 

I adored this book so much and think everyone should read it. It’s uplifting and gorgeous and also very gritty and down to earth. Kya is my kind of kid who grows into a woman who doesn’t abide any crap from the people and the men who continually let her down. At one point she calls one a “Chickenshit Asshole” and I wanted to hug her as I laughed because she was so right and I was thinking the same thing for pages and pages on end.

 

It’s a lovely read about the strength of spirit, the mistakes of youth, of friendship and kindness, resilience, prejudice and forgiveness and also the strange alluring beauty of the swamp and all that surrounds it. I recommend it with all that’s left of my heart.

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review 2018-11-14 19:51
Exorcist Falls by Jonathan Janz, Narrated by Matt Godfrey Review
Exorcist Falls: Includes the novella Exorcist Road - Jonathan Janz,Matt Godfrey

This unabridged audio contains two excellent connected stories of demonic possession. One is a novella that sets the scene for the novel to follow. You’ll want to read/listen to them back to back because they’re both horrifyingly hard to put down.

EXORCIST ROAD sets everything up and is a pretty complete story on its own about a young teen being savaged by a demon and who is suspected of being a murderer. Is it all an act or is a true case of demon possession? Two priests are called in to investigate and perform an exorcism. The younger, inexperienced priest discovers some horrifying secrets about the family and nearly everyone soon becomes a suspect in the Sweet Sixteen Killings.

EXORCIST FALLS continues the story of the young priest who has been shaken but not destroyed by all he has experienced. He is now very haunted and conflicted but I can’t tell you why. The search for the Sweet Sixteen Killer continues and it’s pretty much non-stop action from here on out. There’s a little side of lust and a budding romance brought over from EXORCIST ROAD that I felt completely out of place in both storylines considering the trauma the woman recently experienced. Her character is woefully underdeveloped which probably explains my disbelief of her “romance” storyline. The last thing I’d be looking for after all of that was some love from a new guy. The reader is continually told that she is amazing but I didn’t feel her amazingness was ever shown which is kind of a shame. All of the men are very well developed though and she’s a bit player so it’s a minor nitpick, really. I loved the Jason Crowder character so much. A tormented priest with a horrible backstory and a demon ready to exploit all of his human weaknesses? Yep, you’ve got my attention.

Both stories are pitch black and ghoulish and very graphic. Terrible things are said and terrible deeds are done and I loved it but it may not be for everyone as the scenes are so realistically described you can pretty much picture it all going on very clearly. Maybe a little too clearly in some cases!

I can easily recommend the audiobook narrated by Matt Godfrey who has such a down to earth, calming voice he makes even the evilest of deeds go down a little easier. He does an excellent sinister demon voice too! Don’t miss it if you love this kind of story. 

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review 2018-09-21 19:22
DOOMSDAY Review: Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
Patient Zero - Ray Porter,Jonathan Maberry

I listened to this one on audio and I didn't take notes so this will not be a real review, not that my other reviews are real either, ha. I tried reading another Maberry book called Ghost Road Blues (that sad excuse for a review is here) and I did not get along with it, its narrator, nor its male characters but so many love this Joe Ledger character that I figured I'd give the author try. And I'm glad I did.

 

I love this Joe Ledger person. He is crabby and sarcastic and amusing and one hell of a smart, resourceful guy. Thanks to all of you who pushed him on me :) Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not a fan of all action, all of the time so even though this story is filled with military action, evil maneuverings by evil people, medical terminology and pretty much non-stop zombie action in its latter half, I still enjoyed it a whole bunch. Why? How? Well, Joe Ledger. Author Maberry sets up his character development early on and I was hooked until the very end.

 

I'm even going to search out the others in this series and I hardly ever do such a thing.

 

I'm going to use this book for my Doomsday square because if it weren't for Joe Ledger the Doomsday would've certainly occurred in this book (and it may still in the next!)

 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.19

Diverse Voices 9-21

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

 

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