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Search tags: David-Nickle
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review 2016-01-25 19:04
The Caretakers: A Tor.Com Original by David Nickle
The Caretakers: A Tor.Com Original - David Nickle
bookshelves: winter-20152016, published-2016, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, snow-times, vampires
Read from January 21 to 22, 2016

 

Description: The Caretakers" by David Nickle is a strange tale about a group of people called to a meeting with their intimidating boss. The newest member of their organization is not so sure she wants to even be there.

Opening: The meeting with Miss Erish started earlier than scheduled, in a room other than the one arranged. That meant they were all late, even Evelyn Simmons, who had flown in the day before and, unable to properly sleep owing to the time difference, risen long before the dawn.

Read here

Yet another cracking cover from Tor.

Miss Erish is undead and Amy has her sussed out and escapes through the snow with her phone, wallet and dirty mouth. Highly atmospheric.
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review 2016-01-22 00:00
The Caretakers: A Tor.Com Original
The Caretakers: A Tor.Com Original - David Nickle Very creepy and well written. I was sitting at the edge of my seat and having chills down my spine as I read it.

But since I don't understand it all, I found the ending quite unsatisfactory.
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review 2015-12-02 01:39
Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?
Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries - David Levinthal,John Nickle

He’s on the case of some of the most famous nursery tales and he will not give up until the culprit is caught. His name is Police Officer Binky and yes, he is a toad in a suit but does that really matter? From Goldilocks to Humpty Dumpty, you can help Officer Binky as he discusses with the witness the clues that leave them devastated. Are Hansel and Gretel guilty for slamming the door on the witch who kept them in her house made of candy? Did Humpty Dumpty really fall off the wall or did something else happen to make him fall off? A large beanstalk from small beans, an earthquake and an explosion, that goose better lay some golden eggs, if anyone is going to believe this story. There are a few more popular nursery tales inside this children’s book that are sure to delight you. I like the tone of the stories and the illustrations. A sarcastic and humorous tone is accompanied by illustrations that change with each story. Each of the stories features bright colorful illustrations but a few of the stories also have illustrations that are brown and white. Each story has large pictures and also a few pages which are set with comic book square outlines where more text and illustrations illustrate the pages. This is a wonderful and unique storybook.

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review 2015-03-14 21:39
David Nickle needs his own genre
Knife Fight and Other Struggles - David Nickle

How do you categorize David Nickle? Horror? Dark fantasy? New weird? Old weird? His books are all of these things and so much more. So much more, in fact, that no one genre can contain him. What the world really needs is a David Nickle genre section in the bookstore. The problem is no one who entered such a mysterious section would ever return. Every now and then we’d hear their voices calling out from the shadows at the back of the aisles. But what are they saying. WHAT ARE THEY SAYING? Only David Nickle knows.

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review 2013-08-26 00:00
The 'Geisters - David Nickle Full review at Bookgasm:

A few short sentences form the first chapter of David Nickle’s slow-burner of a ghost story. The protagonist, Ann, muses that terror and love always seemed “indistinguishable” to her.

Then we switch gears to a rather dull first date, a very gray-flannel man wooing her over dinner. Michael’s not quite the milquetoast he seems, but then she’s not so much a mouse, either. Objects on the table begin spinning without cause, and Ann rushes off to the restroom, trying to shake off the fear, while Michael sits rapt at the table.

As we learn through the next half of the novel, in a devious, wonderfully dread-inducing series of flashbacks and forward motion, Ann is afflicted with a longtime companion: a violent poltergeist who’s raised hell whenever she becomes too intimate with anyone. That, alas, is exactly what Michael (and a mysterious cadre of men behind him) is seeking: intimacy at the edge of terror and death.

To say too much more would undermine two of THE ’GEISTERS’ serious pleasures. As in the best ghost stories, its haunting teases from the corner of the frame, finally shuffling on to center stage after the bumps and shrieks and whispers have the reader shivering in delicious uncertainty — not knowing what’s happening, but dead sure that it’ll be terrible.

And then (serious pleasure number two) the reveal is quite unlike most any ghost story I’ve ever read, and where Nickle travels next is new territory. (There are hints of Stephen King and David Cronenberg, and an explicit hat tip to Shirley Jackson for the spirit’s deep-seated roots in psychosexual dysfunction … but Nickle helps us see these conventions anew.)

Certain core obsessions — both his characters’ and the author’s — recur throughout Nickle’s fiction. The title of his excellent story collection, MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS, sums things up precisely. His horror plants a flag at the intersection between what we desire and what repels. The unnerving cover of that book was, according to Internet gossip, the subject of customer complaints at an airport bookstore. (They demanded that the book with its portrait of a melon-headed, Muppety-mouthed man be taken off the shelves and hidden. They couldn’t stop staring at that blank face.) Yet the stories, like that picture, seem deceptively harmless. Nickle’s a master in rebranding (or revealing) the bland as strangely perverse.

And, as any horror reader will freely admit, there’s a delirious, visceral thrill in — and desire for — that rush of fear. Nickle consistently returns to desire as a dangerous force, as a form of terror. The desire to control deforms (in the mind-controlling geopolitical conspiracies of RASPUTIN’S BASTARDS, or the quest for the perfection of the species in EUTOPIA). Or, put another way, desire deforms — explodes — any attempt to control. Or, maybe, deep down, if we really pay attention, desire itself is always deeply strange, unnerving, spooky.

This novel returns to but amplifies those rich thematic obsessions. However, even if you step away from the lit-nerd’s noodling with this “deep” stuff and just strap in for the ride, THE ’GEISTERS is a gas. There are set pieces in a car and a plane and a motel room that have a Hitchockian flair for suspense. (Interestingly, where most ghost stories fixate on a specific physical location, by shifting the locus of the ghostly into the body of the protagonist, each space Ann enters is freshly reborn as a haunted house.)

The book doesn’t just explore the attractiveness of terror — it embodies it in a narrative that demands (excites even as it repels) your attention. It’s a(nother) strong novel by one of the best, most interesting horror writers working today.
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