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Search tags: Horror-Novella
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review 2017-10-12 19:21
Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King,Richard Chizmar

I listened to this as an unabridged audiobook read by Maggie Siff who starred in Son’s of Anarchy. I never watched that show because there’s no monsters in it (I know, I am a terrible person, no need to tell me) so I don’t know her work. I learned this from listening to the Q&A with King & Chizmar at the end of the audio. Methinks they might’ve been enamored a little with her work on the show. She’s a little flat at times but overall does a decent enough job with the material but, honestly, I’ve heard better narrators and her performance wasn’t anything to get all that excited about.

 

Since this is a short story and I am a lazy bum I’m going to be brief. One lovely summer day when Gwendy is a tween doing her best to get healthy and shed herself of a nasty nickname by exercising herself silly, she spies a strange man who offers her a very special button box. This box, he sinisterly promises, will dispense magical chocolates that will curb her hunger. It will also spit out silver coins that’ll help put her through college. Well, Gwendy is a smart girl and she takes that box home despite her misgivings about keeping a box that has a potentially very dark side . . .

 

This was an eerie little story more magical realism than horror but I enjoyed it even though I wish it had been longer. I kept waiting for something dreadful to happen and eventually it does. It is partially a King story, after all! Honestly, I would’ve liked to have seen even more dreadful events and to have had a darker ending but I did get that in the second story included in this audio “The Music Room”. That story gets five stars. It was short, comical and as pitch-black as it gets.

 

I'll be using this book for the Magical Realism Square.

 

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review 2017-10-11 15:57
Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke

Blanky is a grief saturated read that will ring true for anyone who has ever lost anyone prematurely.  It nails those dark, hopeless feelings that envelop you in the early stages of grief. It’s sad and it’s scary and it packs an incredible punch in so few pages. This kind of writing, the kind that is able to creep into my heart and shatter it, is what  keeps me coming back to books when there are always so many other things trying to pull me away from them.

“One rainy night I put her to bed and when I woke up, she was dead. That was the beginning of the end of my world. This is the rest of it.”

Steve is drowning in grief and he is all alone. His wife, unable to deal with their loss, has left to live with her parents for a while and Steve’s isolation and sadness is a living, breathing, soul sucking thing.

"We always said nothing would come between us, that there was nothing we couldn’t conquer. I know at the time we never imagined in a million years it would be something this fucking apocalyptic, but still...I meant it then and I mean it now. We’re stronger together than we’ll ever be alone.” “I know, but...I see her in you, Stephen. She had your eyes, and it got so that looking at you felt like looking at her, and all I could see was the accusation, the blame. I couldn’t bear it. I still can’t.”

Ouch, right? Talk about raw emotion. The writing here is so strong that it almost physically hurts to read these thoughts and experience the sadness that engulfs both of them.

One day Steve ventures into his deceased baby’s room and finds her blanky. The blanky that he could’ve sworn she was swaddled in when she was handed over to the paramedics. The blanky that should not be in her room . . .  Finding the blanky stirs a series of events that become increasingly sinister. Is Steve experiencing something supernatural or is it something far worse? I’m not a jerk and am not going to be the one to tell you!

This story gets all the stars. It is bleak and it may haunt you but I think all of you horror people should read it.

 

I'm going to use this for the American Horror Story square.

 

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review 2016-08-19 20:50
Review: Where Wolves Run by Jason Parent
Where Wolves Run: A Novella of Horror - Jason Parent


I'm a huge fan of werewolf stories, I'm talking proper werewolves not over-sized puppies playing at being werewolves, so I couldn't resist this one especially as it's written by one of my must read favourite authors.

 

Where Wolves Run was a unique, interesting and fast read. The pacing of the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I found myself having to resist the urge to peek a little further down the page and having to purposely slow down as I was in a rush to see what happened next. I particularly enjoyed Konrad's character, it was refreshing to have a character who wasn't aware of what was going on and totally unprepared for what was ahead. Konrad having no prior knowledge of what he's dealing with allows the reader to join him on his journey, to learn along with him and to relate to his experience more as a result.

 

There was one thing that I feel spoiled it a little for me personally and that was how Konrad's father was referred to as Father rather than by his name. It didn't ruin the story but it did make him feel somewhat less of a person. However, it did put more focus onto Konrad so perhaps it was intentional.

 

I really enjoyed the ending. I usually have an idea of what I want the conclusion to be when reading a book and I love it when things get turned around and an author throws in a twist that takes things in a whole different direction from what I had envisioned. At first I was a little disappointed but as it sunk in I realised that it worked much better than what I had been expecting.

 

Definitely one I would recommend.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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text 2016-08-17 20:00
Where Wolves Run: A Novella of Horror by Jason Parent
Where Wolves Run: A Novella of Horror - Jason Parent

 

It's such a lovely night tonight, going to grab a shawl and curl up on the lounger outside and dive into this one.

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review 2016-07-11 10:13
Where Wolves Run review
Where Wolves Run: A Novella of Horror - Jason Parent

Where Wolves Ruin is a more straight forward read from Jason Parent - an author I have come to associate with an amazing imagination - than might normaly be the case, but is nevertheless a well-written depiction of one family's battle against werewolves.

Parent alternates between the father and son's perspectives as they attempt to deal with this particularly hairy menace. And though said menace's deadly nature is set-up in the novella's opening chapters, I never felt a thrill of excitement when the werewolves came a-callin'. As such, this one fell a little flatter than I would have liked, though I will acknowledge I enjoyed how everything was ultimately resolved.

And though this may come across as nitpicking, I cannot let slide how annoying I found it that the chapter's from the father character's perspective kept referring to him as "Father" rather by his name.

Still, Parent is a talented author and even though this may not be his best work, he is always worth a read.

3 Sons Troubled by Their Fathers for Where Wolves Run.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1654163840
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