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text 2017-09-24 18:24
For Fear of the Night - Charles L. Grant
For Fear of the Night - Charles L. Grant

The term "quiet horror" gets thrown around everytime you read any review of a Charles Grant story. What exactly is quiet horror. Simply put, its a moniker created by Charlie himself, as a way to describe his writing style. Quiet horror is a slow crescendo of dread that builds in the story. It's subtle, not in your face. Its a creepy feeling that something isn't right. It's also not for the person who has the attention span of a highly caffeinated squirrel with ADD. You're not going to find blood spattered on every page of a Grant story. Nor will you find non-stop action. This isn't a Marvel comic. Grant's stories are all about the ride and not necessarily the destination. Patience is key. If you have it, chances are you'll see what he's trying to create and you'll enjoy it. Now, is every one of his stories a hit? No. But, there is always a certain level of quality in every Grant tale. For Fear of the Night is no exception. Is it his best? No, again.

 

 

As Labor Day nears, a group of teenagers are preoccupied with the big changes that have already shaped their lives and the ones that are about to. Going off to college looms in around the corner. Couples are about to become apart and wonder whats in store for them. Career decisions have to be made. Their friend, Julie, was recently killed in a fire that happened in a building near the pier. Devin, the groups older photography friend, receives a message on his answering machine from their dead friend. Was it really her? Is it some sick prank? He doesn't know, but it sparks off the mystery of what really happened to Julie.

 

 

For Fear of the Night is not Grant's strongest story. Very little action happens for the first 100 pages. It's his typical slow burn. The storytelling and atmosphere are still there. The ending strikes me as a bit muddied and leaves more questions than answers. If I were looking to read Grant for the first time, this wouldn't be the one I'd start with. But, if you're looking for that quiet horror that he specializes in, you could do a lot worse.

 

 


3 Popped Balloons out of 5

 

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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text 2017-09-23 15:03
Reading progress update: I've read 357 out of 357 pages.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

Finished; full review to come as part of my next bingo update.  Right now, my head is still too much in a whirl, brimming with the names and information that Edwards has crammed into it.

 

The book's final chapters explore specific topics and methods of narration pioneered by some of the classic crime writers: psychology -- the forerunner of thrillers and suspense novels such as by Minette Walters, and Ruth Rendell in her Barbara Vine identity --, serial killer stories, inverted mysteries (think "Columbo": you know whodunit; rather, the thrill lies in the cat-and-mouse game between the killer and the detective), and irony as a narrative method; as well as taking a look at some writers that, despite having published one successful crime novel, never wrote another (nicknamed "singletons"), as well as at the major early to mid-20th century represetatives of crime fiction in the U.S., on the European continent, and in South America (well, really just Argentina) and Japan; and finally, the books that stylistically built a bridge towards the crime writing of the second half of the 20th century, as well as today.

 

My reading lists culled from the book, for those who are interested, are up to chapter 15 at present:

 

The "100 Books" specifically presented -- and

Other books mentioned:

Part 1: Chapters 1 - 5

Part 2: Chapters 6 & 7

Part 3: Chapters 8 - 10

Part 4: Chapters 11 - 15

 

... with the lists covering the final chapters due to follow once I've caught up on my bingo reviews -- and some real life stuff that is interfering with my reading pleasure at the moment.

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review 2017-09-23 03:38
Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark
Just Take My Heart - Mary Higgins Clark

Click Here for my thoughts on the book. 

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review 2017-09-22 16:42
Stars Behaving Strangely
Noumenon - Marina J. Lostetter

A convoy of ships is sent out to investigate a star with unusual properties. To ensure the success of the mission the crew is selected very carefully for positive character traits, then cloned. The clones are sent out on a journey that for them will last around 200 years but due to the peculiarities of sub dimensional space travel about 2000 years pass on Earth. Obviously things don't go as predicted.

 

The story is less about what the crew find when they reach the star as about societal interaction on the outward and return journeys and the way the crew rearranges itself every time things don't go as planned. As far as that goes it was quite interesting. I personally would have liked to have spent more time at the LQPix, the star of their destination. Also, the ending didn't gel for me. It was obviously done to introduce a sequel but seemed a little forced. On the plus side, I liked what they found when they returned to Earth, that was quite unusual. I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars: most of the concepts are not new and have been done better at one time or another and the author couldn't make the science seem credible for me but as the science was only a small part of the whole that wasn't too much of an issue. The package as a whole however was entertaining and I would definitely buy a sequel.

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text 2017-09-22 11:15
Reading progress update: I've read 219 out of 357 pages.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

From the chapters covering some of the key locations of classic British mysteries (the countryside, including and especially country manors, as well as London -- of course -- and domestic and international vacation resorts), we've now moved to an exploration of how the various writers used their "original" professional experience in their writing, and how classic mysteries worked when set in the worlds of science, engineering, politics, teaching -- and of course, the world if the professional investigator, the policeman. 

 

I find I am particularly enjoying these chapters; while those dealing with the various geographical settings were a huge enterprise of cramming as many titles into the introductory chapters as possible (with considerable "name recognition" value -- this is, after all, the Golden Age mystery world 101, and you can't possibly read classic British crime fiction without coming across at least a fair share of the novels mentioned in those chapters somewhere or orther eventually) -- now we're back to an analysis as to what exactly made the novels, and their writers and protagonists, tick ... and how it impacted the various storylines.  That, in addition to being introduced to a plethora of new authors to read, was a major draw for me in the initial 5 chapters, too, where the focus was on how the "conventions" and hallmarks of classic British crime fiction were shaped.

 

Now off to working on another "books mentioned" reading list ...

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