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review 2017-11-17 19:44
Hell House by Richard Matheson
Hell House - Richard Matheson,Ray Porter

Bought during Audible's $2.99 sale (10/13/17)! . It's more now, sorry about that.


A rich guy offers to pay a group of people to stay a few nights in a haunted house to prove there is life after death. All previous attempts to do such a stupid thing at this particular house have ended very badly for the suckers brave or stupid or hard-up enough to have a sleep-over. It’s no different this time around.


I read this book closely on the heels of finishing up Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House which was probably a big mistake on my part as the premise of these two books is nearly identical and Jackson’s story didn’t thrill me the way it did most people. Same goes for Hell House though I did like it a wee bit more than Jackson’s story but probably only because it was more lurid and crazy-pants and I like that kind of thing but it does suffer from the same over the top characterization.


This story is much more sexually horrifying. Some of the things that happen within these pages are upsetting. Trust me on this. The house was basically turned into a pit of debauchery and hellish events when its original owner cuts loose with a group of hangers-on who dip into orgies, drugs, murder, cannibalism (as you will, I guess) and every other nasty thing your brain can imagine! The house is tainted and incredibly haunted by a horny ghost who eventually infects the woman folk and does shocking pervy things.


I listened to this story on audio and the narrator, Ray Porter, does an excellent job. He is deadly serious which suits the story and he manages to deliver the lady voices in a way that doesn’t make them sound completely ridiculous even when they’re forced to behave in overly hysterical ways. He does a good job with the men and the evil inhabiting the house as well.


I’m going to give this the same rating as the Jackson book. 3 Stars.

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text 2017-10-30 17:50
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Hell House - Richard Matheson

Reading for ‘Ghost’ in Halloween Bingo. 


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text 2017-02-16 12:47
Offbeat: Uncollected Stories by Richard Matheson

Our much-anticipated collection of rare Richard Matheson short stories, OFFBEAT, newly introduced by David J. Schow, is now up for preorder worldwide for paperback and Kindle! The release date is Feb. 28. Visit our website for pre-order links.


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review 2016-09-26 22:05
The Box: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson, narrated by Grover Gardner
The Box: Uncanny Stories by Matheson, Richard (September 29, 2009) Audio CD - Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson is a legend in my eyes, (see what I did there, bibliophiles?) so when I saw this audio available from the library I immediately checked it out.


Any collection has hit or misses for me. Here, I'll focus on the hits:


Button, Button (I believe this is the story the movie The Box was based on.) If someone came to your door, handed you a box and said: "If you press this button, someone you do not know will die, but you will receive $50,000.", would you press the button?


Dying Room Only had a very cool Twilight Zone feel to it. Picture this: A man and a woman are taking a drive through the desert and stop in a little town diner for lunch. The man goes to the men's room and...disappears. Cue the TZ music!


A Flourish of Strumpets This one might be a tad outdated, but it had me laughing my butt off!


It seemed as if the stories in the beginning were more my speed. As I got deeper into the book, the stories began to resonate with me less and less. Still, even middle of the road Matheson stories are good.


Since I think Button, Button is a CLASSIC short story that everyone should read, I recommend this collection to fans of horror shorts.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-26 04:19
"I am Legend" by Richard Matheson
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

On the back of my copy, James Lovegrove is quoted saying that I am Legend is "...ultimately uplifting". I'm not sure I'd go that far.


I thought most of this book was a very fitting trudge. It would be sort of unbelievable if the story about the sole survivor of a vampire apocalypse was a light, airy tale, sure, but there in the beginning? When he's just a drunken, lusting, lonely fool?  Even during the edge-of-your-seat stuff about Robert Neville barely making it home before the savior sun takes his last bow? I wasn't sure I was going to take it to it's final page.


I had a better understanding of Matheson's talent once his horror story morphed into a sci-fi thriller and then,  just as quickly, turned back again. Suddenly, and surprisingly compared to the start, I was riveted, not only wondering what was going to happen next but also questioning my firm belief that Robert Neville had gone quite mad.


Good stuff if you can hang on.


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