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text 2017-02-01 13:37
Currently Reading and February TBR(?)
Swag - Elmore Leonard
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov,Diana Burgin,Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
The Wolf's Hour - Robert R. McCammon
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks
The Song of Roland - Anonymous,Dorothy L. Sayers

I am currently reading three books, and hope to read at least seven this month. I'venot been reading much, though, and generally suck at sticking to TBR's (I tend to see a  shiny, get distracted, and run off chasing flutterbies and pretty new books), so don't expect to see all of these books come my monthly wrap-up.

 

1. Swag - Elmore Leonard  Swag - Elmore Leonard  - Currently Reading

 

    A couple of low-level scumbags start committing armed robberies in pursuit of the good life in 1970's Detroit. Fun thus far, but not one of Leonard's best. I've been told the ending's a pip, though. I'm about a hundred pages in, and it is picking up.

 

2. The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov,Diana Burgin,Katherine Tiernan O'Connor  The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov,Diana Burgin,Katherine Tiernan O'Connor   - Currently Reading

 

    One of my occasional stabs at reading a classic, in this case Early Russian Magical Realism. So, the Devil comes to Stalinist Moscow to see what Hell is really like. There's also a giant talking cat named Behemoth. Not a quick read, only fifty pages in, but delightfully bonkers.

 

3. The Wolf's Hour - Robert R. McCammon  The Wolf's Hour - Robert R. McCammon  - Currently Reading

 

    Or, The Bourne Lycanthropy. A WW2 set spy thriller with a werewolf in the lead. Not as campy as it sounds, but doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, either. This is the second McCammon for me, after Boy's Life, which I didn't like as much as I wanted to. Still, the first hundred pages of this have been nifty, so...

 

4. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks  The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead - Max Brooks  - To-Read

 

    Have read bits and pieces (heh), and it seems fast, fun, and funny. Cool.

 

5. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks  World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks  - To-Read

 

    Seems like a natural next step, yeah?

 

6. The Song of Roland - Anonymous,Dorothy L. Sayers  The Song of Roland - Anonymous,Dorothy L. Sayers  - To-Read

 

    Because, deep down, I want to be the guy who reads classics for pleasure, even if that means reading epic poetry. Besides, wouldn't it be funny if I, a life-long mystery fan, read Sayers's translation of this before any of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels? I thought so, anyway.

 

7. TBD

 

    Look, I have hundreds of books, as well as access to book stores. I'll think of something.

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text 2016-12-29 12:45
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Novels Read in 2016
The Secret Life of Souls: A Novel - Lucky McKee,Jack Ketchum
Fellside - M.R. Carey
Darktown: A Novel - Thomas Mullen
A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly
Freedom of the Mask - Vincent Chong,Robert R. McCammon

 

2016 has been a great year here at Char's Horror Corner, with many phenomenal books being read. Here are the ones that I liked the most, in no particular order, (if you're interested,  click on the titles to see my reviews):

 

The Secret Life of Souls by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee. Caity is a dog that I will never forget, (that's her in silhouette on the cover there), and the Cross family is one I loved to hate. Bringing dysfunctional family stories to a whole 'nother level, The Secret Life of Souls brought out a lot of emotions in this cold, dark heart of mine. 

You can get a copy here: The Secret Life of Souls: A Novel

 

 

Fellside by M.R. Carey. After reading The Girl With All the Gifts, I had to give M.R. Carey another try, so I grabbed Fellside and I was NOT disappointed. Even though it wasn't exactly the horror novel that I expected, the storytelling was what got to me. With a plot that kept me guessing for quite a while, this book was a real winner for me. You can get a copy here: Fellside

 

 

Darktown by Thomas Mullen was a book that I requested from NetGalley based on the description alone. An historical fiction novel about the first black policemen in Atlanta, Georgia. Painful to read but beautifully written, this book was a testament to the strength and bravery of those officers. You can get your copy here: Darktown: A Novel

 

 

A Time of Torment by John Connolly is the latest entry in the Charlie Parker series. One would think for a series that has gone on for so long, the later entries would be weaker, but in this case the opposite is true. These books just keep getting better. However, I believe I sense Charlie's time is coming to a close. Though I hope that is not the case, I will be glued to the rest of this series either way. You can get a copy here: A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller

 

 

Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon is the 6th book in the Matthew Corbett series, (which happens to be yet another series that is getting better and better.) This one started with a crazy voyage overseas, imprisonment in the filthy Newgate Prison, and a rescue mission gone badly awry. I've never had such fun with an historical fiction series in my life! I can't wait to see what's in store for Matthew next. You can get your copy here: Freedom of the Mask

 


If you're still here, thanks for reading! I hope that you'll join me here again next year, for what I foresee as being another great year of reading!

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review 2016-12-28 13:07
Usher's Passing - Robert R. McCammon

Robert McCammon, Where have you been all my life! I know, forgive me, I just found out how fucking amazing Robert McCammon is as a writer! He's literally Astounding. His style is a no nonsense, pull you in.. And keep you wanting more.

 

Even though Ushers passing is the first and only book of his I've ever read in my life. I'm a new fan and will be looking for more of his book's in the future! I love the cover works to the paperbacks in the original late 1970s/1980s vibe I'm a total sucker for that.

 

Usher's Passing is basically about the family Mr Edgar Poe wrote about in 1839 bring them up to the 1980s and you have A very Dysfunctional family with a closet full of skeleton's. And the curses they live with because of this. The main deal dapper of this, Is Rix Usher, He is one of the main characters. Rix is a Horror Writer, trying to look for that one fix that will make him great again... And when he's called back to overland, Because the head of the family his father is dying. All those family secrets and Monster's come back once more. But how will it affect Rix and the rest of his family. And what is The ultimate secret to the usher's?

 

This had me sucked in from the 1st page. A rollacoster of up's and down's Every time I finished a chapter I was left with a sense of what was going happen next? Usher's Passing is an excellent read and will definitely be going in my 2016 top reads!

                                                 

                                             

 

 

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text 2016-12-27 12:50
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Novellas Read in 2016
Detritus in Love - Mercedes M. Yardley,John Boden
The Sadist's Bible - Nicole Cushing
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
Last Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon
Odd Man Out - Pete Kahle,James R. Newman

 

Here are my top 5 novellas of the year. This was the toughest category for me this year. I read a ton of excellent novellas, so it was difficult to whittle this list down to the top 5, but I finally did it. 

 

Here they are in no particular order, (click the title to see my original review):

 

Detritus in Love by Mercedes Yardley and John Boden. This was a beautifully written surreal tale that you won't soon forget. It's affordable and quick to read. What are you waiting for? You can get your copy here: Detritus in Love

 

The Sadist's Bible by Nicole Cushing. This fearless novella brings the reader to places they may not want to have gone-but when they're done they are left to marvel over the insanity of it.  And I mean that in the best way possible. You can get your copy here: The Sadist's Bible

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. This is another beautifully written piece which totally blew me away. I have a couple of more LaValle books that moved WAY up in my TBR after reading this one. My HIGHEST recommendation! You can find your copy here:

The Ballad of Black Tom

 

Last Train From Perdition by Robert McCammon. Featuring my favorite cover of the year, this novella is part two of the Trevor Lawson trilogy. (The third is not yet available, the first being I Travel By Night. (Click to read my review.) Part gunslinger, part problem solver, and ALL vampire, (be it reluctantly), this novella kicked all kinds of ass. I mean, seriously, what is NOT fun about gunslinging vampires on a train??

You can find a copy here: Last Train From Perdition

 

Odd Man Out by James Newman is such a perfect story for this time in American history. It's so perfect, it's scary.  As a teenager, were you ever coerced by your friends to take part in something you did not feel comfortable with? Did you stand up and say no or did you go along to get along? Do you feel differently about your actions today? Beginning with a church meeting regarding Boy Scouts and ending with a very different type of religious afterword, Odd Man Out is squeezing on your heart the entire time.  It was a touching, moving, emotional story that I know I will read again in the future, just because it is that powerful. Please go and get a copy here: Odd Man Out

 

 

I guess that's it then, for my favorite novellas of the year. It was a difficult decision, but I'm happy with how it all came out. If you decide to try any of these yourself, I would love to hear your thoughts about them!

 

Thanks for visiting Char's Horror Corner and I hope we can meet up again in 2017 for some more dark fiction greats!

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review 2016-12-03 03:03
They Thirst - Robert McCammon
They Thirst - Robert R. McCammon

I'm not sure how this one slipped through my fingers. I could've sworn that I'd read They Thirst many, many years ago, but for some odd reason I couldn't remember much at all about it. So, I figured it was time for a re-read. Well, now I know why I don't remember much about it - I never read the damn thing, in the first place! And oh what a treat this has been. Imagine discovering a new book by your favorite author written smack dab in the time period of when they did their best writing. That's what They Thirst was for me! Now, McCammon lists this as one of his early books that he's not very proud of and, yes, you can see a few things that might not fly these days. But, keep in mind, this was written back in 1981. Many things written in '81 wouldn't fly today! So, in my opinion, McCammon should be very proud of this one.

 

 

Andy Palatazin is the head of homicide in L.A. and is working night and day to catch The Roach, a serial killer that roams the streets strangling prostitutes. Soon, Andy will have to deal with an evil that has followed him to the states from the old country. One that makes The Roach seem like child's play. Gayle is a reporter for the Los Angeles Tattler, a National Enquirer type of tabloid rag that Andy despises having to give any type of interview. Gayle, who is hot on the story of The Roach, longs for her big break that will allow her to work for a respected newspaper. Soon, Gayle will come face to face with a far greater story of evil. In East L.A., Father Silvera works tirelessly to keep the drug dealers out of his parish. Soon, Father will discover that his parishioners have a much greater evil overtaking them than addiction. For Wes, an up-and-coming comedian, he's looking at a bright future with his African girlfriend, Solange, who also happens to be sensitive towards the spirit world. Soon, Wes will find that Solange's talents are much more than parlor tricks. At the top of the hill overlooking L.A., an evil has moved into the abandoned castle that eccentric horror movie actor, Orleen Kronstein, resided in many years ago. And this evil is looking to grab L.A. by the throat.

 

 

They Thirst is a fun-filled romp of a vampire story done right. The characters and the atmosphere are perfect. Think of how the movie The Lost Boys was done (six years after They Thirst was written, mind you) and you'll get an idea of the tone of this one. McCammon's greatest strength is his wonderful characters that you feel like you know and They Thirst is no different. Top notch all the way. Sink your fangs into this one immediately!

 

 


5 dug up coffins 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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