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Search tags: Stephen-Fry
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review 2020-08-13 16:05
NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS by (THE AWESOME) Stephen Graham Jones
Night of the Mannequins - Stephen Graham Jones

A night at the movies, a prank gone wrong and a town turned on its head. I never know what to expect from Stephen Graham Jones, and this novella is no exception!

 

Told in the first person, Sawyer explains how his group of friends found an old mannequin in the mud near the river and how they dug him out, dressed him up and put him in a bunch of different situations. They named him Manny. As teenagers often do, they quickly tired of him and now he, (it?), resides on top of Sawyer's dad's old motorcycle, parked in their garage. Manny is resurrected though, to play a prank on a movie theater manager. A prank that, tragically, goes wrong and now Sawyer has to right that wrong-and soon. Will he be successful? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

It's really hard to discuss this tale without spoilers, but, as usual, Stephen Graham Jones threw me a curveball. Everything I thought this story was about was wrong. What I thought was going to happen? I was wrong. What I thought Sawyer would do? He didn't. Why? I can't tell you, you'll just have to read it.

 

Easily read in an hour or two, I've often mentioned that I think the novella form is one of the best ways to present a horror story. Every word has to count, every action leads to the next. It's tight, it doesn't waste time, and when it's done well? It's a perfect little package of darkness that leaves you thinking for days. Bravo, once again to Stephen Graham Jones!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Available on September 1st, but you can pre-order here: NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Tor for the e-ARC of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-08-11 16:18
STOKER'S WILDE WEST by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Stoker's Wilde West - Stephen Hopstaken,Melissa Prusi

STOKER'S WILDE WEST is a follow-up to last year's STOKER'S WILDE. I think this book is even better than the first.

 

Bram Stoker is about to take the theatrical group he manages for Henry Irving to play NYC. He plans to bring his wife Florence and their new son, Noel, along for the ride. Oscar Wilde has recently returned from touring the states and has developed a bit of fame there. When Stoker is asked by Robert Roosevelt to help the Americans in sussing out a nest of vampires, Wilde joins him and we're off for a Wilde ride!

 

Like Dracula, this book is in epistolary form, which I love. Culled from the characters' journals, reports to the White Worm Society, (a group which formed to investigate the occult, among other things), and diary entries, we are treated to different viewpoints of several events. These are really what makes the book, because these entries are often hilarious as Stoker and Wilde do not really care for each other.

 

All kinds of famous people from that time in history show up or are otherwise mentioned. Personalities such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, the Roosevelt family, and Arthur Conan Doyle, to name just a few. All of which contribute to make this book as funny and interesting as it is.

 

The historical fiction, a respect for the original works of these authors, and a great sense of humor all combine with some amazing storytelling in this fun wild west story. Highly recommended!

 

Available today, here: STOKER'S WILDE WEST

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-08-08 21:54
Hereos by Stephen Fry
Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures - Stephen Fry

 

“You see?' said Prometheus. 'It is your fate to be Heracles the hero, burdened with labours, yet it is also your choice. You choose to submit to it. Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.”

 

Heroes by Stephen Fry is a gift, his Great Mythology series in general is a gift. I have loved the Greeks since I was kid, but in school it was barely touched upon. There is a lot of history and stories to wade through and I will happily let Fry do all the work for me, he's chosen cleverly to split the stories to make it easier for the reader. Book one focused on the birth and general histories of the Gods leaving room for further books to focus on other parts, and I'm glad he did. A lot of these hero stories are familiar to me, but I might not have known the whole thing, or known where the went after completing the task they're most famous for.

 

I also listened to this as an audiobook and I loved it, it might not be to everyone's taste though. Fry has written this with his distinct British quirky sense of humour, which translates whilst reading, but really comes into its own when he's narrating. Does he give his characters accents they would never of had, yes. Does it matter?? To me, no. It adds to the humour, adds to the silliness. I'd rather that then he butcher a Greek accent.

 

I can't wait for the next instalment Troy, which I've actually pre-ordered. Something I never do, but you know...when in lockdown. I was hoping it would be a book focused on the monsters and the baddies, but since watching the BBC adaptation and learning there was a lot more behind the story I'm really looking forward to it.

 

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review 2020-07-17 09:27
Urban Aviary: A Modern Guide to City Birds
Urban Aviary: A Modern Guide to City Birds - Stephen Moss

I bought this because it was pretty.  The author takes us on a whirlwind tour across the world, highlighting one bird in each major city that has, despite all the odds, thrived.  Each gets one page, and the facing page is a watercolour of the bird, done by Marc Martin, and each is astonishingly wonderful in its simplicity and detail.

 

As a bonus to the eye-candy, I learned quite a bit about a range of birds; even the ones I'd already heard of had facts that were new to me, so it's a win all around.  

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review 2020-06-25 21:37
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
The Only Good Indians - Stephen Graham Jones

I kept hearing whispers about this book. People were SO excited and wanted it so badly and those whispers stuck in my head but I hadn’t read the author and I REFUSED to visit Netgalley because I have absolutely zero willpower when it comes to their offerings. But then a few super early reviews came in and naturally I had a weak moment and hit up NetGalley and I am not at all sorry. Well, perhaps a wee bit because there was some animal stuff in here that was hard to read (prepare thyself) but trust me when I say this book is an experience that has the power to take your damn breath away. I don’t say that about a lot of books, hardly any at all actually, but this one managed to do it several times.

It’s about a horrifically bleak and terrible dark deed done by a few over-zealous young punks on a part of the reservation that did not belong to them. This memory will follow and haunt them (as well it should if you ask me). This book is painful to read but truly hard to put down at the same time. Whenever I had to put it aside to return to reality it lingered at the edges of my brain.

“When the whole world hurts, you bite it, don’t you?”

I struggled with this review. I kept starting it and stopping it fearing I’d never be able to do any kind of justice to it without spoiling the hell out of it and I am not going to do that. This book shocked me even though I was warned that it was going to do just that. I figured, “Nah it’s not going to get ME” but I was wrong. The writing is engaging and harrowing, the characters flawed and hard to look away from and it’s simply a beautifully tragic masterpiece of horror on so many levels with anguish so strong you can feel it stain your soul. Read it if you want your heart ripped out of your chest, chewed up, spit out, rubbed in the bloody dirt, and then super glued back together with your tears.

Brilliantly breath-stealing. Just go read it if this is at all something that you think you’re into. I'm giving this one a rare five star because it is deserving and this book is the reason why I am so miserly with my five stars!

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