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text 2017-09-14 18:45
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two

Available this October from Valancourt Books! 

 

I was SO VERY EXCITED to find this in my mailbox the other day!

 

There's a Michael McDowell in here I haven't yet read, as well as a Stephen Gregory and a Bernard Taylor. I ask you: Who's a happy Char??

 

 

Valancourt Books has earned a reputation as one of the foremost publishers of lost and rediscovered classics, reissuing more than 400 unjustly neglected works from the late 18th century all the way to the early 21st. In this second volume of rare horror stories, the editors of Valancourt Books have selected fourteen tales – all by Valancourt authors – for this new collection spanning two centuries of horror. This volume features a previously unpublished ghost story by Nevil Shute, a brand-new tale by award-winning author Stephen Gregory, and twelve other tales that have never or seldom been reprinted. 

 

Features stories by: Mary Elizabeth Braddon • John Buchan • R. Chetwynd-Hayes • Isabel Colegate • Basil Copper • Thomas De Quincey • Stephen Gregory • Michael McDowell • John Metcalfe • Beverley Nichols • Nevil Shute • Bernard Taylor • Russell Thorndike • Robert Westall

 

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review 2017-09-03 17:29
Audrey Rose by Frank De Felitta, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Audrey Rose - Frank De Felitta,Matt Godfrey

 

Back in the late 70's I guess, maybe the early 80's, I read this book and I loved it. I was very excited when I saw that Valancourt Books was bringing it back into print, but I had trouble working it into my reading schedule. When I was offered a chance to review the audiobook, I jumped at it and I'm glad I did.

 

It turns out that I had forgotten a lot of this story. Not only that-I think a lot of its social commentary went over my head because I was only a young teen at the time and didn't know half the things I thought I did.

 

Janice and Bill Templeton have a young daughter, Ivy, who has bouts of severe nightmares. Asleep, she runs about in a panic, yelling for her parents and screaming "Hot, hot, hot." The first time the nightmares occurred, a psychiatrist seemed to help the situation. This time around nothing seems to help.

 

Meanwhile, a strange man is spotted recently hanging around Ivy's school and standing nearby the beautiful apartment building where the Templetons live. How is this man related to Ivy and her nightmares? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This story takes place in the 70's with all that that entails. Scientology and other cults are becoming popular. Hypnotism and psychology fascinate the general public. Casual sex, (before AIDS), is becoming a thing and the social fabric of life in the US is changing. Bill and Janice Templeton seem to want to change with the times, (they get sex manuals and try to keep things fresh, for instance), but in other respects, Bill especially is set in his ways. His world view is not flexible and anything that challenges it cannot be tolerated. If only for a slightly more adaptable point of view, much of what happened later might have been prevented.

 

Audrey Rose held up for me, after all these years. There was much I didn't remember so it seemed almost like an entirely new story. Some of it is dated, of course, (remember looking for a working payphone?), but its observations of human behavior are still spot on and sharp. This isn't a perfect story and perhaps the courtroom drama could have been trimmed a bit, but I never lost interest.

 

The narration by Matt Godfrey was also spot on and helped to cement some scenes clearly in my mind. "Mommy, daddy, hot, hot, hot..." gave me a serious case of the creeps every time I heard it.

 

I'm glad this story from the golden time of horror held up and maybe even exceeded my vague memory of it. This tale supports the idea that you should always appreciate fully what you have, but you should also keep an open mind. Don't be so stubborn that you allow no room for the unexplained. You may avoid a lot of heartache and tragedy if you can do that-just ask Bill Templeton.

 

Highly recommended, especially for fans of 70's and 80's horror!

 

 

You can find your copy here: Audrey Rose

 

*I received a free review copy of this audio in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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text 2017-05-01 22:35
April 2017 Round up!
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead - Peter David,Stephen King,Richard Ianove,Robin Furth
You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott
People of the Sun - Jason Parent

I read 20 books during April! That might be a personal record!

 

Graphic Novels:

 

The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

The Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (The Journey Begins)

American Vampire: Volume 4

 

Total: 5

 

Audio Books: 

 

Kindred by Octavia Butler

The Late Breakfasters by Robert Aickman

Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

 

Total: 4 

 

E-ARCS 

 

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror

Ararat by Christopher Golden

Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall

Jericho's Razor by Casey Doran

Dark Screams: Volume 6

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

 

Total: 7

 

Random Books 

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One

Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof

People of the Sun by Jason Parent

Soles by Kay Brandt

 

Total: 4

 

Total Books Read in April: 20

 

 

Reading Challenges

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

Running Count: 3

 

Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge: 

Goal: Read Horror Books!

 

January Books: 5

February Books: 3 

March Books: 4

April Books: 9

 

Running Count: 21

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017  

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

Running count: 17

 

Keep Calm and Read On!

 

 

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text 2017-05-01 21:17
Sci-Fi and Scary Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge-April Update
Soles - Kay Brandt
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
At The Cemetery Gates: Year One - Chad Wehrle,John Brhel,Joseph T. Sullivan
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

 

I am participating in a Horror Reading Challenge over at the Sci-Fi and Scary blog. You can sign up yourself at the Sci-Fi and Scary Blog here: Sci-Fi and Scary

 

This month I've read 9  books towards the challenge this month:

 

Garden of Fiends (Tales of Addiction Horror)

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One 

 

Elizabeth 

 

Ararat 

 

Dark Screams: Volume 6

 

Nightmare of the Dead

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks

 

Just Add Water

 

Soles

 

April Total: 9

March Total: 4

February Total: 3

January Total: 5

 

Total: 21

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-20 18:35
Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories, superbly narrated by Matt Godfrey. I can see now why Stephen King gave Fredric Brown and specifically this collection a special mention in his non fiction book about influential horror written during the 1950's through the 1970's: Danse Macabre.

 

Within this volume, there are nearly 50 stories, most of them very short. There were some sci-fi tales mixed in, but most of these were horror. For whatever reason, these tiny gems brought me back to the stories I read when I first got into horror. I would say the period after Poe, but before King. I did a lot of short story reading back then; I used them as a way to find new authors, and then longer works written by them. Somehow, I never discovered Mr. Brown back then, but I'm so glad that I've discovered him now.

 

There are too many tales to get into here, but a few of the standouts to me were:

 

The Geezenstacks This was Just. Plain. Fun! How can you go wrong with a horror story about dolls?!

 

Cat Burglar That ending cracked me the hell up!

 

There were several stories that began with "Nightmare in..." and I pretty much loved all of those.

 

Matt Godfrey does a tremendous job narrating these stories. I've listened to a few of his audios now, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. Will Patton had better watch out!

 

This collection really stands above most others of its kind, not only from that time period, (the 60's), but this time period as well. That's not to say that some of these stories don't feel dated, because some do, but I don't feel as if that affected their impact. Also, Nightmares and Geezenstacks will not work for everyone, especially those who love their tales to be extra bloody or leaning towards bizarro. Horror was tamer in the 60's, and these stories are a product of their time.

 

That being said, I loved this collection. It had short stories that were actually short, it had a great deal of variety, most tales packed a real punch and the narration was wonderful. I give this my highest recommendation!

 

*I received this audio free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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