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review 2017-03-22 18:50
Hell Hound by Ken Greenhall
Hell Hound - Grady Hendrix,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton

 

In the late 70's, I started reading horror in earnest, and I honestly thought I was familiar with most horror writers of the time. I was wrong. I'd never heard of Ken Greenhall until Valancourt Books brought him to my attention. Now, I want to get my hands on everything he's written.

 

Baxter, the bull terrier, is a sociopath. But he's just a dog, you might say! It's true, but he's observant, willful and extremely dangerous. With some portions of this book being from his point of view, the reader gets a clear look into what's going on in that doggie head of his. I know this book sounds cheesy, and perhaps like a rip-off of Cujo, but the facts are that it's not cheesy at all, and it was written before Cujo. Featuring keen insights into human behavior, precise but spare prose, and bringing to the reader a growing sense of dread and horror, I'm pretty sure this will be among the best books I will read this year.

 

My highest recommendation! You can get your copy here: Hell Hound

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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text 2017-03-21 17:35
I've read 50% of Hell Hound and...
Hell Hound - Grady Hendrix,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton

 

I'm torn between racing through to the end or slowing down to savor every word. I'm not sure how I missed Ken Greenhall back in the late 70's, since that's when I began to read horror in earnest. I only know that I will now try to track down everything he's written.

 

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review 2017-03-09 22:30
All Souls' Night by Hugh Walpole
All Souls' Night - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Sir Hugh Walpole

 

All Souls' Night is an excellent collection of stories, originally published back in the 1930's. I listened to the audio version, narrated by the outstanding Matt Godfrey.

 

Not all of these tales were dark fiction or ghost stories, but-of course, those were my favorites. The ones that I enjoyed most were found right at the beginning, namely:

 

The Whistle I love tales about dogs and people that don't care for them. Dogs always know.

 

The Silver Mask Nothing outright horrific, really, but most definitely unsettling and surprising.

 

The Staircase Easily my favorite story in this collection. Featuring extremely keen insights into human behavior, (that stand up, even to this day), as viewed and acted upon, by the house itself. This one blew me away.

 

Lastly:

 

Lilac I thought this was going to be one kind of story, but it didn't go the way I thought it would at all.

 

As I said above, I listened to the audio of this book and I thought the narrator did a great job of bringing these tales alive. I could easily picture everything going on and the English accent was appropriate for the time and age in which the stories were set.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. If you decide to try it out, don't expect all of the stories to be macabre, or to involve the supernatural. These tales vary widely, but all of them feature startling insights into the nature of humanity, and they are still true today.

 

Highly recommended, especially the audio version!

 

You can get your copy here: All Souls' Night (Valancourt 20th Century Classics)

 

*I was provided this audio book free of charge from the narrator, (through Audio Boom!) in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it. Thanks to you both for the opportunity!*

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text 2017-03-02 21:00
I've listened to 20% of All Souls Night and...
All Souls' Night - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Sir Hugh Walpole

 

this book is phenomenal so far! Even though it was originally published in the 1930's, I'm not finding the stories to feel dated. I especially liked "The Staircase" and "The Silver Mask" and I am looking forward to listening to more today. Plus, the narration is absolutely perfect, which is great because I've ditched my last two audios due to narrators that just weren't working for me. 

 

I wish real life responsibilities and, you know, people,would go away and leave me to listen in peace. 

 

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review 2017-01-17 17:18
Antique Dust: Ghost Stories by Robert Westall
Antique Dust: Ghost Stories - Robert Westall,R.C. Bray,LLC Valancourt Books

I’ve always believed that old things are haunted but I never realized that the quiet little world of antique buying and selling was so cut-throat!

 

I listened to this collection of eerie stories on unabridged audio. They’re all stories about antique dealer Geoff Ashton, except for one or two that are stories told to him or are about a close relative. My copy was narrated by R.C. Bray whose voice is wizened and quite perfect for this book about old stuff.

 

The Devil and Clocky Watson This first story introduces us to Geoff. He’s an honest dealer just trying to make a living but others, namely a shifty character named Clocky Watson, cheat the system. Geoff attempts to get back at Clocky in what he thinks is the most fitting of ways but things go awry. This tale, like all the stories that follow, is eerie and dripping with creepy atmosphere. 4.5 Stars

 

The Doll Geoff realizes that old dolls = $$ and buys a large collection of them from a boozy widow for a song but trouble soon follows. Creepy dolls will always be creepy and this story is no exception. There were two points here where frighteningly loud music was piped in and it nearly made me pee my pants and overrode the narration. Beware! This one was probably my favorite. 5 Stars

 

The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux This story was about a creepy old church, desecrated graves, unnerving goings-on and Miss Dorinda Molyneaux.

 

The Dumbledore This one simply wasn’t meant for me and it more than likely comes down to a matter of taste and my lack of it. The Dumbledore was a watering hole for men during war times. It's about secrets, war heroes and a young boy named Little Tex. 3 Stars

 

The Woolworth Spectacles This one features Geoff’s cousin and was much more my speed. Shy Maude's always been told that "men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses". But then she finds a pair of spectacles at Woolworth's (that's an old department store for you youngin's) left behind by an old woman and puts them on her face.

 

 

And she can see the world in wondrous detail! Initially she’s pretty thrilled but then people start looking at her differently. Crude work-men leer at her and she is unsettled. Soon, though, she finds her power over men a little intoxicating and begins to use it even to her advantage even though she knows deep down that this is very unlike her. She revels in it anyway and it leads to disaster. I liked this story quite a bit and found Maude’s personality change both organic and frightening. 5 Stars

 

Portland Bill Geoff is on vacation with his wife, who has meandered off to do things without him. Before long, he finds a beautiful and distraught woman who begs for help. Her son has gone missing and Geoff being the dirty, old, and let’s not forget MARRIED perv that he is, has lustful thoughts about her even though she’s frantic to find her son.

 

“My bowels moved with lust for her.”

 

Oh Geoff, you sexy beast, however did you convince a woman to marry you?

 

 

Despite his pervy thoughts, he’s not so bad a guy and decides to help her out. When the townsfolk and police brush him off Geoff starts to have ominous feelings about the situation. Haunting and, like all the rest, beautifully atmospheric. 4 Stars

 

The Ugly House I listened to this one twice because when I sat down to write this up, I couldn’t remember a thing about it and figured I had sleep-walked through it. Now after the 2nd listen and writing all of the above, I still can’t remember much about it besides the fact that there was a building inspector and an ugly house that Would Not Be Demolished and damned if I can remember anything else about it.

 

 

Guess it wasn’t meant for me. 3 Stars

 

I’d easily recommend this collection to anyone looking for slower paced, old-style horror that crawls under your skin and creeps you out.

 

 

Audiobook #2: Audiobook Challenge

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