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review 2017-03-23 22:33
To Die For by Alice Clark-Platts
To Die For - Alice Clark-Platts,Penguin Audiobooks,Rachel Bavidge

 

To Die For seemed more like part of a story, than a full one.

 

That said, a couple of the characters were very well drawn, (if hateful), and I would have liked to have read more about them. But by then, this "story" was over.

 

Thanks to Audible for the free download. I may try a full book from the author in the future.

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review 2017-03-06 15:36
The Secret of Ventriloquism by Jon Padgett
The Secret of Ventriloquism - Jon Padgett

 

The genre of fiction that I identify as weird tales has always appealed to me, though it's hard to describe. There are also...flavors of weird tales, they're not always the same, even though they may belong to the same genre. For instance, Thomas Ligotti may be described as an author of weird fiction. While I love his style, I often find his work too nihilistic for me. Laird Barron could be described as an author of weird fiction as well, though his style generally leans toward cosmic horror. Lastly, Robert Aickman is admired as an author of weird fiction, but I often find his stories to be rather...unsatisfying. Jon Padgett, however, satisfied ALL of my wants and needs as a reader of dark and weird fiction. These stories have a clear beginning and end, (though some continue on, in other stories), and are as utterly satisfying as short fiction can be. In fact, I'd call them brilliant. That's right. BRILLIANT!

 

Starting with the appealing cover, (what horror fan could resist it?), and ending with Little Evie singing, in the story "Escape to the Mountain," (which makes me shudder just thinking about it.) These amazing stories are beyond impressive, each and every one of them.

 

After "Origami Dreams" I will never look at folded paper in the same way again. I will never see the word "appendage" again and not think of Solomon Kroth and his endless research in the University Library. I will not pass the abandoned paper mills in nearby towns without thinking of those ugly "paper mill days" and the filth they spewed upon the town of Dunnstown. I will never again pass a swamp without thinking of the room in "Indoor Swamp":

 

"Perhaps there is a room that contains a worn vintage tea party set with frilly dressed dolls, but one of those doll's heads gradually rotates completely around, going from an expression of knowing, smiling perversion to an open-mouthed, silent O of horror and back again."

 

I cannot possibly give this book a higher recommendation. As you read it, you may feel dizzy at times, or maybe even a little sick.

 

"You may begin to imagine you hear something that sounds like static or even the roar of an airliner. you may feel lightheaded like you are going to pass out. Ignore these feelings. They are normal."

 

They are a trifle. YOU are a trifle.

 

If you want to fully understand the meanings of these things, you MUST read this book. For me it started with the cover. It was the cover that made me BUY this book, rather than accept the free copy submitted for review to Horror After Dark. That's right, I bought it. You should too. Seriously. Right. Now.

 

Go here: The Secret of Ventriloquism

(You can add the audio for only $1.99 more!)

 

Usually this is where I say I was provided a free copy in exchange for honest feedback. However, (see above), I bought this book, and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2017-02-18 01:02
Incognito: Bad Influences by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Incognito, Volume 2: Bad Influences - Ed Brubaker,Sean Phillips

A super-villain, caught, and now hiding in witness protection, has his cover is blown and then is recruited to help catch bad guys. It should be easy, since he used to be one of them, but now he's been infected by empathy, and it's harder than he thought.

 

Zack Overkill, Zoe Zeppelin, Lazarus, and Simon Slaughter are just some of the characters inside this pulpy, noir, empathetic super-villain story from the super cool Mr. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. What fun!

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url 2017-01-26 17:54
Publishing During Wartime part IV (from Melville House)

You should read the whole series, but this is particularly relevant with the climate.

 

Wherever Roxane Gay decides to shop her new book, BUY IT and show S&S this kind of faux-concern over censorship vs. giving a nazi a book deal is appalling.

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review 2017-01-06 18:10
Darkness Wakes by Tim Waggoner
Darkness Wakes - Tim Waggoner,John Williams

 

What a crazy ride!

 

Darkness Wakes begins with a somewhat happily married man noticing an unmarked door in a seedy strip mall. The door has FUCKL sort of scratched into it which would make anyone wonder what was going on there. Penumbra is the answer to that question and Penumbra is dark indeed.

 

Not too long after Aaron noticed the door, he begins to notice his sexy neighbor, Caroline. Caroline notices his interest and not long after she visits Aaron's veterinarian's clinic because her cat has a broken leg. (A leg which later, Aaron suspects of being broken by Caroline on purpose.) A sexual interlude occurs and soon after that Caroline invites Aaron to come to her private club, Penumbra.

 

Things go on there that defy description and I'm not talking about the sexy times. Orgies and sexual acts of all kinds go on in the front room, but it's the back room where things get out of hand. What an imagination Mr. Waggoner has to come up with a story like this! Because on top of Penumbra's front and back rooms, there's also a farmhouse with strange goings-on, a man with scabs all over his head and a woman with human bones in her braids.

 

I listened to the audio of this tale and I was not crazy about the narrator. Every time the character Gillian spoke it felt like a spike through my head. Luckily, she didn't speak all that much. Of course, your mileage may vary.

 

I ended up enjoying this book quite a bit, though there were some strange bits of writing that I didn't much care for. The song of the nipple mouths? Really? Overall, though-the creativeness behind this story especially appealed to me and the ending kicked ass! If this sounds like your cup of tea, I recommend you check it out!

 

You can get a copy here: Darkness Wakes

(When I purchased the Kindle copy, I added the Audible for only $1.99. It's a great deal!)

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