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review 2018-12-03 18:45
THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW by Richard Laymon
The Traveling Vampire Show - Richard Laymon

As I was listening to this, I came to realize that I've read it before. A few things, like the name Julian Striker and one of the character's sisters rang a bell with me. Other than that, because I have a mind like a steel sieve, the rest of the story seemed new, so I went with it. Now that's it over, I am glad that I read it while at the same time I wish I ditched it. As you can see, I'm torn.

 

What I liked: The beginning. The coming of age portion-kids walking around and learning about the town, popping into each of their houses...these things I enjoyed. Unfortunately, they were a very small portion of the book. I did enjoy the narrator, though the quality of the recording itself didn't seem as good as others I've listened to recently.

 

What I didn't like: The sexy-times coming of age portions. One or two would have been fine, but at times, it seemed like the majority of the book was talking about hard-ons and breasts. Especially breasts. Every single woman in this book had time dedicated to her breasts. I mean, I HAVE breasts. I LIKE them. But J.H.C.- enough already!

 

Ahem. Okay-what I didn't like (continued): This entire book took place in one day, which was fine. However, it seemed like out of 404 pages, 325 were taken up just getting TO THE SHOW. Lastly, once they got there the situation spiraled out of control and became completely unbelievable. There's just....no way. I understand I'm reading a book about vampires, but believe me when I say there are believable stories about them and this one isn't it. (Kelli Owen's TEETH perhaps, or Yvonne Navarro's AFTERAGE for example.) I can disregard the realism factor if the book is intriguing or interesting in other areas. This one is not.

 

I rated THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW 2.5 stars, because I do feel it is representative of horror being written at that time, (2000-2001), and in a way, it is often thought of as a classic of the horror genre. I wanted to rate it higher than that, but I'm sorry to say that this tale didn't earn it.

 

I can't say that I recommend this, but I AM glad that I finally read it, (or re-read it, as the case may be), because I would forever be wondering about it, if I hadn't.

 

Source: I bought this audiobook with my hard earned cash.

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review 2018-09-23 14:13
COCKBLOCK by C.V. Hunt, narrated by Ramona Master
Cockblock - Ramona Master,Roderick Hunt,Roderick Hunt

 

Callie and Sonya are on their way for a nice date night, when all of a sudden they are verbally assaulted by some men on the street. As the men got closer, the assault became physical and soon they are running for their lives. They discover that a message from the president is being broadcast nationwide and it's affecting men all over the country. How does it affect them? Will Callie and Sonya make it out alive? You'll have to read this short book to find out!

 

All of my horror loving friends that have read this have rated it fairly high. I love and trust them so when I saw this available in the Audiobook Boom! listing, I requested it right away. And now, here we are. 

 

Incredibly graphic and violent, while at the same time kind of hilarious, C.V. Hunt has worked some magic here. A somewhat derisive view of the president and politics in general is worked into the story as well. It's not in your face, but it's there and that's just fine with me. In a world where we shame rape victims for speaking out, where we often treat the perpetrators as young men who just made a mistake,

I enjoyed this story where women finally triumph over that culture.

 

(spoiler show)

 

I listened to this on audio and I admit it took me a while to get used to the narrator. It must have been difficult for her at times, because as I said above there are some incredibly brutal scenes here. I gained respect as the story unwound and ended up enjoying her quite a bit.

 

Brutal, tongue in cheek, (and in many other places in this story), violent, graphic, and with an eye toward our current political environment, COCKBLOCK, is original, imaginative, sarcastic, and has a clear vision of what it wants to say. The only question that remains is are you brave enough to hear it?

 

Highly recommended to those horror fans who can handle brutal violence and rape.

 

*Thanks to the narrator and to Audiobook Boom! for the audio of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2018-09-21 12:45
DRAWING BLOOD by Poppy Z. Brite, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Drawing Blood: A Novel - Matt Godfrey,Crossroad Press,Poppy Z. Brite

A good old haunted house story is something I've always loved, so when the narrator of this tale offered me a chance to listen to the audio in exchange for a review, I jumped at it. Poppy Z. Brite is an author I've heard a lot about and I've been wanting to read his work for quite some time. I learned a few things while reading this book and one of them is that Poppy Z. Brite can write.

 

Trevor is a young man returning to the house where his mother and brother were killed 20 years ago. Shortly after his arrival in Missing Mile, his old hometown, he meets a young computer hacker on the run, named Zach. The two immediately feel a connection and together they go to face Trevor's childhood home. What will they find there? Is the house actually haunted? You will have to read this to find out. 

 

While the writing quality here was good, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the story itself. This is not the author's fault, nor the narrator's,  it was my sky high expectations. I expected a scary as hell story- and while there was a little darkness,  there was way too much romance for me. I don't mind explicit sex scenes, (gay or straight),  if they are integral to the story. Now I totally get the term insta-love. These two just met, one of them a virgin, and before you know it they are going at it at a breakneck pace. And going at it again. And again. The sexy times were sexy, don't get me wrong but after a while they finally led me to ask "Can we get to the horror already?"

 

Eventually, we did get to the horror, but after such a long build, it failed to move me much. I'm not sure if I was just bored by that point, or if all the romance had inured me to what should have been an exciting finale. 

 

The narration by Matt Godfrey was excellent as always, I especially loved his Jamaican accent. Yeah, mon! 

 

As I said, I did like the writing, and in a few spots it was nearly lyrical. From what I understand this is one of Poppy Z. Brite's, (now he goes by the name Billy Martin), earlier works. While I didn't find this novel to be a true horror story, I'm told his later works definitely are and I will be tracking those down in the future, maybe even the near future. 

 

Recommended, as long as you're not looking for a horror tale and you don't mind a lot of romance and sexy times! 

 

*Thanks to Matt Godfrey for the audio of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-08-10 22:30
BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN by Gilbert King, narrated by Kimberly Farr
Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found - Gilbert King,Kimberly Farr

The reason I requested this book from my library was because of Megan Abbott's 

excellent, succinct review, which can be found here: BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN

 

 

This is the shocking true story of a mentally challenged white man who was railroaded into confessing to a rape and who was then sent to a state hospital for over 14 years WITH NO TRIAL. It's a story of racism, small town corruption, networks made up of good old boys, and most importantly, a tenacious reporter named Mabel who never, ever gave up.

 

You know, I say it's a "shocking" story, but unfortunately, it's really not. Black or white, (mostly black), mentally challenged, and ALL poor-many people have not received a fair shake in this country over the years. It's unfortunate to note that many of them STILL are not receiving a fair shake. This book only proves how important a free press can be to the causes of justice and fair play.

 

Even though she has since passed of cancer, I feel the need to say WAY TO GO, Mabel! If it weren't for you, poor Jessie Daniels would probably have died in the state hospital.

 

Thanks to Megan Abbott for her intriguing review and thanks to my local library for providing the audiobook for free. Libraries RULE!

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review 2018-05-30 18:45
THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King
The Outsider - Stephen King

 

I loved the first half of this book so much, I hardly knew what to do with myself. I just wanted to be reading every minute of the day. Don't get me wrong, the second half was good, it just didn't impress me quite as much.

 

I'm not going to rehash the plot, because today, only one week from the release date, there are already hundreds of reviews that do that. I'm just going to give a few of my thoughts and impressions:

 

The first quarter of this book was outstanding. It reminded me of all the reasons I love King in the first place. Then the second quarter? It was even better! I know that my mouth dropped open when I was reading quite a few times and who doesn't love being surprised? The third quarter brings us Ms. Holly Gibney, (who was probably my favorite character from the Bill Hodges crime trilogy which began with Mr. Mercedes), but the pacing began to slow. The fourth quarter just got draggy and I wanted things to wrap up.

 

Overall, I was prepared to go all fangirl over this book and at first THE OUTSIDER deserved that and more. By the time we approached the denouement, I was still enjoying myself, but not as much. Perhaps it's because I expect so much from King and it's just not possible for anyone, even him, to live up to my expectations? Perhaps, it's because I was also reading CARRIE at the same time for a book club meeting, and that short novel reminded me how lean and mean King can be?

 

Whatever the reason, I do recommend THE OUTSIDER, I just can't give it my highest recommendation. Even so, a 4 star King book is worth 2 or 3 of most other author's 5 star books, so you should still read it! I hope you enjoy it, if you do!

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