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review 2019-01-25 16:11
Elevation by Stephen King
Elevation - Stephen King

This was a perfectly meh weird story. It didn't offend me but do you know what does? The fact that Goodreads READERS awarded it the best HORROR novel award only because it had Stephen King's name on it. Do these people even read the genre they are voting on? Do they even read the books? 

Anyway, this is the story of a perfectly bland middle aged white man who got off on the wrong foot with his new neighbors. He's also suffering from a very odd affliction. When he steps on the scale he loses weight at the rate of a pound or so a day, even when he's holding bags of coins but he's not losing body mass. He's just getting lighter and lighter and soon he knows he will simply drift away. 

I don't know about you, but this plot doesn't excite me in any way. It's hard to work up worry about a man who can eat whatever he wants and lose no weight. Worst case scenario? He'll either die or leave this terrible planet and float out into the universe to see things never seen by human eyes. The latter option doesn't sound too bad to me right about now! The side plot about his relationship with the married lesbian couple is only mildly interesting. It felt forced and didn't hit me emotionally at all. Likely because I've read/seen these people a million times before starting this story and there was nothing unique about any of them. I wish their pooping dogs had a bigger place in the story. But at least it's short and I'm out nothing but time because I borrowed the audiobook from my library. It's read by Stephen King so you're either going to enjoy his nasally narration or not. Personally I don't mind it but the story gets a 2 because it just wasn't that great, if you ask me.

The audiobook includes another short story called Laurie. It's about a grieving old coot who has a puppy foisted upon him by his worried sister. After much grumping and complaining he grows to love Laurie and Laurie, like all good dogs, loves him right back. This story I loved. I loved the grumpy old man and Laurie's relationship and there's a moment of suspense that had my heart in my throat. I'd give this one a four. It could've been a five if it were longer. 

Combine these two together and this version is getting a three from me.

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review 2019-01-20 10:15
Black Tom and Racism in Lovecraft's Mythos
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle

I think Victor Lavalle sums up perfectly the intent of this novella in its dedication - “For H.P. Lovecraft, with all my conflicted feelings.”

 

This story is set in New York in the 1920s. Charles Thomas Tester is a man from Harlem who earns money to support himself and his prematurely aging father by grifting. He has the reputation of being a go-to guy to fetch esoteric objects, and it is when he is hired to fetch a book for a white woman in Queens that the story begins.

 

It’s a tale of magic and power and the appropriation by whites of power paid for in black flesh. The streets of New York are toxic with hate, and a final tragedy, relating to the book, leads to Tester having nothing left to lose. A freedom that allows him to dare where others falter in fear.

 

It’s a beautiful narrative, taking the best and the worst from Lovecraft and showing it from the perspective of a person of colour. It’s full of gorgeous prose and leaves the reader feeling richer for the experience. Tester/Black Tom is constantly overlooked and underappreciated, but it is he who will triumph, albeit in a pyrrhic victory.

 

The opening of the book sets the stage perfectly -

 

“People who move to New York always make the same mistake. They can’t see the place… They come looking for magic; whether good or evil, and nothing will convince them it isn’t here.”

 

Other quotes I love -

 

“Nobody ever thinks of himself as a villain, does he? Even monsters hold high opinions of themselves.”

 

“The more I read, the more I listened, the more sure I became that a great and secret show had been playing throughout my life, throughout all our lives, but the mass of us were too ignorant, or too frightened, to raise our eyes and watch. Because to watch would be to understand the play isn’t being staged for us.”

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review 2019-01-14 15:46
a beauitful and fitting end
One Day (Nights Series #9) - A.M. Salinger
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is the final book, book NINE in the Nights Series, and to get the full enjoyment of this one, you really MUST at least read book one: One Night, and book three: Tokyo Heat. I would STRONGLY recommend you read them all, though! Not least because I said so, but they are rather awesome and I am really sad to see the end of this group of people! Gabe and Cam are planning their wedding and Ethan is in charge of their joint stag/bachelor party. He pulls that off beautifully! There are a few surprises, a trip across the globe to see family, and so much love, between each couple, not just Gabe and Cam, my sister would say "please pass the bucket" and make retching noises! Each coupe have a *scene* in this book, but the emphasis is on Gabe and Cam and the run up to the wedding. After Cam ran when Gabe said those three little words, I wasn't sure they would get this far, but as the first couple in this series, it's only right and proper that they be the first to tie the knot. Each scene is hawt and sexy and well written. Each person in the pairing has a say so we get each and every thought these people have, as they begin the wedding celebrations the week before. Ethan's planning is brilliant and how he manages to keep it a secret from everyone, especially Joe, is beyond me! I loved what Gabe and Ethan did for Cam and Joe and I hated Gabe's family for what they did to him, but they DO redeem themselves, so were somewhat forgiven, but not totally! But the bit that got me?? The vows between Gabe and Cam. Bear in mind, I started this book at 215am, cos I couldn't sleep, I did not stop til 430 when I finished. And I bawled my bloody eyes out! So much so, I woke the teenager up in the other room! I mean, the love between these two guys, between EACH couple really, jumps off the page and slaps you about the face so much! Hence the "warm and fuzzies", AND "too stinking cute", along with the "fan yourself, its a hot one" tag! I don't think I have any other warm and fuzzies on the fan yourself shelf, but then again, Gabe and Cam were the founder members of the fan yourself shelf! The epilogue is rather awesome, and I pray to every deity and god known to man, and then some, that Ms Salinger will write a followup to this series, and call it One More Day! You'll see what I mean when you read that epilogue! While it's always sad to see a series end, it's made a little bit less sad when it has such a beautiful and fitting end. Thank you, Ms Salinger, for introducing me to your people, thank you, indeed, for stepping away from your usual fare and writing about them! I loved them all, but Gabe and Cam will always be my favourites. 5 full and shiny stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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photo 2019-01-14 14:33
Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales

Broken Mirror

and other morbid tales

 

featuring the novella ~ Basement Beauty

 

Carmilla Voiez

 

 

You’re too beautiful to be killed, Tay,’ Lynsey assured her, brushing a manicured hand through freshly lightened hair.

 

What the fuck do you mean?’ Amalthea shook her head, jostling afro curls and revealing a petulant frown that drew her plump cheeks inwards.

 

Aint you heard? All the victims were ugly. Aint gonna happen to you, kiddo.’

 

Amalthea gazed at the empty pint glass in her hands. ‘Ugly?’

 

Yeah, not grotesque freaks or anything, just plain ugly: big noses, crooked teeth, greasy hair, you know. When I went to the dentist this morning they told me everyone and their f’in dog’s booked in for cosmetic work.’

 

Isn’t that odd?’ Amalthea rotated the glass this way and that between caramel fingers.

 

Lynsey shrugged. ‘Dunno.’

 

I think it’s odd.’

 

Whatever, girl. Just stop stressing, okay. You’re too beautiful to die.’

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review 2019-01-11 07:16
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell

Short, cute and entertaining, though it did make me wonder about people...

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