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review 2019-03-22 19:06
GHOST STORY by Peter Straub
Ghost Story - Peter Straub

I am SO glad that I finally re-read this book! I was afraid that it wouldn't hold up to my memory of it. I worried about that for decades. Silly me-I needn't have worried-it was even better than I remembered!

 

This beautifully written story of evil in a small town has a lot in common with Stephen King's IT as far as the small town portion goes. Derry and Milburn are similar in a lot of ways. Despite the title, this book isn't really a ghost story. Just like in IT, IT isn't really a clown.

 

Ghost Story is about a small group of men who made a mistake in their youth and rather than face up to it, they went about hiding it instead. This leads to consequences none of them could have possibly foreseen. But WE can see those consequences, and unfortunately, they are often deadly. 

 

GHOST STORY was my favorite novel for many years-mostly because of the intricacy of it. The stories of these men, the stories about the relatives of these men, and the stories about the town itself, wind around and through each other-to me it's like a beautifully woven tapestry of art. I have to think that the author had it all planned out from the very beginning, otherwise how could it have been so wonderfully done? 

 

This book isn't for everyone, and I get that. (It wasn't even for me at one time, it took me three tries to get into it back in the day.) For those people that it DOES work for? They will sit back when they're done, just like I did, and marvel at the skill on display here. 

 

My highest recommendation!

 

*I've purchased this book 3 times so far, (my original copy was lost), then I bought a paperback copy, but the print was too small, so I purchased a Kindle copy. I'd buy it again, if I had to!*

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review 2019-03-13 17:30
THE BORDER by Don Winslow, narrated by Ray Porter
The Border - Don Winslow,Ray Porter

 

THE BORDER is the last book in the POWER OF THE DOG trilogy.

 

All I can say is WOW. It was everything I hoped for and more. Brutal criminals, sometimes even more brutal law enforcement, international drug wars, politics, and the absolutely fabulous Ray Porter relating it all in that powerful voice of his.

 

At this point I feel like Don Winslow and Ray Porter are a part of my life. I've spent dozens of hours with them both and to be honest? I'm going to miss them.

 

Does Art Keller finally get somewhere in the drug war he's fought his entire life? Will he get to settle down and live a quiet life with Marisol? What about Eddie Ruiz? Callen and Nora? Hell, will any of them even survive? I recommend you read this ASAP so you can find out!

 

Winslow delivered the goods here and Ray Porter performed the hell out of it.

 

My highest recommendation!

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review 2019-01-09 14:58
Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies
Biggest Book of Cookies: 475 All-Time Favorites (Better Homes & Gardens) - Better Homes and Gardens

Every December, my daughters and I make candies, fudges, and cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. 

 

We experiment and we change things and we make cookies. I bought this book many years ago and we got it out and I re-read through the recipes, marking and taking notes and getting ready to make a few cookies. Hermits are a great way to use up coffee! So flavorful! 

 

For those who wonder, we package up the cookies and give them to the first responders in our area as a thank you for all they do all year long. 

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review 2018-09-23 14:46
SLIMER by Harry Adam Knight
Slimer - John Brosnan,Phil Kettle,Harry Adam Knight

 

SLIMER is a perfect example of why I loved (and still love), horror from the 80's! It's fun, it's fast paced, unpredictable, imaginative, and did I mention it's FUN?

 

Three couples find themselves stranded in a life boat after the yacht they were on sank. After several days they come upon an abandoned oil rig, and are grateful to be on solid ground again. After they start looking around, their gratitude turns to confusion and eventually fear. Why are there scientific labs instead of oil production equipment? Where are all the people? Most importantly, why are they finding piles of clothing all over the place? Piles with undergarments and socks inside, almost as if the person vanished into thin air? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I know that the title doesn't bring to mind great works of literature, but this book towers above most creature features, and unlike a lot of horror from that time period, it's actually pretty well written. I'm not looking for Shirley Jackson all the time, you know? Sometimes I want lots of action and in your face horror and both of those are found here in spades! I've been trying to think of movies or other books I can compare SLIMER with, and all I can come up with is The Thing. Instead of the arctic setting, we're on an isolated oil rig in the middle of the deep sea...but all the other main components are there. The growing fear, the confusion, and suspicion regarding your fellow man, all of it's here. And all of it spells F-U-N!

 

Valancourt Books' PAPERBACKS FROM HELL series is going to be a lot of fun if this is the kind of stuff they'll be putting out. I, for one, am going to be lined up for each new release like a shopper at midnight on Black Friday!

 

If you liked John Carpenter's The Thing, if you like creature features, and finally, (maybe especially), if you liked the best works that 80's horror had to offer, SLIMER is a MUST-HAVE for your home library. My highest recommendation!

 

Available on October 2nd, but up for pre-order now, here: SLIMER

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review 2018-09-10 18:45
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson, narrated by Bernadette Dunn
The Haunting Of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Bernadette Dunne

There's nothing more I can say about this book that hasn't been said by hundreds, if not thousands, of other readers and critics. It's a classic for a reason. 

 

A haunted house story to beat all haunted house stories, with the added bonus of Shirley Jackson's sublime prose. As an example I submit the opening paragraph, which in my opinion, are some of the best in all of literature. 

 

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

 

 

I happily re-read this for this square:

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