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Search tags: char-s-recs-horror
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text 2018-10-13 21:12
Halloween Bingo - Genre: Horror
The Last Man - Mary Shelley

I only have 3 books left to read (plus one in progress that I need to finish) for Halloween Bingo, so I'm going to take some time and figure out which ones will be next.


I'm going to pick Mary Shelley's The Last Man for Genre: Horror because I am all horrored-out at this point, and need something that is more Goth than Gore.


I'm also super intrigued by a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel written by Shelley in 1826. I mean, she's not the first author that immediately comes to mind when thinking about post-apocalyptic sci-fi.


Bring it, Mary!


I'll be listening to The Last Man mostly on my commute next week.


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review 2018-09-02 17:57
October - Michael Rowe

Mikey climbed into the Honda and turned the key in the ignition. He revved the engine, tossing mud up into the air as the car peeled out of the clearing and onto the road back to Auburn. He glanced down at the dashboard clock. It was one o’clock in the morning on the last day of September—or rather, the first day of October—and he had just bashed out the brains of an innocent, defenseless animal in order to cast a spell he’d found on the Internet to make the bullies in town suffer for having hurt him. Mikey felt he would vomit. He pulled the car to the side of the road and leaned out of the driver’s side door just as his stomach began to heave. All of this for nothing, he thought sickly, retching into the mud. I killed a living thing for nothing. Yeah, I’m a real sorcerer, aren’t I? I am Mikey Childress. Fear me. Christ almighty, what have I turned into? On the ride home it occurred to him that the best thing to do would be to drive off one of the cliffs and crash his mother’s car into a ravine. It would solve a lot of problems. At the same time, he suspected, he probably didn’t even have the courage for that.

This quote to me very represents the very best part of the book: the almost tangible despair and inner turmoil in the main character, whose life has been shaped by bullies of all kinds. 


With respect to the portrayal of bullying and the impact it can have on a person, October was great. 

What didn't work for me was the execution. The story felt rushed, most of the characters were a bit two dimensional, the plot and characters choices felt at many time ludicrous, and there were some other writing choices that made me either groan, roll my eyes, or want to heave.


Sure, this was a novella and had limitations of length to contend with, but to me the story just felt rushed and trying to do too much.


Not for me.

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text 2018-09-02 13:23
Halloween Bingo - Modern Masters of Horror
October - Michael Rowe

I'm still working reading away on my plan to get the hard-boiled horror out of the way first, so I can spend the rest of the game with categories that are more to my liking. 


Saying that, I do love McDowell and would not have changed out yesterday's reading of The Amulet for anything, and I also enjoy expanding my reading boundaries ... or more accurately phrased when it comes to the Horror genre ... tie my comfort zone boundaries up with duck tape, throw them in the back of the car, take them to a cliff, set fire to them, kick them over the edge to challenge the the sea gods to a duell. 


Anyway. My next one is another recommendation by Char and I am reading it for the Modern Masters of Horror square. It would also fit Terror in a Small Town, Genre: Horror, Supernatural.


(I've taken inspiration from Moonlight's pumpkin spice latte yesterday, but without pumpkin spice at hand I've opted for cinnamon.) 


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review 2018-03-25 20:44
Magic - William Goldman

Corky continued to breathe heavily.

“You can talk now, say whatever you want, as long as I want you to, when I’m bored, we’ll play some more.”


“—I’m bored, let’s play, get the knives.”


“The Duker’s, go get ’em.”

Corky went to the kitchenette, brought out the knives.

“What do you think we ought to do with ’em?” Fats said.

“Want me to whittle something?”


I vividly remember watching the 1978 film based on this book starring Anthony Hopkins for the first time in the 1990s, and the second time about ten years later, and it is incredible that it has taken me this long to read the actual book. 


There is something odd about the book. It is as creepy and gripping as the film, but I can't say that I enjoyed the writing. The writing seemed somewhat choppy. However, this is a pulp fiction novel and it does fit in with my expectations of what a mid-1970s pulp thriller / horror novel would read like. It would be interesting to read Goldman's Marathon Man at some point just to find out if his style varies in a different story of a similar genre.


Still, despite the disjointed narration, it was a pleasant surprise to find that Peggy, the "love interest", was an interesting character that had more to her than physical attraction. I liked how she got a voice in the book, even tho she was not the focus of the story. 

“Get this please: I’m leaving, and you’re leaving, so it happens we’ll go together but I’m not running out on Duke because he’s at the bottom, I’m going because I’m at the bottom, so it happens by coincidence that you and I are heading the same direction, out, and if it works that we stay headed that same direction, terrific, but if it doesn’t, the world’s not ending for me, which is what I was afraid of, going off and leaving one guy and then getting dumped by another and not having the first one around to take me back but that’s no problem, not anymore, ’cause if I get dumped, I’m not coming back.”

I am not even sure why I was so surprised to find that her character had a mind of her own. Maybe it was my bias with respect to books written in the 70s, maybe something else, but I enjoyed the little sub-plot that Peggy's thoughts created.

“… huh …?”

“… it was you all the time …”

“… you sure …?”

“… trust me for a while …”



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text 2018-03-23 13:20
Reading progress update: I've read 3%.
Magic - William Goldman

"Trust me for a while."

What an opening line!


I started this last night to bleach away the ending of The Man in the Brown Suit. It's been sitting on my kindle for ages and I am very excited to finally read this book. 


One thing I have noticed before dropping off to sleep last night is that I cannot read this without hearing Hopkins' voice in my head. 

That is not a bad thing at all.


Also, I need to find the film again.


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