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review 2015-10-01 22:22
We Have Always Lived in the Castle Review
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Thomas Ott,Jonathan Lethem

Pretty language and creepy atmosphere mix with a plot I was expecting a little more from. I kept thinking, any minute now... any minute now this is going to blow a part in my hair... any minute now I'm going to think "Where has this book been all my life?" ... any minute now I'm going to see what everyone else sees in this book and cream my acid-washed Jordaches.

And then it ended. Yup...

The unreliable narrator worked well, and the agoraphobic feel of the piece was certainly established... but I didn't really care. There is no doubt that Jackson was a master of vivid imagery. Even if the story was beautifully drawn, there was nothing here that caught my eye. Look at it this way - you can paint the most realistic image of a cantaloupe, a piece of artwork that looks as if you can just reach out and grab one of those gorgeous melons and bite right into that fucker, but at the end of the day, it's only a picture of a fucking cantaloupe. This is possibly my hang up because I was expecting my testicles to explode because of awesome overload and instead they only began tingling slightly. Maybe I'll reread it later in life and come to realize its brilliance.

In summation: I don't see what all the fuss is about, but then again, I've never been a fan of Goth-lit. Shirley J. sets the tone, but, in my opinion, never follows through.

Final Judgment: A relaxing massage without the happy ending.

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review 2015-05-03 06:58
Do Not Disturb Review
Do Not Disturb (A Deanna Madden Novel Book 2) - A.R. Torre

Before I get throng-fucked by fans, you should know that I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Deanna Madden series. I'm not a "hater". I truly wanted to enjoy this book. I liked the idea of a cam-girl who has locked herself away from the world due to her homicidal tendencies. I didn't see it going past one book (oddly enough, the author admits in the afterword that she didn't either), but was still looking forward to the sequel. I knew this was a one-trick pony, but I ignored my gut instincts and plunged in anyway.

First and foremost, I must bitch about the cliched bad guy. Marcus is your average rich fuck who likes beating and raping women. He goes to prison for a while, and then is released and put on house arrest. The first half of the book is a literal countdown to the day when he can come and go as he pleases. I've seen this character in episodes of Dexter, CSI, Law and Order, and even an episode of Murder She Goddamn Wrote. I'm sure Sherlock Holmes once took on this archetype.

Secondly, Deanna is a true and utter bore this time around. The sexual content is tepid and, at times, completely laughable. I actually chuckled out loud during several of the supposedly "hot scenes", scenes that seem to have been written by a thirteen-year-old boy who just found out what the word "cunt" means.

Thirdly, there's this major build-up going on throughout the book only for the action to fizzle and die like a dud firework. The fuse is lit, and its burning away. It reaches the tube where the black powder is stored and then... PFFffftt. The end of this book is about as satisfying as farting and filling your pants with something akin to chocolate pudding. Such a let down, and embarrassing for everyone involved.

Last but not least, I'll leave you with a quote from the book. I rarely ever quote, but this line was so laugh-worthy and awkward that I had to stop reading and post about it:

"This beautiful creature with the balls of a giant."

Listen, I know what the author meant, but that line... that line is fucking hilarious. Yes, Deanna is gorgeous and brave, but all I could picture was a unicorn with a hefty sack a'swinging 'tween its legs. To and fro... back and forth... SWANG DAT BASKET, HUMPTY!

In summation: This is well-written cliched garbage. Torre says in the afterword that she prefers this book to the first one. I guess it's true what they say: Your own farts smell the best.

Final Judgment: Like reading Dexter with Cinemax After Dark playing in the background.

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review 2015-04-23 23:28
Slugs Review
Slugs - Shaun Hutson

You can't eat steak all the time. Sometimes, you want a plate of ribs. Shit, sometimes you want a Slim Jim, or, Tom Cruise forbid, a can of SPAM. Well, this plate of meat has gone over some time ago and is crawling with maggots and rot. It's bad, and not even in a TROLL 2 so-bad-it's-fun-to-watch-while-you're-high-on-crank bad either. Slugs treats its readers like idiots. I know I feel like a moron for finishing it. But can you blame me for wanting a can of SPAM between sirloins?

Slugs is an absolute mess. An absolute mess that managed to get a sequel and a truly horrible film adaptation. Don't get me wrong, the book is not better than the movie. It's about the same. Both are terrible. I don't suggest either one.

Let's list the problems with the book, shall we?

The entire story revolves around a health inspector named Mike Brady trying to save a small town from carnivorous slugs. Brady refuses to go to the cops because they won't believe him. Great, I can dig... wait. He has proof. He's had proof since the beginning of the book because he snagged three of these flesh-eating slugs to take to his normalist buddy who works in a museum. So why doesn't he just show the cops the slugs? Beats me. Why doesn't he show the water authority guy later in the book? Beats me. Seems he would have shown someone else these things, you know, since they're literally dropping out of his fucking plumbing.

Which brings me to problem #2. These nasty little buggers are drip-drip-dripping out of Brady's sink. Only the health inspector who's decided to take these creatures on by himself is having this problem. Are the slugs sentient? Are they targeting Brady with their terrorist plot so that he won't disturb their plans for global domination? Are they... you know what, fuck it. It's stupid is what it is. Why the health inspector is the only person on the block who has slugs dropping from his pipes is never explained. And this is another example of him having the proof needed to either convince the cops or get the water authority to cut off the water. To top it all off, a guy dies in public, in a fucking restaurant, and the whole incident is swept under the rug. Oh well! His eye ball only exploded and a big-as-fuck white worm crawled from his gory eye socket, but fuck all that because REASONS, BITCHES!!! My point is this: The cops, at some point in time, would have gotten involved. It would have been obvious that this wasn't a serial killer, so the next thing would have been wildlife or infectious disease. They would have at least listened to Brady. #truth

#3 on our list of idiotic shit is the fact that we're dealing with slugs. In case you don't know, slugs are snails without shells and move about as fast. Everybody who dies in this book is a fucking idiot. They either fall into a roiling mass of slugs, sit still while the slugs devour them, or swallow the slugs. No shit. One guy literally bites into one of these things and swallows it without ever thinking that swallowing it might have been a bad idea. I know when I bite into something nasty, I spit it out. But that's just me. Anyway, one chick lays around while a slug crawls up her nu-nu. She literally just sits there screaming and lets it slither into her lady bits. I don't have a nu-nu, but I image one would want to protect such a vital part of one's anatomy.

And the fourth reason this book is a pile of shit is the writing. Oh, it's fucking terrible. There's over thirty instances of someone asking a question followed by the dialogue tag he wanted to know.

Example: "Why are you a bad writer?" he wanted to know.

Of course he wanted to know. He was asking a question. Not only is this the most useless dialogue tag I've seen, but it's repeated ad nauseum. The closer I got to the end of the book, the more Hutson used it. Over and over again. Are you tired of me harping on this shit? Yeah? Well, he continued to use it just like I'm continuing to harp on it. It's lazy writing. Couple that with suspicious comma usage and sentences like Brady smile, triumphantly (Not Brady smiled, not Brady smiles, but Brady smile) and I can safely say this book was never introduced to an editor.

In summation: This started out as a fun b-horror romp and quickly turned into the stupidest shit I've read in decades. I bought several Hutson novels at my local UBS because I liked the covers and some of my horror friends recommended him. I now understand why there were so many of his novels for sale at a secondhand shop. I'll be trading them all back in posthaste.

Final Judgment: The author could've at least tried.

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review 2015-04-07 10:49
Condemned Review
Condemned - Michael McBride

While this isn't a favorite of mine, it is very readable. Michael McBride's prose is as gorgeous as ever, but this time it's only a fancy paint job on an empty house. It comes down to personal preference for me. I enjoyed McBride's creature-features far more than this by-the-numbers thriller. Sunblind was a breath of fresh air, and Snowblind was big fun. But this whole Dante-as-inspiration-for-a-serial-killer is a bit overused. I've read this exact premise five times in as many years, and the soliloquies regarding Detroit came off heavy-handed and preachy, as if I was being thunder-fucked into agreeing with a message I'd already agreed with ten times over. I get it. Detroit will never return to its heyday. White people are the devil. Is this a thriller or a Michael Moore documentary?

The killer's identity was awfully predictable, as well. In a book like this, the killer is always a cop. And if the narrator is friends with a cop, that cop will be the killer. Every. Fucking. Time. I think that spoiled this read for me more so than even the preachy narration.

(spoiler show)

In summation: Fans of movies like Se7en and books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child should find Condemned right up their alley. Be prepared for chapter after chapter of "Detroit is not salvageable" messages. I enjoy pessimism as much as the next asshole, but even I collapsed under the weight of this sermon.

Final Judgment: Lincoln Park covers "In the Ghetto".

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review 2015-03-15 13:28
Double Dexter Review
Double Dexter (Dexter #6 ) - Jeff Lindsay

Alternate titles for this book:

Dexter Doesn't Do Dinner, Dexter Gets a Cold, Dexter Joins Boy Scouts, and Dexter Meets Jaws.

Let me get the really horrible shit out of the way. I get the fact that Rita has always been the house-wifey sort. I dig that she enjoys cooking and cleaning and raising her kids. I get that. My wife and I have been together for fifteen years. She hasn't applied for a job since 2005 (I would never say she hasn't had a job since 2005 because being a stay-at-home Mom is probably one of the hardest jobs there is). This is a mutually agreed upon thing. She wanted to stay home and raise the kids, homeschool them, and I want whatever makes her happy. This does not give me the right to bitch when she doesn't have dinner ready for me, which Dexter does, insistently, throughout this book. In fact, I cannot think of a single chapter past maybe chapter eight that doesn't have Dexter wondering where his goddamn dinner is. Once again, I understand that this is just these characters, that Dexter is a sociopath who doesn't like his routine spoiled and Rita enjoys playing house and being run over, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Plus, it makes for a boring read to hear a character bitching about the same nonsense over and over and over...

The coincidences in this one are so obviously slapped together that not even the dark comedy could save this read for me. You have Rita thinking that Dexter's cheating, because he's always disappearing and coming home sweaty. Then someone frames him for infidelity. Mind you, this bad guy doesn't know that Rita thinks Dexter's cheating. These two events just happen to occur at the same time. There is no reason for Rita to suddenly start believing Dexter is stepping out. His routine hasn't changed in five books. It simply worked for this book, so Lindsay said, "Fuck it," and threw it in. Then you have Rita and Dexter house hunting. And guess what? They go to an open house for a home wherein Dexter has just recently killed someone.

In case you're wondering, I'm not done with the bad yet. The book comes to a screeching halt around the 75% mark and doesn't get going again for another 20%. During this time, you have Dexter having breakfast, Dexter running errands, and Dexter going on a boy scout excursion. The last time I read this much padding in a book I was flipping through a pillow catalog. The trip to Cuba in the last book was bad enough, but this meandering bullshit is insulting to the reader. "John Q. Public won't know if I stuffed this bird with turkey-flavored cotton."

And then... (oh, goddamn, this one) and then... (take a deep breath) And then Jaws makes an appearance. Yes, Jaws. Not the Jaws of James Bond fame. But motherfucking swimming-ass, fin-having, people-eating, goddamn Jaws. What is this shit - Abbott and Costello Need a Bigger Boat?

Here's where I talk about the narration of the audiobook. Maybe it's because Lindsay had to narrate these fucking things back to back to back, or maybe even he realized what kind of shit this book is. All I know is, one of these things is not like the other. His character acting is horrible in this one. It's forced and stilted, and I have a funny feeling Lindsay was laughing internally the entire time. I could almost hear him giggling and saying: "I can't believe I got away with publishing this shit." 


No math needed. Narration and story both get one star.

In summation: I've seen series go downhill. I quit that Sandman Slim bullshit, but finished Odd Thomas's clusterfuck, but I've never seen a series be so consistently average only to jump the shark (pun most definitely motherfucking intended) mid-series. I said in one of my reviews that Lindsay is nothing if he's not consistent... well, I was wrong. So shoot me.

Final Judgment: Only a post-coital penis gives less of a fuck.

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