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review 2017-09-22 18:33
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

"The house was vile. . . Hill House is vile, it is diseased, get away from here at once."

I’m stingy with my stars and gave out five of them to Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It had it all; quirky characters, creepy goings-on and dreadful deeds and I was expecting similarly great things from this classic.

Perhaps my expectations were too high or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood because I found this one slower than cold molasses with slightly over-the-top characters whose plight never grabbed me. It took me well over a week to finish this skinny little book. I know I’m slow but that’s ridiculous even for me. I’d pick it up, read a few pages and fall asleep. Once I even dropped the edge of this cursed book on my face as I nodded off and woke up with a welt on my chin. At least my husband, the NON reader I might add, had a great laugh. And still I plundered on. . . 

In the end, I never did connect with the story and it wasn’t able to infect me with insidious dread. I can’t quite pinpoint what went wrong besides the fact that there was too little spooky and too much yapping for me. What with all of the talking these people did, I never did learn much about them. The descriptions of the house were divine, however, and I would love to live there.
 

 

I read this for Bingo. I'm all off track and have to figure out where I'm going to place it when I get my act back together. I don't even know what's been called at this point. Is there a master post of bingo calls somewhere?

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review 2017-09-21 01:55
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

A bloody fantastic ghost story.

 

Jude Coyne, an aging front man to a once popular heavy-metal band, is riding out his life and solo career in peaceful fashion. At 54, he works on his music in his home studio on a farm in upstate New York. He collects dark and twisted trinkets and young, goth girlfriends. He is ignoring the several metaphorical demons that eat at him.

 

When his personal assistant brings an odd 'ghost for sale' listing to his attention on a little known auction site, Jude doesn't even hesitate, doesn't think, doesn't ponder, he just buys. When the ghost arrives, an old suit packed in a heart shaped box, Jude is forced to face things once past.

 

This book is gritty, like heavy metal gritty. It's graphic. It's chilling.  It's absolutely heartbreaking. It has soul. It has music.

 

"Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst."

 

I love that thought. Loved it when I read it on the page and still days later, it's what really sticks with me about this book. True terror comes from reality. This book is a symphony of real life horror coupled with wild imaginings in the darkest of night.

 

Jude's girlfriend, Georgia, is my favorite - she's irreverent and crass with a vulnerability that made me love her. She and Jude look for desperate answers, running away from a ghost hell-bent on their deaths and I just sat on the edge of my seat hoping that I'd get some sort of happily ever after. And isn't that sort of an unreasonable desire in a horror book? Still, I wanted it, badly.

 

It's hardest for me to write about books that I love. The problem is three-fold, one part taming of the overactive squee drive, one part unwillingness to spoil the discovery for anyone else, and one part wrench and pull to find the things that resonate with me most and put them in words. Heart-Shaped Box hit all the right notes for me. I think I'm just going to have to leave it at this - I loved it, I couldn't read it fast enough, and I finished it with a satisfying sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-19 16:21
Review: Battle Hill Bolero
Battle Hill Bolero - Daniel José Older

The conclusion of the Bone Street Rumba, a wonderful UF trilogy with some short fiction I still haven't gotten around to, was quite satisfying, but perhaps not as strong a read as the second book. Book three follows through on the plots opened in the previous two, but lacks the POV character that made book 2 so amazing, the dapper AF gun toting lesbian. She's still around, but rarely on screen.

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review 2017-09-16 14:46
The Travelling Bag: And Other Ghostly Stories - Susan Hill

This book is actually a collection of 4 short stories:A Travelling Bag,Boy Twenty-one, Ann  Baker and The Front Room. And although they do not occur in a 19th century setting they do have a very Victorian atmosphere. They are absolutely delightful (if one can speak of a delightful ghost story?)If you like your ghost stories bloody, gory and very frightful, then this is definitely not for you. But if you like a ghostly (and mysterious)twist at the end of a good and captivating story,then this is a perfect read!

 

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review 2017-09-11 21:24
STRANGE WEATHER ARC Review
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

Read for "Modern Masters of Horror:"

 

I was two people when reading this collection of short novels. I read the first two stories ('Snapshot' and 'Loaded') mere days before my best friend took her own life. I read the latter two entries ('Aloft' and 'Rain') after. Naturally, my mind was elsewhere when reading the final two stories — but they were good. Very good. Especially 'Aloft'. I'm terrified of heights, so that one got to me. 

After The Fireman, my faith in Joe Hill had been shaken a bit . . . But my faith is reaffirmed! These are four excellent, scary stories. Highly recommended. Would love to give a more in-depth review, but I am medicated and just want to sleep. 

Snapshot - 4 
Loaded - 5
Aloft - 4.5
Rain - 5 

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

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