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review 2020-05-28 14:00
The Elf
The Elf: A Christmas Horror Short Story - I. Clayton Reynolds

by I. Clayton Reynolds

 

This was a short Christmas Horror story with an interesting twist. I should mention trigger warnings but how to do so without spoiling the twist?

 

It starts out much like an old Twilight Zone episode. There is an elf decoration with evil doll aspects and a little girl who is blind seems to hear it speak and describes things she cannot see because the elf saw them. Standard creepy stuff, but it doesn't go where I expected.

 

I thought it was very well done and the surprise ending caught me off guard, unpleasant though it was. A good one for those who like Christmas Horror and don't mind when things get icky.

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review 2018-11-07 18:39
Flight or Fright
Flight or Fright - Stephen King, Arthur Conan Doyle,Richard Matheson,Dan Simmons

I listened to the unabridged audiobook. I have to thank my library and Overdrive for saving me some cash, especially since too many of the stories here were a little meh for my liking.

This anthology features stories about the fear of flying and the terrible things the imagination and reality can cook up to speed up your demise. If you’re afraid of flying, this book isn’t going to help you out with that. There are coffins in the back and monsters on the wing!

I’m not going to go into the details of every story because I will lose the will to live and if you want to read this there is no point in me ruining it for you. I didn’t take notes because sometimes you just want to listen to a book without turning it into a homework assignment. Sorry. Sometimes you get a real review from me, other times you get this. There’s a decent mix here of old decrepit stories and newer ones. Many of them I had read already read so, yeah, glad I didn’t spend money on this. All of the writers are males because women aren’t afraid of flying, I guess. We are built of sterner stuff, lol. Anyhow, the results are mixed. 

Stephen King writes a kick butt introduction, as always and his story here is one of the better ones. I only wish it had been a wee bit longer because I’m greedy. Still, that man knows how to write a short story. Now on to (some of) the others. CARGO starts things off and it is a good creeping dread tale but was so based in reality that it was more sad than scary for me, especially having just seen the Jonestown documentary. Then there’s NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET. You know that story made famous by Captain Kirk and that creepy-ass Twilight Zone episode? Yep, this is the source material and, because I was a creepy kid, I watched it a million times growing up so I knew how it all went down. One of the stories here had tentacles but don’t ask me which one because my brain is full. The tentacles were a nice little bonus in an otherwise bland story. Joe Hill’s contribution was a frightening read because, well, it could happen! It could happen any damned, cursed moment. You’ll know what I mean when you read it and especially if you live in the USA. There’s a tale about a dude who finds a time travelling ring and can’t keep his murderous hands to himself. He totally gets what is coming to him and what’s coming to him isn’t pleasant! I think I enjoyed DIABLITOS the most. It’s a sinister little tale about a guy who steals something from the wrong lady. The ending completely caught me off guard and created an image in my head that still lingers. Loved it. I also thought AIR RAID was fantastic and nailed the whole Twilight Zone vibe. MURDER IN THE AIR was a decent little murder mystery but not at all a horror story.

The problem with this collection is that many of the stories weren’t all that interesting to me personally. There are so very many boring war time stories and those don’t do it for me. Most are incredibly depressing or about guys agonizing about imminent death and I didn’t find them very gripping. In fact, my thoughts while listening to many of these stories wasn’t one of sympathy but more along the lines of “stop your whining and embrace your fate”. But I’m a jerk like that

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text 2018-09-17 16:49
Audible Sale
The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter, Emilia Fox,Richard Armitage


 
Do you remember when I said I was searching for a book for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Challenge? I found bins of books I forgot I owned but couldn't find the one book I was tracking down. Well, THAT BOOK WAS THIS ONE AND IT'S $2.95 @ Audible today. And, yes, I am screaming with joy! Go get yours now. The sale ends at midnight tonight.

 

 
Blurbage:
 
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a titillating series of dark, sensual and fantastical stories, inspired by well-known fairy tales and folklore. 
 
Dissatisfied with the unrealistic portrayal of women in these legendary fables, Carter turns them on their head, introducing subversively dark, sensual and gothic narratives. 
 
Breathing new and unexpected life into favourite childhood characters such as Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast, Carter shocks, seduces and amuses the listener with her unique, iconic and surrealist reimagining. 
 
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review 2018-04-05 20:05
Everything That's Underneath by Kristi DeMeester
Everything That's Underneath: A Collection of Weird and Horror Tales - Kristi DeMeester

First off I want to thank my generous friend Kimberly for sharing this book with me!

All of the stories in this collection are infected with a darkness that creeps under your skin. All of them. This review would become a book in itself if I were to break down every story as I usually do with collections so I’m not going to do it this time. The other reason is the fact that many of the stories contain very similar themes and I’m lazy. Some of the stories are only two pages long but they all pack a punch. I absolutely cannot wait to read more of this writers work. Every single story, yep, even the two-pagers, is darkly atmospheric and has a beautiful earthy grit that I just loved.

I took copious notes but I’m going to ignore them for the most part and just spotlight a few stories so you can get the gist of the content. You really should read this yourself and not have it all spoilered for you anyway.

Everything That’s Underneath starts things off with a man named Benjamin who is creating something for his wife. Something solid. Something good. Something that allows something to creep in. That something knows her name . . . 

This is a hell of a creepy story. I was sitting in a mechanic’s shop waiting for the inevitable bad news but was able to tune out all my worries once I started this strange little tale. Reading these stories feels like you've stepping into another world. 

This quote from one of my favorite childhood shows, Tales from the Darkside, sums it up perfectly:

“...there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit...a dark side.”

All of the stories reveal a dark side, an underbelly of fear, decay, dirt, blood. The writing is lush, morbid, darkly dreamy and haunting and the scenes are often raw and messy. 

The Fleshtival 

A flyer promises “Pussy for miles” and it is coming to a town near two perverts. For $1000 bucks these two fools head off into the woods to get what’s coming to them. I had an inkling what was coming to Paul and I couldn’t wait for it to happen!

From Like Feather, Like Bone

“I try to ignore her, but she is crunching its bones, and the sound is like the ground cracking open.”

Wow, so much creepy despair in only 3 pages!

Daughters of Hecate

This is a tale of abuse, terrible mothers and the damage they inflict all wrapped in a bleak horrific tale. Mother/daughter relationships are a huge theme in this collection.

Towards the end I will admit that I was starting to fatigue from this collection because many of themes are so similar and dealing with loss and desperation and messed up relationships. I would suggest doling these out one story at a time in between other reads as opposed to gobbling them all up at once as I tried to do. 

Highly recommend for dark fiction fans!

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review 2018-03-22 00:00
House of Justice: A Short Horror Story
House of Justice: A Short Horror Story - Vincent Bivona Good idea, but it was so short that there was no time to get into the story at all before it was over.

A slightly longer version would fare much better, I think.
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