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review 2018-03-01 14:41
Hell House
Hell House - Richard Matheson
Well, that was not what I had expected. I didn’t expect all the sexual and passionate aspects of this novel. I did enjoy this novel though and I thought the historical elements and the characters in the novel complimented each other. All the while I was reading this novel, I kept thinking “Vincent Price”, this novel had his name written all over it.
When Barrett is asked to investigate the Belasco House in Maine, I, myself was intrigued to find out the secrets that this house possessed. Being sealed up tight for thirty years, would the mysteries that this house once possessed still be alive after all this time? The history of this house, it’s owner and the guests that once walked through its front door was quite the story. The house became more like a fortress, the occupants choosing their own fate.
Barrett had a week to complete his mission and once inside the house, I didn’t feel like a week was long enough for him. I liked how the house was interacting with its new guests. Accompanied by his wife and armed with a few individuals who might be able to help the physicist, the doctor realizes soon that, they are not alone.
I liked how everyone in the house has their own story. They all have their own point of view of the mysteries that are surrounding this house. The events that are occurring are not repetitive and routine but they spark curiosity and imagination. The character of Florence, she was the most fascinating and interesting one of all. I just never knew what she would do. I’m glad I finally got around to reading this. 3.5 stars


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review 2018-01-21 02:53
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was good! I really didn't have this book on my radar until recently. Sure, I saw the movie with Will Smith but I honestly wasn't all that impressed with it. I knew that the movie was based on a book but didn't really feel the need to pick it up. When Audible had their 20th anniversary celebration a few months ago, they offered this book free to members so I snatched up a copy. I was in the mood for a shorter listen recently and decided to go with this book and I really ended up enjoying it.

So when I started this book, I thought it was a zombie book. I don't even know what I am doing some days. This is not a zombie book. I guess I really didn't pay all that much attention to that Will Smith movie after all because this is a vampire book. In my defense these vampires are almost zombie-like in a whole lot of ways.

Robert Neville is alone. He is the last person around in a world full of vampires. He spends his days gathering supplies and staking the vampires that he finds. He spends his nights locked in his house trying to ignore the vampires that gather outside his home. He does this every day and is utterly alone. He does some research to try to figure out the cause of the outbreak and to learn as much as he can. 

This was the first time that I have listened to Robertson Dean's narration and I really did enjoy it. I thought that his voice was perfect for Neville and he brought the right amount of emotion into the story. I thought that he had a very pleasant voice that was easy to listen to for hours at a time. I would not hesitate to choose another book narrated by Robertson Dean.

I would recommend this book to others. It is a great story about a man trying to navigate the world alone. I am quite sure that this audiobook will have a much more lasting impact on me than the movie did. I do hope to read more of Richard Matheson's work in the future.

Initial Thoughts
Why did I think that this was a zombie story? Obviously, I am clueless plus I never read blurbs before starting a book. Anyway, I liked this vampire story. I have seen the movie but it was a long time ago and I wasn't all that impressed. I do think that the book was very different and a whole lot better. The narrator does a great job with the story.

Book source: Audible

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review 2017-11-17 19:44
Hell House by Richard Matheson
Hell House - Richard Matheson,Ray Porter

Bought during Audible's $2.99 sale (10/13/17)! . It's more now, sorry about that.


A rich guy offers to pay a group of people to stay a few nights in a haunted house to prove there is life after death. All previous attempts to do such a stupid thing at this particular house have ended very badly for the suckers brave or stupid or hard-up enough to have a sleep-over. It’s no different this time around.


I read this book closely on the heels of finishing up Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House which was probably a big mistake on my part as the premise of these two books is nearly identical and Jackson’s story didn’t thrill me the way it did most people. Same goes for Hell House though I did like it a wee bit more than Jackson’s story but probably only because it was more lurid and crazy-pants and I like that kind of thing but it does suffer from the same over the top characterization.


This story is much more sexually horrifying. Some of the things that happen within these pages are upsetting. Trust me on this. The house was basically turned into a pit of debauchery and hellish events when its original owner cuts loose with a group of hangers-on who dip into orgies, drugs, murder, cannibalism (as you will, I guess) and every other nasty thing your brain can imagine! The house is tainted and incredibly haunted by a horny ghost who eventually infects the woman folk and does shocking pervy things.


I listened to this story on audio and the narrator, Ray Porter, does an excellent job. He is deadly serious which suits the story and he manages to deliver the lady voices in a way that doesn’t make them sound completely ridiculous even when they’re forced to behave in overly hysterical ways. He does a good job with the men and the evil inhabiting the house as well.


I’m going to give this the same rating as the Jackson book. 3 Stars.

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text 2017-10-30 17:50
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Hell House - Richard Matheson

Reading for ‘Ghost’ in Halloween Bingo. 


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review 2017-10-29 15:41
The band that time almost forgot
Sick On You: The Disastrous Story of Britain's Great Lost Punk Band - Andrew Matheson

Do you remember the 70's? Did you wear the tight loon pants? Did you have a silver shirt, or an afghan coat? Did you shake your elbows to tiger feet (that's right that's right I really love your tiger feet!) Did you wear a t rex feather boa, or glare like the leader of the glitter band? I did all of those and just like Andrew Matheson I played in a group, as an 18 year old, in the stormy shores of Northern Ireland. I could tell you stories about our band being chased over the border when we refused to play the "southern national anthem" (we actually did not know it!) or the night our band (Run of the Mill....have you heard of us?) continued to play when a fight broke out amongst the 200 party goers in attendance at the local Portadown Orange hall, or the evening our van broke down, coming home from a gig, and we were taken to the local police station (Banbridge) where my poor mother had to collect us at 6.00am and tow the van home!


But hold on I hear you say! this review is not about me!! Indeed you are correct but if you can understand and smile at the above then you will love "Sick on you" the story of the band "The Hollywood Brats" that should have made it before The Sex Pistols. The mid 70's musically was a time when  the young were crying out for something radical to happen on the music scene. There were still many creative artists about; David Bowie, Alice Cooper, The Who etc but equally the charts were awash with forgettable trash....Puppy Love, (Donny Os)....Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Cheap (Middle of the Road) Me and you and a dog named boo (Lobo) and into this quagmire of unoriginality stepped The Sex Pistols a band that has been declared one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music having initiated the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspired many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Suddenly the young were dressing in torn clothes, spiked hair, inserting safety pins into body parts, and travelling to concerts where they could listen to a loud fast-moving and aggressive form of rock music. But this is nothing new I hear you say, teenagers have always rebelled...look at rockers and mods? That is certainly true but by the mid 70's a lethargic and somewhat inert music scene was presenting itself, and the time was ripe for anarchy and rebellion which The Sex Pistols, under the leadership of Malcolm McLaren, were more than happy to acknowledge and by doing so produced a generation of snaring, spitting, hostile youths openly welcoming such classics as "God save the Queen", "Anarchy in the UK" and "Pretty Vacant".......and The Hollywood Brats missed it all....


So what went Wrong? Andrew Matheson does an excellent of recalling how his band originally named The Queen but had to change to The Brats when the other famous "Queen" threatened to sue if they did not relinquish the name..."up walks a guy with hair like black straw and teeth like a particularly alluring camel"....The Hollywood Brats were born and spent most of their time playing gigs trying to keep four musicians together whilst consuming copious amounts of alcohol and testing/sniffing the odd illegal substance. Unbelievably in the early days they were offered a record deal by Polydor but for reasons best known to themselves refused. I loved the way these four guys dressed in tight almost feminine attire and rarely were seen in public without full makeup (possibly some would say imitating The New York Dolls)...."but try doing it in a cocktail dress, platform soles and full makeup while sporting the odd swastika. See how far you get".... They certainly had writing and playing ability; if you listen to recent cd's released you will certainly feel the raw energy produced by such hypnotic titles as Tumble with Me, Sucking on Suzie and the unforgettably named Sick on You...."You and me are through I`m sick to death of everything you do And if I'm gonna have a puke you bet yer life I'll puke on you"


When they finally did successfully put together a record it was too little too late. The fact that it was released in Norway meant..."it went utterly unnoticed. There was no marketing budget. We didn't even know what marketing was. The record was never advertised. It was never reviewed in print. It was never played on the radio, It came and went, shyly, politely, anonymously, with a minimum of fuss".....


This was a really enjoyable read and what I particularly loved was that the author bore no malice to their lack of fame. Other groups such as The Dammed  The Sex Pistols and The Clash were knocking on the door pushing The Hollywood Brats into extinction until their present day emergence...and we the public can now appreciate the energy of a group and time long forgotten. In the words of the author...."I thought the Sex Pistols were sub-standard, derivative posers and I thought Malcolm McLaren was a weak-minded, possibly insane, Fantasist"....Wonderful stuff, read the book but more importantly listen to the music, the raw energy, audacity, no holds barred approach of a great 70's punk band...let's have a big hand for The Hollywood Brats!

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