Jokers Club
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Jokers Club

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  34 reviews
2nd place finish in the JS 2011 horror writing contest.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Geoffrey returns to his hometown for a reunion of the Jokers Club (his childhood gang) with the hopes of unearthing the imagination he held in his youth. Upon arriving, he discovers the creative juices that drove his writing many years ago surround him: the tombstone salesman who chisels o...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by JournalStone (first published October 28th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 336)
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Amy
Ever do something you were not proud of as a child? Did you ever dream that one blunder would haunt you for the rest of your life? Ever think a mistake you made as a child could leave you paying the debt with your life years later? I made more of my share of mistakes growing up, I’m just happy I wasn’t a part of the Jokers Club.
Once upon a time, there was a group of pleasant, young boys. They had meetings trying to decide how to better their community, how to help their fellow man, and how to li...more
Brett Talley
Dark secrets are like dead bodies—sometimes, they refuse to stay buried. It isn’t often I read a book that I have trouble putting down, but the Jokers Club grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. Gregory Bastianelli is a master at creating rich and fully-developed worlds and then inviting us to explore them with him. In Jokers Club, Bastianelli weaves what is seemingly a straightforward tale—years ago a group of friends were involved in a horrible accident, one that they have kept secret for a...more
SenoraG
There is nothing like a good, creepy horror book that not only scares you but makes you think. The Jokers Club delivered on all levels! I have not read a book like this in a long, long time and I hope there are many more in the works from Mr. Bastianelli.

I loved the character of the Joker. Was he real or imagined? Where did he come from and will he ever go away? For me, the Joker was kind of like the clown in Stephen King's IT. Creepy but funny. I know I will not look at the Joker in the same wa...more
Christopher Payne
Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Geoffrey returns to his hometown for a reunion of the Jokers Club (his childhood gang) with the hopes of unearthing the imagination he held in his youth. Upon arriving, he discovers the creative juices that drove his writing many years ago surround him: the tombstone salesman who chisels out names of the dead, the far-sighted barber with the bloodstained smock and the reclusive Tin Man, just to name a few.

Unfortunately Geoffrey’s tumor quickly worsens, bringing on b...more
Jay Fromkin
Geoff, a failed writer, returns to his New Hampshire home town for a reunion with his childhood friends - The Jokers Club. As boys, they were fond of pranks, benign at first, becoming increasingly dangerous, culminating in the death of one of their own. The Jokers, now men in their 30s, have had their own failures and successes, mostly failures, which they discuss over too much liquor; they avoid talking about the death of their friend - until one of them is murdered on the porch of the inn wher...more
Cassie McCown
This is one of those novels that keeps you guessing straight through the very last sentence. There are kids involved – kids who have some dark and troubling things happening in their lives – and their past overflows into their future in a big way. Greg entwines the tales of the adults with the tales of their past seamlessly, all while keeping the reader on the edge of their seat from start to finish. This is, by far, one of the creepiest books I have read in a long, long time. It is disturbing i...more
Lisa Miller Chandler
This book is horror from page one. The author jumps straight into the creepy dreams & memories without hesitation. My attention was immediately perked by the creepy scene descriptions and the references to horrific things. The story is told by a failed writer(Geoff) who finds that he is dying of a brain tumor, and wants to return to his hometown to see if his childhood muse (an imaginary joker in his mind who helped him write horror stories as a child). The writer's descriptions of streets,...more
Al Gritten
Identity is a complex issue. Identity is mostly formed in community and influenced by one’s community. Sometimes as the community changes, so does our identity, so it is a tenuous thing at best. And what identity might be formed in a young boy who was part of a group that called themselves, “The Joker’s Club” and who engaged in, sometimes, spiteful practical jokes? Bastianelli weaves an intricate story that seems to elude all attempts at classification. Initially the reader suspects that this is...more
Sam
I won this book from LibraryThing. At first this book reminded me of Stephen Kings "It" but then I realized it was because this is how Stephen King use to write. This book was so good.

Geoff Thorn has been diagnosed with a brian tumor. When he receives and invitation to return to his hometown for a reunion of the Jokers Club, a club he and his friends started, he decides to go. Once an aspiring writer he hasn't written anything in years, not being able to accept anymore rejection. His life has no...more
Linda Rollins
A writer joins fellow members of a childhood club for a reunion at a hotel in their old home-town. Each one there is living with guilt for a past wrong. But now it would seem that fate is catching up with them.
Insanity, murder, guilt, death, self-doubt are all there in the mix. There are most definitely huge nods to Lord of the Flies and Shutter Island, but it’s all stirred up and re-modelled into a completely new story.
I had to read this book in one sitting: it was fascinating, intriguing and h...more
A.
Review based on ARC.

I am always grateful for a book that is intriguing *and* a page-turner. Fortunately for me, amidst the too-busy life I have been living the past few months, I found such a book in Bastianelli's Jokers Club. I have a pretty broad history with horror, suspense, and King, all of which are found in this book. Without the hundreds of pages of "details" that King employs, Jokers Club is almost a novella, quickly developing characters, background, and plot.

I was impressed with Basti...more
Maurice West
Jokers Club by Gregory Bastianelli is a gripping read that effectively evokesthe past and present lives and events of a group of boys (later men). Whilst the original "Jokers Club" they formed as schoolmates seemd innocent enough, later events helped to frame a more menacing tone when the members of the Club meet again many years later. The narrator of the story builds the plot to an exciting and surprising climax that is genuinely frightening. The novel's author is able to combine the strong an...more
Karen Field
The blurb for this book was intriguing. I liked the idea of a man seriously ill returning to his hometown to revisit his past. The fact that the man was having trouble distinguishing from reality and imagination also grabbed my attention. Of course, when you put this mix together there has to be some disturbing scenes.

When people start dying the reader is caught within the mind of a man who has no idea what’s really happening. And it’s an interesting journey, for sure.

I liked the way the author...more
Maxine
Twenty years ago, six boys formed a club called the Jokers Club - the purpose just general fun and all around mayhem. Unfortunately, things go terribly wrong and their lives are changed forever and definitely not for the good. Now, one of the group has suggested a reunion of the Jokers Club - attendance is mandatory and very possibly deadly!

If you're a Stephen King fan, you're gonna love this book as much as I did. It's a fun, fast ride with some very interesting characters - a perfect Halloween...more
Angela
The Jokers Club was absorbing and suspenseful, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Bastianielli's quick-paced storytelling was so engaging and I loved how he cast suspicion on all of the characters. Without offering too many spoilers, I found the ending comparable to Shutter Island and, while I was half-expecting this conclusion, I felt that the progression throughout the story never overtly gave it away; as the story progressed, the reader was led to a few remaining conclusions as the other possibilit...more
Charles
I was sure that I wouldn't like this book but ended up really enjoying it. It was an easy read but well written. A good unique story. In some ways reminded me of Stephen Kings "It" but also very different so don't pick it up based on that. I think mostly because of the chilhood group of friends flashbacks. I would recommend this for teens who like a good horror story or for adults looking for an easy enjoyable read.
Linda
Nov 10, 2011 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Linda by: First read Good Read
Shelves: first-read
For this book to come in second place it had to be a hairs breath away from first place. I love to figure out who the murder is when reading a book but when I found out I gasped! No way. I was trapped inside the pages of the Jokers Club. When I emerged all I could say was "that was great." I sincerely hope that Gregory Bastianelli will soon thrill his readers in the near future.
Deb Novack
I found that I could not put the book down, it is a great read for Halloween. The author has spun a story of intrigue and suspense of how a childhood tragedy can evidently come back to haunt you. I really liked the Joker was he real or imagined? I never completely knew how it would conclude until the very end. Wonderful book.
Andrew Mclaughlin
Nice little book, so much going on kept me guessing throughout. The character of the joker had that penache I like to see in any horror book. Would adapt well into a screenplay.
Kim
my first free book!!!


I just was reminded of my mom warning me of the very thing that just happened!!!
SUPER SCARY!!!
Mark Burns


Excellent!!! Like vintage King....thought I had guessed then end, but I didn't see THAT coming!
C. McKenzie
I was intrigued by the concept of this book: a seriously ill MC, a troubling past and a return to the scene where something terrible had happened a long time ago. At the same time I was a little off-put by two of the cliched themes: a writer writing the story, a reunion of people who had been young friends. However, the book started with a super hook, "Jason Nightingale had no idea when he joined the Jokers Club of the horrible events that would follow." Who is this Jason Nightingale? What event...more
Lainy
Blurb from Goodreads

Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Geoffrey returns to his hometown for a reunion of the Jokers Club (his childhood gang) with the hopes of unearthing the imagination he held in his youth. Upon arriving, he discovers the creative juices that drove his writing many years ago surround him: the tombstone salesman who chisels out names of the dead, the far-sighted barber with the bloodstained smock and the reclusive Tin Man, just to name a few.

Unfortunately Geoffrey’s tumor quickly wo...more
Lisa
Jokers Club is a quick read with plenty of twists and turns. Geoff is a failed writer with a brain tumor, returning to his hometown for a reunion with old friends (who, for the most part, were more tormentors than friends). His friends start dying and weird things start happening, but its uncertain whether these are real or caused by the tumor.

The Joker describes Geoff’s writing as “contrived” and he is definitely on to something. To me, it seemed like a mash-up of other work. At first, I though...more
Stefan Yates
The Jokers Club is a pretty good read. It's kind of a short mystery horror that focuses on the reunion of a group of friends that have grown apart since childhood. This novel is fairly fast-paced and has a few nice twists and turns.

On the negative side of things, there were times when the plot got fairly predictable. The characters are fairly well fleshed out but even the main character is a bit on the dull side. Dialog is also a bit flat and wooden and sometimes does not seem to flow naturally...more
Laura
For those looking for a gruesome Halloween mystery, the Jokers Club, by Gregory Bastianelli, is a must read. Bastianelli sets the stage with a reunion of friends who have not seen each other in some time. Their weekend of fellowship is hardly affable and easygoing though. Although they remember the pranks that the sheriff never caught them for, the friends are haunted with reminders and regrets of a tragic death that occurred during their childhood. As these friends try to reckon with the past,...more
Steve
When they were kids growing up the formed a club whose main goal was to pull practical jokes on the adults of the town. When a 'prank' goes wrong and one of the Jokers dies it doesn't take long for some of the members to decide things have gone too far. Decades later when a reunion is planned the former Jokers learn that things are not funny and have become deadly.

A nice thriller by Bastianelli that reminded me of early Stephen King and some of the books of John Saul. The author makes all of the...more
Elaine
Well to be honest i did enjoy this book but found it a little confusing and at times had to reread pages when all of a sudden something changed and it just happened that quick i kept getting lost.
The characters were well written and each character was believable but most of them like lonny and martin were just a little too weedy.
This book reminded me of stephen king's it in many mays and seemed to be based on that story.

I was getting really confused by the ending and am still not sure who the...more
Jenn
Won as LibraryThing giveaway. Predictable in much of the book, unrealistic in others (if my friends constantly sneered and snarked at me the way some of these do, we would NOT be friends) this short suspense tale falls a bit flat overall. The story can be hard to follow as the narrator is suffering from a brain tumor and has hallucinations - it's not always clear when he is just relating memories or if he is hallucinating. Murder happens, makes them all suspect each other - overdone plot device....more
AnaSara
Oct 27, 2011 AnaSara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I was a little hesitant about this book (probably because of the cover as I'm really picky about design) but once I got into the first chapter I found it fascinating. It reminded me a little of Stephen King, not as an imitation, but with some of the same flavour. Gregory Bastianelli still has a ways to go in terms of beautifully crafted prose (don't we all), character development and complexity and flow of plot (it felt a bit rushed, and some connections and conclusions seemed a bit forced), but...more
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Gregory Bastianelli , a New Hampshire native, graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he studied writing under instructors Mark Smith, Thomas Williams and Theodore Weisner.
He worked for nearly two decades at a small daily newspaper where the highlights of his career were interviewing shock rocker Alice Cooper and B-movie icon Bruce Campbell.

His stories have appeared in the magazines...more
More about Gregory Bastianelli...
Mystery Men (& women) Volume Two Mystery Men (& Women) Vol. II

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