I didn't plan to and I normally wouldn't rate each story in a collection like this but something is telling me to so I will. The overall rating will b...moreI didn't plan to and I normally wouldn't rate each story in a collection like this but something is telling me to so I will. The overall rating will be for the entire collection together. Short stories in order:
1. "Gracie's Last Walk" (5 stars) - This is the first story and it's a good one. The narrator is really good with the exception of the vet assistants (Brazilian?) accent and the story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I could totally 100% relate to Caroline and what she experienced with Gracie. "Yankee Dog" - This is the second story. Listening now....
I found this by accident at the library today. The bright red cover and 'dragonslippers' just caught my attention while I wandered through non-fiction...moreI found this by accident at the library today. The bright red cover and 'dragonslippers' just caught my attention while I wandered through non-fiction. I'm glad I found it. Even though it can be read in about a half a hour and even though I first glanced through it thinking it wouldn't be for me, I was struck by how much it was "for me". You don't have to have been in an abusive relationship to take something away from Penfold's story, you don't have to be a woman. I honestly think there aren't many people out there who would walk away from this untouched. I was surprised. I wasn't expecting to be as affected as I was.(less)
I'm finding it hard to get into this. I'm not sure why exactly so I'm putting it up to my mood and keeping it to-read. Hopefully I'll be able to get in...moreI'm finding it hard to get into this. I'm not sure why exactly so I'm putting it up to my mood and keeping it to-read. Hopefully I'll be able to get into it another time. (less)
(3 stars) Biters by Mark Morris - This took me a bit to get into and I ended up liking the ending much more than the beginning. It's a short story but...more(3 stars) Biters by Mark Morris - This took me a bit to get into and I ended up liking the ending much more than the beginning. It's a short story but the 'why' of what the kids were doing wasn't explained clearly enough. I also thought they talked like elementary school-aged children when in fact I learned they're 13. Seemed off...
(1 star) Why Mothers Let Their Babies Watch Television by Chelsea Cain - This sucked huge donkey d#*\. I don't know what else to say and I'm seriously. That's my complete thought on the story. What. The. Fuck. If I hit another like it the book ends for me there.
(2.5 stars) Carousel by Orson Scott Card - I don't know. Something's there but the whole "God" thing didn't ring for me.
(2 stars) Reality Bites by S.G. Browne - Again, something *might* be here. It's the typical twist on reality shows with zombies. Meh.
(1 star) The Drop by Stephen Susco - I read a page or two and skipped the rest. I don't know what the author thought he was writing - I'm all for intelligent stories - but really? Did we have a dictionary close by? I want zombies, not a frigging English lesson.
**This book isn't shaping up real great. I'll probably give up soon if these don't get better.**
(1 star) Antiparallelogram by Amber Benson - Skipped it.
(3 stars) How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Dan Choan - This is a good one. Not the best but definitely good. I wish the rest were more like it.
(5 stars) A Mother's Love by John McIlveen - Best so far. I'd read more in a second. I'll definitely look for more by this author.
(3 stars) Down and Out in Dead Town by Simon R. Green - Not sure how I feel here. The writing's good and I the story is more "realistic" than most, which I appreciate. I'd wager Green might have a book I'd enjoy. My sympathy for the homeless is almost non-existent though. (By "homeless" I mean the people who are able-bodied and mentally aware and could work but want to take my money to buy drugs and alcohol. In my experience this is most if them.) I think this may have lowered my emotions during reading.
(4.5 stars) Devil Dust by Caitlin Kittredge - I enjoyed this almost as much as 'A Mother's Love'. The feelings the wife is going through after losing her husband are completely relatable. I think I could get to that point if it happened to me. The scheme she pulls is off the wall crazy but still, somehow, realistic. Possibly because if the meth association. No matter, it's a damn good story regardless.
(2.5 stars) The Dead of Dromore by Ken Bruen - I don't like harping on a story being too fast or some such when I'm reading a. Anthology but let's face it, some are still too damn fast. Even for a story a few pages long. I had questions at the end that I shouldn't have had. I should have understood more while reading. Also, the double spacing freaked me out? What's the basis for this?
**I'm over halfway and have read two stories do far that we're above 3 stars for me. I forget what it was called but I read another of Golden's zombie anthologies and I don't remember the stories being so..... sucky.**
(2.5 stars) All the Comforts of Home by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow - I have mixed feelings on this one. I liked the characters and the writings fine but the story felt... I don't know if 'thrown together' is the correct phrase. I skimmed a few paragraphs and when I do that - or even want to do that - I know I have a problem with a story or book.
**I'm beginning to feel let down. I thought I could expect more based on previous reading of Golden's work(s). I'm very pleased I borrowed this from the library and didn't spend money on it. If I read anything else I'll definitely be borrowing it in case it turns out like this. For as many stories as I've read I should have found more already That I loved. Or, at the very least, liked a lot. Instead I'm finding myself going through the motions in order to a.) get to Maberry's story and b.) finish this and return it to the library pronto.**
(2 stars) Ghost Dog & Pup: Stay by Thomas E. Sniegoski - This started out fantastic. I thought it might be the best one in the book. Until the extra supernatural stuff was thrown in. It's just not my cup of tea. Zombies are frightening enough so I like my zombie reading to be as realistic as possible. Basically, real life with zombies thrown in. Life forces and plates in the ground... just not my thing.
(3.5 stars) Tic Boom: A Slice of Love by Kurt Sutter - This one is different. I had some questions but they were answered by the end. Even though its a SHORT STORY. I thought for a bit the religious aspect might be taken too far - luckily I was wrong. I actually wish it'd have been longer.
(5 stars) Jack and Jill by Jonathan Maberry - Nothing needs to be said. I knew this would be up to par and if you've read Maberry than you know why. This story is one of the few - very few - things Golden did. The only thing is it - and a select few others - are more deserving than to be placed with such mediocre to pisspoor others.
(4 stars) Tender as Teeth by Stephanie Crawford & Duane Swierczynski - This was good too. I wasn't sure how it would work but just the premise, becoming something other than yourself and doing something so unbelievably horrible the world - including yourself - wants you dead, only to then become yourself again, makes for a great story. I don't want to go into spoiler detail but this is one not to skip.
(5 stars) Couch Potato by Brian Keene - No doubt this could be part of a great book. This has the every-day-type of things, the realisticness that makes a zombie story so frightening for me. The twist the author throws in, the lack-of-attention combo was clever. I'm pretty sure I've at least heard of Keene, if not read something by him before but now I need to make sure I look for his books.
(No rating) The Happy Bird and Other Tales by Rio Youers - I totally skipped this so I'm not comfortable rating it.....
(No rating) Parasite by Daniel H. Wilson - I'm not rating this although I didn't totally skip it. The writing is good, the premise is good but it's not my kind of story. There are people who will enjoy it though.
Overall I'm seriously disappointed. Hopefully The Living Dead will be a ton better. My fingers are crossed. (less)
Well, this'll make you think. Unless you're part of the small percentage who have never bullied another, never been bullied, never stood by and watche...moreWell, this'll make you think. Unless you're part of the small percentage who have never bullied another, never been bullied, never stood by and watched another be bullied, etc. I for one can claim all three categories so it definitely made me think. I have to say, for all of the stories to be centered on bullying there was an amazing amount of variety involved. I could see the authors own twists on the stories and their unique way of getting the story told. This is easier to see if you know the authors but even some that are strange to me I could see. Mo Willems and how he did his entry included here is a good example although his is probably the most easy to see. I thought about actually bringing my own account into my review but now I'm thinking better of it. I have FaceBook friends that might recognize themselves and the last thing I want to do is cause any bad feelings. Changing names just won't do it I'm afraid. I think there are a very few kids who would walk away from this without gaining insight. I doubt I could have read this at 10, 12, 14+ and not thought about my actions more. I don't know. I know I have an 8 year old daughter and the thought of her dealing with any of this - and I know she will in some form - literally makes my heart feel like it's breaking. I think it'll be good for her to read this. Being that she's very smart, pretty mature, and well ahead in reading I may just hand it to her in another year or two, depending....(less)