Robert Shearman writes such stuff as dreams are made on. These gorgeously-written dream landscapes are da4.5 - with some of the stories a definite 5.
Robert Shearman writes such stuff as dreams are made on. These gorgeously-written dream landscapes are dark and dirty and filled with wtf moments. They make you chuckle, shudder, admire the pitch-perfect turn-of-phrase, and best of all - think. And that's all in the space of a sentence. Shearman really has something to say here. And the writing is SPOT. ON.
After reading most of these short stories, I noticed that Shearman wrote an episode for series one (the Eccleston series) of Doctor Who. The same mix of humor, terror and social commentary that marked Shearman's Who outing in the stellar episode, Dalek, is evident in these well-crafted gems.
Before there was Stephen King, people read Thomas Tryon for their dose of creepy chills. A bestseller in its day, this book is said to have inspired KBefore there was Stephen King, people read Thomas Tryon for their dose of creepy chills. A bestseller in its day, this book is said to have inspired King's Children of the Corn, and it has often been compared to The Wicker Man, which came out the same year. Investigating a series of fairly minor-sounding mysteries in an idyllic rural town, the narrator--a seemingly good guy--becomes more and more convinced that the town's agrarian traditions hide far deeper secrets. It's meticulously-plotted and a strange combination of leisurely, respectful, bucolic and cliched in its description, which leads me to say...
Never have I been more perplexed over the concept of author's intent than reading this book. As the story unfolds, the first person narrator's actions become more reprehensible and his excuses more repellent than the conspiracies he is trying to uncover. I'm giving this four stars because my best guess, based on Tryon's other work, suggests he's giving us an unreliable narrator with a dark side of his own. If that is *not* the case, then this book has a really ugly streak of 1973-era anti-feminist backlash going on. Either way, it's unsettling and ultimately thought-provoking, and I appreciate a horror story, if that is what this is, that makes me think.
A TV miniseries was made from this in the 1970s, and several of the plot twists and shock moments - as it turns out, quite faithful to the book - have stayed with me for many years. ...more
This is classic Shirley Jackson, concerned with buried secrets, human shortcoming, and the evils of mob mentality. Mary Katherine ("Merricat") and herThis is classic Shirley Jackson, concerned with buried secrets, human shortcoming, and the evils of mob mentality. Mary Katherine ("Merricat") and her sister Constance live with invalid Uncle Julian in an isolated manor house where they are shunned and sometimes harassed by the locals. As with Jackson's most familiar work, "The Lottery," each page is pregnant with past evil and violence yet to come. The plot details of this book are not a huge surprise; instead, the slow reveal is (view spoiler)[just HOW bat-shit crazy narrator Merricat really is, which makes for an interesting and weirdly believable read. (hide spoiler)] Enjoy this one for the creepy atmosphere, the unusual characters, and when you want to quietly ponder the evils of the human heart in the way that only Shirley Jackson can.
Here's the overt premise in a nutshell: Zoe and Jake survive an avalanche while skiing, only to find they are the only two people left in the resort aHere's the overt premise in a nutshell: Zoe and Jake survive an avalanche while skiing, only to find they are the only two people left in the resort and presumably the world. Here's what this book really is: a love story with a Twilight Zone aura and a twist that most readers will suss out by page 40. There's little development of characters, but more an ambiance and descriptive style that lends itself to Jake and Zoe remembering why they love each other. In addition, Zoe has a secret that she has been waiting for the right moment to share with Jake, and that element gives a strange logic to the events of the story. The details of the story are well-thought-out and internally consistent, but I would have enjoyed this more as a movie or TV show than a book. Still, worth reading for those who like romance with a dash or horror. ...more