This is one of the leanest, nastiest books I've ever read. I consume a good deal of horror fiction, but this one really took some fortitude to get thr...moreThis is one of the leanest, nastiest books I've ever read. I consume a good deal of horror fiction, but this one really took some fortitude to get through certain sequences. It tells a fictionalized account of the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens. Here's something from the wikipedia entry on the case:
Sylvia Marie Likens (January 3, 1949 - October 26, 1965) was tortured to death by Gertrude Baniszewski (née Van Fossan), her children, and other children from their neighborhood. Her parents, carnival workers, had left Sylvia and her sister Jenny in the care of the Baniszewski family three months before her death in exchange for twenty dollars a week. Her torture and murder were described by the prosecutor in Baniszewski's trial as "the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana."
Feminist author Kate Millett wrote a famous true crime book about this case called The Basement. But I must say, between the two books, I feel like it is Ketchum that gets closer to the true motivations of the torturers. Of course he has the luxury of making up whatever he wants, but his explanation of why a group of teenage boys in 1950's Indiana would take part in the summer long torture of a girl kept locked up in a bomb shelter is utterly convincing.
This book is grim, but it's haunted me since I read it.
A horror classic. Clive Barker hit the ground running with this amazing collection of unique dark fiction. This was the book that made Stephen King ca...moreA horror classic. Clive Barker hit the ground running with this amazing collection of unique dark fiction. This was the book that made Stephen King call Barker 'the future of Horror.'
I really wish Barker would write some horror again, as his Abarat series does little for me story wise (though the paintings are beautiful) Honestly I've had my fill of sweeping fantasy from this author, especially since with each series I have to learn a whole new complex mythology.
Really I'm just dying for Barker to return to the sort of exhilarating, nerve wracking horror that's on display here, with gut punching classics like Rawhead Rex, The Midnight Meat Train, Pig's Blood Blues and In The Hills, The Cities.
Note on the cover art. I dislike the cover art shown here on Goodreads. Luckily, my hardcover edition has this kick ass illustration:
I have this weird thing about mythologizing 1986 for myself. No big surprise, it was the year I graduated high school. Also the year Slayer played the...moreI have this weird thing about mythologizing 1986 for myself. No big surprise, it was the year I graduated high school. Also the year Slayer played the Warner Theater on the Reign In Blood tour (what a show!) It was also the year that IT came out. And I have to say, this book was one of the deepest reading experiences of my life. It was summer when the book was released, and I remember sitting out on the back porch and reading IT for 10 straight hours. I woke up the next day and immediately resumed reading. It was like eating a cinder block in 21 hours! I was deep in that story. I feel like this novel is a Stephen King bullion cube; like Stephen King X10. And it's scary, scary, scary.
And now for the WTF moment. This is total spoiler territory. So did anyone else find it odd... the scene where the adolescent Losers are down in the sewers, and all seven of them have something to contribute to killing Pennywise. So what does young Beverly Marsh contribute? She . . . like . . . fucks all six of them? Did that happen? That part of the reading is fuzzy, but did he really write that? So weird! Yet I rarely hear it commented on. If I got to interview Stephen King, and could only ask one question, I'd be like: What's up with that scene? I'm not complaining! IT rules. And the hardcover cover art with the claw emerging from the sewer grate is the undisputed champ!(less)
Ok, so it's a book about Michael Gallatin, a Russian werewolf super spy going after the Nazis just before D-Day. And do the ladies love his musky smel...moreOk, so it's a book about Michael Gallatin, a Russian werewolf super spy going after the Nazis just before D-Day. And do the ladies love his musky smell, and the way he eats his meat almost raw? Yes they do.
Been re-reading some of the over the top Robert McCammon novels I loved in the 80's. I'm having a blast doing it.
I hate when people call McCammon trash. What he is is pulp. Sure it is cheesy, but I always have the impression of a generous author who always tries to pull out all the stops to give the reader a great ride.
So read the Wolf's Hour! Thrill to an epic fight on a Nazi sadist's fiendishly designed torture train! Hiss at the depraved Nazis as they stage a pornographic vaudeville show that mocks and degrades Churchill! Cheer as the spy, in werewolf form, liberates a concentration camp! (no, really)(less)
There is something I hate about reading a book after I have seen a film adaptation of the story. I don't like the way my imagination is never given a...moreThere is something I hate about reading a book after I have seen a film adaptation of the story. I don't like the way my imagination is never given a chance to create the characters. Instead I see the actors from the film. This can lead to some incongruous results. For example the protagonist in Let The Right One In is described in the novel as being 'chubby,' but my brain ignored this and instead provided the good looking kid from the film. But that is small potatoes.There was plenty to enjoy in this excellent horror novel. I though the novel showed far less restraint than the film (i.e. lots of gore), and fell more in line with horror genre traditions. Loved reading something set in Sweden for a change-- the setting added a great deal of new flavor to the vampire novel. The portrayal of adolescence rang absolutely true. Great book, and a great movie too.(less)
An excellent horror novel from Stephen King, that satisfyingly evokes classic novels from the author. This novel is full of great characters, includin...moreAn excellent horror novel from Stephen King, that satisfyingly evokes classic novels from the author. This novel is full of great characters, including the detestable but redeemable Johnny Marinville, the 'prayer boy' David Carver, one of King's blessed boy characters (here used very effectively) and most especially Collie Entragin, the giant cop who serves as a terrifying host for the demon Tak. This novel contains my favorite phrase from Stephen King; 'God grinds the axe he plans to use.' As far as I can tell, that is from King's imagination, and it sums up the harsh theme of this book effectively. Great cover art for the hardcover edition. It was a stroke of genius †o use Mark Ryden as the illustrator. I wish more publishers would employ such interesting artists to decorate their jackets. A great book! TAK! (less)
I read this book when I was 13, and I'd place it up there with the Exorcist as one of the great corrupting influences of my life- It helped crack my f...moreI read this book when I was 13, and I'd place it up there with the Exorcist as one of the great corrupting influences of my life- It helped crack my fragile egg shell mind and gave me a permanent case of the morbids. This novel tells a fictionalized account of Sawney Bean, a killer who supposedly stalked the coast of Scotland in the 16th century along with his incestuous, cannibalistic clan. The wiki entry for this guy is pretty great: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawney_Bean My best friend Mark picked this paperback up because it had art by Frank Frazetta on the cover- here's the painting:http://www.myfreewallpapers.net/fanta... Me and my junior high school friends passed this book around and read it in wide eyed wonder. There couldn't be a worse novel for adolescent boys to fixate on. I don't know much about L.A. Morse is, but he wasn't messing around when he wrote this. The Flesh Eaters is way nastier than any splatterpunk I've ever read. It constantly mixes sex with death, and breaks four or five taboos per chapter. It is written in the present tense, making all the dismemberment and pickling scenes far too immediate. Not recommended for anyone. Thank God it is out of print. Luckily, I found a great copy last year on E-bay. And The Flesh Eaters is just as demented as I remember! Lastly, here's a great song about Swaney Bean sung by Snakefinger. Listen to it, it's a hit! http://blogfiles.wfmu.org/JH/2007/08/...
I've read quite a few bad reviews of this novel online, but I really liked it. This year my Thanksgiving traveling was pretty rough. When I was catchi...moreI've read quite a few bad reviews of this novel online, but I really liked it. This year my Thanksgiving traveling was pretty rough. When I was catching the 3:30 am bus to Hershey PA, I was glad I had this briskly paced novel with me, so I could read about people in much worse straits than I was. The horror in this book is pretty surreal, but the ever increasing sense of doom really worked on me. I bought into the scenario completely, and rushed through the story in a couple of days. Some of the complaints I've read have me baffled. On Amazon some reviewers felt the characters were one dimensional, but I thought the character development was strong in the book. The Greek character who spoke no English seemed to irritate many readers, but I thought the language barriers in this book where intentionally frustrating, and only added to that grim cloud of doom. The horror element of the story could have been too hokey, but when reading the book, it all worked thanks to Smith's ominous style. I'd hate to have to make it into an effective horror movie, but as a novel, I thought The Ruins was scary. I think I'm going to give A Simple Plan a try soon. From what I've read, the novel is very different from the film. It sounds down my alley.(less)
Love this edition of Frankenstein! Wrightson's illustrations have always been a huge inspiration to me, and this book is him at his absolute best. htt...moreLove this edition of Frankenstein! Wrightson's illustrations have always been a huge inspiration to me, and this book is him at his absolute best. http://www.geocities.com/orbofnight18...(less)
I wish I'd read this book last month. It would have been the perfect October novel; something new and exciting that still feels classically Halloweeni...moreI wish I'd read this book last month. It would have been the perfect October novel; something new and exciting that still feels classically Halloweenish. I'm not quite as thrilled as the horror authors who give such glowing praise in all the blurbs inside the cover, but I definitely had a blast reading Dark Harvest, and will pick up whatever comes out next from Norman Partridge. In one of those reviews, the novel is compared to The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. It's a great comparison, and the portrayal of sinister small town secrets was my favorite thing about the book. I liked the campfire narrative style, but a few times it became overbearing. The author addresses the reader constantly, saying 'you know how it is, you grew up in this town.' But the 'you' he's addressing keeps changing depending on the scene. You could call it 'campfire second person omniscient'. Mostly it achieves the desired effect, but there were moments where I could feel Partridge sweating to make it work. Really, that's a small complaint. The October Boy, the pumpkinhead monster of the novel, is a fantastic concept. His classic Halloween look and fantastic origin feel as iconic as Freddy Krueger. If I was a Hollywood producer, I'd want this for my next movie, instead of a remake of The Exorcist, or whatever those assholes are currently giving the greenlight.
The problem is, I felt Partridge took the scare out of his character way too soon. I didn't like that the first thing the October Boy did after his glorious introductory kill was jump behind the wheel of a car. It felt wrong; too human, too soon. Usually I love a lean, tightly plotted book like this. But I wish Dark Harvest had been longer, and the October Boy had been given the chance to terrorize those roving packs of teenagers a bit before gaining the readers sympathy. hmmm, I guess all I'm really saying is I wanted more! Final note on the cover art-- I would have bought this book without any of those glowing blurbs based soley on the amazing painting by Jon Foster. It sceamed at me from halfway across the bookstore. What a cool image!
Calcutta is the monster in this great debut horror novel. Like Lovecraft, Dan Simmons uses his details to constantly build a mounting sense of dread....moreCalcutta is the monster in this great debut horror novel. Like Lovecraft, Dan Simmons uses his details to constantly build a mounting sense of dread. It's all very effective, with one especially horrific twist in the plot.
I'm with all the other reviews; this book is bad for tourism in India.(less)
Along with everyone else I know who has read this novel, I loved it. A very original approach to a familiar genre. It left me wanting more. So I was p...moreAlong with everyone else I know who has read this novel, I loved it. A very original approach to a familiar genre. It left me wanting more. So I was psyched to find this site: http://www.talesofworldwarz.com/ I guess you could call this fan fiction, but the scenario created by Max Brooks (well, George Romero actually) just lends itself so well to elaborations. And honestly, some of these new stories are really good. Worth checking out. Recently I listened to the audio book of WWZ. I thought it was great, with it's multiple narrators. My only disappointment was the abridgement, which excluded one of my favorite stories in the book, about the Internet addicted Japanese kid. (less)
A weak companion novel to the excellent Desperation, which was published simultaneously. The metafiction trickiness of having all the characters share...moreA weak companion novel to the excellent Desperation, which was published simultaneously. The metafiction trickiness of having all the characters share names with the cast of Desperation leads absolutely nowhere. Are we supposed to be creeped out that Stephen King and Richard Bachman both used the same character names.... almost as if the two authors are somehow... connected? So distracting that it put me off the entire plot. I remember enough . . . I guess it was an interesting weird tale, but reading it right after I finished Desperation (and they were marketed as a set,) the whole name trick ruined my reading experience. Great cover art by Mark Ryden, though.(less)
A chip off the old block. Joe Hill does writes like his Dad. And not the newer King books, but the really good ones!
That's shitty to write. I think Jo...moreA chip off the old block. Joe Hill does writes like his Dad. And not the newer King books, but the really good ones!
That's shitty to write. I think Joe Hill is a true talent, and I am looking forward to his next book, and i want to say he has his own voice, but the whole book I was reminded of early Stephen King and his propulsive pacing and style. Regardless, I read this thing in just a day or two, and had a blast with it.
The novel is tightly plotted. Hill does not indulge himself with hundreds of tangents that only serve to fatten the page count. That lends the novel a lean feel, and adds to the desperation of the story.
I think it concluded well, but I still had a problem with the ending. There were scenes in the climax where I thought it all looked too cgi, even though I was reading a novel. Too much blue glow, if you know what I'm saying.
Junior high Tommy LOVED this book. I haven't read it since about 1981, so I can't vouche for this novel (but from what I can remember, the plot is kil...moreJunior high Tommy LOVED this book. I haven't read it since about 1981, so I can't vouche for this novel (but from what I can remember, the plot is killer-- as for the writing quality, who knows.) If I ever see this in a used book store, I will buy it imediately and give it another spin.(less)