I needed something light and fluffy on my ride and stuck this in the CD player. What I didn’t need was something that would annoy me or make me sad. II needed something light and fluffy on my ride and stuck this in the CD player. What I didn’t need was something that would annoy me or make me sad. I figured I was safe with this one. Somewhere deep within my brain were echoes of old reviews telling me how funny, how sexy and how fabulous this author’s books were. Everybody loved them or so my questionable memory reminded me . . .
I think I chose the wrong one or my brain is completely fried (could be) because, of the three discs I finished, the only emotions that I felt were annoyance and boredom. Such is my luck.
I should note that I DNF’d this book after disc 3 so, hey, maybe it gets better. But, hey, I don’t know about you but I ain’t got no time, nor patience left to sit around waiting for that. 3 hours is 2.5 hours of my life too many. And there are too many other books banging around in my car waiting for a listen.
So here’s the gist.
After her silly, flighty, materialistic sister goes and gets herself murdered, Veronica very reluctantly returns to her childhood home to care for her orphaned niece (hubby is the #1 suspect & he’s on the lam). Ronnie couldn’t run fast and far enough from the family bar and loved her career which took her all over the world. As if that weren’t inconvenient enough, her childhood home has a boarder. So basically, she and her niece are living with a strange, hunky, cocky man and he has a signed lease so she can’t give him the boot. He’s also the bartender at the family bar Ronnie has inherited. Thus, there is absolutely no avoiding him.
He’s also keeping secrets (which only manages to annoy me because there really was no reason to keep his true identity a big secret - at least that I could see) and assumes she’s a “dip of woman” just because her dead sister wasn’t the brightest.
Oh, FFS. I don’t have patience for this.
They banter, if you consider mostly calling each other sickening pet names and arguing like children banter. I didn’t find it funny or even cute. It mostly made me cringe. But I admit, I don’t find most things very funny. Here’s a snippet (not direct quotes because I’m pulling from my shoddy memory).
“Gonna take the money and run, Sugarplum?”
“Sure thing, Studmuffin.”
Ugh. That’s so contrived to be cutesy and the story so boring and slow moving I can’t continue and that’s all I have to say. Maybe it gets better but alas I’ll never know because I’m all done.
I’m a meanie with bad taste. I already know this. There’s no need to tell me. ...more
This is a super short FREE audio @ Audible that manages to create a familiar scenario with a dastardly twist. It reminded me of the best sort of Twili
This is a super short FREE audio @ Audible that manages to create a familiar scenario with a dastardly twist. It reminded me of the best sort of Twilight Zone episode. This is a creeptastic, atmospheric tale about a neurotic man doing his best to save his young son from the trauma that surely awaits him at the playground.
Though I could feel his pain, the father was a bit of a mess and I felt sorry for him and the kid. Let the kid be a kid, I wanted to scream, but damn if that man listened to me!
I mean, it's not like the playground had one of these:
This is a thriller that, for me at least, wasn’t very thrilling. It involves a missing young woman, some lovely horses, some not at all pleas2.5 Stars
This is a thriller that, for me at least, wasn’t very thrilling. It involves a missing young woman, some lovely horses, some not at all pleasant animal and human cruelty and a slew of assholish suspects, all of whom are decidedly up to no good. That part of the plot was pretty lackluster. I guess I’ve become accustomed to more thrills in my thrillers and a little emotion – even if it is rage – but this one just left me feeling dead inside.
I guess my main problem was with the main character Elena. She’s a bitter, battle scarred ex-police officer who is as abrasive as they come and the narration only highlighted that character trait. She is persistent and stubborn (good traits in moderation) but something about her just grated on my last nerve. I didn’t “get” her and didn’t like her and there’s really nothing more I can say about that. Also, as an unneeded and unwanted bonus, we are subjected to an eye-rolling, chemistry-free romance between Elena and an officer that I didn’t buy into because I wasn’t feeling it – probably because they weren’t either. It felt like it was tacked in there to please . . . someone. Definitely not me.
I did love the passages that described the horses but they weren’t enough to carry the book for me. Dark Horse gets some great reviews so if you’re a Hoag fan don’t listen to me. If a copy lands in your lap give it a go and tell me how much of an idiot I am. ...more
4 1/2 stars. This was a heartbreaking read but it was one of those books that I found myself drawn into and found it difficult to break myself away fr4 1/2 stars. This was a heartbreaking read but it was one of those books that I found myself drawn into and found it difficult to break myself away from when it was time to take the headphones off and return to reality. I have to admit, it has thrown me into a bit of a funk. Despite Alice's well to do lifestyle, her life was filled with disappointment, sadness , missed opportunities and loss. Most of it due to an event in her early childhood. The story of the real Alice who inspired Alice In Wonderland was fascinating though and a great listen on audio but I need to find something frivolous and upbeat before I drown in a pit of despair over here.
My only caveat has to do with the lack of including the author notes in the audio version, now I'll have to track down the book at the library to learn what she had to say and what she might've "embellished" for the book....more
My sweet daughter bought me this for Christmas (with her own money too) and it was a far better choice than many a dog treat cookbook I've chosen in tMy sweet daughter bought me this for Christmas (with her own money too) and it was a far better choice than many a dog treat cookbook I've chosen in the past.
So far I've made the "Gingerbread Mailmen" but since I didn't have a mailmen cutter they turned out to be boring old gingerbread bones. Thankfully my dogs are not snobbish and ate them anyway. These called for an entire tsp of ground cloves and let me tell ya, they smelled heavily of cloves. I don't think I'd like to eat them but the dogs, as I said, have no standards (which is why I love them so). This book also doesn't use wheat flour but it's easy enough to make brown rice and oat flour by throwing them in a Ninja or other tough food processor and blending them up to a fine powder. Pretty cheap too. Don't waste your cash on those fancy flours when you can whip them up yourself. Anyway, the recipe was easy to follow, had only a small handful of ingredients and made my dogs happy.
So far, I'm liking this book a lot. The recipes seem to use normal ingredients, none seem troubling and the recipes I've skimmed don't appear to be too time consuming. I'll try to get a picture next time before they're all devoured. ...more
Milk blood is a bleak, unflinching look at people in desperate situations. When I say bleak, I am not exaggerating. These people are more than down onMilk blood is a bleak, unflinching look at people in desperate situations. When I say bleak, I am not exaggerating. These people are more than down on their luck, they have hit rock bottom. It’s a gripping mix of the horror show that is drug addiction and otherworldly horror that feels so natural your skin may crawl. It’s descriptive and gut-wrenching and some truly terrible things happen to an innocent young girl. You might want to have something upbeat nearby because some of these scenes may wreck you. Unless I’m just getting wimpier as the years go by. Nah. I don't think that's it.
I listened to this story in its unabridged audiobook format which immerses you in the desolation of the story. The narrator is deadly serious (as he needs to be) and, to be honest, though it’s only 3 hours or so, I had to take breaks and listen to some silly horror podcasts in between. This story is intense and bothered me on a level that most horror can’t reach. It’s similar to Lynda Barry’s Cruddy in that way. Only without the humor. There's nothing humorous here.
Don’t do drugs people.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
A gleefully fun, slightly rough and nasty, little tale that’ll get you in the Christmas spirit and make you think twice about messing with Santa and hA gleefully fun, slightly rough and nasty, little tale that’ll get you in the Christmas spirit and make you think twice about messing with Santa and his reindeer. Not that any of you would ever do such a thing :)
This book is not read by Will Patton but I will not hold that against it. Will Patton should read ALL the books but no one ask4.5 rounding up to five.
This book is not read by Will Patton but I will not hold that against it. Will Patton should read ALL the books but no one asked me. Revival is read by David Morse, recently seen in Joe Hill’s film version of Horns (which you all should see), and he does a fine job with the material. His voice is slightly grizzled and comforting and very emotive. He managed to keep me listening throughout the 13+ hour story. If you enjoy King and audiobooks you’ll want to give this a listen.
So, it’s not really horror and it’s not really spooky or scary until the very end when it gives you a final ending punch to the gut but trust me the trip is one worth taking. This is the not-so-usual (this is King, after all) coming of age story of a young boy named Jamie whose life becomes entwined with a young pastor and mad scientist type named Charlie Jacobs. At first, I have to admit, I was thinking Charlie might fall into the pervy for kiddies mold what with his cozying up to Jamie straight away, but I was glad things didn’t go there and their friendship (at least early on) was genuine. As were all of the relationships in this book which is why I enjoyed it so much. This man knows how to create characters and set a scene.
When King is busy telling tales of first love and delighting in “sweater nubbins” (oh, King), tightly knit families, friendship, hope and the joy and rush of music there’s always a dark undercurrent running alongside the mundane. Grief, drug addiction, regret, aging and loss of faith. It’s all here and it will probably crush you. You won't want to give this a listen if you have to do the driving. I think King revels in leaving his readers broken and bleary eyed.
Even so, I’ll put myself back together and read whatever he chooses to dish up next because this was a beautifully done novel.
Because I quit a book last week, I forced myself to finish this one. I can finish anything on audio, thought I. I am not aWell, that was melodramatic.
Because I quit a book last week, I forced myself to finish this one. I can finish anything on audio, thought I. I am not a quitter, thought I. But after struggling to focus on this and backtracking 2 hours because I realized I had been daydreaming the entire time, I have come to the realization that the DNF review is not so bad a thing.
This read was tortuous. I finished it but did not have a good time.
“You don’t love me. But you will.”
Sorry Erik but no. No I won’t. Feel free to keep trying.
“You must know that I am made of death, from head to foot, and it is a corpse who loves you and adores you and will never, never leave you!”
Hmmm, slightly tempting. But no. And here’s why:
This story has the lovely gothic trappings that one would expect; an opera “ghost” who hides in the shadows, a helpless damsel and loads of secret passageways and hidden rooms where ominous things happen. But . . .
It was boring .There, I said it. It’s rather a dry read, goes off on tedious tangents about missing money for hours (felt like hours anyway) and the narration was a wee bit on the stuffy side, making it easy for me to doze off. It also features a love triangle between Christine the beauty, Erik the mentally unstable phantom and Raoul a weepy, boy-man who dissolved into a fit of tears whenever he thought Christine might not share in his insta-love. Note to Raoul: toughen up, man! Your tears are a perfectly good waste of suffering (thank you Clive Barker) and they are not attractive. Poor Christine. She would’ve been better off getting a dog than marrying either of these two.
This did not go down well for me. It was a struggle from beginning to end. I was very much expecting to become immersed in the world but instead I couldn’t wait to flee from it.
Slush is a collection of short horror and dark fiction and the forward to the stories tantalizes:
These stories will make you feel real, feel alive, feSlush is a collection of short horror and dark fiction and the forward to the stories tantalizes:
These stories will make you feel real, feel alive, feel creeped out, feel entertained, BUT the key word here is FEEL.
Most books only succeed in making me feel bored, aggravated or frustrated or nothing at all. So it was with no great amount fear that I turned the first page of Slush, afraid if it didn’t make me feel something that I may truly be dead inside.
So here goes.
Skull of Snakes It’s the summer of ’89 and young Lennie and his pals have the whole summer ahead of them. On the way to a parade, Lennie picks up an old coin that is oddly decorated with a skull full of snakes. He drops it in his pocket and forgets about it. Then some very bad things begin to happen to those closest to Lennie and he remembers the coin and realizes that it may be cursed. Now his carefree summer will forever be marred by tragedy and loss. Note to self: don’t ever pick up that shiny penny, life is tough enough without tacking on a curse. Action drives this story and I would’ve preferred a few quieter moments for Lennie to catch his breath and process some of the grief. It could’ve been a tear-jerker but it wasn’t. 3.5 stars
Sweet Sixteen This is a disturbing short tale of first love and lost innocence. Love goes good until it’s not so good. Then horror ensues. All in the name of true love, of course. This story is kind of a screw you to fickle young love and one can almost feel for the boy, if he weren’t crazier than Norman Bates. Though very short, the opening paragraph gives it all away which was a bit of a letdown but I am the type who runs screaming from spoilers so you have to take that into consideration. 3.5 stars
Jackie Boy This story is gloriously grisly and one of my favorites in the collection. Jackie Boy has found a rather unique way to dispose of the rats bothering his beloved horse. Turns out Jackie is quite the resourceful, if very creepy, little man. This one is bursting with gory fun. I don’t know what this says about me but I loved it for its in-your-face, more than slightly disturbing, grossness. 5 stars
The Curse Five students plan revenge on their evil coach. Coach Haggis has managed to torment generations of teens with nary a complaint to administration. She’s a terrifying old bitch, I’ll give her that, but I found this mighty suspicious. From the Courtney Love lyrics I’m setting this smack in the 90’s when kids weren’t so helicoptered and tried my best to let it go (admittedly not my strongest point). Instead of telling anyone in authority about the abuse, they seek out the local hermit/rumored witch because, you know, that’s always a fantastic idea. She thrusts a be-spelled candle at them and sends them on their way. Revenge ensues. To be honest, this one wasn’t my favorite. I found it too predictable and the characters too stereotypical. Can’t win ‘em all, right? 2.5 stars
The Delicious Death of Parker Stevens Already creeped out after watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a friend, Parker’s head definitely wasn’t in the right place to walk home alone through the woods. He starts hearing weird sounds and tries his best to shrug it off. This is one horror scenario where I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had run back to his friend’s house shrieking in terror.
Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz Just woodsy sounds. Perfectly normal.
Click, click, click Animals in the woods, he tells himself.
“Boy,” a raspy voice whispered. Uh oh, that’s probably not any species of animal he wants to meet in the dark!
“Boy,” she repeated. “Come to us.”
Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz And out of the woods the creatures come. . .
This one made me cringe in all the right places. It was deliciously evil just as promised. 4 stars
I’m In Here This one is terribly unsettling and manages to achieve that in only a few paragraphs. That’s all I’m saying. It made me feel sad (whew, guess my soul is still intact!). 4.5 Stars
Henry Oooo, here comes the body horror!
Poor Henry is 13 and suddenly stricken with a severe case of acne. He can’t dare face the girl of his dreams looking like a pus filled beast and decides to take drastic measures to remedy the situation. With His Daddy’s Shiny New Razor. Henry has no beard. Ponder that, if you will.
I had to actually look away from this story because I did not want to see what was coming. But then I looked again (the things I do for you people) and yep, it’s just as awful as you can imagine. 4.5 Stars
Something Lost This is a short tale of grief and the importance of musical memories. Not horror but very moving all the same. 4 Stars
Ballad of the Best-Selling Author A bitter horror fan/struggling writer butts heads with a smug hipster who has made a fortune peddling zombie tripe. The struggling novelist shows him the meaning of real horror and the comeuppance is kind of glorious. 4.5 stars
Candle Magic This is a super short rumination on the magical qualities of the candle. Not enough here to rate.
Flaws I did not enjoy this story. One day a man awakens with the urge to start snuffing out the lives of innocents.
Why and why now? I don’t rightly know. A bit more insight into his head would’ve made this go down easier. As written, we’re basically forced to watch him as he does terrible, horrible things to innocent creatures. I’d like to unread it, please. It was unpleasant and too dark and terrible even for the likes of me. 1.5 stars
Halloween Worm This story makes up for the last one. A young boy is coerced into helping the town bully get revenge against an old man who gave him a worm infested apple the previous Halloween. A nasty surprise awaits them. Pure gory fun and a great way to end the collection. 4.5 stars
So, yeah, these stories made me feel all sorts of things. Some good, some not so good and that’s why I read horror. Guess the soul is still intact for the moment.
Hey Sickos, this one is on sale for .99 @ Amazon as of today 11/3/14. And by sickos, I mean me. And whoever wishes to join me. "Shane, how do you sleeHey Sickos, this one is on sale for .99 @ Amazon as of today 11/3/14. And by sickos, I mean me. And whoever wishes to join me. "Shane, how do you sleep at night?" -Jack Ketchum, author of The Girl Next Door and The Offspring