Pretty good book with a surprise twist at the end. I guessed it as a possibility just because it was unexpected but it was still a good storyline. SomPretty good book with a surprise twist at the end. I guessed it as a possibility just because it was unexpected but it was still a good storyline. Sometimes the protagonist got on my nerves and the couple banter bordered on realistic much of the time. Not the best, fairly mediocre, but still attention-grabbing and worth a read if you have it laying around....more
“He smiles a lot. But I think there might be worms inside him making him smile.”
The Stand is, more or less, a story depicting the end of the world. “He smiles a lot. But I think there might be worms inside him making him smile.”
The Stand is, more or less, a story depicting the end of the world. It begins with an accidental outbreak of super flu from a government facility, which soon breaks free to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans and animals. Almost everyone dies, and does so considerably fast. The army tries to stop it, but no one succeeds. Those that DO survive are people who have a natural immunity to the bug. Eventually these lucky souls band together to form a sort of community.
But before they form their strong union, they are plagued by horrifying dreams of the same man, who is known to them as Randall Flagg. Not knowing what he is or what he wants, they do know he is planning something truly horrible and forming his own sort of army.
They also dream of a being called 'Mother Abigail', who helps lead them to join in the first place. Once they have come together, they must fight to survive and defeat their enemies.
The atmosphere is bleak and gritty. It's depressing, but at the end of the tunnel they find a light through each other. They try and maintain hope and see it through to the end, while fighting the seemingly impossible at the same time. Not a feel good book necessarily, but then again most horror isn't.
Stephen King is one of those authors who has a natural talent with characterization. The Stand is no different, and although there are several key players to keep track of, I wasn't confused as I have been in some of his other novels. I can't speak of a "main character," because there were several, and each person brought forth their unique traits, their past histories, and their own individual purposes, that were important to the plot. Each one enhanced the tale, and without this important element the story would not have succeeded so well. I didn't like everyone, but thankfully those I didn't care for got less time than the others.
Randall Flagg himself wasn't outwardly menacing; parts of what made him disturbing was he appeared so normal on the outside. In the film version they explained away what he was but in the book the reader is left with their own speculations.
Some may see the page count of this one (817) and fear it would be too slow for them, rest assured it's not. The pace goes along surprisingly well for such a lengthy read. A lot is covered but it's not sped over so quickly the reader is left confused. There are breathers but it's not slow enough to bore.
The style is old-school King but even better. It's not drawn out too much like some of his other works and never bored me. It is to the point enough to where my eyes didn't wander but also King took time to let you REALLY know who the characters were and what they were about. As a result, if they died, you cared. When they were in trouble, you held your breath. Tension scenes were played out well and suspense was built up accordingly.
Is the Stand haunting? Well...it's never fun to imagine that basically the entire world is dead and you are left alone, forced to seek out other survivors and make them your new family because your real ones are dead. It's not fun to go into the street and be greeted with the stench of decaying corpses, or to no longer have electricity and signs of modern times. Getting wrapped up in the story like I did, I was able to imagine what this would have been like, and let me tell you it wasn't pretty. That theme alone was creepy. The end of the world isn't a time I'd want to live in, especially if it goes out this way.
As with most horror, especially King's version of it, there is gore and there is violence. But not too much is covered in detail on the horrible demises. A few of the deaths are different enough, and they all leave that hollow feeling in the chest, one reason being because King makes sure you care about the people being slaughtered. The more disturbing stuff happened "off-page," told to the characters, but they didn't actually experience it. The gore level is minimal enough so that you don't end up having to reach for that emergency "vomit bag" hanging near your reading chair.
In the end, The Stand showed me how horrible the Apocalypse really would be. But it also proved some age-old facts: when humans come together and build a united force, we can accomplish almost anything....more
Here it is – a re-read of IT, one of the most haunting and popular horror books of our time. It does deserve this honor, it really does, for King does Here it is – a re-read of IT, one of the most haunting and popular horror books of our time. It does deserve this honor, it really does, for King does talented things here – he takes a small town in the grip of its own horrors, its own secrets, and lays at the heart of the town a monster that has no true face, but that does have true intent, intent to feed on the fear and the lives of its towns residents. People in the town belong to IT as the monster itself belongs, in a way, to them through their own creepy makings and acceptances.
I never realized until reading a review recently (duh is me) that King started this book with two prologue introductions to both time pieces. They avoided doing this in the movie, opening with made-for-film scenes, but keeping the ultra-disturbing Georgie boat opening. Here it opens for the adults too in the form of what happened to the tragic homosexual couple by the disturbed and ignorant townsfolk who, through their homophobic violence, joined in without their knowledge with the clown.
It was clever for King to begin the book with two openings – one for the adult stage of life, one for the childhood stage. From there it keeps mixing and going back and forth, flashback to reality, reality back to memory.
Some stories were more interesting than others and the first half of the book, after the initial two openings, is consumed by the current adults getting that epic phone call, only to start on their journey back, accompanied by returning memories of past horrors faced. At times I think it grew too long in duration and at times I grew impatient with it, but overall it was an effective opening with the book and helped explain not only the characters as adults, but the characters as children and how they came together.
King always had a great talent with writing childhood, friends, and the magic of youth and coming of age. One does have to raise an eyebrow with the weird way to escape the tunnel with Beverly and all the boys – didn’t make much sense to include that to me – but overall the children’s interactions is believable and is the heart of the story. As adults they’re interesting but they lack the magic of their relationship as compared to when they were kids.
The clown is just creepy – he is one of the most imaginable monsters invented. There were some genuinely disturbing scenes in the book that make this stand in a sobering reality. What always comes to my mind of creepy scenes are small flashbacks rather than the events as they happen – for instance,
(view spoiler)[ when in the police station the man is recounting the tale of the clown dragging the body, looking up at him, and then appearing to bite into the guy’s armpit. That was genuinely creepy.
And the other horrible story is told from Mike as adult, of the 2 year old being murdered and the mother hearing the sound’s from downstairs, the maniacal laughing and the toilet flushing, to come and find her child drowned and his back broken. Terrifying stuff. (hide spoiler)] And of course the story of Georgie is just disturbing and sad. I got teary eyed when it happened, teary whenever it was brought through with memory. I think Georgie is the trademark of the both the novel and the movie version for how horrible it all really is.
My favorite character is Ben. He was fascinating as a child, struggling with his weight and pining for a girl he never thought he would have, spending the best moments of his childhood in the library, devouring books and losing himself in their worlds. It’s suiting he grew up to be an architect.
King puts the main character, or at least the strongest leader, in Bill. I did like Bill but he was definitely NOT my favorite and I found him lackluster when compared to the rest. I also didn’t feel much for Eddie, who I found whiny and weak but cared more toward him as a child. The same can be said for Richie, who could get annoying with the voices – really. Beverly was interesting to read about as a child but, unlike the others, came alive more as an adult. Stan wasn’t delved into much for obvious reasons, nothing was told through his viewpoint, even when he hears the news at the beginning; it’s told through his wife’s POV. Mike is another big favorite with his love of books, history, the group, the town, and his depth.
So King wins with creating a truly unique and disturbing villain, injecting some disturbing scenes, some truly eerie ones. He wins with character formation and giving each child a sense of isolation because of parental abuse, parental absence, or their own psychological limitations. The town of Derry is so strongly formed it becomes a character in its own right.
I don’t give it a perfect rating, however. As with many of King’s works, I think the book would have been better with more trimming. The story's complex and a lot goes on with it, but not enough for this duration. One of the flashback stories Mike hears from his father took several pages for that story alone.
Also, I didn’t care for the ending. I don’t like how IT ended up being explained (some of it I dug, some of it I didn’t.) Just like in the Shining, I think King made a mistake by (view spoiler)[ giving the villain an internal monologue voice at the end. It ruined a lot of the mystery and horror of IT to me and didn’t feel convincing. (hide spoiler)]Frankly, I do find the ending weak for so many reasons – the strength of the fight with Bill and others, the lack of tragedy, the explanation and dealings with the monster.
The character of Tom a bit weak and unconvincing as well. The other human villains, as the bullies, were particularly fascinating in the story and King excelled with writing Henry and the gang. However, I hated the two cycles of animal deaths or cruelty *shudders*
Finally, I really disliked the memories starting to change again. Felt cheated by that. I can understand the first time, but not the second. The second makes little sense to me.
Overall IT is an epic, excellent book that any horror fan should read. It’s awesome in its scope of terror, it’s inventive, original, shattering, and captures the strength of youth being forced to come together to fight something that seems bigger than themselves. Perhaps a bit too long and rambling, perhaps a bit weak at the end, it shines with its beginning, and it shines with its content.
Mwhahahahaha, finally - finally! - another vampire series that's not just good, but great. This cute and cozy mystery packs quite a whollop in it's shMwhahahahaha, finally - finally! - another vampire series that's not just good, but great. This cute and cozy mystery packs quite a whollop in it's short form, with a marvelously different story, genuinely warm characterization, and amusing injections.
Sookie is a delight to read about, as she's young and fiesty, holding a cute curiosity about the 'dark side', cursed with a bad reputation of being a freak. Weighed down by the small town's perception of her, she lives at home with her Grandmother and works at a local bar. Not your traditional heroine so far, it's even odder when she can read minds, but hates the ability as it only brings her trouble. Bill the vampire is the typical irresistible type, yet thankfully speaks in normal dialogue and not old-world fancy Vampire lingo. Eric the vampire appealed to me strongly, and I hope to see more of him in upcoming books. The same goes for Sam the bartender. You have to love series where you fall in love with all the main players :) There is also the introduction of a 'bodyguard' that's so over the top it's borderline ridiculous.
The two together form a cute pair, but not so cute to where it's obnoxious or too light to be taken seriously. Don't get me wrong - there's plenty of seriousness in this book. From murder to two terribly sad events, there's also the bizarre vampire groupings. It's not as bloody as The Anita Blake series, but it does have it's share of violence.
The mystery was a twisted one, but there are not many clues and traditional mystery footprints. The culprit did surprise me, but I was so engrossed with the rest of the story I didn't spare much mind to figure out the villain anyway. Will that put off routine mystery readers? Maybe. The story is involved with many sub-plots, the bulk of it romantic, with emphasis on dysfunctional family, Sookie's feelings of being different, obstacles from outside forces, and then the mystery of the murders. With a book only 260 pages long, that's a lot to cover, no part able to dominate the story's time by itself. Generally I prefer books where several things are happening at once, so it clicked with me.
On the romance side, it's not the sort of book where hero and heroine fall deeply in love and forget everything else as they set sail toward a sea of eternal bliss. They're plagued with chronic problems and hurdles to cross, internal doubts of the nature of their pairing, issues about the future they're choosing to ignore - for now - as they settle down to explore each other. The two match in a sweet way as the vampire searches for a home, weary from travel, and the telepath yearns for peace with someone whose mind she CAN'T read.
It's hard to think of negatives with this one, as it was so enjoyable. After it was over, I'm so determined to dive into the sequels I'm becoming obsessive. But to be objective here, even if it did have a dark tone, some may be turned off by the light and cute world. Sookie doesn't seem very consistent in her thoughts about sex and love, either. At slight times her southern way of speech gnawed a nerve, especially with the phrase, "He's gonna know I'm not normal." I don't know why, but reading 'gonna' usually pains me. Comparisons to Hamilton are inevitable, being that there are vampires considered legal, but I see plenty of changes here to make it stand as a completely different series and not another copycat.
If you can't already tell, I loved this story. Addictive characters gave a much-needed boost to a dying sub-genre that needs more exploration before it's buried. Paired with a clever mystery, the relationships are as addictive as the villains unveiling....more
This book has it all - lust, violence, blood, suspense, great characters, and a dramatic, tragic ending. An excellent beginning to the Anita Blake se This book has it all - lust, violence, blood, suspense, great characters, and a dramatic, tragic ending. An excellent beginning to the Anita Blake series, starting the path for further winners down the road. ...more
Being addicted to this series, when three came in the mailbox at once, I delightfully devoured them back-to-back. No, I didn't get needed sleep, so foBeing addicted to this series, when three came in the mailbox at once, I delightfully devoured them back-to-back. No, I didn't get needed sleep, so fortunately I was off work that day.
There are two major mysteries for the price of one. First, Sookie discovers the dead body of Merlotte's cook, Lafayette, in the back of Andy Bellefluer's car outside the bar one morning. Determined to solve the murder of her friend - and clear Andy's name, although that's not the biggest priority since the two families dislike each other - things get even more complicated when boyfriend Bill's boss, Eric, summons the two to go to Dallas and help a head vampire discover where his missing "brother" has gone. The latter plot takes up the majority of the book, and is the first mystery to go. Accompanied by Bill and running into Eric, it's stressful times to be had as Sookie winds up in trouble with a radical anti-vampire group.
As always, reading about Sookie's adventures is a delight. She's a down to earth, southern girl with an unusual ability that makes her desirable to all supernatural creatures. Her relationship with Bill is still sweet to this point, with them having a minor obstacle and jealousy running supreme. My hormones speed up again with Eric's scenes, as his humorous flirting and determined seduction is my favorite area of the books. There's a vampire I wouldn't turn away!
There are many scenes that stand out with supreme enjoyment. First, when Sookie must enlist in the aide of the vamps to heal her wounds from the beastly creature of the woods; what discomfort she felt, but how funny the moment. Another great time was with Eric outside the hotel room while Bill and Sookie resumed their frisky nature - too cute! Stan and Bill looking at Sookie like she offered them a Big Mac by mentioning the potential bug in the room (have to love the way Harris wrote that one), Eric asking Sookie to yield on the top of the car outside the cabin, Sookie and Bill discovering the 'new vampire in town' in front of Stan, all were moments that stood out and made this book as great as it is.
The interactions between the two vampires regarding Sookie is hysterical, and I especially loved the ending "orgy" scene. No, not an orgy with Sookie and the vamps, but going to an awkward orgy to try and solve Lafayettes' death. I went between covering my face in discomfort, giggling at the absurdity of it all, to groaning at certain aspects of Sookie and Eric's interaction. Fun times!
The 'master vampire' - even if they're not called that in the Sookie world - Stan, was interesting too. Not anywhere near erotic, he was still an intriguing character I wouldn't mind seeing more of in the future. I enjoyed the strange interaction Sookie had with Andy and sister Portia, as seeing how she's shunned from the community because of her ability is a great obstacle in the series. Sam was a great character again, even if his part did take a slight backstage one. I was surprised with his feelings toward the maenad, though.
Harris writes a book that's quick and easy to read, accurately portraying Sookie's feelings. You feel what she feels, and there's plenty of times you'll be laughing out loud from her internal monologue. I wouldn't have guessed what happened in either mysteries, so the story's were tightly woven enough to where they weren't predictable, and the character interaction is what really made everything so interesting.
As before there are some hot sex scenes, but thankfully they in no way make up a bulk of the story, choosing instead to compliment the story and not take from it. Violence wise there's nothing dramatically bad, but of course there's a certain degree of blood and death involved. (This story does involve supernatural creatures, after all).
So, let's see, I've covered the story depth, writing style, characters, blood level, sex level, and hormone surges. I'm still not sure how I feel with Bill's revelation toward the end about his long-lost family, but no book is perfect. (I also still get slightly irritated when Sookie says grandmama, I always hated that word, and "gonna" too much.) Nothing much left to say except that if you're not reading this series, you're missing out on a wonderful world of supernatural creatures determined to worm their way into your head....more
“I loved him, but love isn't enough. All the fairy tales, the romance novels, the soap operas; they're all lies. Love does not conquer all.”
Oh, how l“I loved him, but love isn't enough. All the fairy tales, the romance novels, the soap operas; they're all lies. Love does not conquer all.”
Oh, how life can get tricky. Anita may have thought Jean-Claude was old news, but the master vampire still believes he's ahead of the game, his hostility and jealousy growing in this twisted love triangle. Anita's relationship with Richard furthers, despite the fact he wants to rush into a heavy situation where she's just not ready enough to trust anyone completely.
It brings out an interesting aspect in Anita, as she has to come to terms with the monster side of Richard, not yet ready to face it - perhaps never ready - but not wanting to admit it to him or herself. On the other hand, he can't stomach her bloodthirsty ways and sees her as more of a monster than he is. The mixing of blood and water. Oh, yeah, and a female vamp Gretchen, who has the hots for Jean-Claude, would be happy to see Anita lying on the ground with her throat a bloody mess.
Anita isn't enthused to be recruited by Marcus, leader of the St. Louis werewolf clan, to track down eight missing lycanthropes. She has to consistently push through the testing of the furry clan and the power struggle streaming in the air between Marcus and her beloved. Still, she can't ignore the problem, especially when it may eventually damper Richard's personal safety.
To make matters bizarrely worse - life always sucks for this girl - she finds her friend, the cold-blooded assassin Edward, in her apartment. He's been hired to track down and kill the creator of a snuff video. It's awkward enough watching a sex tape with the strange man, but it's even worse when lycanthropes are behind the filming, and no one in Anita's new-found furry family is safe from the determined Edward. The scenes between these two are great, he's one of my favorites. Why can't we have more of this man in the later books??
As a member of the police's Regional Preternatural Investigation Team, she must battle the hinted suspicions dropped by head honcho Dolph, on what really happened to Harold in the cemetery. "There was blood all over that chair, Anita..."
Characters are as strong as ever, my heart keeps bursting and my loins grinning. Hot damn, Hamilton is amazing at building up suspenseful sex scenes! Story tension is top-notch, and she never shies away from blood, gore, and extreme violence. Although the twisted love triangle is present - and great too! - this is certainly still a horror series up to this point. Look into my magic wand and repeat after me: "Read the series, read the series..."...more
Goddddd, it's hard to know how to categorize some books. It's marked as Paranormal Romance, so I suppose I'll leave it at that. The story itself isn'tGoddddd, it's hard to know how to categorize some books. It's marked as Paranormal Romance, so I suppose I'll leave it at that. The story itself isn't heavy on the romance department as it's focal point, but instead is of a young woman coming to terms with her new undead status, vampires in her life trying to convince her she's the foretold queen savior, and embracing her love of designer shoes. Top this off with her best friend and new sidekick, a homosexual who has the hots for the vamp who has the hots for HER, and a strange and unsettling father-daughter-stepmother (stepmonster) relationship.
Comedy laden, this book was a delight to start but I soon feared it would fall short as the humor never let up. I was in the vein for some serious stuff - somewhere - and I do think that would have improved it a bit, but it was still funny as hell and completely readable. The main character is a valley girl type, completely obsessed with shoes and fashion, judgmental and constantly spurting out almost annoying, slang-filled one liners. Yes, sometimes this was tiresome, but other times I genuinely laughed. She's clearly self-centered and not the brightest candle in the room, yet her personality as an average is amiable and her spunk high.
I loved her best friend, Jessie, and the sidekick Mark (who seemed adorable in almost every way). The main vamp sounds incredibly sexy and I loved his domineering manner, even if I didn't blame Betsy for wanting to slug him half the time for his smugness. I especially grew errr, warm, with the scene of him in the alley and at the beginning with the finger. Grrrrroowwwwl. The ending with Betsy and him (Sinclair) was cleverly amusing and I didn't see it from a mile away. What a great turn-around!
Undead and Unwed stayed alive with active pacing. From chapter one the stakes are high and the plot is hell bent on being something strangely different. This is no average vampire tale by far; in fact, I've never read anything even remotely close. It's not something anyone would grow bored with, as action is always taking place and Betsy's never able to settle down for a simple breather. Her 'differences' as a vampire were a nice touch as well, especially loving the part where she got out of the car and "yawned" in the sun, not thinking about the typical vampire rules.
There are a few very sexual scenes, although that does not dominate the book by far. The romance impact is not high, more like the bickering fun lust-filled hero and heroine who you want to get together, but are not sure they really will (at least in this book, anyway). I'll leave what happens between them - if anything - a surprise. You can never say I ruin a book with my reviews *evil grin* On the violence side, there's some head crashing here and there but nothing strenuous.
Overall the book was laugh-out-loud hilarious, a different vein of vampire novels, with a main character you can't help but like (even if at times she's temporarily annoying enough to where you almost put down the book), and a hero you couldn't help but almost love. *wiggles brows* I'll definitely read more of this series, especially with an ending like that....more
Overall I've loved every book so far in the Sookie Stackhouse series. This one didn't disappoint me because it included almost every great character,Overall I've loved every book so far in the Sookie Stackhouse series. This one didn't disappoint me because it included almost every great character, each staying true to their form. The story was an interesting one while ended up an extremely dramatic, but not over-done note. I recommend it to all fans of the series and end with a burning question, how to really categorize this series? I'm leaving it as a mystery but that almost doesn't quite fit. I never agreed with the label of Fantasy for the Tanya Huff blood line series, which also included supes, but it's certainly not horror. Whatever the genre though, it's an excellent one....more
Being a fan of some paranormal fiction, especially those concerning vampires, I prefer my paranormal with more of a bite of horror than romance. UnforBeing a fan of some paranormal fiction, especially those concerning vampires, I prefer my paranormal with more of a bite of horror than romance. Unfortunately this one didn’t explore the horror aspect that greatly, but still worked out to be a satisfying read that, while not satisfying my blood-lust, sated my lust for hot and heavy vampire fiction.
The plot is involving enough, about a vampire hunter, Kyrian of Thrace, who gets tied to a woman, Amanda, who has a strong dislike for supernatural creatures. It doesn’t help that her sister is a Buffy slayer wanna be, driven by her own personal ignorance of the things that go bump in the night. Whether the sister would like to admit it or not, both her group and the vampire hunters are after the same person. Amanda and Kyrian feel that convenient and familiar tug toward each other, ending up together, but of course this is all peppered with the traditional reluctance of the once bitten, twice shy man.
Kyrian, of course, has had a bad past with women. As is usual in many novels, the betrayal has to be harsh – and harsh it certainly was. This convenient predictability is something I frown at in romance novels, but of course this formula is prevalent in nearly every love genre book out there. I can ignore the traits between novels if the story itself stands on its own two feet, with characters that offer something unique, and, naturally, steamy bedroom play. ;)
The pace keeps up – the wheels of events keep turning in motion, the romantic relationship and trust keep growing between Amanda and Kyrian, but not in the usual way. Instead of them not trusting each other after the initial night meeting, they always respect and admire each other. Usually there’s some sort of frustration toward something about the other person; I missed that not being included here. No one’s romance is this perfect; a bit of feist, with healthy exchanges of heated arguments, ultimately creates a relationship with more steam.
Issues aside, characters are convincing. Amanda has a cute sense of humor, Kyrian is blessed with sex appeal and strong morals, his friends are seductive and appealing as well, and Amanda’s quirky family brought a smile to my lips on more than one occasion. Poor gal! The ending exchange between two key characters hinted at something darker I never saw in the book – if that had been more explored, or will be later, I’ll be an even happier reader.
Kenyon’s writing style is cleverly easy on the brain – one word holds chemistry with the next. Her use of dialogue shines through, pulling the story through a lot of sticky situations.
Overall, this is a good, light read, but there’s not enough internal conflict between for the characters for my tastes. There are plenty of issues on the outside they have to overcome to end up together, but some more fire between the characters themselves would have added just enough to bring the story up to a four, possibly even a five. Also, I would have liked a bit more bite for my buck – more horror and darker sides from the players. Instead I something that stayed more in the vein of romance with some supernatural elements present – I prefer it the other way around for my tastes. This isn’t a fault of the book, though, so I don’t hold it against it – just personal preference.
If you’re a fan of p. romance, especially in the form of series, try this one on for size – it just may end up being another series that will demand your time, devotion, and $$$....more
The story of Rosemary's Baby has undoubtedly been heard of around most of the world. Rosemary is a young housewife who begins to suspect her neighborsThe story of Rosemary's Baby has undoubtedly been heard of around most of the world. Rosemary is a young housewife who begins to suspect her neighbors of witchcraft, wanting her unborn child for some sort of satanic ritual. If only she knew the truth was much, much worse...
The plot is pretty simple when it all comes out, but during the book the reader is given the impression it is not so straightforward. Around every corner a new doubt leaks into Rosemary's mind; different arrows point at different conspiracies that may or may not present.
And then, of course, there is always the question of whether or not it's simply the case of poor Rosemary losing her mind.
Ira Levin effectively stirs up an ideal sense of mood; isolation for the young pregnant woman in a constant upheaval of confusion; the feeling of being trapped as it seems no one believes her in the big bad world, and even the loved ones she has always trusted come into doubt. There are plenty of suspenseful moments throughout the novel, although not heart-stopping. The story moves at a quieter and more peaceful pace than many modern day horror tales, only to come around and unexpectantly bite you in the rear during the second half.
Rosemary, a typical housewife of the times, and her husband Guy Woodhouse, an aspiring actor waiting for his big break, make interesting characters the reader can relate to. The nosy neighbors are intrusive, but they're also not too different from many odd couples that live next door. All characters are explored in depth, giving us a sense of eerie reality, while the tale of horror is told only through the eyes of the main character. The pace of Rosemary's Baby is a bit slow but it doesn't deter from its purpose -- to horrify.
I recommend giving the book a try if you can get your hands on a copy, for while it is very similar to the film version, reading about darkness and deception instead of simply "viewing" it can implant powerful stories even further in our minds.
Here’s the book that started it all - King’s beginning climb to literary fame and library glory. Carrie is a 245 page book, almost a novella instead oHere’s the book that started it all - King’s beginning climb to literary fame and library glory. Carrie is a 245 page book, almost a novella instead of a novel, telling the story of a young adolescent bombarded with the verbal torture and cruel tactics of fellow peers, not to mention religious corruption and abuse from her mother. But instead of being just another teen weighed down by the miseries of the world, Carrie has a gift, a unique one that enables her to move objects by using the power of her mind.
The plot for Carrie is a good one; it’s fascinating, revenge filled, and satisfies all the old hatred in any one who’s been victimized in high school. I have no objection to the story itself, for it is a story filled with dysfunction, social torture, mental isolation and torment, all real horrors people face on a daily basis. It also deals with the fascinating, rare gift of telekinesis. King really invested big when he brought up this power in Carrie and the power of pyrokinesis in Firestarter.
However, a good plot does make a good book. To be frank, direct, and brutally honest: I found Carrie to be boring as sin. Not because of the story, no, and not because of characters, although they weren’t up to par in every way either, but because of the method it was told.
King almost constantly interjected into the story with passages from fiction works such as newspaper articles, books, and interrogations. These were to come after the disaster with the prom, when the story was publicized and Carrie White was made famous. From the start the reader gathers what eventually happens and that Carrie herself is dead. The reader even knows that the real protagonist of the story, Sue Snell, remains alive, for excerpts from her book, which occur after and as a result of the incident, are peppered in the story.
King puts these passages in so often, literally every second to third page, that I couldn’t stay focused on reading. This method, while a unique one (and I applaud him for being gutsy and trying that), had the side effect of bringing me out of the story often and remind me that I was reading.
Because of this detached, narrative method of telling the events, I never came to care much about the characters of the events, feeling like someone who gets told a story by a second party after already knowing what happens and is just enduring it to be polite.
The characters are well written to a degree; Kings evident talent of bringing paper people to life is already showing. However, I stayed distant from them for the above mentioned reasons. Carrie’s motivation at the end toward her mother shouldn’t have come as such a surprise, since being in a characters head, we should know such things.
Kings writing shines in works such as The Stand, Pet Semetary, and The Shining. Here, though, it came across stiff and lacking in detail he later becomes famous for. While his wording can’t be faulted, there were some things that irked me.
As one example, King would utilize the little parenthesis internal dialogue he’s so fond of. I disliked when he did it here, though, because it was all run on and lowercase, and usually the internal thoughts were more annoying than dramatic.
(mommy i want my mommy where is my mommy)
See how that would get old after awhile?
I read Carrie years ago when I was a young reader. I remembered not being impressed. I thought that, since I was less mature then, that maybe I would appreciate it more now. I was wrong. It’s still the same as I remember it ¬ flat and basically un-enjoyable, much like Carrie must have felt when pig blood was dumped on her head.
There were good things, of course. I loved how he focused on the menstrual blood and explored through works how this probably incited the full strength of her power. I also love the ending and the realization Sue Snell has about menstrual blood after Carrie White’s death. It was clever to include this, and hints at greatness to come in some of King’s other efforts.
In short, Carrie just doesn’t have much heart. This, folks, doesn’t make a good book. No matter how famous the author is now, or that this book brought him into the limelight, or that DePalma made it into an incredible movie. It’s rare to hear this, but I recommend the movie instead....more
Being a sucker for apocalyptic stories, I always felt an emptiness never having read Swan’s Song. Finally, faced with it once again at the bookstore,Being a sucker for apocalyptic stories, I always felt an emptiness never having read Swan’s Song. Finally, faced with it once again at the bookstore, I finally caved in and started it within days, eager for some morbid thrills and end of the world depression.
First off, the novel is alive with strong characters – from the intriguing, kind hearted Swan; the hermit you have to love, Paul; the determined, previously homeless Sister; the warped, demented Roland; the power hungry, self centered Colonel Mackley, and the rest, it’s easy to drown in their personal lives and trials. The rich characterization is a giant leap from what could have been a more mediocre book to what it turned out as. I cared about nearly everyone and, for a change, almost all of his or her back-stories. Usually I become more involved with one character’s plight more than another’s, causing me to start feeling antsy when too much time passes where they’re not mentioned in detail. Here I enjoyed all the subplots, something that’s unusual for me, but another sign of the book’s power.
The pace for a novel of this size is ideal. Around the same page size as the Stand, the pace is swift and something’s always going on both behind the lines and on the current page. Almost constantly there’s something going down that involves the main plot and something intimate to each character involved. The beginning shows needed character description while setting up the right mood – from the presidents’ guilt and indecision, to the little girls’ abusive situation, to Roland’s morbid fascination with the underground ‘cave’. Then, finally, the blow hits and all is chaotic from there. This is a bomb that blew up from the get go, not from smoke, then a fizzle, followed by as slow burning. The ending was a great wrap up with loss, irony, and peace too – a nice morbid mixture that manages to leave the reader with the empty feeling they love, but the happy, warm one as well.
In terms of plot, bravo! Having the two internal armies against each other and all fighting for survival (for different reasons) worked well. I especially enjoyed the little unique tidbits about the group of people stealing from the dead and the strange disease names. It all created a sense of more realistic tragedy than would have existed otherwise. The motivations of the villains wasn’t what I would have expected if I were plotting the story or thinking it out myself – a true side of human nature that hasn’t been explored enough.
McCammon’s writing style is admirable; his words flow together in rich prose, easy to understand, the right words chosen to draw the right picture. Multiple POV is used, which is almost mandatory for a novel of this size and direction.
Why a four rating instead of a five? The book, while excellent and highly recommended, just wasn’t as interesting as other apocalyptic novels I have read – The Stand and Strangers worked a little bit better for that. It’s a great story, a powerfully written one, but it’s slightly more lukewarm when held up against other novels of it’s breed.
Despite that, though, one can never delve into enough apocalyptic warfare tales. Pick it up immediately to rid yourself of your own empty feeling....more
Not many minds can come up with the twisted worlds Clive Barker does. The plot for the Hellbound Heart is a creative, freaky version of Hell. The undeNot many minds can come up with the twisted worlds Clive Barker does. The plot for the Hellbound Heart is a creative, freaky version of Hell. The underlying theme is the fine lines between pleasure and pain, the greed and desperation of mankind to always seek what is beyond its reach and out of this world. But, besides all that, it is in a way a demented, twisted, dark, fairy-tale like love story. It focuses on a woman who believes she is in love with her husband’s brother, and would do anything to reclaim that passionate night she once held with him.
The story is as much fantasy as it is horror, with a bit of realism intertwined. (yikes) Dark, stiff, matter-of-fact. The cenobites are not main characters per se, merely tools. Nothing much is revealed on them other than the fact that they work with simple rules to play the darkest game imaginable. Julia is shown as an uptight woman ruled by secret desires she eventually kills for. Kirsty is hampered by unmet excitement in her life, wanting a man who doesn’t care for her in the same way, then being slapped in the face by something she never wanted nor asked to see. Frank is a man who has always been searching for things beyond this world, never happy with something he can easily put his hands on. Rory is a loving man, simple and not adequate for Julia’s tastes, clueless to what she really feels for him. In a way he is the saddest victim of the novel, reminding me of many people walking around today and being used. The pace is even; this novella has a lot to cover in a relatively small amount of time. Barker goes for the jugular from the first page with summaries of pain, ending with a hopeless sort of ending that doesn’t make one want to sleep well at night.
I always thought that Barker’s style seemed to a change a bit depending on what he was writing. If you read various short stories in the books of blood, you may see what I mean. His writing mildly changes to fit what he’s penciling out, and that’s a good trait. For the Hellbound Heart, his words are devoid of any humor or light. He’s to the point, crisp and short. As always he uses advanced vocabulary, although he doesn’t get as carried away as some of his other works. Many of the words he used to paint imagery/scenes are almost artistic in the way they’re phrased.
The Hellbound Heart carries much of the same weight as the film Hellraiser, but it lacks some magic. The story is a good one, a haunting one, but it’s not something that stands out too much.
The story is different for sure, the characters are realistic (although not that enjoyable), and the ending was exciting. I believe if I had seen the movie after the book, my opinion may be different. There wasn’t the big fight and brawl at the end like in the film; I thought more could have been added there. It just ended up being too short, too wrapped up for my tastes. Kirstys’ climax was strong but because of the timing of her discovery, to the last page, it wasn’t long lasting. I would have loved seeing this as a fleshed out novel.
Even if this isn’t the best book out there, the idea is sensational, the writing superb, the moral lesson clear. I think every horror fan owes it to themselves to read this book....more
I was overjoyed to hear that Leisure was releasing Ketchum's The Girl Next Door. I had heard great praise for this one and felt more that eager to givI was overjoyed to hear that Leisure was releasing Ketchum's The Girl Next Door. I had heard great praise for this one and felt more that eager to give Jack another chance to dazzle me after the good, but dismissal, She Wakes. Did this one stir the fires and make me hot for more of this authors work? Read on to find out!
First of all, the plot. The plot is different. Daring, yeah Ill give call it daring. Definitely. Addicting? Strangely, yeah, it was easy to get into the book and stay with it. But good? Not sure on that. Most of the book focuses on the very real issues of child abuse and do I mean severe!!! Was it hard to wade through? Hell, yeah! Now I'm all for dark and horror-ridden. I know that this is real life kind of stuff and that horror doesn't have to be about slashing and slaying to be horror, but that doesn't mean that abuse upon horrid abuse to a child is enjoyable to read.
If you want shock, you got it here, and for a cheap price. Very graphic stuff here, and very sad. Its certainly an emotional book that doesn't let up ever. Don't come here for happy endings.
Some of the messages in the book are important. Its apparent that what is happening to the children is horrid, and that monsters can be made instead of just born. I found the relationship, the secret club of the kids, simply fascinating. Ketchum explored suburbia like not many authors have before, and for this I thank you. Dark stuff here that people don't always realize is right under their noses before its too late and someone has to come up to them and actually beat the sense into them.
Characters seem real but many of their actions are not explained. Interior dialogue of the main character, David, is sometimes only briefly touched upon and then quickly dashed over again. This may have been done to help with pacing, but there were times when I would have enjoyed seeing more through the little guys head. As for the sisters, though, Ketchum did an admirable job of showing their bond and how very strong it really was. Touching, sweet, endearing.
The writing style is clear and easily read. Ketchum is obviously a master behind the keyboard and should be assigned a badge saying, good writing talent. The atmosphere is uber depressing, filling the air with the geez, this is just so wrong kind of vibes.
On the bad side, to me the book took too long to get to the plot. The pacing was hurt a bit by this; the first few chapters could have been sped up nicely to deliver a more solid punch. The ending was a fitting one, grippingly sad and certainly one I wont be forgetting any time soon.
If you have a strong stomach, check this one out for sure. Its daring, different, but disturbing as hell and not for those who want something fast paced. ...more
Dr. Christopher was an amazing pioneer in herbal medicine. The thick, lengthy book will never leave the wo(also posted on my site The Paperback Stash)
Dr. Christopher was an amazing pioneer in herbal medicine. The thick, lengthy book will never leave the wondering mind hungry, delving deeply into a variety of herbs with insightful personal usage, history, and formulas. The book begins with paragraphs under different conditions, but the heart of the book is the herbal details, where Christopher clearly expresses his love, admiration, and faith in natural medicine. He cites other herbalists such as Thomson and Shook, following in the same vein of thought as Eclectics before him, stretching it even further with personal opinions and sage advise. While some of the output is slightly dated, most of it is not, still stands as true today, and will always be invaluable information.
If you're ever seeking a reference guide for herbs, this is surely the one, as Christopher goes as far as to describe in a detailed, eye-catching way the habitat, full description from leaf to odor to flower to taste to stem, to properties, dose, preparation, therapeutic action, oral/anal/skin administration of all. So many herbs are covered in such rich detail it's impossible not to use this as a guide when learning a new herb. As many Eclectics were, Christopher was a big fan of the herb Lobelia, devoting here an entire chapter on it alone. However, the old "puke your brains out" use is now considered unsafe and outdated, but some of the herbs recommendations still stand strong today.
After the massive herbal index is read, there's a marvelous chapter on collecting herbs, preparing them in a huge amount of way, from tinctures to compounds to cerates to suppositories to pills to capsules to washes and baths, and much more.
Formulas are here in every chapter, from older ones passed down from other great herbalists to lesser knowns, from Christopher himself and what he used in his personal practice, and from general herbal combinations that go under each herb in its own section. He wraps up the book with two great glossaries, and a chapter exclusively discussing his 'mucusless diet', an eating regimen still followed actively to this day. Of course the preceeding chapter brings up the regenerative diet, dietary recommendations on certain food substances, proper ways of living besides herbal therapy, and some deliciously appealing culinary recipes to whip up in the kitchen for a healthful treat.
Out of the dozens of herbal books I own, this is one of those I turn to the most, for the knowledge in here is thrilling, and the knowledge almost overwhelming since it covers so much. Well worth the price, Dr. Christopher's name is a household one among herbalists for a good reason....more