I've read a few books by Neil Gaiman, this one seems to be lacking what makes his work great. There's some good stuff here, hidden behind stuff I don'...moreI've read a few books by Neil Gaiman, this one seems to be lacking what makes his work great. There's some good stuff here, hidden behind stuff I don't like so much.(less)
H.P. Lovecraft is not a name remembered as well as it ought to be His nightmare worthy tales of the supernatural and the other worldly do not incite f...moreH.P. Lovecraft is not a name remembered as well as it ought to be His nightmare worthy tales of the supernatural and the other worldly do not incite fright and dread as often as they should. Joyce Carol Oates attempts to correct the Lovecraft deficity with her 1997 collection of Lovecraft stories.
To any unfamiliar with H.P. Lovecraft’s work, know that any comparison to a certain gothic American author of the 19th century is unwarranted. Lovecraft sets himself apart from his elder gothic fathers by creating and dwelling in his own dark world where he is the mystical preacher of creatures that inhabit stories which are only whispers from the mouths of daemons. Unlike that OTHER writer who continuously mourns the loss of his cousin/lover Lovecraft implants fear and dread of the unknown as well as subjects often overlooked as small town folklore.
This collection of Lovecraft tales gathered by J.C. Oates holds some of the greatest evils of the world. The dreadful frights of the Necronomicon, the Old Ones of Cthulhu, the Shoggoths -creations of the Elder Things of the Antarctica and more are featured here as well as the wonderful pillar of higher education, Miskatonic University. J.C. Oates does a decent job at picking out popular stories from the Cthulhu Mythos and a limited amount from Lovecraft’s Macabre Era while avoiding the trashy likes of stories like “The Street”. Yet in all her editorial greatness J.C. Oates fails to provide a taste of the often over looked Dream Cycle Stories.
Lovecraft’s writing is superb and dark, but the collection touches only on the most popular works of Lovecraft. All who seek more light in the darkness of life should use this collection as just an electric torch in the cave of greater knowledge, dread and understanding. (less)
Growing up P.Z.B., as a writer, meant so much to me. Her dark, twisted, and aching characters filled my head as if they were people in the real world...moreGrowing up P.Z.B., as a writer, meant so much to me. Her dark, twisted, and aching characters filled my head as if they were people in the real world –stories from a darker part of the world that if I looked hard enough on the fringes of society I could find.
I’m twenty-five now, an old man by my standards, and I find myself rereading P.Z.B. books looking for that key to the darker world. The key to the place where I feel like I truly fit in.
At twenty-five I see P.Z.B.’s characters as childish, youthful to a fault, aching trite. The world I once thought was just on the edge of mine is, in fact, not real. It’s a cheap ghost –a movie projected on the wall within my mind.
Drawing Blood is the final strands of that ghost being whisked away by time and experience. I feel so little for Trevor and Zach’s tragically opposite gothic personalities. If anything I fell for the other characters in P.Z.B.’s return to Missing Mile, I feel for Kinsey and Terry and the shells of Ghost and Steve because they represent the real world. The supporting characters of Drawing Blood (and to some extent Lost Souls) represent real life. They come to represent the boring, bitter, repetitive world where the magic really doesn’t exist, where the ghosts of my past do not come to haunt me where life isn’t as dark as I want it to be.
Drawing Blood takes the haunted house concept and mutates it to a personal story of a haunted past ripe with sex (of all types), drugs, rock and roll and a little bit of (80s) nerdy technology.
Read this book if you’re under twenty-five, unafraid of gay sex, and long for a world where we are the lead characters in our own Southern Gothic epic. (less)
I love Caitlin R. Kiernan’s writing voice. There’s something about her work that grabs me, draws me in and wont let go. The Red Tree is chocked full o...moreI love Caitlin R. Kiernan’s writing voice. There’s something about her work that grabs me, draws me in and wont let go. The Red Tree is chocked full of literary allusions and references reminiscent of a caffeinated Neil Gaiman and radiates with the glow of Lovecraft-ian historic back story.
I really enjoyed The Red Tree, the first half had me double checking the locks on my door and looking under the bed. The second half, well, I wasn’t into as much. When I finished the book I had to go back and read the preface and the last 10 pages because I thought I missed something. I immediately ran to the internet to see if I had, in fact, missed something.
I think the best way to decide if you will like The Red Tree is to leave you with a very helpful term coined by another Goodreads reviewer “Lynchian ambiguity” (Allison Floyd (less)
The “official sequel” to Dracula does everything you don’t want it to do. Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt remove the romantic, monstrous and gothic elements...moreThe “official sequel” to Dracula does everything you don’t want it to do. Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt remove the romantic, monstrous and gothic elements of Dracula and replace them with a detective story and a Dracula reminiscent of Louis from Interview with a Vampire . The changes in character personalities are so drastic that they can hardly even be. There is a weak vampire/Jack the Ripper tie in that could have been left out and the continuous need to inject historical elements into the story soiled it for me. It just seemed like a general ruining of the Dracula character to me and by a decedent no less!
If Dracula The Un-dead wasn’t an “official sequel” I would say it’s a pretty ohkaye book. (less)
I found Already Dead for free on the Stanza app for iphone. Already Dead reads like a free book, if not free it reads like something you would pick up...moreI found Already Dead for free on the Stanza app for iphone. Already Dead reads like a free book, if not free it reads like something you would pick up for the cool cover in the mystery/detective section of a used book store.
I believe the internet calls this style of writing “noir.” It’s a quick gritty style of writing with a PI type guy, that solves a problem you have figured out half way through, but only after he takes a beating you don’t believe anyone could take –vampire or not.
It’s a free book, I’d recommend it to my friends who don’t like to read a lot. (less)
Lost Souls is my favorite book. I’ve read the complete novel over ten different times and parts of it so many times that my favorite pages are falling...moreLost Souls is my favorite book. I’ve read the complete novel over ten different times and parts of it so many times that my favorite pages are falling out. I first read Lost Souls when I was about 15 years old, when the world was still Me VS. Them. I remember sitting in my boring freshmen classes blatantly not paying attention enthralled in what in this book. I never learned in school and Lost Souls presented so many new and exciting ideas vampirism, incest, homosexuality, abortions, rape, drugs, rock and roll. Although fictional, to a 15 year old outcast Lost Souls is an entry to the real world, to ideas and a life style that was to be desired and reached for.
Every year I press closer to my 30th year. I realize that Lost Souls no longer appeals to me as a reader, I’ve read it before, I’ve read the once novel elements elsewhere and in some cases even briefly engaged in similar actions. There’s nothing new in this novel anymore, not to me and not to most readers on this website. The topics such as angsty gothic teenagers have been done, over and over, but in ’92 or to a 15 year old, the ideas were and are still revolutionary. Lost Souls made, and continues to make, me feel like I am not alone in the world. Lost Souls shows me that there are other confused, angry people in the world. I recommend Lost Souls to the people closest to me hoping that they see what I saw, are inspired like I was, most don’t and aren’t. I think, most readers in their 20’s –or later will be beyond the topics and issues presented in the book and see it as cheap vampire fiction, which is ohkaye. To the readers under 20, lost or isolated in a world too small and too conformist Lost Souls presents, a temporary escape and a permanent change in view.
I love Lost Souls and recommend it to the angsty, the Goths, the Deathers and anyone else who tries to carry off a little darkness on their backs. (less)