Another classic that I wanted to read due to my interest in classic horror movies and stories.
Nice to see that the original story takes a simple ideaAnother classic that I wanted to read due to my interest in classic horror movies and stories.
Nice to see that the original story takes a simple idea and only elaborates it enough to make it novella sized, not a massive bloating volume as most modern authors would do. I think everyone knows the basic premise of this story. Dr Jekyll makes a drug that transforms him onto Mr Hyde, a creature emphasizing all the base instincts. Unfortunately he finds it ever more difficult to reverse the process and turn back into Dr Jekyll.
As with many stories of this type, the older movies due justice to the story much better than the later ones. Having said that, there are no significant female characters in the story, so in that regard the movies all contain significant embellishments....more
As with 'Needfull Things', King narrates this audio book himself. It also has accent music between chapters and at relevant points during the story. SAs with 'Needfull Things', King narrates this audio book himself. It also has accent music between chapters and at relevant points during the story. Some of the music has lyrics that complement the story extremely well and it came as no surprise to discover that King wrote those too.
This is a classic ghost story with a restless spirit. To say anymore than that would be giving away some of the plot. Like many classic King stories this starts out with a seemingly normal Maine town with everyone going about their business and leading a regular life. Then strange things start to happen. If you've read any King books then you know how this goes. One thing about this one though, there were a couple of major twists that left me wondering which direction the story was going.
I wouldn't say this was one of King's best, but I have never read anything of his that I didn't like. Once you get into the story it's hard to put down.
Note: I had this on physical CDs and found that the CD set contains an additional 30 minute interview with Stephen King. If you get it from Audible this interview costs an additional $4.38....more
For anyone who doesn't know, Joe Hill is the pen name of one of Stephen King's sons. As such, I was very interested to read one of his books and do thFor anyone who doesn't know, Joe Hill is the pen name of one of Stephen King's sons. As such, I was very interested to read one of his books and do the inevitable comparison with his father.
All and all I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It has a few similarities with his fathers style, it's long and has some very well created and detailed characters. In this book, the 'weirdness' hit's you right at the beginning rather than gradually creep in like most of his fathers books. Most of the book covers how the initial weird goings on relate to the central characters lives as they grow older and become less inclined to believe in the things they did as children. As Joe Hill says in the authors note, it's a child's loss if innocence story on steroids. Of course, things catch up to them in the end forcing them to believe once more.
It's got all you would expect in a book of this kind. Supernatural goings on, a very creepy villain and his even creepier sidekick. An ancient guy telling the kids to get in his car so he can take them to Christmas Land to and meet the gas mask man - how ominous that sounds right off the bat.
While I was reading this I got a bit of WTM moment. During this book, there's a common theme of people hearing Christmas music whenever the bad guy is around. I was reading this book out on my patio and was enjoying one of these sections. After a few minutes I realized that the music was not just in my head, I was actually hearing it - in sunny CA in March. It turned out that 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer' was coming from an ice cream truck driving through the neighborhood. But, for a minute I was totally freaked out with real life mimicking what I was reading!
In addition I should mention that the audio book is narrated be Kate Mulgrew, and she does a phenomenal job. Her inflections, tone, voices and characterizations are simply outstanding. In fact this book was an audie award nominee. ...more
Reading this book was a bitter sweet experience for me. The prose and style was everything I expect from a Lovecraft story and it's good to read sometReading this book was a bitter sweet experience for me. The prose and style was everything I expect from a Lovecraft story and it's good to read something a little different to the usual Cthulhu tales. The bad part of this for me is that I really wish I had read this years ago. One of my best friends ran a role playing campaign set in the Dreamlands, on and off, for about a decade. During all that time I never thought to read these stories. Sadly, Mac passed away a few years ago, leaving a gap in the lives of everyone who gamed with him over the years:(
'The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath' is by far the most important story here. It covers the adventurous exploration of the Dream Lands by Randolph Carter. Carter also features in several of the other stories and is a common character who ties a lot of the tales together. The comparatively long story 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' only contains a single reference to Carter, otherwise the story is very Cthulhu rather than Dream Lands. I guess the single reference warranties it's inclusion here for completeness.
One other thing that struck me was Lovecraft's descriptions of other dimensions, they actually hold up very well compared to modern theories of the universe.
A great read for Lovecraft fans, but not an easy read by any means. Some of Lovecraft's prose wanders off on strange surreal tangents at times. While reading this I found myself comparing it with Jeff VanderMeer's 'Annihilation' that I read earlier in the year. At the time I wasn't sure if my 2 star ration of 'Annihilation' was too harsh. Comparing it with Lovecraft, no 2 stars was not harsh. It's rubbish in comparison. ...more
Occult horror type of book by someone who knows what they are talking about. (My mother has a set of these red leather bound volumes. Very nice and alsOccult horror type of book by someone who knows what they are talking about. (My mother has a set of these red leather bound volumes. Very nice and also quite rare.)...more
I put this review on hold for a few weeks as it was a book club pick and I didn't want other people reading the spoilers. Now it's time for a rant.. uI put this review on hold for a few weeks as it was a book club pick and I didn't want other people reading the spoilers. Now it's time for a rant.. um I mean review:)
Most descriptions of this book seem to associate it with a sort of Lovecraft theme/feel. For the most part this is correct. There is lots of weirdness going on that gives an odd uneasy feeling throughout. The characters do not have much idea what is going on, and neither does the reader. This has it's good and bad points, it keeps you wondering but some readers obviously find it unrewarding. Another very big plus is that the book is less that 200 pages long.
Unfortunate this came off to me as a book written by someone with obvious literary skill, but no real interest value. Within about the first 15 pages I did a face palm. One of the characters is a surveyor, but she was not have a compass because they couldn't bring 'advanced' technology. But the biologist could have a microscope and another an assault rifle! Note to author, making a compass is easy. Then a couple of pages further on the surveyor determines that the 'tower' was almost facing magnetic north. Hmm.. how did she accurately figure that out without a compass. The biologist also sticks her nose right up close to a potentially dangerous fungus.. way to go, good training.
The four characters are just superficial and spent more time concerned about each other than area-X. Most of their distrust and interaction was stuff that would be weeded it out when they were formed into a team and trained. As for Area-X, it's interesting as far as it goes, but my response would be.. 'nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure'.
There is some Lovecraft feel here, but ultimately VanderMeer blows it in the end. For the most part Lovecraft's creepiness comes from 'indescribable horrors', emphasis on the first word.
EDIT: I just realized why some of this books seemed familiar. All the psychological drama and creepiness caused by the environment is very similar to Solaris....more
This classic has a the kind of storyline that we have come to identify with Stephen King, so it could be that this was an influence on his work. EveryThis classic has a the kind of storyline that we have come to identify with Stephen King, so it could be that this was an influence on his work. Everything starts out with everything being perfectly normal, then oddities start to creep in up until the books conclusion.
It's been many, many years since I last saw the movie so I was a little surprised how the book ended. A rewatch of the film is in order to see if it ended the same way.
My only real criticism was the way they handled the baby after birth. If you wanted to keep it secret the last place you would try and stash a screaming baby is next door to the people you are trying to keep it secret from....more
Not bad but not as good as the other King books I have read. Much better than the movie made of it, but still not very convincing in parts. I find thaNot bad but not as good as the other King books I have read. Much better than the movie made of it, but still not very convincing in parts. I find that to be Kings great strength, he gradually builds up and eventually has you believing in the impossible....more
One day I came across a category on Amazon called 'Bizarro Fiction'. When I mentioned it to a friend he told me he had one of those books and would s One day I came across a category on Amazon called 'Bizarro Fiction'. When I mentioned it to a friend he told me he had one of those books and would send it to me. I guess when someone gives you a 170 page book and tells you they couldn't finish it's a red flag right there. Well, I went ahead and read it anyhow. Probably wish I hadn't as it was a VERY weird horror book that made me think a Quentin Tarantino making a gore flick with a shoestring budget. There is more gore, slaughter and downright weird and gross stuff in this thin book that anything else I have ever read. Okay, I have sampled the Bizzaro fiction genre and feel no need to ever return to it. ...more