This was the first Dark Shadows tie-in novel written by Dan Ross under the pen name "Marilyn Ross" (his wife's name was Marilyn).
In addition to beingThis was the first Dark Shadows tie-in novel written by Dan Ross under the pen name "Marilyn Ross" (his wife's name was Marilyn).
In addition to being an actor and a playwright, Ross wrote approximately 300 novels, and may be the most prolific Canadian author of all time. He churned out multiple series under different pen names in a variety of genres, including Gothic romances with titles like "Haunting of Fog Island," "Beware My Love!," and "Secret of the Pale Lover," so he was a natural to write a series of tie-ins with ABC's Gothic daytime soap opera, Dark Shadows.
This novel follows the framework established by the first six months or so of Dark Shadows, in which Victoria Winters leaves the foundling home in New York where she grew up to work as a governess in the remote mansion Collinwood (called "Collins House" in the novel). The members of the Collins clan are the same in the novel as the TV series, except for one major addition -- a violinist cousin named Ernest. (Remember, this was before the most famous Collins became a part of the series, the vampire Barnabas Collins.)
Unless you love cheapjack Gothic romances, there's probably no reason to read this novel unless you're a Dark Shadows fan. If you are a Dark Shadows fan, it's a quick, entertaining read. ...more
Surprisingly, this children's book is one of the best and most haunting noirs I have read in a long time.
A small-time thief, a little fish who has stoSurprisingly, this children's book is one of the best and most haunting noirs I have read in a long time.
A small-time thief, a little fish who has stolen a tiny hat from a big fish, swims away as the hand of inexorable fate moves closer and closer. The little fish anxiously engages in a chatty internal monologue, nervously telling itself that it will get away with this crime, that the big fish won't wake up anytime soon (as we see the big fish's eyes open), that the big fish won't notice its hat is missing for awhile (as we see the big fish's eyes look up to its head), and so on.
If you've ever seen a film noir in which a small-time sad sack tries to get away with murder and/or a large sum of money while fate and big-time criminals or the unstoppable forces of the law conspire to take down the sad sack, you'll recognize all of those elements in this book. You may or may not find the ending ambiguous. You may or may not find it chilling. I thought it was brilliant....more
I read this on the Web back when it was an unsolicited X-Files episode written by Thomas Ligotti. It's the best X-Files episode never filmed. LigottiI read this on the Web back when it was an unsolicited X-Files episode written by Thomas Ligotti. It's the best X-Files episode never filmed. Ligotti threw a lot of his own personal visions into the script, but he also managed to capture Scully and Mulder's unique voices in a lot of very funny dialogue. I was extremely impressed, and still picture it in my mind almost like an episode that I've really seen. Brilliant....more
My wife and daughter and I recently went on a long road trip, and we needed some audiobooks to keep us entertained. The second one we listened to wasMy wife and daughter and I recently went on a long road trip, and we needed some audiobooks to keep us entertained. The second one we listened to was "Hold Tight," by Harlan Coben, read by Scott Brick.
"Hold Tight" started out strong, with a number of intriguing plot elements and a few central mysteries that kept us involved. However, Coben's writing and plotting seemed to get lazier as the book went on, and the last several chapters felt like poorly constructed first drafts. Or an attempt to meet a deadline.
The pontifications on suburban life and the emotional tribulations of being a parent were all relatable, but not particularly interesting. However, my wife and I did get a big laugh out of the line, "Did you sic those Goths on me?"
My biggest problem was with Scott Brick, who read the audiobook. His narration was very good for the most part, but several supporting characters in "Hold Tight" are African-American, and Scott Brick's "blackcent" was so bad it was distracting....more
If you know anything about Daredevil, you know that he really came into his own as a character when Frank Miller took over writing the series.
I've reaIf you know anything about Daredevil, you know that he really came into his own as a character when Frank Miller took over writing the series.
I've read every issue of Daredevil leading up to this volume, and everything that makes him work as a character was already in place before Miller started penciling the series. There were good issues and bad issues before Miller got involved, but the formula was getting stale. Basically, there would always be a soap-opera subplot going on with blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Daredevil's alter ego), or with one of his romantic partners, or with his best friend and law partner Franklin "Foggy" Nelson. This subplot would string along for several issues, but each individual issue would be dominated by a colorful super-villain. Daredevil would do battle with this villain and crack wise like Spider-Man. That was about it.
The first half of this volume only showcases Miller's work as an artist. Roger McKenzie was still writing the series. Miller's first issue as both artist and writer is #168, and with that issue he ret-conned Elektra (the deadly Greek female assassin who is out to avenge her father's death) into Matt Murdock's life. Over the course of the next several issues, Miller created a dense criminal underworld with the Kingpin at its head and the vicious, psychopathic Bullseye as his most dangerous lieutenant. These issues are a joy to read. Plots and subplots are woven together seamlessly, and they have a great sense of griminess and nastiness, which suits the early 1980s NYC setting perfectly. ...more