So you know, I've been a Richard Laymon fan for 30 + yrs now, having gotten into him while searching for a list of books recommended by Stephen King while visiting The Dark Carnival, in Berkeley, CA, my favorite bookstore.
The handful of books I have by Mr. Laymon, I've read several times and thought they were good, some frighteningly good ~ with the exception of The Stake which I have tried to read a few times and it just never bit me hard enough to keep me craving for more.
So far, my favorite by him was Resurrection Dreams and if you like your horror with humor, you might just love it. Besides, it's about zombies...the best trendy thing since Halloween became a holiday.
His characters are always entertaining, in a head-shaking sort of way, and fun to watch what materializes for them on the road ahead.
...and to see what's just around that next corner.
His dialogue is fitting for the time & place, either steeped with dark humor or hellbent on making you laugh while you silently scream "NO!", and I believe no book of his could reach its end without a character or few being as naïve as feeder fish in a shark pool.
His stories are ripe with violence, blood red gore, full of sexual perversions, and horror galore.
One of many recent books that are part of a new style of genre fiction called, CTRL-ALT-LIT, which is basically, genre-mashup fiction.
An incredibly c...more One of many recent books that are part of a new style of genre fiction called, CTRL-ALT-LIT, which is basically, genre-mashup fiction.
An incredibly cool, put-together anthology with new spins on classic stories and characters you should well know.
From Alice In Wonderland, to Snow White, to Huckleberry Finn vs. Cthulhu, to Captain Ahab vs. the Wendigo, to Billy the Kid vs. Frankenstein, you meet up with a lot of familiar faces in memorable locations on some very strange and different adventures.
A couple of my favorites were by authors I've already been a fan of for decades: Joe R. Lansdale and his "Dread Island", a Huck Finn adventure-horror that combines Mark Twain's world with H.P. Lovecraft's, and is brilliant to say the least, and Nancy Collins "From Hell's Heart", in which Captain Ahab, alive years after his Moby Dick encounter, comes on shore to target the Tuunbaq-like Wendigo, which is my personal favorite amongst the 13 in this tome.
A couple of authors I didn't know, particulary, Sean Taylor, and his "Fairest Of Them All" where Alice in Wonderland and Snow White face the wicked Queen with a guest appearance by some of H.P. Lovecraft's "friends", is also memorable and a lot of fun.
All in all, a really great read though it shouldn't come as any surprise that you will probably have particular favorites over others. You may even dislike a few, as can be expected with an anthology of this sort, knowing that you must suspend a great deal of disbelief to enjoy the stories contained within.
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is simply one of the greatest horror novels ever written.
Taking place in 18th century, France, it begins with an inf...more
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is simply one of the greatest horror novels ever written.
Taking place in 18th century, France, it begins with an infant born with one difference from the rest of the world: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with the ability to smell anything and everything in the world around him.
Although not a novel of the supernatural as commonly defined, in a sense, it is, because his ability can only be defined as that of supernature.
While not being the most prolific author, Patrick Süskind, has made his permanent mark not only in horror and gothic fiction, but in the circles of high literature, as well.
More a modern descendant of Edgar Allan Poe or Robert Louis Stevenson and other great gothic writers of that period than to most writers working today, Perfume, is a unique, fresh, story of mystery, suspense, and madness.
For those of you tired of books you can see right through, anticipating where the storyline is going and how it's going to end, this is the book for you.
I can't imagine anyone figuring out the ending, or even trying to, because you wil be so caught up in the book, you will savour every page and description until the end.
It's really hard to find good modern gothic fiction, horror or otherwise, that's done with a literate touch from someone that conveys the feeling of actually being there inside a rich, period piece setting.
A book no one with literate reading interests should miss.
* I do like the cover to the more modern version of this book but, if you are a true book connoisseur like me, track down the 1987 September edition, 1st paperback printing by Pocket Books with the shiny red embossed lettering on a red & black book. It's just fantastic and reminds me of a combination of the artwork for the film, Amadeus (1984), the infamous murderer, Jack The Ripper, and to The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.
"In The Company Of Ogres" is the most fun I've had reading a fantasy book with humor in many years. I grew up reading Piers Anthony's "Xanth" books, T...more"In The Company Of Ogres" is the most fun I've had reading a fantasy book with humor in many years. I grew up reading Piers Anthony's "Xanth" books, Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series, and Mary Gentle's one-shot with "Grunts" and have always kept an eye out for upcoming fantasy humorists to win me over. Not many have and not many have come along since then. A. Lee Martinez is a born storyteller and I've read often how he has been compared to Pratchett and Anthony, though I don't agree, really. To me, his voice and style remind me more of IF Joe R. Lansdale were writing fantasy. I will probably be struck by a blue lightning bolt sent straight from one of the Gods out of the "AD&D Deities & Demigods" handbook for saying this, but, I like this book better than all of Pratchett's books, most of Anthony's and certainly more than Gentle's one attempt...and even some of Lansdale's stuff. Never Dead Ned, our "hero", is chosen to lead Ogre Company, which is the antithesis equivalent to LOTR The Fellowship or The Sword of Shannara's 'formation'. Only, in this case it is Ned's job to whip this company in to shape BEFORE their inevitable battles with the good peoples of the world. Instead of your wizard (or druid), elves, dwarves, rangers, halfling thieves, knights in shining armor, or manly barbarian-like warriors, Ned is appointed to discipline a motley crew of "evil" denizens including a two-headed ogre, an orc, a goblin, an Amazon warrior, a siren, and an Ent-like (or Treant-like) walking tree. This all leads to Never Dead Ned's destiny; Ned, who has "died" 49 times but can never stay dead, and his final confrontation with an all-powerful demon. Yes, it starts off slow and I almost had regrets thinking it wasn't my thing, but then, it casts a 9th level spell over you that won't allow you to put it down until after the extraordinarily, perfectly conceived ending, proving A. Lee Martinez is a new master in fantasy fiction. This book is for anyone and everyone who likes their fantasy set in a world complete with magic, fantasy creatures, and races they think they already know well, but told with a voice and imagination tired of cliche's and storylines you've heard too many times before. My highest recommendation.(less)
Umira the Accursed is a Triton. Tritons are a sea-dwelling race similar to mermaids/mermen.
*In Greek myths, Tritons are said to worship the sea God, Triton.
This story is about an ocean disturbance that draws Umira's attention to a ship above the waters, leading our hero into a confrontation with the captain and its crew, and eventually with the Megalodon itself.
It's a fast, simple, enjoyable, read and the perfect fix for die-hard fans of Dungeons and Dragons-type fantasy fiction, who always need to please their inner RPG geek. Like me!
I would have liked this story to have been longer, detailing more of Umira's history and life purpose.
I saw this book in the bookstore a couple of years ago and I thought it would not only be something I wanted to read, but something...more**spoiler alert**
I saw this book in the bookstore a couple of years ago and I thought it would not only be something I wanted to read, but something my two younger sisters would maybe like too.
So, for Christmas 2011, I bought several books for both of them and dallied out which one's I thought most fitting for their particular tastes - which is similar, but my youngest sister prefers a little humor in her fantasy while the older prefers a little more apparent literacy.
But then I read some reviews and I started thinking it might be more of a 'guy's book' and maybe not as great as I had originally hoped. So, I kept it for myself and when the time came, I picked it up to read. Even though it started off pretty hopeful, Simon R. Green's writing style was not only not what I was expecting but the humor I was anticipating wasn't either. I made my orginal assessment from the synopsis on the back of the book that reads:
"In those day, there were heroes and villains, and darkness walked the earth. There were dragons to be slain, captured princesses to be saved, and mighty deeds to be accomplished by knights in shining armor. Many tales are told of that time, tales of steadfast bravery and derring-do.... This is not one of them."
Which sounded awesome! and a serious stab at most high-profile fantasy books and serious fantasists, and right in line with my kind of fiction.
I must admit, I thought it's humor would be more outright.
Yes, it's true, we have Prince Rupert, 2nd son to the king and his snippety, sarcastic Unicorn steed so, I was prepared for some humor. I did chuckle a couple of times in the beginning but this wasn't Terry Pratchett or Piers Anthony. It wasn't British. It wasn't slapstick. It isn't tongue-in-cheek. It's not dark humor. And so I kept reading. And while it's true that I was pulled into the world Green had created, with situations very understandable, familiar and comfortable, I just wasn't sure if it was going to win me over completely. I had reservations and thought, "y'know...maybe it's a good thing I didn't give it to my sister". Funny enough, as the story progressed, what I thought might be heading towards a pretty good book with a couple of memorable situations, which would've merited it a 4 star, even dipped to a 3 star for a second. Luckily it was just for a second. The next thing I know, right about the time we entered the dragon's lair, the brilliance I had been naive to notice thus far completely gave me a full magical Unicorn kick-in-the-butt and thereafter I was completely enthralled and under it's spell for good. ALL the characters are great and many to remember.
On the outside it may seem a little bit like William Goldman & S. Morgenstern'sThe Princess Bride mixed with a little Xanth. Well it's not. It's entirely it's own book with it's own feel, it's own humor, a world that feels familiar but really isn't. Characters that you feel you know but I could never put a finger on who they specifically reminded me of. The story is witty, clever, exciting, action-packed, well-plotted, somewhat twisty, and even surprising. After the minor bumps I felt when first setting foot on this adventure, I fell in love with it all and now set my stamp of approval in demon ink and proclaim it a favorite book.
I know I will be reading this a couple more times down the road.
For those fantasy buffs out there that want to know what creatures they're getting into? You will like them. A Unicorn, a Dragon - no spoilers there..they're right on the cover! - Goblins, Demons, Wizards, and a whole slew of monsters to fill any Fiend Folio. Definitely a book any RPG fan would like. And you girls out there? We got one tough cookie in this one. You can sink your feet right into her boots - that's right, boots! - pick up a sword with the best of them, growl and bitch like any true princess should, and kick some F'n butt from here to the dark side...ahem, blue side of the moon.
It's got a fanciful world, full-on action, court intrigue (and not the boring kind!), magic swords (that's plural on swords!), and, I said Wizards, right? Yah. Them too. It makes for a captivating tale not to be forgotten, nor to be dismissed. And the Dragon? Well, let me say he doesn't exactly sit on a pile of gold. He has better interests than that, and more in line with my kind of treasure! For you Simon R. Green afficianado's - as if you didn't already know - herein lies the hint of a beginning to two of his characters found at the helm of his very popular series, The Adventures of Hawk and Fisher. It may be more for guys but I think a few tough girls will like it too.
And, Elspeth, how you gave this book only 2 stars is just weird.
*Also, check out the cool cover art to the editions I've shown. I know the first one is by Greg Call (designed by Ray Lundgren), and the second is by Richard Hescox, but the last two I'm not sure about.(less)
Basically, a Reality TV series crew embarks on a voyage for their "Scientific" TV show, only to get a distress call coming...more Now, THIS was a great book.
Basically, a Reality TV series crew embarks on a voyage for their "Scientific" TV show, only to get a distress call coming from the direction of an unexplored island, falling right in line with the hopes of one of its' scientist crew members who's been wanting to explore the island her whole life. Then all hell breaks loose.
Very Jurassic Park influenced minus actual dinosaurs.
It starts out in an older time period like many modern cryptozoological tech-thriller adventures, a fact, of which, I'm most certainly not complaining about. In fact, I love beginnings like this. Then it moves right into modern day.
What at first starts out cheesy, nearly immediately wins you over as it whirlwinds you into the action like a tornado. It pretty much never slows down except for some gripping theoretical discussions that are as outrageous as they are well researched.
But, uh, back to the lecture at hand. People run, people climb, people hide, and people die. And if you think that's a spoiler than you've obviously never read an adventure tech-thriller. Especially one that's giving it's nods to Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg.
We've got characters we root for, and characters we wish would get killed a-million-and-one times over in any horribly likeable fashion possible. And, as can be expected, we've got cool creatures. I'm only going to say that some of them are cooler and more surprising than you can imagine.
I absolutely loved this book. And though I don't see how newcomer Warren Fahy can top this one, I look forward to keeping tabs on any books coming out by him.
Any reviewers that say they didn't like this book must not like having fun or have no imagination whatsoever or even more likely, both.
Read this as soon as you're ready for a roller coaster ride into a Jurassic Park land of bugs instead of dinosaurs.
*Added note: If you're a book connoisseur like me, get either of the yellow-orange paperback editions with the title in embossed lettering (either orange or pink) with the cool art of a Mantis-looking leg on an ocean backdrop.
*Always try to support books with the better covers & packaging because publishers are getting lazier and spending less money on bringing full quality products to you not only for your reading pleasure but for your book collections too.(less)
Resurrection Dreams is the funniest most fun best book I ever read that helped add to the growing, gnawing, bone-crunching, lipsmacking interest in zo...more
Resurrection Dreams is the funniest most fun best book I ever read that helped add to the growing, gnawing, bone-crunching, lipsmacking interest in zombies that, by this point, has swept nearly everyone up into an uncontrollable off the heezy zombie frenzy, that forever changed the world we know, leaving in its' wake a land of apocalyptic death, ruin, and destruction. A world that will never be the same. EVER AGAIN.
Even a bad zombie book can be mildly entertaining.
A great zombie book though, like this one, can be re-read over and over and over again and be ravenously cherished forever.
Here's the back cover of the book in case you're one of those guys that actually need to to know the particulars of what a zombie book is about.
~ OK duh! It's about zombies! - Isn't that enough!? ~
The opening chapter pulled me in faster than a speeding bullet to the brain! I hungered for more and more and MORE, eating up every piece and every scrap until my eyes were as red as the eyes of the dead inside.
No sense in telling you about the plot, characters, or anything else beyond what was said in the synopsis. It's a zombie book, ya feel me!? But with this particular one, you cannot possibly go wrong in reading it. And in my best Men's Warehouse George Zimmer voice, I'm gonna say:
The Good news!?!? You have nothing to fear. He wrote many great books. ALL of them HORROR btw.
Even his lesser works are way beyond most horror writer's best.
Mattering on your topic of interest, you can mosey your way through all the book descriptions & pick out something you really want to delve into. The Best news yet? Even the books of his you don't think sound like your cup of tea probably are anyway.
*No doubt, Laymon's maturity level never advanced beyond the age of 13. His vaseline covered infatuation with boobs, teenage girls and sex is right in line with that weird always staring long-haired rocker dude that went to 'your school' who showed up nearly every day sporting his worn out Mötley CrüeGirlsGirlsGirls t-shirt while perpetually wagging his tongue & devil horns hand sign atcha ala Gene Simmons- everytime you accidentally looked him in the face.
But, none of that should detract from the pleasure you will have reading this or any of his other books.
I know I will be craving the need to re-read it again & again devouring it fresh every time I do.
Even to talk about the story at all would require me to rename it Spoiler Island.
If you need a reminder, or, have been living under a rock (hopefully not the latter!), here's the synopsis printed on the back cover.
I enjoyed the book and thought it was well written. Without a doubt, noticeably influenced by Poe and The Shining.
Suspenseful and mysterious with several captivating characters and a very appealing setting.
However, I have to say, before I was even 1/3 of the way through, I pulled a full on SherlockBanana and figured out 2 major plot ideas, spoiling most of the surprises it would've normally had in store for me.
Thankfully, it didn't ruin the reading experience, and if anything, it was kind of fun for me to use my theory to unravel any further mysteries branching from the main plot.
I happily plodded on, enjoying the build-up through to the the end.
Call me Mr. Braggart if you like, but, it was so easy for me to figure out, that, after I finished it, I had to read all the reviews just to see if any other readers were able to Sherlock it so.
I would have been disappointed if I had found many others.
I would have been disheartened if I had found any others.
I couldn't find one single reviewer that saw through it all. :)
Entertainment-wise it was nearly a 5. Predictability-wise it was at best a 3, and why I've rated it a 4 overall.
I haven't seen the movie and steered away from the previews when it came out, knowing I wanted to read the book first as soon as I could get my hands on it.
I recommend it and think for a book you could buy at the grocery store(!), like I did, you can't go wrong.