Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things…
And with this emotionally piercing sentence Joe Hill begins his second novel HIgnatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things…
And with this emotionally piercing sentence Joe Hill begins his second novel Horns; a near masterpiece that demonstrates a literary talent beyond genre fiction. If I was teaching a course on modern American literature I would include Both Horns and Heart Shaped Box, Joe Hill’s fabulous debut, on the class reading list. Neither novel should be missed, but Horns is by far the most sublime, superb horror novel I have read in quite awhile. It goes beyond the boundaries of fantastic fiction and plunges the reader deep into humanity’s emotional reality.
Horror is rarely supernatural. It is almost always part of the everyday waking reality that is our lives. The best horror reveals to the readers something deeply even desperately human about us. It shows what the church calls sin is really that which is most human about us. What we might be inclined to call evil, if not entirely good, is essential to our humanity. Horns is such a novel. Joe Hill has given his readers a thematically priceless story.
Iggy Perrish is a decent enough young man, although perhaps a little spiritually anemic, has his whole life ripped from him in the course of one terrible night. Accused of the brutal rape and murder of his girlfriend – a crime for which it is quite clear from the beginning he didn’t commit – we witness the increased isolation from those he once loved as Iggy slowly becomes the devil himself. We are reminded that our connections to each other are the very foundations of humanity itself. When we are denied this connection terrible things can happen.
The devil may not be the hero of this story, but he is not the worst character. In fact Iggy cum Satanic entity is not really evil at all, but simply a foil that reveals the full humanity of each person he encounters. Iggy learns that we may never get what we truly want, but life has a way of giving us just what we need if we are willing to take it. ...more
The second title in the Harper Connelly series proves that Charlene Harris may be one of the most prolific novelists currently writing. The series jusThe second title in the Harper Connelly series proves that Charlene Harris may be one of the most prolific novelists currently writing. The series just keeps getting better. If you love your cozy mysteries with a touch of the supernatural, but not so much it overpowers the story, you will enjoy this series. Great character development...more
Charlene Harris is an unexpected delight. Having burned out on the whole vampire genre I’ve not bothered with the Sookie Stackhouse novels, figuring sCharlene Harris is an unexpected delight. Having burned out on the whole vampire genre I’ve not bothered with the Sookie Stackhouse novels, figuring she was writing for a specific audience. That wasn’t me. However, it turns out that Ms. Harris is a rather prolific novelist with much more to offer readers that Bill the Vampire.
The adventures of Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver Lang will thrill you. Grave Sight is just plain fun. Charlene Harris is a great storyteller. You will soon fall in love with Harper. ...more
Seeking Spirits disappointed me. I expected more from the co-founders of TAPS who come across on their T.V. show, at least, as being rational debunkerSeeking Spirits disappointed me. I expected more from the co-founders of TAPS who come across on their T.V. show, at least, as being rational debunkers. To the credit of this ghost hunting duo they believe that most supernatural experiences are rare. Their cases are filled with rather prosaic solutions such as unshielded electrical wiring or loose plumbing. The reader can be forgiven their expectation of a more scientific approach, even if the subject matter eludes use of the scientific methods and easily replicated tests.
However, that doesn’t represent the majority of the cases presented in this book. The book exposes a side that you don’t see often on their SyFy television series. This book relies less on EMF detectors and infrared cameras and more on folk demonology and EVP, which can be quite convincing if you witness it for yourself. My hearing is so bad that I can never make it out. I don’t hear any words until I’m told what to expect. Then I hear it just fine. As anybody with a middle school education in science will tell you that makes my “witness” not only unreliable, but it has to be dismissed.
The easily debunked cases are included, but so are many that defy reason and strain the boundaries of credulity. Stories of pre-teen girls conjuring up angry spirits with Ouija boards and demonic possessions and such, which is the nonsense I would expect from Lorraine Warren and her late husband Ed.
Many of the cases shared in this compendium involve a priest or religious expert who uses the technique of religious provocation to incite the angry spirits to leave a location. None of the stories report a full on ritual of exorcism and should the TAPS team ever encounter such a situation the reader hopes a psychiatric consult is the result.
The book is written at the sixth grade level in a folksy, hanging out around the camp fire demeanor that makes it entertaining in places. Additionally, for the beginning paranormal investigator they provide tips and techniques in between some of the cases as well as a glossary of paranormal tips. Final summation: disappointing, but at least fun enough to stick with. You can browse through it in an afternoon or by campfire if you prefer. ...more
KABOOM! The Sixth Station is an incendiary thriller written with taut journalistic prose like only a journalist such as Linda Stasi could write. I lovKABOOM! The Sixth Station is an incendiary thriller written with taut journalistic prose like only a journalist such as Linda Stasi could write. I love conspiracy theories and alternative history thrillers and The Six Station has it all and, to put the cherry neatly on the top, my favorite group of heretics – the Cathars – figure nicely into this mildly intricate plot. The Six Station isn’t quite on par with Steve Berry, but it’s far better than Dan Brown ever thought to plagiarize.
Ray Bradbury calls The Exorcist a great love story and expresses envy wishing he had written it. I have always wanted to read what many consider WilliRay Bradbury calls The Exorcist a great love story and expresses envy wishing he had written it. I have always wanted to read what many consider William Peter Blatty’s best work in his long career, but have put it off. Headaches, superstition and the threat of hysterical blindness have always prevented me from indulging my love of horrific superstition and have kept the allure of it alive as well.
It was Bradbury’s description of The Exorcist as a love story that pushed me to finally reading it. I was intrigued to see what he could possibly mean. Being a fan of the movie – Blatty wrote the screenplay and received an Academy Award for it – my experience did not feel like love. In fact, relief and exhaustion by film’s end is what I feel almost every time I view it.
William Peter Blatty is a superb writer. This book can and should be read as a literary work as much as popular fiction. His sentence structure is often near perfect and his language so evocative at points it reads like prose poetry. It is hard to read this story without being deeply moved emotionally by it. By the last word you will see The Exorcist as not just a mere horror novel supposedly based on a true story, but see it as a love story. The love of a mother; the love of two lonely priests who put their lives and souls on the line for a young girl and how human weakness is often prevailing strength in the face of what we can only describe as evil. ...more
Now that I started in the middle of this trilogy, I'm going to go back and start from the beginning with Ghost Road Blues. The story is strong and creNow that I started in the middle of this trilogy, I'm going to go back and start from the beginning with Ghost Road Blues. The story is strong and creepy. It's also wonderful that I was able to pick up Dead Man's Song and get deeply involved before realizing that there was a previous book. While not quite a stand alone, Maberry's atmospheric storytelling made it possible to get involved without feeling like I'm missing essential back story or prior information.
This is worth checking out. However, start with the first book. ...more
Neil Gaiman, like his Lettie Hempstock, speaks the language of shaping. That is to say, Gaiman seems a literary Genus Loci of mythos-making. In our hyNeil Gaiman, like his Lettie Hempstock, speaks the language of shaping. That is to say, Gaiman seems a literary Genus Loci of mythos-making. In our hyper post modern age Gaiman is more than just a writer of surreal fantasies and supernatural wonders. He keeps his reader connected to the metaphysical reality just below our conscious minds and helps us bring it out into the open. I am often tempted to compare him to his fellow countryman, Clive Barker, but beyond the metaphysical reality of their fiction the comparisons rightly end. I love Barker, but need Gaiman to thrive in my advancing middle age.
The Ocean at The End of the Lane returned me to the magical reality of my childhood where the forces of light, strange and often impossible to understand, stood against the monsters hiding in the fields of my neighborhood, hidden from the busy and bustle of suburban life, living under rocks and in my closet and dark crawlspaces.
There was actually a pond at the end of our cul-de-sac that grew in size within my imagination. I even recall battles with dark strange beings. The old Irish lady living on the property where this pond stood told us stories of fairy rings and little folk over milk and cookies or, when the spring nights turned to long summer evenings, warm peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream.
THE OCEAN is a wonderful short novel that almost trumps his American Gods. I say “almost” because the latter left me breathless and has become the standard that I currently judge all such writing. However, the brevity of THE OCEAN does not dilute its tremendous power to reconnect me with a larger reality than my waking consciousness allows me to see. The book is a talisman to shelter us from the storm and regardless of whether or not Neil Gaiman intended it there is great spiritual understanding here. Read this book and let the seven year old you once were steer your course for just a little while. ...more
Serious bad ass story telling. I've enjoyed the entire trilogy. I am not in to the whole vampire thing, but del Toro and Hogan take the whole maudlinSerious bad ass story telling. I've enjoyed the entire trilogy. I am not in to the whole vampire thing, but del Toro and Hogan take the whole maudlin romance out of the genre. It's vampire apocalypse all the way down...more
Bentley Little’s talent lies in his ability to take the everyday and gently finesse horror out of it. I love haunted house stories and Little’s, The HBentley Little’s talent lies in his ability to take the everyday and gently finesse horror out of it. I love haunted house stories and Little’s, The Haunted delightfully disgusted and horrified me. He takes all of the cliché’s of the classic haunted house and breathes new life into it. Fun and scary stuff....more
Jim Butcher has become one of my favorite authors and the Dresden Files has everything in a series that I look forward to, quirky and compelling recurJim Butcher has become one of my favorite authors and the Dresden Files has everything in a series that I look forward to, quirky and compelling recurring characters; witty dialogue, suspense and a great storyline. Butcher’s Harry Dresden is a fantastic blend of mystery and fantasy genres. Jim Butcher knows how to write a great action scene. I hope he keeps writing Dresden Files stories. ...more