unlike the novel of the same name, this book is the real deal. Watch how a one-woman-army of gory and subversive literature leaves no moral stone untuunlike the novel of the same name, this book is the real deal. Watch how a one-woman-army of gory and subversive literature leaves no moral stone unturned.
Charlee has suffered with personal illness all her life and (they say write what you know) there's a lot of pain and suffering protrayed in this 5***** book.
Well, the majority of the stories are top shelf material, real star quality hardcore horror with titles like Grafts of Delicate Lace and Mortal Wound and The Woman in Red and Scalpel Mouth and the amazing Fire... gah, you'd be an idiot not to totally love this outrageous nightmare ride through Charlee's subconscious world of hurt.
DAWN, ADULTHOOD RITES and IMAGO are the three books (as they were originally published) of the most inspirational sci-fi-horror trilogy I've ever readDAWN, ADULTHOOD RITES and IMAGO are the three books (as they were originally published) of the most inspirational sci-fi-horror trilogy I've ever read ... a book that literally EVERYBODY should read before they die, or are too old and decrepit to read and understand the implications.
though it was an honorable pseudo-biopic, screw that David Cronenberg film - it was sex-dead. I want my Naked Lunch RAW, dripping blood, other bodilythough it was an honorable pseudo-biopic, screw that David Cronenberg film - it was sex-dead. I want my Naked Lunch RAW, dripping blood, other bodily fluids and sexual grease, for K-rist's sake.
as for the book, it's lovely-strange in a way that needs to be experienced by most adult readers.
Anthony Burgess's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is just a STUNNER, it's brutal and poignant and just plain genius. I've just re-read it for (like) the first timeAnthony Burgess's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is just a STUNNER, it's brutal and poignant and just plain genius. I've just re-read it for (like) the first time in decades and it absolutely had me LAUGHING MY ARSE OFF from page to page to page.
Great command of Englo-speak across the generational divide. Great imagination of what might lie ahead for mankind under fascism. Great book all round, really GREAT.
I'm a big fan of the work of Robert Ludlum, and have now read most of his books. When I read a Robert Ludlum book it's like DRIVING MISS DAISY in theI'm a big fan of the work of Robert Ludlum, and have now read most of his books. When I read a Robert Ludlum book it's like DRIVING MISS DAISY in the sense that I'm in the hands of a consummate professional, no matter how insane the ride.
Well, Ludlum's dead, so what now?
Well, I've flipped through a couple of official copy-cat novels, the Bourne progressions and the Covert Ones, by official imitators of Ludlum's content and they've all left a nasty taste in my mouth, a wishy-washyness a-lack-of-voiceness one gets reading the post-DUNE-pre books of Frank Herbert's son. I've even suspected, hoped, prayed (lol) that David Wolstencroft might be the one to pick up Ludlum's mantle, the writer with whom I can feel is LIVING THE INTELLIGENCE LIE as he writes his books.
Olen Steinhauer might just be the one; his plots are sinister and convoluted and his writing, the line-by-line of his craft, is just superb. This book THE TOURIST is great, a pleasure to read.
AND Steinhauer has lots of others books for me to choose from! Yummy....more
What I learned from (writing) this book is that mankind has no idea what spirituality is - there's no way he'll ever know, he's is adrift on the etherWhat I learned from (writing) this book is that mankind has no idea what spirituality is - there's no way he'll ever know, he's is adrift on the ether, forgotten....more
In Living Corpse, Shinkai Yosuke doesn’t know where he came from. He wanders around in a place he doesn’t know where the people run away from him in fIn Living Corpse, Shinkai Yosuke doesn’t know where he came from. He wanders around in a place he doesn’t know where the people run away from him in fear for their lives. He has no idea why he is here or even who he is. Then he sees his face in a shop window. What a disgusting horrible creature. A rotting corpse that thinks and breathes and speaks. Surely this can’t be true? Who is Shinkai Yosuke and why is he in this seaside town?
The doctors who take him into their care have no idea either but subject Yosuke to further excruciating pain in an attempt to stop him rotting away to nothing, injecting him with preservative fluids and pumping giga-watts of electricity through his decaying body in a futile attempt to revive his cells .
As earlier mentioned, even the undead don’t escape the tortures of the degradation of the body. Hino never lets up on the mental and physical agony he subjects his ‘hero’ to. Following a fatal accident at the hospital where he is being held captive, Yosuke escapes and is quickly branded Public Enemy #1.
There is a slight negative aspect to this book but it has nothing to do with Hideshi Hino, more to do with the way the original Japanese has been translated into English. The offending scene involves Yosuke and a drunk, in a jail cell. It’s a really short scene, too – it just stands out as not up to the quality of the rest of the book. The drunk has this terrible colloquial English accent and it’s hard to discern whether it’s supposed to be Scottish, Australian or Germanic – this should have been dealt with at the editorial stage.
Overall, this is another great read from Hideshi Hino, with real human appeal and real human suffering. Will Yosuke find out why he is rotting away, leaving a trail of puss and maggots all over this seaside town? Will he discover anything about his past life? Will he return home?
I love these cute little books from Japan. I love the way you read them from the back. I love the way DHP has lovingly amended the text into English.I love these cute little books from Japan. I love the way you read them from the back. I love the way DHP has lovingly amended the text into English. And I love Hino’s wry outlook on life. I particularly love the way Oninbo, the star of Oninbo and the Bugs From Hell, uses his retractable eyeball to first capture and suck into his brain the evil bugs from Hell.
He’s Such a Cute Little Demon, Oninbo As in all these Hino Horror comics, the Demon wanders about noticing those unfortunate humans who have a Bug from Hell inside them and finally extracts the bug from them a) ridding the human of the Satanic infestation and b) getting a good Bug meal in the process. Demons love to eat Bugs.
Oninbo and the Bugs From Hell, A Morality Tale Bug eating aside, these comics are mostly morality tails about Japanese life and the stresses and strains parents and industry put on their offspring to be successful and to rise to the top of the heap – it’s tough being a kid in Japan and this series of books really disgorges its worst visualisations out into the readers’ psyche.
This is really full-on demon possession material for adults only – some of the highlights involve a demon-drowned swimming tale, a wonderful axe-murderer sequence, a baby’s cot that emanates pure fear for its poor, suffering mother and lots of yummee shrinking down to the size of a microbe to enter the eyeball of possessed victims to check on the ripeness of their fattening Hell Bugs.
It’s all good stuff and like the intro says, Oninbo isn’t alone.
Enter Mumashino and he’s after the same Demon Bugs as our little cute hero Oninbo. Mumashinbo is mister nasty though and takes no prisoners, he certainly isn’t gonna share a Bug he believes is rightly his with any other Demon. He sends his caterpillar army out of his cracked forehead and they devour the screaming Oninbo before he can retaliate with magic of his own. But surely Oninbo isn’t that easily defeated.
Of the six Hino Horror titles I have read to date, Black Cat is my very favourite. It’s unsurprisingly about a Black Cat who lives in a drainpipe on aOf the six Hino Horror titles I have read to date, Black Cat is my very favourite. It’s unsurprisingly about a Black Cat who lives in a drainpipe on a rubbish tip with his three kitten brothers. Their mother hasn’t returned and is unlikely to. So, one day our little black hero goes off in search of a decent meal or a friendly human that will give him a home. He’s a lovely Black Cat, too – smooth black fur and a gorgeous outlook on life. It’s such a shame that black cats are considered unlucky creatures in Japan.
The book is laid out in three episodes that illustrate Black Cat’s study of the human race.
Part One: The Ventriloquist This is basically the story of the ventriloquist dummy dominating its master. We’ve all seen this sort of narrative before, it has resonance through fairy-tales with ‘the goose that lays the golden egg’ as well as popular culture in the Chucky films and Magic starring Anthony Hopkins. It’s Pinnochio gone bad, with the puppet softly transforming into a real boy as the success of the duo starts to dominate the puppet’s psyche and spells the end for his drunken clown partner.
Part Two, The Black Dog This is a story about a boy who loses his dad and takes revenge on the school bullies by setting his black dog on them. He pushes the dead bodies of the bullies into a nearby hole and the hole starts to fill up. His life takes a turn for the worst when his mum remarries this awful bloke who pays for the wife as if she were a cheap trinket in a corner shop. Will the new dad stand in the way of the boy and his black dog? Who is the real master in this house?
Part Three, The Unhappy Couple In this childish and vicious episode, a nasty old couple argue all the time. There is indeed a fine line between love and hate. But the fact that these old gets stay together says something deeper about the human puzzle.
All three tales are about survival in the face of cruel domination, regular themes in Hino’s work, illustrating man’s blatant disregard for the feelings and wishes of his fellow man. As long as I get mine, who gives a shit about you and yours.
Hideshi Hino, Black Cat and Religious Speculation I wonder where Religion comes into Hino’s mentality, or if not something as strictly regimented as religion then spirituality at least. Does Hino believe we are just an assemblage of atoms and molecules that are in this transitory phase of human existence to return to fertiliser after our demise or is there a hidden non-corpse-bound spiritual realm that Hino has yet to fully explore in his works? And if so would it be bound by the same humanistic silhouettes and desperate purges of the world of his books.
Hino is a star of Japanese manga not because he is so brutal with his characters and his graphic depictions of violence among men but because of narrators like Black Cat who clearly enjoy and are enthralled by the vagaries of human existence. With all six books so far, Hino is really asking who are we, the human race? Why are WE so special?
In The Bug Boy, loner Sanpei Hiromoto is hated by everyone. His problem is he is distracted by his bugs. He loves bugs of all shapes and sizes. SnakesIn The Bug Boy, loner Sanpei Hiromoto is hated by everyone. His problem is he is distracted by his bugs. He loves bugs of all shapes and sizes. Snakes too. Sanpei can’t get enough of those slimy, slithery creatures. His grades at school are consistently Fs. He is feared by all the girls in the school. He is hated by the boys.
Every night Hideshi Hino’s Bug Boy is beaten up on his way back from school. His family bully him because of his grades, his brother and sister are straight A students – like every good Japanese child.
Sanpei is alone at school and alone at home. He has no-one to talk to, no-one to share his life with, apart from his bugs, and the veritable zoo of cats, dogs, rats and assorted creepy crawlies he has secreted down at his secret hide-away at the local tip. Then one day he is bitten by a terrible red bug and a hideous transformation begins …
Rather than going into the ‘spoiler’ territory of the gruesome depictions of the story’s detail, you already know the Hino patented subject matter from the review of the first volume, this review will attempt to concentrate on the thematic landscape of this nasty piece of work.
Thematic Landscape Hideshi Hino is a product of the second world war. He cites the struggle of these post-war years as a major influence on his work. And you can see it. You can see the young Hino growing up around the diseased dogs, the pestilent rats, the poverty and death of those terrible times after the nuclear holocaust delivered by those two American bombing missions. The Bug Boy is in so many ways a coming-of-age story.
Aping etymological themes with reference to the bugs Sanpei adores and the rotting pupatic transformation of his little body from boy to bug, the hideous anatomical and psychological sacrifices one has to sometimes make to achieve one’s true form, you can see a reflection of Hino’s early life in war-raped Japan – the years of social and industrial rebuild, the years of shame at the loss.
A Whole Nation Poised on the Point of a Blade Sanpei figurizes the shame and isolation of post-war Japan. Sanpei shows how Hino shuffled off his boyness to become a man of ultra extreme imagery that garishly illuminates the distorted world of the Japanese post-war psyche. Look at other Manga (famous in the West) like Akira and you see again and again this brain-spinning gut-wrenching study of anatomical rape, the pain of a nation in turmoil made flesh - shown anatomically.
Back to The Bug Boy; he has transformed into a formidable horror monster and eventually realises his power and his revolting murderous exploits are soon making the news. He becomes a notorious and feared entity in his neighbourhood. His frail ego amplified by this stunning realisation, Sanpei embarks on a rampage of revenge.
A truly destructive tale. Find it. Buy it. Read it....more
Red Snake is touted as being about a haunted house – in reality it’s more about a haunted family. One can only wonder what this family of freaks wereRed Snake is touted as being about a haunted house – in reality it’s more about a haunted family. One can only wonder what this family of freaks were like before they moved into this haunted house, or maybe they and the house have been inextricably interlinked, psyche and flesh interwoven on the Hellplane so that neither is distinguishable from the other.
Nor should one forget the woods. The haunted woods that always lead you back to the house. Look, it’s simple, there’s no escape. And that’s how this book treats the reader, there’s no escape from the obscene blood hunger of this crazy damned book. Those with a weak stomach and reliant upon their western sensibilities should go nowhere near this – it’s a real proper mindfuck of a book.
Hideshi Hino’s Red Snake Family Boy (never named) roams around in a house with more rooms than are possible to explore – the haunted rooms are hidden behind an ancient decorative mirror. Grandfather has a massive puss-filled boil on his face. Father cares for 100 hens, feeding them on the bugs he cultivates. Grandmother thinks she is a hen, lives in a makeshift bird’s nest. Mother uses the eggs from Father’s hens to soothe Grandfather’s swollen face boil. Sister is a bug stealer, a tickle fetishist and much later, much worse. Eventually, when the eponymous Red Snake appears, it’s in the bed of Sister. Sucking on her blood. Having been to the Atomic Bomb Memorial at Hiroshima, I can see where Hino gets his skin dripping horror imagery from, surely there has never been as great an icon as hundreds civilians running around in total pain with the boiled skin hanging from their ruptured bones.
The Red Snake ends in a massive gore-spilling climax of blood-crazed egg-hatched baby zombies who rip and tear at the flesh of our hero in a concerted effort to prevent his escape from the house. It is a truly strange and cyclic story that will have you gaggin’ for more....more
In Oninbo and the Bugs From Hell Two, Oninbo is back; cuter and more disgusting than ever. This time our Bug eating Demon is joined by two other equalIn Oninbo and the Bugs From Hell Two, Oninbo is back; cuter and more disgusting than ever. This time our Bug eating Demon is joined by two other equally cute and equally evil side-kicks; the street-wise Mamushinbo and the lace and polka-dot attired Himenbo. This evil trio have nothing in common except for their insatiable hunger for Hell Bugs.
Lord only knows where these little demons put it all. Maybe they’re like crocodiles who only eat every few months or so.But hidden inside a tormented student who’s slacking on her grades is a monster demon that’s bigger than any single demon either of the trio has ever encountered.
Only by co-operating as a force for good against this evil monstrosity will they be able to defeat (and eventually devour) this beast. But these are three highly strung Demons. It’s gonna take a miracle to bring their talents together in one concerted effort of Bug defeat.
Onwards this disjointed trio go, through the haunted house of an ex-serial killer unearthing multiple Bugs from Hell, generally kickin’ the shit out of all sorts of evil things and feasting like a pack of ravenous grizzly bears. It’s never a wholly convincing group mentality though, it’s merely three bug hunters who have a common enemy. This relationship however is tested to the max when the baby-like fourth Demon Sasonrinbo makes an appearance.
Yup, you heard me right, a baby Demon. But Sasorinbo is nastier than all three of the cute little Demons put together. The trio will have to discover a hitherto missing sense of team effort to finally defeat this little snivelling runt.
One thing Hino excels at is ghost stories or haunted house stories. A normal writer would have a restless spirit in the form of the chain-rattling apparition of a spurned Victorian lover or the table-knocking poltergeist of a child who doesn’t know he’s passed on the to other side pestering the mortals. These solemn spectres can be laid to rest with the completion of a little puzzle and a tying up of the narrative knots.
There is no such easy resolution in a Hino Horror story....more
Ubik is a brilliant book mixing horror with humour in such a deep and poignant way. What I was most inspired by were the chapter headings, those littlUbik is a brilliant book mixing horror with humour in such a deep and poignant way. What I was most inspired by were the chapter headings, those little UBIKverts - this was a concept I butchered for self-marketing purposes back in the Hertzan Chimera daze:
UBIQUITOUSLY, HERTZAN CHIMERA
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Hertzan Chimera Instant Breakfast Instant Hertzan Chimera has all the fresh flavour of just-cooked breakfast. Your husband will say, Christ, Janie, I used to think your breakfast was only so-so. But now, wow! Safe when taken as directed.
Hertzan Chimera Bowel Cleaner Can't make the auditions, Janie; bowels all jammed up? I'll fix you, Hertzan Chimera! Hertzan Chimera drops you back in the thick of things fast. Taken as directed, Hertzan Chimera speeds relief to your bowels. Remember: Hertzan Chimera is only seconds away. Avoid prolonged use.
Hertzan Chimera Spray-on Condoms Perk up pouting household encounters with new miracle Hertzan Chimera, the easy-to-apply, extra-shiny, non-stick plastic coating. Saves endless unrolling and nail rippage, glides you right into the sweetspot. Entirely harmless if used as directed.
Hertzan Chimera Meditation Taken as directed, Hertzan Chimera provides uninterrupted nirvana without morning-after drooling. You are refreshed, ready to tackle all those little annoying problems facing you. Do not exceed recommended dosage.
Hertzan Chimera Melons Has a meat diet taken you out of the swim? Ten-day Hertzan Chimera spray or Hertzan Chimera roll-on ends worry of offending the Vegan, brings you back where the happening is. Safe when used as directed in a conscientious program of political correctness.
Hertzan Chimera Career Treats Pop tasty Hertzan Chimera into your toaster, made only from fresh prospects and healthful all-consuming optimism. Hertzan Chimera makes careers a feast, puts zing into your thing! Safe when interviewed as directed.