Black Mad Wheel
From the author of the hit literary horror debut Bird Box (“Hitchcockian.” — USA Today ) comes a chilling novel about a group of musicians conscripted by the US government to track down the source of a strange and debilitating sound
The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once...more
if they ever let monkeys* become book reviewers (why so UNFAIR, world?), this is how it would go:
Black Mad Wheel:
his (awesome) debut novel, Bird Box, featured an ambiguous “something” that swept the globe; a presence that drove anyone who looked at it mad: homicidal, suicidal, utterly destroyed. it was wonderfully intense, as characters were threatened by a force they could neither name nor even visualize, spending their ...more
Black Mad Wheel is a story which defies categorization and instead focuses on delivering characters that you like and can believe in.
The Danes are a band consisting of ex-army men, (even if they were only in the army band), who are asked by the military to investigate a noise in the African desert. I know it sounds crazy, and maybe it is, but I found it be compelling dark fiction.
From Philip's point of view, (Philip being the band's keyboard player), the narrative switches betwee ...more
Ugh. Review to come when I can deal with my crushing disappointment.
Finally reading this! I swore I wouldn't buy any more books. But I really wanted this one, so it doesn't count. Right?
New Josh Malerman book? Sign me the fuck up.
Of course, my expectations were pretty high, considering how much I loved Malerman's first book, Bird Box. He proved himself in his creeptastic debut that he's a master of suspense, and creator of original ideas. I've basically been waiting for instalment #2 ever since finishing #1 having been totally disturbed (in a good way) by Gary and the dangerous creatures stalking the earth in his post-apocalyptic masterpiece.
I had a totally differe ...more
"The question is not what you found...but what found you?"
The mission: Locate source of evil, debilitating sound.
The payment: $100k each.
The question: Do you believe in ghosts?
The bottom line: Survival.
Former soldier, Private Philip Tonka wakes up in a military hospital after six months comatose, a broken painful mess of bones trying to piece together what happened to him and his struggling Detroit band/x-soldier buddies after a dangerous and mysterious mission to Africa.
“This is a matter of national security. Not a love story.”
If you follow me and my (pretty much) daily ramblings, you might have noticed a couple of things. First, I’ve been gone for a bit. I thought I was taking a couple of days off to acquire a lethal dose of skin cancer via way of the local baseball fields, but ended up with nearly a week free of work thanks to a floating holiday that was given to us pee-ons in addition ...more
That being said, oh so melodramatically, I wanted to like this particular Hearing Evil novel much more than I did. All the setups in 1957 with a rock band getting propositioned by the US Government on a super secret project was de ...more
Black Mad Wheel played back and forth between two timelines in the protagonist’s life. This is a formula that has worked for Malerman before, I like it; this flow really allows the author to build the mystery, leaving the reader to wonder WTF is going on. Additionally, this format allo ...more
-Garth Algar, Wayne's World
If it weren't for the vomit on the carpets, this probably would've been a 5-star read for me. I generally do not do horror and definitely don't do sci-fi. But I DO do Josh Malerman whose dark, underbelly of writing suits me just fine.
This addictive story made me initially feel pretty miserable. Physical pain, nausea, foreboding, the inability to move a muscle - all experienced by our protagonist - are not usually a draw ...more
I crushed on Malerman's BIRD BOX so hard core, and had such high hopes for this one. Did I set the book up to fail me? Perhaps. But... aw man... reaaaallly?
As anyone who read Bird Box knows, Malerman is great at suspense and writing an extremely tense book. Black Ma ...more
In Mad Black Wheel, we are introduced to Philip Tonka, the pianist for The Danes. The Danes are a rock band made up of WWII veterans. They have on ...more
And he seems like a great guy whose love of the genre and passion for writing are only matched by his enthusiasm for giving the reader a great show. For those interested, I highly recommend checking ...more
A group of musicians are sent into the African desert to track down this sound, which they of course find. Shenanigans ensue.
I enjoyed the atmosphere, the feelings of dread and horror, and the shifting perceptions. The en ...more
The premise sounded fantastic - Members of a popular band are recruited by the US Army to determine the source and location of a sound located somewhere in the African desert which renders man and weapon useless. Before that can happen though, we're introduced to the somewhat contrived backstory of the men being sent to Africa.
The book takes places in the 50s. After having been overseas for WWII, the ...more
"Philosophy doesn't travel at the same speed technology does. It takes a man forty years to realise what it took his farther forty years to realise. And what's worse, he resists the truths his father's come to know, until he learns them himself. Meanwhile, technology doesn't wait ...more
No joke, those were the first words out of my mouth.
I gave it 2 stars, one because the idea was intriguing and the 2nd because... uh....
It just wasn't my cup of tea and I'm so annoyed at myself for not liking it. Ugh.
I put up with most of it thinking there might be some great payoff at the end to make reading this worth it, but overall I think I just lost hours of my life I’ll never get back.
It felt a lot like when I read Annihilation with the very strange and dream-like writing style except in this case it didn’t work for me, but then again I ended up not caring for Annihilation either. Trust me, take a pass on this one.
That said, BLACK MAD WHEEL is a story of a band selected by the government to go find the source of a powerful sound in the African desert.
For me, the story started off disjointed and slow. I almost stopped reading, but forced myself along.
I'm glad I did.
Philip is the main character here, the piano player. Tho ...more
I came to Black Mad Wheel after enjoying Malerman's first novel, Bird Box (my review). Bird Box was engaging, surprising, creepy, and full of promise for future work.
The first chapters of Black Mad Wheel suggested that promise was being fulfilled. We begin with a mystery, then explore it along divergent paths in the present and past. The mystery turns on a powerful sound discovered in the Namib Desert, an audio effect so powerful that it can break human bones, render we ...more