Traveller’s review of Books of Blood, Vol. 5 (Books of Blood, #5) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Manny (new)

Manny the likes you see of in authors like Ray Bradbury and Gene Wolfe, with just a touch of a Lovecraftian sense of the macabre with a dollop of Kafka’s sense of the absurd.

You make it sound remarkably enticing. Nice to meet another Gene Wolfe fan!

message 2: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Yes, Wolfe seems to be a master at making you do double-takes, as in: "Huh? I hadn't seen that there before? Now why didn't I see that, it was there..."

If you haven't read Barker before, and ever contemplate trying him, do take into account my warning I added now as an edit, namely that his earlier work seems less sophisticated and indeed a bit more in the gore fest genre. (Well, of course, you might enjoy gore, but I'm just sayin'...)

message 3: by Manny (new)

Manny I'm not a huge fan of gore for its own sake, so I'll take your advice. Thank you!

message 4: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten The normal life gradually changing to weird reminds me of Jonathan Carroll.

message 5: by knig (new)

knig I've never read Gene Wolf: what would you recommend?

message 6: by Traveller (last edited May 14, 2012 01:15PM) (new)

Traveller Jeffrey wrote: "The normal life gradually changing to weird reminds me of Jonathan Carroll."

Of course, since these are short stories, it happens a lot faster than it would have with more lengthy fiction.

For instance Ramsey Cambell's horror is of the "weird", mostly bloodless kind, but it starts off with the weirdness without leading into it. Cambell's fiction didn't 'hook' me I'm afraid.

For many reasons I haven't been one of the biggest fans of Stephen King -he is like the Dickens of horror - an engaging style but too much caricature, too much of a lurid vaudeville show.

Thomas Ligotti - yes, he's more my kind of writer, more subtle.

Richard Laymon is an absolute joke, I don't know how he even managed to get published, and Dean Koontz is too... pop.

Poppy Brite is on my list, ( I liked one of her short stories) and I'm not so sure about Chuck Palanuik beyond Fight Club, which I kinda liked but would have to re-read since I'd forgotten it a bit.

Peter Straub and Richard Matheson I have yet to try out.

So who have we left out?

I know some people deem Ray Bradbury a horror author, but I haven't... I've read quite a lot of his short stories, but couldn't find any horror amongst them yet. Obviously been looking at the wrong ones.

message 7: by Traveller (last edited May 14, 2012 12:52PM) (new)

Traveller Knig-o-lass wrote: "I've never read Gene Wolf: what would you recommend?"

I would rather recommend Ligotti to you first, Knig. So did you ever get around to him?
Teatro Grottesco would be a good start if you can get hold of it.

Wolfe is perhaps a bit too science fiction-y, though you might enjoy The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and Other Stories for the mind games. There are other Wolfe you might enjoy, just give me day or so to go and brush up my Wolfe bibliography - I haven't read as much of him as I would like, and I've forgotten some that I'd read as a teen as well.

message 8: by knig (new)

knig Just ordered Teatro Grotessco. Lovecraft is easier to source: £0.70 on Kindle for his entire works. Will start him until Teatro arrives.

message 9: by Traveller (last edited May 14, 2012 01:02PM) (new)

Traveller Knig-o-lass wrote: "Just ordered Teatro Grotessco. Lovecraft is easier to source: £0.70 on Kindle for his entire works. Will start him until Teatro arrives."

I'll be awaiting a Lovecraft review with interest. I liked some of Lovecraft, but got a bit tired of the atmosphere before I'd read very much of him. One day I'll go back and try some more, perhaps after reading a review from you. :)

message 10: by mark (new)

mark monday i'm glad you enjoyed Barker! i think he is really impressive. also nice to see you recommending Teatro Grottesco, which i really enjoyed.

i think my next Barker read (eventually) will be his non-horror historical-family saga Galilee. haven't heard a whole lot of of positive but it is on the shelf.

anyway, nice review. i particularly enjoyed your comments about "The Forbidden".

message 11: by Traveller (last edited May 17, 2012 05:11AM) (new)

Traveller Thanks, Mark. Yes, when I started reading The Forbidden, I was groaning and rolling my eyes, because I thought he was copying King's sort of over-the -top type of horror, but then I was happy to revise my initial opinion.

For some reason In The Flesh really touched me. I'll try and dissect why some day.

message 12: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Interesting review Traveller-I never really planned on reading Barker but I may be revising that. You've definitely stirred my interest.

message 13: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Thanks, Ellie. I suspect it matters where you start. This specific volume might be a good place. :)

message 14: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Thanks for the suggestion. I'm sure it does matter.

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