Kathy's Reviews > Stories: All-New Tales

Stories by Neil Gaiman
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bookshelves: read-in-2013, read-owned, general-fiction

Blood by Roddy Doyle
This is an interesting take on a vampire tale. But, I have to say, maybe because I've read so many, this wasn't great. Interesting, but not great. (3 stars)

Fossil Figures by Joyce Carol Oates
I've heard so much about this author, that I was excited to read something by her for the first time. Maybe I expected too much. She tried writing a story about twins, where one is the evil twin. I didn't get it. Sure, I didn't like that character, but I didn't get to know or like either twin. Very disappointing. (2 stars)

Wildfire in Manhattan by Joanne Harris
What a great story! I loved this and am going right away to see what else she's written! We meet Lucky, the God of Fire and he's a very likable guy...even if he is a player and a bit wild. He has a twin Brother Brennan, who's God of the Hearth. Seriously what a cast of characters. Lucky and his brother witness a murder and things just get worse form there. Very enjoyable! I couldn't put this story down! Even though my break was over, I was sneaking the book open on my desk so I could find out what happened. Read it! :) (5 stars)

Parallel Lines by Tim Powers
This is another interesting story of 2 sisters, Caroleen and Beevee. Unfortunately, Beevee is deceased and Caroleen, at 73 is on her own. she suddenly finds herself writing things she has no memory of writing. Could her sister be trying to speak to her? Could she possibly be trying to come back from the dead? You will have to read it to see. (4 stars)

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman
This was a good story but I can't help wondering if I'm supposed to get some deeper meaning from it. That might just be me. The story is the tale of a small man on a quest to a Legendary cave where gold is supposedly there for the taking. He hires a man to be his guide, but we learn that the man isn't just some stranger. It's a very interesting tale of their journey, and how they are connected is a unique twist. But I must say that I was a bit comfused at one point when (view spoiler) The twist isn't that at all and isn't revealed that early either. This is definitely a good one, despite my questions. (4 stars)

Unbelief by Michael Marshall Smith
This was good, but I feel like I was left hanging. It almost feels unfinished. Are we supposed to believe that (view spoiler) Oh, well, not bad. (3 stars)

The Stars Are Falling by Joe R. Lansdale
I was really looking forward to reading him, cause I have heard so much about him. And I have to say, I was not disappointed! So far, this is easily one of my favorites in the book. Part story about War (WWI, I'd guess.) and part western...very well done! (5 stars)

Juvenal Nyx by Walter Mosley
This is my first time reading Walter Mosely and he completely deserves the reputation he has. I really liked this story! This tells the story of a young black man, very involved in politics and his community and the night he meets the mysterious Julie. The only reason I bring up the race is because that seems to be a huge factor in this story. Mosley is very clear on the fact that this was a black man and the woman he meets after a meeting of the "Amalgamation of Black Student Unions" meeting is a white woman. That's the only reason I mention it. The author puts in in your face, which is the only thing I can complain about. That said, this book was a really imaginative vampire story. I'm not sure if Mosley has ever written anything in the horror genre before, but he does it very well. (4 stars)

The Knife by Richard Adams
This is not necessarily a short story, in my opinion. It is just an episode in a boy's life. I found this one pretty disappointing. It could have made an interesting story, but it definitely needs to be more fleshed out. (2 stars)

Weights and Measuresby Jodi Picoult
This one was ok. A sad story about the loss of a child. An otherwise happy couple grieve over their daughter's death. This was an interesting take on how the mother and father handled the loss in their own way. An interesting ending, I must say, but overall this story was weak. Sorry (3 stars)

Goblin Lake by Michael Swanwick
This is a wonderful fairy tale type story, where a man finds out that he is merely a character in a book. He must decide whether to stay within the book or return to his old life. (5 stars)

Mallon the Guru by Peter Straub
This is the story of an American man, who goes to India to meet spiritual leaders. Upon the arrival of himself and his guide to a small village, a carrion crow falls from the sky and drops to the ground dead at their feet. The villagers take this as some sort of sign and urge them to a small hut where an infant lays dying. Surprisingly, the infant returns to life after the American man touches his forehead. The villagers once again urge the two men on to meet the local jogi, who for some reason is afraid of the American and asks him to leave. What does this mean? I'm not sure, but this story definitely makes you think. (3 stars)

Catch and Release by lawrence Block
I liked this story alot. It puts you in the mind of a serial rapist/murderer and how they see their own life and craft, if you will. I enjoyed the way Block told the story and made it work. This is very well done! I can't believe that I haven't read the author before. (4 stars)

Polka Dots and Moonbeams by Jeffrey Ford
This story had a great feel to it. It felt like it took place in the 20's where "cutting a rug" is what a guy did w/ his favorite gal on a saturday nite. There was alot I didn't understand with this story, but overall I liked it and the picture it painted. The ending left me with a "What the?" feeling as well. But maybe that is a good thing? (4 stars)

Loser by Chuck Palahniuk
I have to admit this story just added to my already negative feelings about this author. I am not a fan, but that being said, I went into this story with an open mind. Only to feel like the time spent reading this story was an incredible waste of my time! This tells the story of a group of kids from a fraternity, who don tee shirts w/ the frats name on it, take acid and go to a taping of The Price is Right. So we get the ramblings of the main character as they trip throughout the episode. I think I'm done trying to like this author!(1 star - and only because I don't think you can give zero stars without it looking like you forgot to rate it.)

Samantha's Diary by Diane Wynne Jones
This story started out really well and I was intrigued. This story takes place 220 years in the future. We meet a young independent woman, with an exciting job in fashion, and a character of a mother who is always getting remarried and trying to hook the main character up. After a christmas party at her mothers, she starts receiving pear trees and birds...partridges, hens, etc. Every day, something arrives, and she learns that she has a secret admirer, who is sending her all the items listed in the "old" song, 12 Days of Christmas. She is at her wits end, she has birds everywhere taking over her apartment and patio and then cows and trampolines. I was really enjoying this story, until the ending....and I still don't know what to make of it. What happened???? Does someone know? The story died a quick sudden death over a cliff with no warning....or ending! (1 star)

Land of the Lost by Stewart O'Nan
Was I possibly in a bad state of mind when I read the last few stories? Coincidence? Anyway, this story is about a single mother, who after her son's grow up and leave to make lives of her own, finds an unusual hobby. (Is hobby the right word?) She becomes obsessed with a case of a missing child in her area. She studies the maps and with clues released by the police and the local news, she goes on a mission to find the child. Her son's are worried about her and how much this is taking from her life. Is she crazy? Or just a bored and lonely mother dealing with her "empty nest"? This was pretty decent, better than the last few, but not great. (2 stars)

Leif in the Wind by Gene Wolfe
This was another disappointing story. I am not sure if this is a futuristic story, but it takes place far in space on an expedition that has been successful and the remaining crew (3 have died during this expedition, though, we don't have much information regarding this.) are preparing to return home. The story begins with a crewman named Leif, who is outside and won't come inside the ship, despite calling and cajoling from the others. He keeps talking about the beautiful birds that are nesting in him. Well, the rest of the crew swear he's crazy and bring him inside. I'm a little confused by this, but somehow his actions have jeopardized their mission and there is talk of killing him, since the journey home is 2 years and how would they go about imprisoning him for that long? Then birds are seen in the ship. Alien lifeforms that Leif spoke about from the beginning. A solution is found, but I was still confused. Definitely not much better than the last few stories. (2 stories)

Unwell by Carolyn Parkhurst
This is the story of 2 sisters, Yvonne and Arlette. Yvonne is quiet, shy and a your stereotypical mousy librarian. Arlette is outspoken and always gets what she wants! At any cost! Even at the expense of her sister's happiness? You tell me. I don't want to give too much away about this story, because I thought as more and more is uncovered is what makes this story more interesting. Well done! (5 stars)

A Life In Fiction by Kat Howard
What a fun concept! This story is about a young woman, who's boyfriend is writer. Sounds good, huh? Not really. Unfortunately, the problem with that is that whenever he uses her as a muse in his writing, she disappears from her regular life into his story for sometimes days or weeks at a time! She starts losing her identity and even forgetting who she really is? What's her favorite color? She gets desperate! You won't believe how this ends! Loved this! (5 stars)

Let The Past Begin by Jonathan Carroll
What a strange and confusing story this was! This is the story of Ava, who dated a man named Eamon for a few weeks and is now dating a new guy. She is pregnant, but doesn't know who the father is, so they await the results of the paternity test. While they wait, she tells her boyfriend about her recent trip to Azerbajian. She meets a woman named Lamiya (which means educated). Lamiya is sitting beside a bassinet, wth her hand inside. It appears she has here hand on a baby to calm it down. She tells Ava that her baby is a "silent child", half alive and half dead. The baby is an oracle. You can ask 2 questions regarding the future. Ava is told she is cursed. Huh? Is here baby the next "silent child"? Lets just say this story is Wierd! (With a capital "W")
(2 stars)

The Therapist by Jeffery Deaver
This is the story of Martin Kobel, who is a behavioral therapist and he takes his profession very seriously. He meets a young woman, who is a teacher. Immediately he is concerned. He can tell she has a "meme", which is a negative energy inside her. That can be dangerous and he worries about her students as well as her young son. He is certain he can help her. He investigates and finds out where she lives, where she works and stages a "concidental" 2nd meeting. Instead of taking her up on his offer of help, she threatens to call the police and leaves. Martin is committed to helping and possibly saving her students and son, even if he can't help her directly. Just how much is Martin willing to commit to all this? OMG! Just wait till you see! (5 stars)

Parallel Lines by Tim Powers
This is another story of 2 sisters, Caroleen and Beevee. Unforunately Beevee is deceased and Caroleen is alone at 73. One day she finds herself writing things that she can't remember writing. Could her sister possibly be trying to communicate with her? Or possibly trying to come back to life? You'll see...(4 stars)

The Cult of the Nose by Al Sarrantonio
Talk about confused. The main character finds that there exists a Cult of the Nose. It's mentioned for ages in literature and can be found going way back in history in pictures. Actual people w/ fake noses on their face. And he is commited to finding this cult. Did I mention how confused I am with this story??? (1 star)

Human Intelligence by Kurt
This was a really good story! In my opinion it was very reminiscent of Richard Matheson's science fiction. This is the story.about an old man named Nicholas, who has a big secret. One that he is tired of keeping. He even is very happy when a young woman named Nancy uncovers it. This story is told in such wondersational tone as Nicholas tells his story as crazy as it sounds. (5 stars)

Stories by Michael Moorcock
This story was such a disappointment. I'm still lost with all that was going in. Here you meet a group of writers and their writing for different journals. This story covers their professional lives, love lives, sex lives, their friendsips, etc. But I can't make myself give a damn. (1 star)

The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bell Bellerophon by Elizabeth Hand
I can't say touch about this story. I couldn't evenlet myself to finish it! (1 star)

>The Devil on the Staircase by Joe Hill
Another great story by Joe Hill. Between the feel of a folktale and strange layout of the prose, this little story proves it is more than just a simple short story. (4 stars)
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Reading Progress

May 27, 2010 – Shelved
January 1, 2013 – Started Reading
January 12, 2013 –
page 29
February 13, 2013 –
page 46
February 14, 2013 –
page 70
February 15, 2013 –
page 103
April 27, 2013 –
page 132
May 11, 2013 –
page 168
August 29, 2013 –
page 194
October 31, 2013 –
page 221
November 1, 2013 –
page 233
November 1, 2013 –
page 313
November 29, 2013 –
page 330
November 30, 2013 –
page 359
December 1, 2013 – Shelved as: read-in-2013
December 1, 2013 – Shelved as: read-owned
December 1, 2013 – Shelved as: general-fiction
December 1, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Aw, that's such a disappointment, because Oates is usually a fantastic writer, Kathy! She's a favorite of mine, actually. May I suggest Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Selected Early Stories
I haven't read the entire collection, but to title story is AMAZING. I really want to read more of her work, actually!

Kathy Thanks, Dustin, I will. I will defintely try Oates again, she has such a great reputation, I haven't given up yet.

message 3: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin You're very welcome, Kathy. She really is a fantastic writer, IMO! She's very prolific, too.

message 4: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Great review, Kathy. I bought this book a while ago for the Carolyn Parkhurst story, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Glad to see you liked that one! If you haven't tried her novels, I love The Dogs of Babel & The Nobodies Album.

Kathy Thanks, Jen. I will check them out! :)

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