Horror Aficionados discussion

Baal
This topic is about Baal
66 views
Buddy Reads > Robert McCammon Challenge - Book #1, Baal

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
We will be starting the Robert McCammon Challenge on August 15th. The Challenge is to read all of McCammon's catalog in chronological order one book per month. On 8/15, we will be starting with his first novel, Baal. On 9/15, we will reading Bethany's Sin and we'll continue once a month until we get through his whole catalog. You're more than welcome to follow us as much as you'd like on this journey. Feel free to complete as much of it as you want or simply join in on the ones that interest you. The whole purpose of this challenge is to discover one of America's greatest (and somewhat unsung) pioneers in modern horror fiction. While not all of his books are horror, there is definitely something for everyone in his collection. With that being said, who's joining me for Baal?!?


Jennifer | 378 comments I'd love to do this, but I'll have to dip in and out around my other reading challenges.

I love the synopsis for Baal but I'll have to skip this one as it's not in print in the UK and it's £45 second hand.

I can join in for Bethany's Sin though!


Jennifer | 378 comments Scrap that, a second hand copy popped up when I bought Bethany's Sin on Amazon. It won't be here for a week or two but I'm in!!


Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Hi all.
This is a great idea. I wanted to read McCammon for a while now (just read a few short stories which were great) but never really got into it. I will gladly join you and hope to be able to participate regularly here. I can be a slow reader at times but I'll try my best.
Also, Baal is a kindle unlimited ebook so I already downloaded it and am ready to start at the 15th :)


message 5: by Garry (new)

Garry (lawman54) I have already read all of his books ( some numerous times ) Swan Song is my favorite. For those of you reading McCammon for the first time. You are in for something special!!!


message 6: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 10685 comments Mod
I'm lingering but i don't want to read this one.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
And we're off!

Looking forward to discussing this one. Make sure to remember to use spoiler tags and page/percentage markers.


Terry | 4849 comments I saw this and started on it today. Looking forward to more McCammon!


message 9: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 10685 comments Mod
I’m going to join in next month.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Terry wrote: "I saw this and started on it today. Looking forward to more McCammon!"

Glad to have you aboard, Terry!


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Latasha wrote: "I’m going to join in next month."

Sounds good, Latasha!


Jennifer | 378 comments I'll be starting it today. I just had to finish the other group read 'Summer of Night' and as usual it kicked my ass, and I couldn't face jumping straight into a new book.

I'm really looking forward to it!


message 13: by Marie Helene (new)

Marie Helene | 694 comments I will join when you read 'Swan song'


message 14: by Ginger (last edited Aug 16, 2018 07:38AM) (new)

Ginger | 3246 comments I'm hoping to join next month! I wish I could this month but I've got too many BRs going on this month.
I hope everyone enjoys Baal!


Jennifer | 378 comments How's everyone enjoying it? I'm just upto Part 2 and it's okay. I'm posting through the app so I can't do spoiler tags so I'll be more detailed in my psot tomorrow from work.

The prologue went completely over my head, but religious stuff tends to make my brain stop working. But I really enjoyed the next part.

More tomorrow!


message 16: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments I am a bit late on this but will finally start tomorrow on my way to work. Hope everyone's enjoying so far :)


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
I finished the prologue and chapter one last night. I'm looking to continue tonight after the kids go to bed. So far, you can definitely tell it's McCammon with his signature smooth and easy delivery. I know he's very critical of his first three novels, saying that we saw him grow as a writer through those books. I'm okay with that. I'm sure, this being his first novel, that there will be some hits and misses along the way but, so far, it's still better than many authors that I've read who have been writing for 20 years.

Chapter One starts off with a bang. I could feel the street that Mary Kate was on. I've heard that Baal is full of McCammon's pent up frustration and anger with his disatisfaction with life at the time he wrote this. I can already see that anger and grittiness bleed through. Looking forward to seeing where all of this goes.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Feli wrote: "I am a bit late on this but will finally start tomorrow on my way to work. Hope everyone's enjoying so far :)"

I'm there with you, Feli. Busy weekend with the munchkins. So, I'm sneaking in a few pages here and there after they go to bed.


Terry | 4849 comments I've read up to part two, which is about 1/3rd in. The story isn't bad so far, but I think (view spoiler)


Terry | 4849 comments Ken wrote: "I finished the prologue and chapter one last night. I'm looking to continue tonight after the kids go to bed. So far, you can definitely tell it's McCammon with his signature smooth and easy delive..."

I certainly agree about that feeling of anger permeating through this story so far. Curious to see if that carries through to the end.


Jennifer | 378 comments Ken wrote: "I finished the prologue and chapter one last night. I'm looking to continue tonight after the kids go to bed. So far, you can definitely tell it's McCammon with his signature smooth and easy delive..."

I totally agree with this. This first part has definitely been my favourite so far. The writing isn't great but I could see the street and the diner where Mary Kate works


Jennifer | 378 comments Terry wrote: "I've read up to part two, which is about 1/3rd in. The story isn't bad so far, but I think [spoilers removed]"

Definitely. Baal is such an interesting character I want to see more of him, or more from his point of view


Jennifer | 378 comments Upto Chapter 18 (view spoiler)

I think I've steamed ahead a bit too quickly so I'm going to slow down and read in pace with the rest of you guys. The story isn't overly exciting so I think I'm starting to skim read a bit


Jennifer | 378 comments Upto Part 3 /Chapter 6 onwards (view spoiler)


message 25: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Okay, I am still a bit behind, but I am enjoying it so far. I am switching between the German and the English version (mostly to make sure the translation I am reading isn't ruining everything... early translations of horror definitely are questionable.)

I agree with the anger and I can imagine this going on for the rest of the novel. (view spoiler)

What confused me at one point (the hospital scene in the very beginning): McCammon switched the POV mid-chapter. It was all from Joe's POV and he switched to the doctor. I hope that's not a thing he does too often.


Alabama Vee (alabamavee) | 113 comments I have meaning to read more of this author as he has written some of my favorite books. So though I would Join in.

I am about 10% in and finding it a quick read am not gripped yet like I am with most of his writing but enjoying it.


message 27: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Okay... Forget what I wrote about Joe before ;)

Chapter 6 has some 'The Omen' vibes which I really like.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Through Chapter 4 -

(view spoiler)


message 29: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Ken wrote: "Through Chapter 4 -

[spoilers removed]"
I agree there. (view spoiler)


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Finished Part One.

Does anyone else picture Isaac from the movie Children of the Corn as Baal? I'm definitely getting an Omen meets Children of the Corn vibe here. (view spoiler)


Jennifer | 378 comments I didn't think of him at the time of reading that bit but I can see it now that you've mentioned him.

Whenever I think of Baal in general I get the Ash vs Evil Dead version stuck in my head...


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I didn't think of him at the time of reading that bit but I can see it now that you've mentioned him.

Whenever I think of Baal in general I get the Ash vs Evil Dead version stuck in my head..."


Interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind as I continue reading.


message 33: by Addy (new) - added it

Addy | 4989 comments I didn’t realize this was being read! I’ll try to join in with the next book. My bin of books is still unreachable:(. I’ll just be haunting this thread for now.


message 34: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Terry wrote: "I've read up to part two, which is about 1/3rd in. The story isn't bad so far, but I think [spoilers removed]"

I agree there, Terry. It would be helpful!

Have finished part 1 and started part 2. Well, part 1 definitely was more up my alley. I am not enjoying the new setting of part 2.


Jennifer | 378 comments Chapter 11 - Well, that was a great chapter. The discussion and thinking on the pen being mightier than the sword or not was really great. And also how bad things happen in the world whilst we're sleeping obliviously

My initial thoughts are that I like Virga (I keep calling him Vega after the Mass Effect character). He seems really interesting and I hope we see more of him, and Baal doesn't kill him!

When I heard the news about a new messiah in the world I groaned out loud. I think we can guess what that's about but I'd like to hope that it's not.

And I don't want Naughton to go, Baal's going to get him and leave Judith as a widow.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Finished Part II. The word I would use to describe it is bleak. The way McCammon described the Middle East is a living hell, between the unrelentlessly hot desert to how the presence of Baal is bringing humanity down to its most uncivilized and animalistic form. What is everyone else's thoughts?


message 37: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Ken wrote: "Finished Part II. The word I would use to describe it is bleak. The way McCammon described the Middle East is a living hell, between the unrelentlessly hot desert to how the presence of Baal is bri..."

Finished Part 2 yesterday, too. I agree with your description of it and 'bleak' is a very good word for it. I didn't like that part as much as part 1, really, but it created a certain atmosphere and showed us the influence Baal has on a whole country without having Baal himself as a main-character there and that was done quite good.

I liked Virga and hope he will make it till the end, he already was quite a daredevil for his age ;)

Hope to finish part 3 today or tomorrow because after that I'm on vacation and I don't know about wi-fi there.


Jennifer | 378 comments I'm reading Part 2 again as I flew through it too fast. Just finished Chapter 12 and I agree with bleak!

What a terrifying place to be! The combination of the heat, how busy the place is and the actions of the people make it seem like a really horrible place to be. The disregard for human life is just awful.

If Baal can affect people like that before they even meet him, then I dread to think what will happen when they meet him.

All I can say is 'Run away Naughton. Please give up and go home!'


Terry | 4849 comments I’m not quite done with part two yet, but bleak is certainly the overwhelming consensus.


message 40: by Feli (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feli (felifirefly) | 484 comments Halfway through part 3 and I like it! (view spoiler)


Jennifer | 378 comments I've just finished Part 2 and I'm really looking forward to Part 3.

(view spoiler)


message 42: by Kenneth (last edited Sep 04, 2018 04:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
I finished this one up over the long weekend. While I don't consider it up there with McCammon's best, it still wasn't a bad read. I can rattle off a boatload of authors that would kill to be able to write at this caliber. You can see the writing style is smooth and easy to read. The characters are engaging and the dialogue is realistic. I think the story could've used maybe a little more development, a little more payoff. All in all, still a 3.5 star, rounded up to 4.0, read. I'll post a review here after I chew on what I just read a little more.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Feli wrote: "Halfway through part 3 and I like it! It's completely different and very interesting, especially Zark.
But there's not much story yet.. nothing that adds to the plot. 🤷"


I agree, Feli. It felt a little clunky in that we learn about Baal's beginnings all in Part One, but then it seems to be one big chase scene in Parts Two and Three. Don't get me wrong. I think the chase scene progresses nicely and McCammon uses this type of storytelling in some of his best tales later on (Swan Song, Mine, and Gone South come to mind), he just does it much better. It's really hard to nitpick when you know this was written in his mid-twenties, but I do because I know how good he is soon after Baal.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I've just finished Part 2 and I'm really looking forward to Part 3.

I know it won't have any last effect of him but I did a little 'woo hoo' when Baal was shot. But then I had to undo it when I fo..."


I hear you Jennifer. Baal is such a nasty bastard that I eagerly root for his demise. I wondered if Michael had some tricks up his sleeve to defeat him. He was kind of an enigma up to this point. I wanted to know more!


Terry | 4849 comments Great comments, Ken. I finished up also, and went with three stars. I thought it wasn't quite as good as his later books, but it had lots of potential.


Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Terry wrote: "Great comments, Ken. I finished up also, and went with three stars. I thought it wasn't quite as good as his later books, but it had lots of potential."

Yeah. For me, there was just something missing. It had a lot of the elements that I love McCammon for, but it didn't have that feeling that I got with his later gems. And I think it was because of Baal. I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. (view spoiler) Does that make sense?


Terry | 4849 comments Ken wrote: "Terry wrote: "Great comments, Ken. I finished up also, and went with three stars. I thought it wasn't quite as good as his later books, but it had lots of potential."

Yeah. For me, there was just ..."


That makes total sense. (view spoiler)


Jennifer | 378 comments Now on to Part 3, you couldn't get more of a change of scenery eh?!

I'm really enjoying it. I was speeding through it too fast earlier, but I really want to savour it now and so I'm taking my time.

I like how new characters are coming in at different times in the story. It's good how it keeps moving forward, bringing in new things and new environements. We're really travelling the world in this book!

Zark seems like an interesting chap. How nice of him to help out the locals with their family issues!

I obviously never want to see Baal again, but I also really want to see what he can do.


message 49: by Jennifer (last edited Sep 10, 2018 05:56AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jennifer | 378 comments Finished! Overall it was alright, it had some really good parts and some not so great. The ending was a bit flat, too abrupt

(view spoiler)

Not the best book in the world, but a solid start to McCammon's career and it'll always be 100 times better than anything I could write.

I'm looking forward to discovering more by him!


Terry | 4849 comments Jennifer wrote: "Finished! Overall it was alright, it had some really good parts and some not so great. The ending was a bit flat, too abrupt

[spoilers removed]

Not the best book in the world, but a solid start t..."


My thoughts were the same, Jennifer.


« previous 1
back to top