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Thread: Book Reviews

  1. #421
    Senior Member Hearing Voices bugen's Avatar
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    Thank you, Theli! This thing was twisted...a work of diseased, dark genius. Too much for some, I'm sure, but anyone here is perfectly suited.

    And Jeff, if you don't pick up this release, I hope you'll read it another way and pass it on to a deserving friend (or enemy).
    “Reality is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”
    -John Barth

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  2. #422
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    Great review, and, you're right, it's one of Woolrich's best.

  3. #423
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugen View Post

    And Jeff, if you don't pick up this release, I hope you'll read it another way and pass it on to a deserving friend (or enemy).

    I look for any excuse to pick up a Centipede Press edition. I recently bought Tem's Out of the Dark from them and it's gorgeous. I haven't read it yet, but I keep staring at it. Hahahaha not the proper way to love a book, I know. I feel like I'm stalking it on the shelf. Eventually I will read it if it doesn't get a restraining order against me.

  4. #424
    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    I look for any excuse to pick up a Centipede Press edition. I recently bought Tem's Out of the Dark from them and it's gorgeous. I haven't read it yet, but I keep staring at it. Hahahaha not the proper way to love a book, I know. I feel like I'm stalking it on the shelf. Eventually I will read it if it doesn't get a restraining order against me.
    What a great image that is! haha

    That is the problem with some limited edition books, you want to read them, as books should be read, but at the same time you don't want to sully them.

  5. #425
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    What a great image that is! haha

    That is the problem with some limited edition books, you want to read them, as books should be read, but at the same time you don't want to sully them.
    I don't know what the HELL I'm going to do when I get my remarqued AE of The Shining! With all the restored material, it MUST be read. But I am a filthy mortal whose pores secrete unholy oils! I am not worthy of handling this book!

  6. #426
    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Soft gloves me friend!

    Which Remarque did you get? I got a Maitz remarque in my GE copy. Though I did order an AE copy from PS as well.

  7. #427
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    Soft gloves me friend!

    Which Remarque did you get? I got a Maitz remarque in my GE copy. Though I did order an AE copy from PS as well.
    I went with Chadbourne. I was trying to ease my spending. I wanted both. But I just couldn't justify spending that much. It was tough. Thankfully, I think I remember the remarques going quickly and I didn't have the option to add Maitz. Here I am hoping that I won't win the lottery for Gwendy for the exact same reason--to save me since I don't have the self control to say no.

    I almost bought the GE so I could have that as my reading copy! I guess that's exactly what I would do in your situation. As it is, I'm going to have to get gloves and a sterile "clean room" to read my copy.

  8. #428
    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    I went with Chadbourne. I was trying to ease my spending. I wanted both. But I just couldn't justify spending that much. It was tough. Thankfully, I think I remember the remarques going quickly and I didn't have the option to add Maitz. Here I am hoping that I won't win the lottery for Gwendy for the exact same reason--to save me since I don't have the self control to say no.

    I almost bought the GE so I could have that as my reading copy! I guess that's exactly what I would do in your situation. As it is, I'm going to have to get gloves and a sterile "clean room" to read my copy.
    Don't forget to lazer remove every hair on your body!

  9. #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    Don't forget to lazer remove every hair on your body!
    I was thinking of getting the "bunny suit" that the nanotech engineers wear.

  10. #430
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugen View Post
    And Jeff, if you don't pick up this release, I hope you'll read it another way and pass it on to a deserving friend (or enemy).
    Well, looks like I'm buying Rendezvous in Black. And I'll have to stay off the LRB site for a while so I don't see any pics of Gwendy! You broke my heart, Gwendy! Congrats to all who won the chance to buy the limited!!

  11. #431
    Senior Member 2nd Electroshock Session Martin's Avatar
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    A Long December by Richard Chizmar
    Published by Subteranean Press (Signed hardbound $40.00 sold out)
    Also available from Amazon (Paperback @24.95 and eBook $6.99)https://www.amazon.com/Long-December...ichard+chizmar

    I will start with full disclosure. I love short stories and anthologies. With that said this has risen to one of my top anthologies of all time. I have read the occasional story by Mr. Chizmar in the past and was always pleased with what he wrote. The stories range in length form under 5 pages to over 70 with many falling in the 10 page range. With some authors I struggle with getting fully involved in a story when it is only 10 pages. That is one of the reasons I appreciate an author who successfully pulls me into a story that is only 10 pages. A Long December manages to do this repeatedly. The range of emotions, many of the stories come at you full throttle and leave you speechless while others simply haunt you long after you turn the page.

    Many of the stories are worth the price of admission alone including the Novella a Long December which gives this anthology its name and cover art.

    A Long December.jpg

    Many of the stories in this anthology have remained in my thoughts long after I finished reading them.

    5 Stars!

  12. #432
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    Agreed -- A LONG DECEMBER was a very fine collection, and one I enjoyed very much as well.

  13. #433
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    I really need to track down a copy of A Long December. I kept putting off picking it up and now I feel like a really missed out.

  14. #434
    Senior Member Hearing Voices bugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    A Long December by Richard Chizmar
    I've read about half of this one with his collection Midnight Promises and really liked it. Received a PDF of A Long December a while back but that format's a little difficult to read on e-ink screens--finishing up the collection keeps getting put on the back burner.
    “Reality is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”
    -John Barth

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  15. #435
    Senior Member Hearing Voices bugen's Avatar
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    The Parasite - Ramsey Campbell

    She was edging closer to the brink of what she had used to believe was reality. Nothing seemed solid enough to comfort her now.


    Avid horror readers know something of the occult, even if only by osmosis. Because the field is rife with reports of secret knowledge, taboo by entrenched religion, firmly believed in by loudmouth crackpots and quietly practiced by intelligentsia, a fertile ground for authors has been established and countless books have been written. Some hint at it, some touch on it, and this novel dwells on it.

    The story focuses on one of the main tenants of modern occultism, astral projection. Rose experiences a kind of spiritual awakening and is terrified as she’s pulled away from her life into a darkened realm without warning—repeatedly. She seeks help and begins adapting to her awareness, reading and researching, and her studies lead her to historical occurrences of Hitler’s occult research, the Rosicrucians, the Order of the Golden Dawn, and many other references to a very real, very colorful occult past.

    Rose’s confidence grows and her new strengths begin affecting her behavior in negative ways, but she quickly learns she may not have as much control over the magic as she thought.

    The quiet terror of facing the unknown space of astral projection takes time to develop as the young acolyte embarks on her first journeys. When Rose begins overcoming her fear of the nightmarish realm and begins embracing her new power, fear gives way to elation. But the bulk of the story occurs as she goes deeper and confronts the changes occurring within her. Her increasing ability to control her travels gives her a bravado that only lasts until she realizes just how far out of her depth she’s gone. Her excitement gives way to terror again, and yes, all of this takes time. Rushing through it would diminish the journey, and the psychological impact of these powers needs its space on the page.

    They said it was slow, those reviewers who’d posted the comments read before deciding to pick this one up. But just because a book doesn’t have monstrous evil plucking the legs off helpless humans all the way through doesn’t mean you have a slow book. This one’s effective, and more so that it takes the time required to bring the reader along on Rose’s journey. There are terrifying passages in the book, and while it does accelerate near the end, these faster-paced sequences are no more horrific than those of a young magician’s sanity progressively being threatened by forces unknown.

    The Parasite is scary, and if you have a little patience and let the atmosphere congeal around you, choking you towards the same oblivion as Rose, you’re in for one hell of ride—very, very highly recommended.

    It was the ultimate childhood nightmare of being lost in the dark–and the dark was reaching out for her with its infinite limbs.

    4+



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    “Reality is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”
    -John Barth

    https://bugensbooks.com/

  16. #436
    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Great review. Campbell is an author I have been intending to read for a long time, and have read some of his shorts, which I loved. This books sounds right up my alley. I love occult stories and have read a decent amount about it myself. Your review reminds me a bit of Stir of Echoes, but maybe more esoteric.

  17. #437
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    Campbell is another whose work I should love, whose legacy and influence is undeniable and admirable, and whose short stories I've largely enjoyed...but his novels, for whatever reason, typically fall flat with me. Too oblique and subtle, too dense and Liverpoolian, too much obfuscation to create a true narrative flow, I don't know...but while I have enjoyed his short stories for the most part (ALONE WITH THE HORRORS, in particular, is a fine collection), that style that works for me in the short form just doesn't carry over into the long form. I do think early novels, like THE PARASITE, tend to be a bit accessible before he fine-tuned his style to a razor's edge, but I still wouldn't call them my cup of tea.

    Not anymore, anyhow -- I think I used to have more patience for that type of writing Back in the Day, so I have read a number of his novels, but that just hasn't continued to today. Looking at Wikepedia, I've read these, with perhaps an exception or two:

    The Face That Must Die (expurgated version 1979) (Restored text: 1983)
    The Parasite (1980) (published in the US with a different ending as To Wake the Dead)
    The Nameless (1981) (filmed in 1999 as The Nameless)
    The Claw (1983) (AKA Night of the Claw, Claw) (written as Jay Ramsay)
    Incarnate (1983)
    Obsession (1985) (Note: Written under the working title For the Rest of Their Lives)
    The Hungry Moon (1986) (Note: Written under the working title Blind Dark)
    The Influence (1988)
    Ancient Images (1989)
    Midnight Sun (1990)
    Needing Ghosts (1990) (novella published stand-alone; later collected in Strange Things and Stranger Places)
    The Count of Eleven (1991)
    The Long Lost (1993)
    The One Safe Place (1995)
    The House on Nazareth Hill (1996) (AKA Nazareth Hill)
    The Last Voice They Hear (1998)
    Silent Children (2000)
    Pact of the Fathers (2001) (filmed in 2002 as Second Name)

    ...but that 2001 novel was the last one I've read. As I recall, PACT OF THE FATHERS was one of three (the final?) novels that were more thrillers than horror, an experiment he was trying with his writing and career. It didn't click as he'd hoped, so he returned to his horror roots. I, however, didn't go along for the rest of the ride.

  18. #438
    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Ron, of the ones you did read, how would you rank them or what were your top few?

  19. #439
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theli View Post
    Ron, of the ones you did read, how would you rank them or what were your top few?
    Yikes, you're asking me to go back 20 or 30 years on books that I wasn't too enamored to begin with (just read a lot more and a lot faster in those days)...but I'll give it a shot. The four that stand out as having some sort of positive connection to memory (the others are just essentially blank...I know by title that I read them, but otherwise...) are THE PARASITE, THE HOUSE ON NAZARETH HILL, ANCIENT IMAGES, and OBSESSION. Oh, and THE FACE THAT MUST DIE is an odd semi-biographical work that is worth adding to the mix. Based on the small nuggest of memory that I have of each, I'd probably give the nod to THE HOUSE ON NAZARETH HILL and ANCIENT IMAGES...but were it me, I'd give ALONE WITH THE HORRORS a try first, and if that floats your boat then give his full-length works a try.

  20. #440
    Senior Member Hearing Voices bugen's Avatar
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    I'll throw in some support for The Influence. I thought that one was excellent.
    “Reality is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”
    -John Barth

    https://bugensbooks.com/

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