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Thread: February - How Many...?

  1. #1
    Member Part-timer JasonUK's Avatar
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    February - How Many...?

    Here are the 4 books I managed to read.

    Harold Schechter - Bestial (7/10) Meticulously researched account of America's first 'modern' serial killer, Earle Leonard Nelson. The audacity and depravity of his crimes is matched only by the incompetence of the police. The one disappointment was that there were no photos in the book, not even of the killer himself.

    Dean Koontz - The Forbidden Door (6/10) Continuation of the Jane Hawk series, this is the weakest book so far, with no great plot twists but still has plenty of action. Hopefully Koontz will bring the story back to a satisfying conclusion as the first 3 books were excellent.

    Thomas F Monteleone - Night-train (4/10) Three cookie-cutter characters; an ambitious reporter, a tough but sensitive detective and an eccentric professor, team up against a range of villains including a serial killer, giant leeches, albino dwarf monks and a dinosaur! The author also throws in references to Greek myth, Lovecraft's Necronomicon and Cthulhu, and Fritz Leiber's Megalopolismancy. Yes, this book includes everything apart from a single original thought.

    Mort Castle - Little Cobalt Book of Old Blue Stories (2/10) Supposedly erotic stories from 70's skin mags. I guess you had to be there.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonUK View Post
    Here are the 4 books I managed to read.

    Harold Schechter - Bestial (7/10) Meticulously researched account of America's first 'modern' serial killer, Earle Leonard Nelson. The audacity and depravity of his crimes is matched only by the incompetence of the police. The one disappointment was that there were no photos in the book, not even of the killer himself.

    Dean Koontz - The Forbidden Door (6/10) Continuation of the Jane Hawk series, this is the weakest book so far, with no great plot twists but still has plenty of action. Hopefully Koontz will bring the story back to a satisfying conclusion as the first 3 books were excellent.

    Thomas F Monteleone - Night-train (4/10) Three cookie-cutter characters; an ambitious reporter, a tough but sensitive detective and an eccentric professor, team up against a range of villains including a serial killer, giant leeches, albino dwarf monks and a dinosaur! The author also throws in references to Greek myth, Lovecraft's Necronomicon and Cthulhu, and Fritz Leiber's Megalopolismancy. Yes, this book includes everything apart from a single original thought.

    Mort Castle - Little Cobalt Book of Old Blue Stories (2/10) Supposedly erotic stories from 70's skin mags. I guess you had to be there.
    I used to read all of Schechter's non-fiction. His book on Albert Fish (DEPRAVED? DERANGED?) was truly disturbing.

  3. #3
    Member Part-timer JasonUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    I used to read all of Schechter's non-fiction. His book on Albert Fish (DEPRAVED? DERANGED?) was truly disturbing.
    This is the first book I've read by him. I've got a couple of his novels as well which I'll move up my reading list based on the strength of this one.

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Got through ten reads this month:

    Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury:
    I may or not have read this in high school. Decided to revisit his old tale. Parts of the story really grabbed me and other parts just dragged along.
    3 Stars

    This Dark Chest of Wonders: 40 Years of Stephen King's The Stand by Andy Burns:
    I am not really sure what I expected from this book but what I got wasn’t it. The book touches briefly on the cultural impact of the story but mainly discusses the many adaptations. Miniseries, Audiobook, comic etc. It relies heavily on interviews with persons involved with the adaptation. Some of the interviews were very informative and could have been longer. Some of them were filled with odd banter like repeatedly telling the interviewer what a great question he asked. Overall, I got enough out of the book to really like it.
    4 Stars

    Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta:
    First Michael Koryta I have read and it will not be my last. This is a tale about a teenage boy who witnesses a murder and the murders are now out to kill him. The decision is made to get him off the grid and send him to a wilderness training course for trouble boys. The story is a fast-paced ride with several twists and turns. A little Rambo with a little No Country for Old Men a very original story that is very fun to read.
    4 Stars

    Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album by Danny Robins:
    This is one of the Audible freebies for the month. The first chapter was essentially a retelling about how Mr. Cash and his record producer were able to schedule a show at Folsom. I had heard this story before and was afraid that this would a re-hash rather than any untold stories. Boy was I wrong. From that point the story was fascinating and full of information I had never heard. There were a couple of points about the show that really surprised me but the main thrust was about the relationship with the inmate Gen Sherley.
    5 Stars

    In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper by Lawrence Bloch:
    I have the limited edition of this anthology on order from Cemetery Dance but a sale at Audible prompted me to read it early. As with many anthologies some of the stories were fantastic and some were less so. I had read the King story before but I can’t remember where. It will be interesting to get the limited and see each painting that served as inspiration for the story.
    3 Stars

    Savage Season (Hap and Leonard #1) by Joe R Lansdale:
    Really enjoyed the Hap and Leonard TV series and am sad it will not be returning. After finishing John Scali’s Old Man’s War series last month I decided it was time to start another series. This story felt like a fun time with old friends and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to continuing the Hap and Leonard read for a while.
    5 Stars


    A Little Aqua Book of Marine Tales by Tim Waggoner:
    This is the latest book in the Borderlands little book series. This is a true theme book as each story involves water. While I enjoyed the stories, I was not blown away.
    3 Stars

    An Unusual Proposition for a Mountain Man by Brian James Freeman:
    This is the latest chap book for supporters of Mr. Freemans Patroen page. The story is about a lady who shows up at the cabin of a mountain man with a, well you probably guessed, unusual proposition. This is a very unique story with some unexpected twists.
    4 Stars

    Sideways (The Sideways Trilogy #1) by Rex Pickett:
    So, this was an interesting one. I have been a big fan of the movie for years. Never even new it was based on book until it popped up on sale at audible. This is one of those rare stories where the movie stays true to the story while telling a very different story. At points I like the book better and at points I like the movie better. Now that I know the books exists, I am really looking forward to reading the next two. The second one even takes place in the Willamette valley wine country which I am very familiar with.
    4 Stars

    Killer by Nature (an Audible Original Audiobook) by Jan Smith:
    Another Audible freebie. This is a story about a serial killer locked away when the killing starts up again. Is this a case of a copycat, unlikely as some elements of the killings were never released and they are being replicated? Did he have an accomplice? Was he never the guilty person even though he claims it was him? The story takes some interesting turns and is overall a great story.
    4 Stars

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonUK View Post
    Here are the 4 books I managed to read.

    Harold Schechter - Bestial (7/10) Meticulously researched account of America's first 'modern' serial killer, Earle Leonard Nelson. The audacity and depravity of his crimes is matched only by the incompetence of the police. The one disappointment was that there were no photos in the book, not even of the killer himself.

    Dean Koontz - The Forbidden Door (6/10) Continuation of the Jane Hawk series, this is the weakest book so far, with no great plot twists but still has plenty of action. Hopefully Koontz will bring the story back to a satisfying conclusion as the first 3 books were excellent.

    Thomas F Monteleone - Night-train (4/10) Three cookie-cutter characters; an ambitious reporter, a tough but sensitive detective and an eccentric professor, team up against a range of villains including a serial killer, giant leeches, albino dwarf monks and a dinosaur! The author also throws in references to Greek myth, Lovecraft's Necronomicon and Cthulhu, and Fritz Leiber's Megalopolismancy. Yes, this book includes everything apart from a single original thought.

    Mort Castle - Little Cobalt Book of Old Blue Stories (2/10) Supposedly erotic stories from 70's skin mags. I guess you had to be there.
    Haven't read Night-Train but your description could be applied to anything I have read by him.

  6. #6
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    Finished 6 in February. The month definitely ended better than it started.

    Twelve Gauge by Ronald Kelly started out with a promising premise, the spirit/ghost of an executed mass murdered convinces his estranged son to complete the killings he started 15 years earlier. However, the storyline quickly lost momentum after an interesting start. Kelly tells a fast paced tale, but my biggest problems were the seemingly invincibility of the teenage protagonist and ineptitude of any & all law enforcement characters and agencies, which removed any believability from the story. 2 / 5

    Like a Dead Man Walking & Other Shadow Tales was a pretty forgettable collection of nearly all new fiction by William F. Nolan. The only interesting stories were the title tale and the opening story ('Blood Countess'), and they were average at best. For Nolan completist only. 2 / 5

    Snowblind by Michael McBride is a fast paced story about a hunting party stranded by a blizzard in the Colorado mountains and being hunted by something in the woods. Typical of McBride this is a well paced tale with enough real world science to lend the storyline a real world credibility. 4 / 5

    Use Once Then Destroy by Conrad Williams. I liked the first thing I ever read by Williams, The Unblemished, about 10 years ago, but have not cared for anything I've read by him since. Figured I'd give him one more try, since I've had this collection on my book shelf for about a decade. Didn't work. Read the first two stories, won't be reading any more. I've come to the conclusion that Williams just isn't a writer to my tastes. DNF

    Pwdre Ser by Kurt Fawver is the newest chapbook from the resurrected Dim Shore Press. An unidentified object crashes in the middle of an isolated community. The object contains a jelly-like substance which soon enthralls the towns' populace. The story started out interesting, as it had a 'Color out of Space' vibe to it, but ultimately the author didn't really do anything interesting with the plotline. 2 / 5

    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is HP Lovecraft's only novel length work, published posthumously in the late 1930's. The short novel tells the story of Charles Dexter Ward, a young boy with an interest in the archaic & the occult, who accidentally stumbles upon a way to restore to life a distant relative who was a sorcerer and master of the arcane. Needless to say, things do not end well for CDW. Not my favorite of HPL, but still an interesting tale. Third time I've read it & it still held my interest. The edition published by PS also includes the short story 'Count Magnus' by MR James, which was a major influence on HPL in writing The Case of CDW. 4 / 5

    Human Pieces by James Cooper was my introduction to Cooper and one of the best collections I've read in recent years. The stories in this collection had very minimal, if any, supernatural elements to them, instead focusing on the real world, mainly disturbing familial relationships. My favorites stories included 'The Pig Farm' (one of the most disturbing stories I've ever read - about a young girl's relationship with her father and brothers on an isolated pig farm after the death of her mother), 'S , K.' (a father reconnects with his dying son through the books of Stephen King; one of the few stories in the collection that ended with an uplifting slant), 'Night Fishing' (a night of fishing & drinking leads to a revelation that rips apart a group of life-long friends), 'Man's Ruin' (a young man deals with an abusive stepfather and a delusional grandfather through a tattoo) and 'The Farmer's Wife' (a young man struggles with the revelation of his friend's death as a teenager to his long abused mother). As you can probably guess, these are not happy stories, but very compelling reading. Highly recommended. 4.5 / 5


    B.

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