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Thread: April - How Many?

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    April - How Many?

    April 2019 Reads:

    Nine books completed in April.

    A Little Red Books of Requests by Josh Malerman:
    The latest in Borderlands Little book series. This entry contains three previously unpublished stories. Each story showed potential but each also failed to really satisfy me.
    3 Stars

    Revival by Stephen King:
    This was an Audible re-read. I remember enjoying but not loving this story when I originally read the hardbound version. My views did not change. This is a very enjoyable story.
    4 Stars

    The Silence by Tim Lebbon:
    This is a horror story published in 2015 but it reads like a classic tale. I am sure part of that is that it is an England novel and the language is slightly different. This is a story is about a family as they attempt to make it to safety after of an infestation of large flying creatures begin attacking any thing that makes a sound. The creatures also reproduce at a rapid pace. Society quickly collapses and to avoid attack you must not make noises.
    4 Stars

    True West
    by Sam Shepard:
    This is an audio play that primarily takes place between two brothers whose lives have gone in completely directions. They are brought together at their Moms home while she is out of town. At times I really enjoyed this story and at times it felt formulaic and like it wasnít going anywhere. My concern that it would not have a conclusion was not warranted but it did leave my unsatisfied.
    3 Stars

    Geraldís Game by Stephen King:
    Continuing my re-read of all Kings work on Audible I jumped into Geraldís Game. I think this is the first one that I liked less than I remember. At times the story felt forced and I do not remember that from the original read. I believe I read this before Delores Claiborne originally and the links to that story are larger than I realized. I enjoyed it but it did drop from a 4 star read to 3 stars.
    3 Stars

    The Long Way Home by Richard Chizmar:
    A varied mix of short stories, containing traditional horror, addiction, police drama, even some unexpected sci-fi thrown. There are even a couple of very personal essays. Overall a great read. The stories include collaborations with Ed Gorman, Ray Garton, Brian Keene and the authors son Billy Chizmar. This was a very enjoyable read. I will say that it does not pack the emotional punch A Long December does, but few books do.
    4 Stars

    The Long Walk by Slawomir Rawicz:
    I cannot recall how many times I have read this book. I have a ratty old paperback. This time I decided to try the Audible edition. The Narrator does a great job and this story remains one I will always return to. This is a true tale pf a Polish soldier captured by the Soviets at the beginning of World War II and sent to a Labor camp in Siberia. He and a few others escape and walk from Siberia to India.
    5 Stars

    Bad Chili (Hap and Leonard #4) by Joe R Lansdale:
    This was the first Hap and Leonard story I went into with no idea what the story was since the TV show did not make it this far. Although these stories are all variants on a single theme, I am really enjoying them. This one was my favorite story so far. These are just fun stories!
    5 Stars

    Lifeguard by Jason Sechrest:
    This is a quick read that really packs a punch. A 13-year-old boy is relentlessly bullied by his stepfather. He finds a protector who may just save his life. The story feels very personal and has a twist that really makes the story! This was an audio book available from Jasonís Patreon page and if this is what I can expect going forward I will really enjoy this subscription. This is the first fiction I have read from Mr. Sechrest also.

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    Senior Member Hearing Voices
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    Tried reading the Malerman LITTLE BOOK tonight. Just godawful. And Borderlands’ copyediting sure isn’t getting any better... A disappointment all the way around.

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    Tried reading the Malerman LITTLE BOOK tonight. Just godawful. And Borderlands’ copyediting sure isn’t getting any better... A disappointment all the way around.
    I was fine with the story ideas but the execution was lacking. The copy errors were a little distracting.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Only read two:

    THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD by Michael Koryta. Loved it. Lots of action and really unique villains with an education in survival on a mountain thrown in. Not a deep book exploring profound themes or anything, but a great face-paced story that feels like a thrill ride.

    CELLARS by John Shirley. Loved this one too! Really an excellent book with greed, occult, and monsters rising from the underworld. Really I was expecting some clunky C.H.U.D. type story where monsters emerge from the underworld, snatch screaming people, drag them into the depths and then gore ensues. But this story had much more than that. ALSO, I found a lot of similarities between CELLARS and IT. CELLARS is not a coming-of-age story at all, and it doesn't flow the lives of children (though children and, to some extent, bullying play a large role in it) but there are things that really gave me pause. For example, the opening scene in IT plays out in a very similar way in CELLARS. I'm definitely not accusing King of plagiarism--but I could see where he may have taken inspiration. Anyway, I loved this book. Surely, I might have to seek out more Shirley.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Only read two:

    THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD by Michael Koryta. Loved it. Lots of action and really unique villains with an education in survival on a mountain thrown in. Not a deep book exploring profound themes or anything, but a great face-paced story that feels like a thrill ride.

    CELLARS by John Shirley. Loved this one too! Really an excellent book with greed, occult, and monsters rising from the underworld. Really I was expecting some clunky C.H.U.D. type story where monsters emerge from the underworld, snatch screaming people, drag them into the depths and then gore ensues. But this story had much more than that. ALSO, I found a lot of similarities between CELLARS and IT. CELLARS is not a coming-of-age story at all, and it doesn't flow the lives of children (though children and, to some extent, bullying play a large role in it) but there are things that really gave me pause. For example, the opening scene in IT plays out in a very similar way in CELLARS. I'm definitely not accusing King of plagiarism--but I could see where he may have taken inspiration. Anyway, I loved this book. Surely, I might have to seek out more Shirley.
    Sure, I could correct my post to read fast-paced, but I think I prefer face-paced!

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    I was fine with the story ideas but the execution was lacking. The copy errors were a little distracting.
    Will say, you guys are beginning to make me doubt my love of Malerman's work. And then I read his stuff and the doubt goes away. Though I do agree with you both that two of the stories in the Little Red Book are just scraps.

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Only read two:

    THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD by Michael Koryta. Loved it. Lots of action and really unique villains with an education in survival on a mountain thrown in. Not a deep book exploring profound themes or anything, but a great face-paced story that feels like a thrill ride.

    CELLARS by John Shirley. Loved this one too! Really an excellent book with greed, occult, and monsters rising from the underworld. Really I was expecting some clunky C.H.U.D. type story where monsters emerge from the underworld, snatch screaming people, drag them into the depths and then gore ensues. But this story had much more than that. ALSO, I found a lot of similarities between CELLARS and IT. CELLARS is not a coming-of-age story at all, and it doesn't flow the lives of children (though children and, to some extent, bullying play a large role in it) but there are things that really gave me pause. For example, the opening scene in IT plays out in a very similar way in CELLARS. I'm definitely not accusing King of plagiarism--but I could see where he may have taken inspiration. Anyway, I loved this book. Surely, I might have to seek out more Shirley.
    I really enjoyed Those Who Wish Me Dead. That one comes out of the gate strong and keeps the "face-pace" throughout!

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Will say, you guys are beginning to make me doubt my love of Malerman's work. And then I read his stuff and the doubt goes away. Though I do agree with you both that two of the stories in the Little Red Book are just scraps.
    I have to be honest. I have several of his books in my to be read pile and am having trouble motivating myself to pick them up. I have only read Bird Box, which I thought was just ok and The Little Red Book, which left me disappointed. He is no Bentley Little. (Unrelated, I did up my rating on Pet Sematary to 4 stars on re-read.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    He is no Bentley Little.
    My first chuckle of the day.

    At Jeff's expense, of course...which is the best kind of chuckle.

    "It's funny because it's true..."

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    My first chuckle of the day.

    At Jeff's expense, of course...which is the best kind of chuckle.

    "It's funny because it's true..."
    It was definitely a targeted comment.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    It was definitely a targeted comment.
    Definitely something we all agree on. Little is definitely no Malerman.

    Reading Little is worse than watching paint dry. At least paint changes through the course of the process. Often it gets darker as it dries. The characters in a Little novel are exactly the same at the end as they were in the beginning. Also, if you huff paint your mood can change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Also, if you huff paint your mood can change.
    Oh, Little has that going for him as well...

    smellbook.jpg

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    Oh, Little has that going for him as well...

    smellbook.jpg
    THAT's AWESOME!! hahahahahaha. To be fair, I huff all my books (as witnessed in my latest unboxing) and I probably huffed my copy of THE MAILMAN when I got it from CD.

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session bsaenz24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    THAT's AWESOME!! hahahahahaha. To be fair, I huff all my books (as witnessed in my latest unboxing) and I probably huffed my copy of THE MAILMAN when I got it from CD.
    Read it too quickly as "I probably huffed my MAILMAN"...

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsaenz24 View Post
    Read it too quickly as "I probably huffed my MAILMAN"...
    How can you not when he wears Fahrenheit!

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsaenz24 View Post
    Read it too quickly as "I probably huffed my MAILMAN"...
    Did that one too many times, now I can't go within 100 feet of my mailman. Sucks having to walk across the street to get my mail.

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    Finished 5 in April, one long novel and 4 shorter works.

    The City of Mirrors is the conclusion to Justin Cronin's epic Passage trilogy. Now that I've finished the series I can say, without a doubt, this series of books is my all time favorite. It's been a long time since I've found myself immersed in a story as I was with these books. Will be interesting to see what direction Cronin takes next with his fiction. 5/5

    Lost Girl of the Lake by Joe McKinney & Michael McCarty. This one was a quick, novella-length read. A coming of age story involving an old family curse with a Lovecraftian twist. I liked this one a lot. I haven't read a lot by McKinney, but what I have read I've liked. Need to seek out more of his work in the future. 4/5

    A Little Aqua Book of Marine Tales by Tim Waggoner. All the stories in this short collection revolved around water, mainly the psychological effects of surviving a near drowning. The two stories I like best, 'Waters Dark and Deep" and "The Nature of Water" had a Lovecraftian feel to them. None of the other stories really stood out as memorable. 3/5 (4, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3.5)

    Nightflyers is a short SciFi / horror novel written by George RR Martin in the early 80's. I originally read this about 30 years ago and remembered that I liked it. It didn't hold up as well the second time around. The story is kind of clunky, the characters, other than 2 or 3 of the main characters, are interchangeable, and the dialogue is, for the most part, unbelievable. (There are two main characters, that just about every time they speak, they say the same phrase over and over again. Very quickly got annoying.) Still there is enough of a story here to provide some entertainment, especially if looking at it from the perspective of GRRM's development as a writer. 3/5

    Unearthed is a short two story collection; the stories were started by Richard Chizmar in the 80's and recently completed by Ray Garton & Brian Keene. The Garton story was an OK read. Entertaining, but had the feeling of being done before. (3.5/5) The Keene story, IMO, was the better of the two, although it felt like it needed to be fleshed out a little more. (4/5)

    B

  18. #18
    Member Part-timer JasonUK's Avatar
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    Here are my 4 books for the month.

    Stephen Leather - Midnight (7/10) Second book in an ongoing series of supernatural thrillers. Fast-paced compelling narrative as a British ex-cop tries to outfox demons & satanists. Good stuff.

    George RR Martin - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (7/10) Some adventures from a pre-Game of Thrones Westeros. More YA than the Song of Ice and Fire books, but told in Martin's compelling style. Fun but not in the same league as GOT.

    Joe Lansdale - Vanilla Ride (6/10) The title character doesn't appear until the last 50 pages of the book and just serves to highlight how mediocre the rest of the book has been.

    Richard Laymon - Cuts (8/10) Erotic thriller with all the usual elements of Laymon's writing - sex, gore, perversion, humour and above all immediacy. It doesn't make my Laymon top 10, but still much better than most of the genre books I read.

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    Here are my 7 books for the month.

    Don Winslow – The Border (8/10) Third book in trilogy. All three books were great; however, this was probably my least favorite of the three. Felt as if this book should have been about 200 pages shorter. Still, a great end to this series.

    Joe Lansdale – Elephant of Surprise (7/10) I will always like the Hap & Leonard novels due to Joe Lansdale’s voice; however, if I’m being honest, this one felt a bit rote to me. If you’ve read the last few, then you read this one.

    Josh Malerman - Birdbox (8.5/10) This was a reread for me. Liked it just as much, if not more, the second time around. Am interested to see what he will do with the sequel. Hopefully, it isn’t a money-grab due to the popularity of the Netflix movie.

    Josh Malerman – On This, The Day of the Pig (8/10) Enjoyed this one a lot. One of the more unique mind-control stories I have read. What a mean pig!

    Josh Malerman - Inspection (7.5/10) Was torn with this one. Didn’t really enjoy the first half of the book; however, once the 2nd half of the novel kicks off, I couldn’t put it down. I think what saved this one for me was the complete uniqueness of the story. Never read a story quite like this. Would make a great movie.

    CJ Tudor – The Chalk Man (8.5/10) This one lived up to the hype for me. Really enjoyed the story. Much bleaker than I thought it was going to be. On a side note- I do wish people would stop comparing any story with a group of kids in it to Stephen King’s “IT”.

    Christopher Golden - Ararat (8/10) This one was also reread for me. Just as good the 2nd time. Am hoping the sequel, “The Pandora Room”, will be even better. I believe “The Pandora Room” will be my first May read.

  20. #20
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sholloman81 View Post

    Josh Malerman – On This, The Day of the Pig (8/10) Enjoyed this one a lot. One of the more unique mind-control stories I have read. What a mean pig!

    Josh Malerman - Inspection (7.5/10) Was torn with this one. Didn’t really enjoy the first half of the book; however, once the 2nd half of the novel kicks off, I couldn’t put it down. I think what saved this one for me was the complete uniqueness of the story. Never read a story quite like this. Would make a great movie.
    Totally agree with both of these ratings. Though, I'd bump both a little higher. I thought PIG was his best to date. And the first half of INSPECTION was too slow. that definitely could have been trimmed back. But once that train starts rolling, it's unstoppable.

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