Great Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

Great Tales of HorrorGreat Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not new to the idea of the Cthullu mythos, the stories have been around since the 1930’s so it’s almost impossible not to know of them. If you don’t know about the stories, maybe you’ve seen The Reanimator or heard of it. In any case, you’ve probably heard of Lovecraft or the niche he created with his writings.

This is a collection of all his writings, which I was surprised to know that all he wrote were short stories. I thought he had this epic series around the Cthullu mythologies. Even so, his works aren’t all about Cthullu, and in fact the works only give him a passing mention to explain the goings on in the stories.

My favorite horror author is Stephen King, and these aren’t the “in your face” fears that he writes about. These are more of an all encompassing, world ending, deep fear; and I liked it. Lovecraft’s writing style is first person, and as this person is telling you his story, the fear creeps up little by little. The story starts out fairly normal, then you can tell something isn’t quite right, and by the end, you’re curled up in a fetal position hoping it will all blow over.

Lovecraft is a horror genre classic, the Cthullu mythology is enduring, and it’s just plain good storytelling.

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Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Just After SunsetJust After Sunset by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stephen King is one of my most favorite authors and I love that he still writes short stories (and publishes them!). I’ve read another short story anthology by him and loved that one too. I can’t say that I’ve read anything from Mr. King that I didn’t like or love.

He explores several topics in this anthology, life after death, dreams, other dimensions, loss, and perilous situations. No two stories are completely alike and that gives this collection a nice flow. I’m glad the themes change from story to story.

He also includes a brief explanation of how the stories came to be, how he came to start writing short stories again, and the art of writing short stories. I love that too about Stephen King, he gives us a glimpse into the mind of a brilliant writer.

Horror stories aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the genre, you should be reading Stephen King.

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From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

From a Buick 8From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been ages since I’ve read a Stephen King book, and I don’t know why that is because I count Stephen King as one of my favorite authors. I rectified that by reading this book. I’m not much of a car person, though I do know a few bits and pieces, but this book doesn’t really get into the mechanics of a car.

If you couldn’t tell, the title gives the plot away. It’s all about a car, a Buick 8-cylinder Roadmaster, though it’s not an ordinary car, not with Stephen King. It’s a guys book, because it’s a car, and it’s the ’70s. But, it’s still a very good read, and there are a couple of females that comment on it. But the main narrator is a guy.

They story of the Buick is told in flashbacks, how the policemen of Troop D found it, what happened over the years, and then what happened just now, and then a bit later. This book has a long timeline, almost a good 4o years worth.

It’s not scary like Cujo, where there is an actual “monster” to contend with, this is much more subtle. Even so, with most Stephen King books there is an element of “this could happen to you” and that is present here, but it takes a little more believing. If you like Stephen King, if you like cars, if you like a good horror story, see if you can find this one.

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Meet Me at the Library

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Another duo from my local library, 2 very different books – one by Agatha Christie, a classic mystery, another by Stephen King someone I’m surprised I haven’t read more of on this blog as he’s one of my favorite authors.

Spider’s Web by Agatha Christie

In the bestselling tradition of Black Coffee and The Unexpected Guest, a classic Christy mystery is finally available in novel form. Clarissa discovers a body in the drawing room and must hide it from her husband and the police while attempting to uncover the identity of the murderer.

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

At first glance, Stephen King’s latest bears a familial resemblance to Christine , his 1983 saga of a haunted, homicidal Plymouth Fury. But From a Buick 8 is a marked departure from this earlier tale of adolescent angst and teenage tribal rituals. It is the work of an older, more reflective writer, one who knows that the most pressing questions often have no answers.

The story begins in western Pennsylvania in 1979, when a mysterious figure parks a vintage Buick Roadmaster at a local gas station, then disappears forever. The police discover that the Buick isn’t a car at all but rather a Buick-shaped enigma: self-healing; impregnable to dents, dirt, and scratches; composed of unidentifiable materials; and containing a completely nonfunctional engine. Confronted with a mystery of unprecedented proportions, the troopers of Barracks D claim the Buick for themselves and spend 20 years attempting to understand its nature, purpose, and provenance.

Over the years, the Buick is the site of a number of inexplicable occurrences, from occasional blinding “lightquakes” to more sinister happenings that suggest this alien object is a doorway to another dimension. King recounts the most dramatic of these with an intensity and attention to detail that evoke a primordial sense of terror, awe, and revulsion. Through it all, and despite the obsessive fascination of those around it, the Buick remains an impregnable mystery. And that, of course, is very much the point. The world, King tells us, rarely stops to explain itself. From a Buick 8 is one of King’s best, mostly tightly focused novels since The Green Mile . With great narrative economy, it encompasses 25 years in the interconnected lives of a diverse group of characters, and its unmistakable, deeply familiar voice is as haunting and engaging as ever. On the evidence at hand, it’s clear that King continues to command the hypnotic power that has made him one of the dominant figures in modern popular culture. Bill Sheehan

Keep reading little book worms!

Dollar Tree Book Reviews – Part One

I’ve bought quite a few books from the Dollar Tree in my time here on this blog, and I think the time has come to do a collective review on some of them. So, without further ado here is a video of my talking about some books from the Dollar Tree!

 

The books I cover in this video are:

 

Keep reading little book worms!

Ouija by Katharine Turner

OuijaOuija by Katharine Turner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a quick read. It’s based on a script, which is basically what it reads like, and it reads like young adult or even teen reading. It’s not very long, and lines are almost double spaced throughout. Once the plot got going it was very predictable. This happened, followed by this, and ending like that.

It’s very much a book based on a movie and you can tell. It was alright, and worth the buck I paid for it at the Dollar Tree, but there are more interesting and worthwhile books to read rather than this one. I wouldn’t seek it out again.

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The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall

The Beautiful Indifference: StoriesThe Beautiful Indifference: Stories by Sarah Hall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked reading this short story compilation for two reasons: the story and the storytelling.

The stories themselves were interesting, with a twist of horror; believable horror. They all had a tiny bit of real life tragedy that anyone could come into contact with in our daily lives. That’s what made them good to me. It had a touch of Stephen King.

But the storytelling, Oh! the way Sarah Hall drove you into the emotions the characters were feeling, the way she told the story was brilliant. I definitely need to re-read this book and take some pointers from her on storytelling.

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