As a big fan of Richard Laymon, I am always on the lookout for books of his that I do not own.
At this time of year, I couldn't have asked for a better find.
Aside from the rather abrupt ending, classic Laymon!
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Monday, October 26, 2015
As a fan of Paul Campion's short films 'Night of the Hell Hamsters' & 'Eel Girl' (see past reviews) I am happy to tell you that Campion has just acquired the rights to author Josh Viola’s dark story “The Librarian,” which is part of the newly released “Nightmares Unhinged” anthology by Hex Publishers.
Filming will begin in London, next summer, once Campion finishes directing “The Naughty List,” another short based on work from Brian Keene(!)
Preproduction for “The
Naughty List” is already well under way and filming is due to begin in early 2016.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Genre - Dark Crime/Neo-Noir/Horror
Year Published - 2015 [*Nov. 3rd]
Length - 240 (digital) pages
Written by Adam Howe
Rating: 5+ Skulls
Three original novellas of hard-bolied crime, graphic horror, and pitch-black gallows humor.
[The beauty of reading this book, digitally, is that I did not have a back-of-the-book/book-flap summary to tell me what each of the stories are about, which makes it more interesting!
So, the above is the only description that you will get from me.] ;-)
I am still having trouble narrowing Howe down as to exactly what type of genre writer he is... Splatterpulp maybe?
Well, whatever specific genre he is pigeonholed under, he is the King of it!
In fact, I would say it is fair that whatever genre Howe decides to dabble in that he will dominate it!
(To steal a phrase from Randy Chandler - another Comet Press author that I will be looking into - who happened to write the intro to this book; Howe is a "wizard with words"!)
One of the novellas in this book is 'Gator Bait' which I read (and reviewed) as a stand-alone story, back in August, so no need to re-cap that one, other to say that it is a great read, and fits perfectly into this collection!
As for the other two novellas in this book:
I had every intention of saying that 'Damn Dirty Apes' was going to be my favorite of Howe's stories, thus far, however the rawness of the title story 'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' takes the cake (we'll get to that).
You may recall, from a prior post of mine, that there was some controversy over 'Damn Dirty Apes' involving S.P.N.A.S.A. (the Society for the Preservation of the North American Skunk Ape).
After having now read the story, I do not see what all the fuss was about. (this controversy is recollected at the end of this book in Howe's "Story Notes")
For the record, I found the skunk ape hunter, Jameson T. Salisbury, to be more of a Captain Ahab type character (even moreso than Howe's professed Quint from Jaws) as opposed to the slanderous perception of the General Secretary of S.P.N.A.S.A., but enough of that...
As great as 'Damn Dirty Apes' is, one of my favorite parts about it is the fact that it directly ties in to another of Howe's stories from 'Black Cat Mojo'. I don't know that this story would have happened, the way that it did, without that video camera!
Now, for the title story:
In my last Howe review [Black Cat Mojo] in the comment section, Howe responded, and I asked him about a future novel...
Well, after having now read 'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' not having a full-length novel may not be such a bad thing after all. I am not sure how much more I could have handled of this story!
Seriously though, the majority of Howe's tales have laugh-out-loud funny moments spattered throughout them. Not so with 'Die Dog...'
You can tell, right away, from the epigraphs that Howe chose for this one (quotes from Ted Bundy and Texas Chainsaw Massacre) that this one is going to be a very dark, horrific ride.
But what a thrill ride it is!
For me, every story that I have read of Howe's plays like a movie in my head, but none so much as this one.
Be forewarned though - this one is straight-up horror - if you are at all familiar with Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Ray Garton, Edward Lee, or Bryan Smith, their stories seem tame compared to this one!
In Howe's own words (from his "Story Notes")
"Every so often, I’ll write something so disturbing it gives me pause."
If that doesn't give you a heads up, I don't know what will.
So, don't say I didn't warn you.
Don't miss out on this book - mark your calendars now for November 3rd!
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
While waiting for a book, on order, to arrive, I was faced with the dilemma every avid reader faces... which book should I read next?
(this was the day before I received a review copy of 'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' so I do not have to face the dilemma this time around!)
After having just finished 'Black Cat Mojo' I decided I needed something to cleanse my mental palette, so to speak ;-) so I grabbed a book off of my wife's "to be read" pile.
I had heard nothing but good things about this book, and I know that it is getting ready to be made into a movie, and I always like to read the book beforehand, if I am able to, (I missed the opportunity with last year's 'Gone Girl') so I chose this one.
This book is definitely a great debut!
Paula Hawkins nailed the narrative and keeps you guessing right up until the end.
Definitely recommended if you are curious about this one, like I was.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
"In these three novellas of blackly comic crime and creature horror, you'll go slumming with well-endowed dwarf porn stars, killer badgers, redneck mama's boys, morbidly obese nympomaniacs, dumbass dog-nappers, trailer trash Jesus freaks, diarrheic Jack Russell Terriers, not-so-wiseguys, mob-movie memorabilia collectors, junkie blackmailers, and giant man eating Burmese pythons."
[All of the above, in under 200 pages!]
Who thinks of this crazy stuff?!?
Adam Howe, that's who!
Howe has quickly become my favorite newly discovered author this year.
(If you missed my review of 'Gator Bait', back in August, it is currently FREE to download on the Kindle app. I would definitely recommend doing so, pronto!)
As for 'Black Cat Mojo' - there is a blurb, written by S. R. Mastrantone, which says, "Black Cat Mojo makes you feel like you've stumbled across a treasure trove filled with the stories Tarantino was too afraid to tell. . ."
This blurb sums up Howe perfectly!
When you read Howe, it is like you are reading a Tarantino flick on paper.
If you like your crime fiction dark & twisted, then this is a must-read!
One of those books where time flies!
There is also another tale included in this book that was originally published in Nightmare Magazine, last year, so you get four stories for the price of three! ;-)
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2015
Length - 323 (print) pages
Written by D. Nathan Hilliard
"Don't you hate it when your neighborhood slides into Hell"
Rating: 5+ Skulls
Welcome to Coventry Woods. . .
. . .a tranquil, middle class neighborhood where trees turn the streets into shady tunnels, soccer moms jog on secluded paths, and backyard barbeques are weekend staples. It's a quiet, urban example of the American dream. Here businessmen are neighbors with DJs, young doctors buy their first houses, and author Mark Garret has been settling in with his lovely new wife and stepdaughter.
But tonight Coventry Woods is going to come with something Mark never bargained on.
The pits of Hell have yawned wide and poured their contents into the midnight streets and homes. Everything has gone insane. Shots and screams ring out in the night, while death stalks the darkness in forms this earth has never before seen. Even worse, the only escape is by foot.
Now Mark, along with his daughter and his back-fence neighbor, must flee the neighborhood while attempting to help the people they meet. And it won't be easy. They will be walking a gauntlet of unearthly predators as they strive for a goal they aren't sure still exists...
...the outside world.
If you are not reading D. Nathan Hilliard, this needs to change immediately!
Hilliard does not disappoint!!
(as you can see by his consistent 5+ ratings - see past reviews for 'Dead Stop' and 'Spiderstalk' - the + stands for exceptional work, which I do not give out lightly)
I cannot give Hilliard enough accolades!
He is a true Master of Horror!
More than that, he is a Master of Terror!
You cannot ask for more from an author than to create a story that seems so real that you feel that you are living it, along with the characters, and that is exactly what Hilliard does.
Just in time for Halloween, Hilliard has crafted a tale that may seem far-fetched, yet is seemingly plausible and truly horrific! The story takes place over the span of a few hours and is completely riveting. This is a story that would make H. P. Lovecraft proud!
A true nightmare!
Best Horror Novel of the Year - no doubt!
Monday, September 28, 2015
Genre - Horror/Sci-Fi
Year Published - 2015
Length - 105 (print) pages
Written by Paul M. Feeney
Rating: 4 Skulls
We've all been there - the dreaded early morning commute.
The surly driver; the obnoxious teenagers; the guy who just has to invade your personal space; the awkwardness as everyone avoids any kind of social interaction with anyone else; the frustrations of snarled-up traffic and tail-backs.
For most of us, a trip on public transport is about as bad as it gets.
For these passengers, it's about to get a lot worse.
Jonathon, Justine, and Hanna don't know each other, but they're about to be thrown together as a simple journey to work turns into a race for survival.
Mysterious objects begin to fall from the sky, the early onset of an alien invasion.
Mutated monsters, trigger-happy soldiers, and personality clashes abound on. . .
The Last Bus
Clocking in at just over 100 pages, this super-quick read is a must for any fan of Sci-Fi "B" movies.
Feeney is a master at fast character development. You are quickly attached to each of his characters, and you immediately know who you like and who you dislike.
My biggest disappointment with this book is its size - I wanted so much more!!
Aside from the story itself, the best thing about this book is that it has made me a Feeney fan! I am now eagerly awaiting his first full-length novel, which can't come soon enough!
The only way to currently purchase this book is through http://www.crowdedquarantine.co.uk/store/p29/The_Last_Bus_by_Paul_M._Feeney_%28Signed%2FNumber_Limited_Edition%29.html
I highly recommend that you do so, as it is a signed, limited-edition (only 250 copies!), nicely-bound book.