Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis Published by Picador USA, 2005

Lunar Park
by Bret Easton Ellis
Publisher by Picador USA, 2005

Bret Easton Ellis, author of modern classics such as "Less Than Zero" and "American Psycho" takes the reader into an uncategorized genre with this novel, "Lunar Park." What at first seems like a memoir listing the trials and tribulations of a young man that becomes a famous author while still in college ("Less Than Zero") and then becoming part of the Literary Brat pack and living the Rock and Roll lifestyle. Bret becomes an addict and loves the groupies the fame and the drugs. But this book takes an odd turn and the reader realizes this is no memoir. The book soon becomes a sort of a haunted house horror novel.

Basically what has happened in "Lunar Park" is that Bret has written himself in as a main character with a haunting past. The drugs, no ability to maintain a lasting/meaningful relationship and a verbally abusive father. The Bret Easton Ellis in the novel may not be too far from the real life Bret Easton Ellis, but keep in mind, it is a novel.

Bret Easton Ellis has lived the most extreme of celebrity lifestyles and even fathered a child with a model, Jayne Dennis. The only problem is that he denied he was the father (he claims that Keanu Reeves is the father). After years of continuously hitting bottom; there are tales of his publisher having to send a handler out with him on book tours to make sure he does not imbibe, but most of them quit, not able to handle the downfall.

Finally Bret's ex-girlfriend decides to take him in and maybe establish a family and help Bret get better. She has not only Bret's son, now 11, but also a 4 year old fathered by a record industry mogul. This already doomed family moves into a "McMansion" in suburbia in the northeast United States. They send their children to elite schools and keep the kids medicated on all the latest drugs, Ritalin, etc.

Bret decides to throw a Halloween party and this is where the horror begins. He soon becomes haunted by his father, who ignored him as a child but once Bret became rich and famous, tried to become part of his life. He is also strangely being haunted by the main character from his novel "American Psycho." All this while trying to become closer with his son and trying to form family bonds and dealing with the communities strange string of murders and missing children.

At the apex of this haunting story, the family is chased from their home by a carnivorous toy, and the home they are living in changing form into the home in which Bret was raised.

Very interesting story and some very good haunting, this horror story definitely would give Stephen King a run for his money.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:13 PM Comments: 0

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

The Birthing House
by Christopher Ransom
Read by Edward Herrmann
Published by Blackstone Audio
Approx 10 hours

Conrad Harrison receives a large inheritance from a father he hardly knew. In returning to his home in Los Angeles, Conrad stops in rural Wisconsin and buys a house. The century-old house was once a birthing house, where midwives delivered babies, whose history remembers countless deliveries of babies, both alive and dead. Conrad is immediately drawn to the house and goes back to Los Angeles to get his wife, Jo, so they can start over. Their marriage seems to be on the rocks, especially when arriving in L.A. Conrad finds a man with his wife. They move to the house and begin working on their marriage.

Jo doesn't feel comfortable in the house and quickly goes to Michigan for a job opportunity. While Conrad is home alone during her training period the old owner of the home stops by to drop off a photo album that has a history of the house. Looking at a photo album, Conrad sees a picture of his wife, staring back at him in rage. And from there we are launched into a horror story of possession, obsession, and murder, as Conrad descends into madness, where reality and dreams seem to blend until Conrad is completely unaware of what is real.

While Jo is gone, the neighbors take Conrad in and welcome him to the neighborhood by inviting him over for dinner. Here he meets all the neighbors and more importantly the rebellious pregnant daughter. Soon after he rescues the girl from an abusive boyfriend and shows her his project which is to try to breed some rare snakes that almost never breed in captivity. The girl points out that if this is true then they have a miracle when she discovers 9 eggs in the snake's cage. This is a female snake that has never been with a male.

Strange visits from ghostly apparitions, bizarre and violent behavior in his dogs, and an odd attraction to the pregnant teenager next door plague Conrad Harrison as he tries to understand what is happening to his sanity. Meanwhile, his wife becomes impossible to reach after admitting to him that she, herself, is pregnant but it can't be Conrad's.

This audio book is one of those haunted house stories that leaves you with chills and perking up every time you hear a sound. At the same time this haunted house story is based on births not just deaths like most haunted house stories.

Edward Herrmann is very convincing in reading this story, in that he captures every nuance and chill with the subtleties of his voice. When the main character Conrad is in his deepest state of the haunting, Herrmann's voice takes on an even more haunting chill which pulls the listener into the story so that escape is impossible.

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posted by Gil T. @ 9:58 PM Comments: 0

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
read by Katherine Kellgren
produced by Brilliance Audio
Approx. 11 hours

Being a horror fan the title of this book just screamed, "read me," but at the same time I was not looking forward to revisiting one of those classic books that you were forced to read back in the school days whether high school or college. I am really glad I did. This book is beyond any horror entertainment, it contains some great tongue-in-cheek humor. Really though, the best part of the book is that Seth Grahame-Smith stayed true to the Jane Austen writing while throwing in zombies, ninjas and Xiaolin monks (remember David Carradine & "Kung Fu"?).

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." That's how this book begins and right off you can tell this is not Jane Austen's novel, but I will say that for the first couple of chapters I began to wonder. It seemed like all Seth did was throw in a few references to zombies and the strange plague, but once the ball in which Mr. Bingley is to be introduced to the Bennet sisters begins and the zombies break in to attack the living, the Bennet sisters and their father form the pentagram of death stance and begin their Xiaolin warrior tactics to lop of the heads of the zombies. From this point on the reader/listener is unleashed into what may be the first zombie/romance novel.

For those of you that have read the Jane Austen novel and appreciate the great literary work, don't worry you won't be let down. In fact I think those that have read and appreciate the original may enjoy this retelling even more, and may find yourself laughing at the fun that is this novel. For those of you ought for a zombie massacre adventure, be careful you are going to be getting some classic literature thrown at you.

Without going through the entire synopsis of this story, I think I'll just point out some of the main features that makes this something worth picking up.

It is true that Mrs. Bennet is out to get her daughters married off, but Mr. Bennet feels that the girls' training in the "deadly arts" is needed to protect their home from the "unmentionables" (zombies). Elizabeth Bennet comes to despise Mr. Darcy due to prejudices she has developed against him from her observations. When he proposes marriage to Elizabeth they draw their Katanas (swords) and begin a martial arts showdown that leaves Mr. Darcy slightly wounded.

Lady Catherine, while entertaining Elizabeth in her home, wants to show off her ninja bodyguards and allows Elizabeth, with her lowly Kung Fu training, to spar against 4 of her ninjas. Elizabeth proceeds to kill all four ninjas, and does so while blindfolded. Later when Lady Catherine says she will not allow Elizabeth to marry her brother Darcy, the two match fighting prowess to the death for the honor. Elizabeth wins but as her punishment leaves Lady Catherine alive so she can witness the marriage of the two.

Oh yeah and zombies are in this book also. All in all this book is just one great mashup that is fun to read.

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:22 PM Comments: 0

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Hater" by David Moody

by David Moody
Read by Gerard Doyle
Produced by Blackstone Audio
approx 7.5 hours

In the modern world the internet is king. This is proven simply by you reading this review here online. David Moody took advantage of the mass audience created by the internet, by first publishing his book "Hater" online. Once the novel became popular publishers scrambled to make this book a publishing success. Now "Hater" is available as and audio book, and I'm here to tell you this apocalyptic novel is well performed by Gerard Doyle and Blackstone Audio.

In "Hater" the world seems to be tearing itself apart through the madness of man. Seemingly normal people are reacting as if a switch goes off and suddenly killing their fellow man. In the beginning of the book the main character, Danny McCoyne, through whose eyes we watch the destruction of society, witnesses a man in morning rush hour foot traffic attack an elderly woman with brutality unexplained. The man viciously attacks and doesn't stop until he finally kills her by stabbing her with an umbrella. When the crowd tries to stop the man he turns on them and fights to the end. Upset by the scene Danny arrives at work shaken. Danny is an everyday average guy with a wife and three children who works in the parking division for the city. His job consists of a constant barrage of anger from the people who get tickets or worse, their car gets clamped. He is also under constant scrutiny from his supervisor. So Danny has a bit of anger he keeps under control all the time. But no anger he holds could measure up to what horror unfolds in his world.

As the days progress Danny is witness to several people snapping and just killing without remorse and always in brutal fashion. One of Danny's children's school has a child that snaps and brutally attacks and kills a teacher. Soon the television news is reporting several of the violent crimes and it seems something is happening to the city. Those that snap are soon labeled as "Haters." The big question is, what? Is it a virus, a disease, mental instability? Soon the government steps in and takes over the news broadcasts, issues pamphlets and worse yet send out troops and begin gunning down the "Haters." Danny and his family take the government's advice and lock themselves inside the house but with a "Hater" being anyone are they locking out the danger or locking it in?

Gerard Doyle delivers this first person view this end of the world novel with great vocal command. He portrays the gamut of emotions as seen through Danny McCoyne's eyes, flawlessly.

David Moody has written a piece here with intense drama and horror that keeps the listener to the audio book constantly looking into the eyes of a stranger to make sure they are not a "Hater." As a very interesting side-note; filmmaker/Author Guillermo del Toro has purchased the movie rights to this book and is in production to be released some time in 2010.

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posted by Gil T. @ 9:01 PM Comments: 0

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Hell House" Written by Richard Matheson

"Hell House"
Written by Richard Matheson
Performed by Ray Porter
Produced by Blackstone Audio
approx. 9 hours

Here it is folks the ultimate haunted house book, "Hell House" by Richard Matheson. The man that brought vampires (or zombies,depending on how you look at it) to life in the book "I Am Legend," created a very chilling story about the ultimate haunted house. This is the book that inspired the 1973 film "The Legend of Hell House" which starred Roddy McDowell, yes the "Planet of the Apes" guy. Anyway before we go much further let me warn you this one is not for those that have a low tolerance for bad language. The evil of this house is created through one man's excursions and the people that lived and died in the house did some very evil things, and in the playing out of some of the actions and possessions some very colorful vernacular is used. So be prepared.

The reader of this audio book, Ray Porter, does a phenomenal job of separating characters vocally and delivers the horror with the right level of chill too keep your hair standing on end. Without using digital effects Ray's voice portrays those of the haunting spirits as though the disembodied voice is right there with you, okay, i know that technically it is, with an audio book, but he does things with his voice that may creep you out.

The story follows four people; Dr. Lionel Barrett, a physicist out to prove that hauntings are merely electro-magnetic parts of nature, his wife Edith, Florence Tanner, a medium who will help clear the house of its spirits and Benjamin Franklin Fischer, a medium and the only survivor from previous excursions to Hell House.

A very rich man on the edge of life wants to find if there is, or not, life after death. The perfect place to prove this is the notorious Belasco House, Hell House. Two different groups of people have visited Hell House to explore the haunting and only one has survived. The house's original owner, Emeric Belasco, was know to throw parties in which all party goes reveled in evil. All manner of sin is said to have occurred and many people died in the house during these parties. Belasco's body was never found and his evil is said to destroy all who enter the house.

The hired experts have to spend a week in the house to clear out or to prove the evil of Hell House.
Immediately they are treated to the evil that is Hell House. From rocking chairs that rock on their own to violent attacks the party learns they are not welcome. Dr. Barrett has a machine that will clear out the haunting by using the electro-magnetic energy, but before he can get his machine running he must first survive the attacks and possessions.

This is one of those books that I so badly want to talk about the horrifying adventures, but the element of surprise is what makes this book such a great ghost story. So when listening remember even with the lights on or with someone keeping you company, it is not safe.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:07 PM Comments: 0

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"The Strain" Written by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan

"The Strain"
Written by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Read by Ron Perlman
Produced by Harper Audio
approx 13.5 hours.

Let's start this review out by saying, "Whow," that would be the combination of whew and wow together. The whew from the the tension filled time you will spend listening to this audio book. The wow from the exclamation you will expel from listening to this re-imagining of the world of vampires. Guillermo del Toro, creator of such films as "The Devil's Backbone," "Blade II," "Hellboy" (I & II) and "Pan's Labyrinth," has teamed up with author Chuck Hogan (author of "The Standoff" & "Prince of Thieves) to create "The Strain." This book is part one of what is slated to be a trilogy. I will attest to the idea that this audio book can be treated as a stand alone book with great action and a conclusion, but there is a cliff hanger that will leave you wanting more, thus the trilogy will be absorbed by me.

Ron Perlman, who you may know as the star of the "Hellboy" movies or maybe as "the Beast" in the TV series "Beauty and the Beast," does a very nice job of performing this book. At times he almost seems monotone in quality but that is easily justified by the idea that he is allowing the listener to make the story in his mind. Don't get me wrong, monotone is necessary in some areas, but Ron Perlman delivers the action with a punch, slows down just right for the tense moments and keeps the voice quality different for each character. He does a smash-up performance in the voice of Professor Abraham Setrakian, a survivor of a Holocaust death camp and now vampire hunter.

The story begins in a post-9/11 New York City where a Boeing 777 has landed at JFK airport. The landing is perfect and without event, however once the plane begins taxiing it just merely stops and loses all power. The air traffic controllers need the strip for other planes to land and after repeated attempts at communication send a baggage cart out to investigate. The driver of the baggage cart sees a dead airplane with no lights anywhere and all the widow shades closed. The drive gets the feeling of being watched and immediately flees. Everyone suspects a hi-jacking or possible bomb but when the team arrives to investigate they find everyone on the plane dead.

Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of CDC's rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, is ordered to get his team on the plane and investigate. What he finds is a strain of parasite that could lead to the extinction of mankind.

That strain of parasite is what is delToro's & Hogan's re-imagining of vampirism. Vampires are all controlled by parasites. In this book there is more than just attacking vampires, there is a war being waged. Who will survive?

For the 13 plus hours it took to listen to this audio book I was completely enthralled by the great story telling, the complex story line and intense drama and thrills. This has got to be one of the best vampire books I've heard in a long time. Bram Stoker had me scared, Stephen King's vampires had me startled, Anne Rice had me wanting to become a vampire, but after this one...I'm carrying silver and keeping an eye over my shoulder.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:25 PM Comments: 0

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Just After Sunset" By Stephen King

Just After Sunset
By Stephen King
Published 2008 by Scribner

Stephen King the master of horror delivers once again with his latest book, “Just After Sunset.” “…Sunset” is a collection of short stories that, as King states in the introduction to the book, allow him to exercise that little used short story muscle. Back in the day when he was writing, not to put food on the table, but to allow that extra check that turned out be nice to a then struggling family where his source of income was teaching high school English and summer jobs as a delivery driver or in a laundry. This book is basically his challenge to himself to see if he can still write the short story.

He Can!

“Just After Sunset” is a collection of 13 stories ranging from the romantic ghost story to the gross out kill-the-man-by-locking-him-in-a-port-a-potty-and-tip-it-over story. Each story is different but they all ring true of that Stephen King touch. He takes the what-if and makes it real, but usually in a scary or at least a haunting finish.

In the back of the book Mr. King provides a story by story explanation as to why and how the stories evolved.

Here’s a breakdown of the stories.

1. “Willa”
The story of some folks that have just experienced a train crash and have been waiting for hours at the nearest depot for a back-up train to take them home.

2. “The Gingerbread Girl”
read my review of the audio release of this story here:

3. “Harvey’s Dream”
A man who wakes up from a nightmare of his wife being killed, and wanting to tell the wife. She doesn’t want to hear the story but knows she has to.

4. “Rest Stop”
A writer his headed home on the interstate and stops in a rest stop to relieve himself. As he enters the building he hears an argument and a man beating a woman. This is a what-would-you-do story that brings out the hero in all of us.

5. “Stationary Bike”
A man buys a bike to become healthy and prolong his life but ends up crossing into another dimension.

6. “The Things They Left Behind”
This is Stephen King’s story to help understand the after effects of 9/11. This is a heartwarming story telling what happens to one man that survived the bringing down of the twin towers in New York. Told in a way that only Stephen King could.

7. “Graduation Afternoon”
Another Stephen King what-if. A girl celebrating her boyfriend’s graduation and contemplating her own future is witness to a sight that changes all future plans. When reading this story it may be helpful to play Pink Floyd’s “Two Suns in the Sunset” from the Final Cut album.

8. “N.”
A psychiatrist treats an OCD patient that developed his disorder after leaving a Stonehenge like structure.

9. “The Cat from Hell”
A great story about a hit man hired to kill a cat.

10. “The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates”
A cell phone is the last connection to a wife’s late husband.

11. “Mute”
An interesting guy-picks-up-hitchhiker-then-goes-to-confession story.

12. “Ayana”
“Pay it Forward” movie meets a psychic healer.

13. “A Very Tight Place”
This is the gross out story in the book, and my favorite. Two enemies from the rich part of society, one seeks revenge by locking the other in a port-a-potty and tilts it over and leaves him to die.

Fun stories to read and all have that Stephen King touch to keep any fan happy. If you are not a typical Stephen King reader you’ll enjoy this also, a story for everyone.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:02 PM Comments: 0

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson (published by Fawcett Gold Medal, 1954)

I'm one of those people that sits through the credits at the movie theater. I don't need to know best grip or stuff like that, mostly I look at the writing credits and the music credits. After seeing the 2007 movie "I am Legend" starring Will Smith, I saw that the movie was "based on the novel by Richard Matheson." Many times the term "based on" is used very loosely, for example, look at the movie "Lawnmower Man" it was "based on" the story by Stephen King. It had so little to do with the Stephen King story that Stephen King wanted his name off the film, in fact it had NOTHING to do with the story.

That all being said, I thought the movie was very well done and wanted to read the book. Well let me tell you I was a bit let down in the fact that it was merely based on the novel. The character portrayed by Smith was named Robert Neville, as in the book. He was the last living human (sort of) and strange creatures were created by a disease. Those are the only similarities. Okay the basic survival storyline is similar also. But the zombies in the movie are actually vampires in the book.

As I was reading this book I was thinking, I've seen this movie, but not the Will Smith version. After awhile it dawned on me, I had seen the movie. The lead was played by Vincent Price. Yes the 1964 movie "The Last Man on Earth" was based on the novel. However in this case it was based less loosely. After some research I found that the 1971 Charleton Heston film, "Omega Man," was also based on the novel. Out of all three of the movies "The Last Man on Earth" was the one closest to the the book.

The 2007 version had zombies instead of vampires, the 1971 version went to a weird military protest view and had more than one man left on earth. But hey, that's Hollywood.

Okay here's what the actual book has, which, by the way, is a very good sci-fi/horror read while at the same time having something to say about humanity. "I Am Legend," the novel, follows the life of Robert Neville who is the last man alive on Earth after a disease has turned everyone else into vampires. The disease is a by-product of war. Neville spends his days restringing fresh garlic and hanging mirrors and crosses to keep the vampires at bay. His nights are spent drinking alone in his home turned fortress as the vampires bang on his door. One vampire in particular is a friend (back when he was human) and constantly taunts Neville to come out. Also during the days Neville drives through town finding supplies and killing the vampires, the sleep during the day after all.

After hitting his low point with the drinking Neville decides to try and find a cure for the disease. He soon learns the nature of the bacteria causing the vampirism that claimed humanity, including his wife and daughter. During his research he notices a stray dog, after feeding the dog and eventually gaining the dogs trust a little, Neville finally has a companion. Eventually the dog contracts the disease and Neville must work harder to find a cure.

Eventually Neville sees a woman (during daylight hours) and after some time he gains her trust, although he never fully trusts her. The drama then unfolds as the woman becomes more and more mysterious while at the same time fishing for information from him.

Without becoming too much of a spoiler, I will warn you that this book does not have the happy ending of the movies, but a very interesting view on the philosophies of humanity.

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posted by Gil T. @ 9:23 PM Comments: 0

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Cold Fire" by Dean Koontz (published 1991)

Jim Ironheart gets mysterious messages, telepathically, to go and save someone from sure death, usually children. Jim doesn't know where this power to know the future comes from and just assumes it is God working through him saving people that could die. Jim just gets the message "lifeline," and is off all he needs to know comes to him as needed and usually at the last minute.

When Jim saves a boy from being run over by a drunk drive outside a school in portland, reporter, Holly Thorn, wonders how Jim knew which kid to save. Holly sees a story in this. She soon discovers that Jim has saved several people all over the nation from impending doom. After approaching Jim on one such mission in which he is to save a mother and her daughter, Holly asks why not save all the passengers. Jim only receives enough information to save these two. Holly presses for Jim to take MORE action and he ends up saving most of the passengers by telling the flight crew what will happen and how to reduce the death toll in the crash. On the ground in the rubble of the plane, Holly then rescues a 5 year old boy and something changes in her. She no longer sees the world in the view of a reporter. She now wants to help Jim to save the world.

In order to join forces with Jim Ironheart there are some issues which need to be addressed. Such as Jim's dark past and the mysterious source of his life-saving messages. Holly and Jim find themselves exploring Jim's past in the town he grew up living with his grandparents. His parents died tragically when Jim was only 9. The source of the power seems to come from the bottom of a pond beside an old windmill on Jims boyhood farm. Or is this really the source.

It what turns out to be a great exploration of the supernatural to discover Jim's powers, Holly may have inadvertently put both their lives in jeopardy. The excitement, chills and thrills are just beginning when the "alien" in the pond begins to reveal itself.

As typical with Koontz' work this book has great characters discovering themselves. At the same time another great Koontz skill is his beautiful use of language. This book is even furthered with several quotes from Edgar Allen Poe and Koontz weaving those into the story.

Yes, this is another classic Dean Koontz novel that deserves to be re-discovered.

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posted by Gil T. @ 9:41 PM Comments: 0

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Book Review "The Door to December" by Dean Koontz

Every so often you have to go back and revisit an old Dean Koontz novel and get some good old fashioned chills. Even Dean himself has to do so. This book was originally released in 1985 under Dean's psuedonym Richard Paige but has been re-released under the proper artist's name, Dean Koontz.

This book is a classic Koontz novel. It features the hero with a soiled childhood, in this case Dan Haldane the police detective that takes on they mysterious case of Melanie Rafferty. Melanie is a 9 year old girl who was kidnapped by her father, Dylan, 6 years prior after Melanie's mother, Laura, filed for divorce. The story begins with Dylan's house the scene of a brutal crime in which he and several "occupants" have been found bludgeoned to death. Melanie is found wandering the streets of L.A. naked and in a catatonic state.

Lt. Dan Haldane calls Laura to the scene to try to put together what happened. Laura hasn't seen or heard from her husband and daughter for 6 years. What happened in that 6 years immediately sends a chill up the reader's spine. In this house which was the base of research for Dylan Rafferty, who was a psychologist performed a series of bizarre psychological experiments. To make matters worse it becomes clear that Dylan had been using his daughter as the main subject of his experiments, strapping her to a shock therapy chair and isolating her for hours in a sensory deprivation tank encouraging her to discover the full potential of her psyche.

As the police continue to investigate the murder other bodies start to appear. In each case the victim seems to have been killed in a very extreme way far beyond the abilities of any normal person. At first the victims don't seem to have anything in common but as the investigation continues they start to discover that all of the dead were somehow linked and this link is that something (not someone) is killing those involved in Melanie's experiments. The link also leads to find what was actually being studied and who was funding the experiments.

This is Dean Koontz's classic thrill package wrapped within the covers in this book. A little paranormal activity and great characters to follow to the ultimate battle of the psyche.

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posted by Gil T. @ 7:34 PM Comments: 0

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Book Review: "Duma Key" by Stephen King

Well I finally read the latest from Stephen King, the master of horror. Actually I would say Mr. King is the Master at taking something pretty plain and making it downright horrifying. In "Duma Key" he goes even further and takes something extraordinary and makes it "hyper-extraordinary. But before I go further I will warn you, constant reader, that while this book has a lot going for it, it also seems to lack that big extra scary "umpf" that only King does so well. While there were no super scary moments the book is still a great, fun read. No, I take that back, what could be more scary than paintings coming to life and a spirit known as Perse drowning children and sending their ghosts back to make sure she lives forever. I think what it is, is that I have built up a Stephen King tolerance, and nothing scares me like Pennywise the Clown or Jack Torrance.

Okay let's talk about Duma Key. This latest novel starts with the life of Edgar Freemantle going through a major life changing event. Edgar is a 57 year old contractor that is involved in a terrible accident which involves a large crane smashing into his truck. Edgar loses his right arm and suffers severe head trauma. He spends some time in the hospital in a coma and when he wakes he finds it difficult to communicate and unable to control his temper. His psychologist suggests a little doll for him to focus his anger upon. Edgar's wife soon asks for a divorce after he tries to choke her (this is one of the many things Edgar doesn't remember doing). The psychologist then recommends a change of scenery and to take up a hobby. Edgar used to draw so he decides to take up painting, but before doing so he decides to move from Minnesota to one of the Keys in Florida, Duma Key.

On Duma Key, Edgar's paintings take on a supernatural feel and even the process becomes supernatural with the paranormal phantom limb from his missing arm. It is on Duma Key where Edgar meets Jerome Wireman, Wireman to his friends. Wireman is a former attorney who once tried to take his own life after losing his wife and daughter. Wireman is now a caretaker for Elizabeth Eastlake, an eccentric old woman who is a native of Duma Key, and possibly owns the whole Island. After Edgar's daughter comes down for a visit, Elizabeth warns him that Duma Key has never been a good place for daughters. And thus the story begins to unfold. Twin sisters drowning, a mysterious spectre that seems to come from the bottom of the ocean and the mysterious ship of the dead, "The Perse."

Now Edgar, his assistant Jack and Wireman must destroy Perse. To do so will not be an easy task. Perse works through Edgar's Paintings and he becomes an extremely popular artist and everyone wants his art. His art also is supernatural in that just by panting when the phantom limb is throbbing he can make what he paints become reality, like killing a man that rapes and kills a child by simply painting the man with no mouth or nose. Perse goes after Edgar's family and the war is on.

Earlier I said this book wasn't a huge scare factor for me, but then again I am proud to say I've read every book that has been published by Stephen King, and I have built a tolerance. But the saving grace for this book was the excellent characters that were written, especially Wireman. Wireman is full of great lines that could be great ways to lead the perfect life. Between the idioms of Wireman and the inner turmoil of Edgar Freemantle, this book is a fun read. All Stephen King fans should read this book, and non-King fans will enjoy the great dialogue between the characters and the great descriptions of the artwork by Edgar plus the extra chills thrown in to remind you, Stephen King wrote this.

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The official book trailer/promo:

Stephe King talks about the book and how it came about (thanks to Bookvideos.tv)

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:03 PM Comments: 2