Char's Horror Corner

 Welcome to my Corner! I specialize in Dark Fiction reviews including Horror, Dark Fantasy, Splatterpunk, Horror of the 70's & 80's, and Graphic Novels. I also read and review classics, true crime, thrillers and audio books of all genres except Romance.

 

Char’s quotes


 


 

 

 

 

Booklikes-opoly update

Boo! - David Haynes

I last landed on spot 35, but it was a double roll and I rolled again.

this time landing on:                                        

 

 

I've got nothing on tap for spot 3, but on my TBR challenge on Horror Aficionados at Goodreads, I DO have a book with a main character that is a police detective,

so whoo-hoo and:

Boo! - David Haynes  

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King, Richard Chizmar

It's liking coming home after being away for a long time. 

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman

Black Mad Wheel: A Novel - Josh Malerman

Black Mad Wheel is a story which defies categorization and instead focuses on delivering characters that you like and can believe in.

 

The Danes are a band consisting of ex-army men, (even if they were only in the army band), who are asked by the military to investigate a noise in the African desert. I know it sounds crazy, and maybe it is, but I found it be compelling dark fiction.

 

From Philip's point of view, (Philip being the band's keyboard player), the narrative switches between the trip to Africa and the present, in which he is hospitalized with every. single. bone. in his body broken. He wakes up not quite remembering everything that happened to him or what happened to the rest of the band. The very fact that he wakes up at all is a miracle. Or is it?

 

Featuring some of the creepiest scenes I've read in quite some time, the author's talent for dark fiction really shines through. I doubt that I'll ever look at a goat in the same way again and I'll probably freak out if I ever see a red piano in real life. I loved the writing and the descriptive scenes and I even loved reading about the two prior military teams that were sent to investigate this mystery sound. (Not to mention the story of the couple native to that part of the desert-it was truly disturbing.) The only difficulty I had was that the premise wasn't really believable-at least not to me. However, I suspended my disbelief, and once I did, I just went along for the ride and what a ride it was!

 

If you've ever felt a song in your heart, I believe you'll be able to identify with Philip and Ellen, his nurse, because it's the music they discover is a common bond between them. The ties between band members are also incredibly strong, (especially when they've been together as long as The Danes), and those connections are not easily broken. (In this respect, Black Mad Wheel reminds me of Robert McCammon's THE FIVE, easily one of the best fictional books about a band that I've ever read.) The last scene nearly broke my heart and I can't think of a more perfect ending.

 

Music, mystery, desert mines and mad doctors, (oh, didn't I mention that before?): with all that going on how can you resist reading this book? You know you want to! Go ahead: invest yourself in Black Mad Wheel , at the very least you'll be intrigued. At the very best, you will end up making space on your bookshelf at home-the one that houses all your favorite books. Highly recommended!

 

Available everywhere tomorrow, May 23, 2017 here: Black Mad Wheel: A Novel

 

*Thank to Ecco books and to Edeweiss for the e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This is it. *

Booklikes-opoly: Roll 10

First things first! I finished  Black Mad Wheel: A Novel - Josh Malerman  which brings my bank to: $38.00!

 

Roll 10 went down like so:

 

 

 

Which brings me to spot 35:

 

 

 

I rolled doubles, so I rolled again:

 

 

Which brings me to: 

 

My review for Black Mad Wheel will be up tomorrow or Monday and I'll peruse my up-coming ARCS to see if any of them fit these categories. Wish me luck!

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Mark Bramhall

Those Across the River - Christopher Buehlman

 

Those Across the River is my first Buehlman, but will not be my last. In fact, I downloaded another of his books just now.

 

I recently got a new phone that came with some fancy earbuds, so I decided to head over to Overdrive and check out an audio from my library, so I could try them out. I saw this book available and remembered that my friend Tressa has just recommended to me a book by this author just a few days previous. I downloaded Those Across the River knowing nothing about it, and I think that was the best way to go in to this story.

 

Set mostly in GA in the early 1930's, a damaged WWI veteran moves down from Chicago to a house he has recently inherited. In the letter he received about the inheritance he was warned not to actually live in the house, but of course, he does so anyway-along with his fiance Eudora. What follows is a well told, atmospheric and creepy story that went in a totally different direction than what I expected. There's nothing new or extraordinary here, but a well told and atmospheric story is always welcome on my Kindle, (and now on my phone!), and I enjoyed this immensely.

 

The narrator, Mark Bramhall, was absolutely phenomenal-I loved his Southern accents and voicing-they brought the story alive for me. I will be keeping an eye out for more of his work in the future. As for right now? I'm on to my next Christopher Buehlman book!

 

I highly recommend the audio of this novel!

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman fits....

Black Mad Wheel: A Novel - Josh Malerman

 

Book Description:

 

"The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once again have a number one hit. That is, until an agent from the US Army approaches them. Will they travel to an African desert and track down the source of a mysterious and malevolent sound? Under the guidance of their front man, Philip Tonka, the Danes embark on a harrowing journey through the scorching desert—a trip that takes Tonka into the heart of an ominous and twisted conspiracy."

 

WOOT!

Booklikes-opoly Roll 9!

Current Bank: $35.00

 

I was last on Carsland 16 for which I read Skitter - Ezekiel Boone  which fit because its page count ended in 2. (352 pages)

 

Today I rolled: 

 

which brings me to: 

It's supposed to be Adventureland 24,(again) 

(The 24 does look like a 26)

 

 

 

 

 

I'll have to look and see if anything on my reading schedule fits this!

Skitter by Ezekiel Boone

Skitter: A Novel (The Hatching Series Book 2) - Ezekiel Boone

SPIDERS! HELL YEAH!

 

Even though I loathe the things in real life, I find them so entertaining to read about when done well. Skitter is done very well!

 

We start right where The Hatching left off, (which was with a cliffhanger), and I found it quite easy to slip right back into this world-well, what's left of it, anyway. I keep expecting some kind of weird Star Trek time anomaly or something, because I just can't believe what's happened with the United States and the planet. Ezekiel Boone does not shy away from death, or what I think would be the ultimate response to such an invasion. That surprised and delighted me.

 

The main characters here are still interesting while the creature feature portions are entertaining. Perhaps all the things happening are not quite realistic, but who cares? Skitter is fun for those who like their spiders fast and hungry.

 

These 300+ pages flew by and I had a blast reading them. If you enjoy creature features, with a little bit of scientific and military action thrown in, and with character viewpoints from around the world, The Hatching and Skitter should work well for you.

 

Skitter is a fast, fun, chittering thrill ride and I enthusiastically recommend it! Bring on the next!

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Atria for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

The Creeps by Fran Krause

The Creeps: A Deep Dark Fears Collection - Fran Krause

The Creeps was an adorable collection of comic strips about our daily fears, some valid- others completely silly. What fun!

 

There is nothing complicated here, but what I found myself thinking about most of all when I finished was the fact that inside- we are so much alike as a people, as human beings. Our silly minds imagine scary things sometimes, but it's nice to know that other people's minds do the same thing.

 

This is quick read, it's entertaining and some of these strips may hit just the right spot for you and make you either laugh, think, or both. Recommended!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

Born to Run written and narrated by Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

This is the best damn autobiography I've ever read or listened to, and I'm not even a Springsteen fan.

 

I am now, but not because of his music; it's because of his writing- his honesty, his humor, and his work ethic. His battles with depression and mental illness in his family must have been painful for him to admit, but it all rang true to me.

 

Don't get me wrong-I did have a few issues with him-most especially his reputation as a working man, or a rock and roller that represents the working man-and his not having worked a real job, (other than cutting lawns and carrying groceries to make the money for his second guitar), a day in his life! I guess I feel like he made up for that by doggedly pursuing his dreams and desires.

 

If you like Bruce Springsteen, or even if you don't, I highly recommend you read this book.

The Well by Jack Cady, (Introduction from Tom Piccirilli)

The Well - Jack Cady, Tom Piccirilli

"There are Things that do not love the sun. They weep and curse their own creation. Sometimes on earth a cruel shift takes place. Time splits. Corpses possessed at the moment of their death rise from tombs. The dark ages of history flow mindless from stagnant wells and lime-dripping cellars. The corpses, those creatures of possession, walk through ancient halls and rooms."

 

So starts Jack Cady's The Well.

 Extremely well written, this is an excellent haunted house story, but it's also much more than that. It's A tale spanning generations, sprinkled throughout with genius and madness alike.

 

"He thought he knew the look of greed, lust, envy; but he realized without question that he was now looking at the force that embodied them all. He was looking at absolute evil."

 

This edition from Valancourt Books features a touching Introduction from Tom Piccirilli, (who has since passed away.) In it, Tom speaks of the kindness Jack Cady showed him when he first started out, which is coincidental-because I recently read a piece by another author who said the very same things about Tom Piccirilli. Tom goes on further to talk about The Well and how it influenced him and his writing, and now having read the book, I can see why. I'm glad that I bought my very own copy, because I'm sure I'll be reading it again in the future.

 

Note to self: Check out more works written by Jack Cady, ASAP.

Booklikes-opoly-Update!

This is just a bank update post. With my doubles roll of 12 on Roll 7 I landed on:

 

 

 

I chose to read The Well - Jack Cady  as Jack Cady was born in 1932.

 

I finished it last night, (my review will go up later this afternoon) and I earned $2.00 for my bank as The Well comes in at 181 pages. 

Current bank: $32.00

 

Since I had doubles I rolled again, and landed on:

 

For which I'm reading Skitter: A Novel (The Hatching Series Book 2) - Ezekiel Boone  whose page count is 352.

I'll see you all on the other side!

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott, narrated by Emily Bauer

The End of Everything - Megan Abbott

 

The End of Everything features more messed up teenage girls, just like You Will Know Me, but I think these young ladies were even worse.

 

I had fun reading this strange, mysterious, psychologically focused novel. Megan Abbott is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. 

Booklikes-opoly Rolls 7 & 8

 I last left off at Start and I finished that book last night.  Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse - Amanda Horan,Graeme Parker,Jack Strange

 

It was 268 pages long, so my bank is now:  $30.00     

 

 

Woot! Doubles!

 

 

Main Street 11

 

I have something for this! YAY!  Jack Cady was born in 1932

 

The Well - Jack Cady 

 

Rolling again because...doubles!

 

 

 

I'll have to check and see if I have anything to fit this on tap. Wish me luck!

Edited to add! I do! I do have something that fits!

 

Skitter by Ezekiel Boone is listed as having 352 pages. In like Flynn!

 

Skitter: A Novel (The Hatching Series Book 2) - Ezekiel Boone 

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Strange

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse - Amanda Horan, Graeme Parker, Jack Strange

 

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse has got to be one of the funniest books I've ever read!

 

Full of social and political commentary, it impressed me with keen observations regarding "celebrity chefs", government officials and the police. I thought it was funny as hell that the zombies herein were yellow, which made me picture them as Simpson-like in my head. Not only were they chef zombies, they were sex-crazed celebrity chef zombies-used to getting their own way in all things. (I'm pretty sure I recognized one or two of them from real life as well, which just made things even more funny-especially with the foul-mouthed one.)

 

 

The Prime Minister in this book very much reminded me of the man currently in power here in the U. S. I'm sure that wasn't the author's original intention, but I couldn't help myself from thinking that.

 

I'm not sure that Jardine, the female police investigator was supposed to be funny, but I found her to be so. She finally solves the case,

pretty much AFTER everything was already over! 

(show spoiler)

 

 

 Dave, who became the protagonist, 

after all the other protagonists were dead!,

(show spoiler)


  finally got fed up with trying to warn everyone about what was happening and decided to take off with his girlfriend to an isolated area to wait the whole thing out; as you might have guessed, that didn't work out well.

 

Oh, and did I mention Henderson, the ginger zombie cat? I can't even think about him without laughing.

 

This book was a hilarious piece of work; decently written with tongue firmly in cheek. I highly recommend it to those of you who like your main dish bloody with a hefty side of humor!

 

*I was provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge - David McCullough, Edward Herrmann

 

What more can I say about The Great Bridge that hasn't already been said? Not all that much.

 

The men who engineered and built this bridge were amazing-courageous, brilliant and talented. Some might even say they were insane, as the working conditions down in the caissons were extremely dangerous. I didn't even know what a caisson was until I read this book and now that I know, my respect for these workmen and engineers has grown.

 

I thought this book would be dry, and some parts were, but I learned a lot. Perhaps the extensive portions about the celebrations when the bridge finally opened could have been cut a little bit, but that's my only complaint.

 

This was a fascinating account of a huge event in American and New York history and I recommend it.

 

Thanks to my local library for the audio of this book!

Currently reading

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman, Steve West
Progress: 82%
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Way Station by Peter David, Stephen King, Richard Ianove, Laurence Campbell, Robin Furth
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith, Jon Stewart
Progress: 37%
Saffron And Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand
Progress: 75%
Boo! by David Haynes
Progress: 60%

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Horror Aficionados
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If you love horror literature, movies, and culture, you're in the right place. Whether it's vampi...

Books we've read

The Stand
Dread in the Beast
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales
Horror Library, Volume 1
Butcher Shop Quartet
Family Inheritance
'Salem's Lot
A Treasury of American Horror Stories
Heart-Shaped Box
20th Century Ghosts
The Revelation
Lowland Rider
Off Season
Neither the Sea Nor the Sand
The House Next Door
The Ceremonies
Nazareth Hill
The Light at the End
Ghoul
Billy


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