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


 


 

 

 

 

Childgrave by Ken Greenhall

Childgrave - Ken Greenhall

 

CHILDGRAVE is a beautifully written quiet horror story, with a sketchy small town lurking in the background. By the time the secrets of the town are revealed, it's too late for the reader to turn back.

 

As I get older, I find myself more and more drawn to quiet horror. I can do without gore and torture and all that if I have a tale that's well written and atmospheric. I also need compelling characters and CHILDGRAVE has that in spades. The main character, Jonathan, is a widowed photographer. He, his daughter Joanne, and his housekeeper Nanny Joy, are so well drawn I feel as if I know them personally.

 

When Jonathan's photos of his daughter seem to show specters in the background, while at the same time Joanne seems to have developed some new invisible friends, Jonathan is intrigued. Are the two events connected? Who is Conlee, the name of Joanne's new invisible friend? Lastly, what is Chilegray and how is connected to Conlee? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I'll get it out of the way now-this is a slow moving story. What kept me interested was the quality of the writing and the characters. Jonathan is a quirky man. He has few friends and little interest in fashion or modern day trends. His housekeeper Nanny Joy loves jazz and Jonathan's daughter, but is concerned about the appearance of Conlee and the specters in the photographs. Jonathan's agent Harry is hilarious and his girlfriend, Lee, is interesting as well. NYC of the 70's is the main setting, and it was fascinating to read about the city during that time of social upheaval and change.

 

I was inexorably drawn to the conclusion which leads the reader to a small town hidden in a valley. "Evil in a small town" is one of my favorite tropes and Greenhall knew how to deliver it in a chilling and shocking- yet believable way. You find yourself wondering what you would do in such a situation and I continued to think about it all night long...hours after finishing the book. I can't say that I blame Jonathan for the choices that he made.

 

While CHILDGRAVE isn't the psychological, fast moving story that both ELIZABETH or HELL HOUND were, it was excellent in its own quiet and compelling way. Slowly drawing the reader down into the valley where secrets are kept for generation after generation, Greenhall deftly brings things to a head and left this reader wishing for more.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: CHILDGRAVE

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for providing this e-book free, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

Sweet Aswang by Anthony Hains

Sweet Aswang - Anthony Hains

 

I have to admit that I had no idea what an Aswang was when Anthony Hains asked if I would like a review copy of this novella. I'd previously read his book THE DISEMBODIED and enjoyed it, so I said yes. I'm glad I did!

 

Two eighth-graders, Chloe and Spencer, have one thing in common-diabetes. Rather than spending all their time talking about boys or girls, they have to spend a lot of it calculating carbs and insulin dosages. One night they are each awoken by mysterious noises outside and the next day they discover that a nearby family has been slaughtered in the night. What killed this family and mutilated their bodies? Did the mysterious noises have anything to do with the murders? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Even though YA is not really my thing, I thought this novella delivered the goods. We have a mysterious, scary creature, a few likable kids with some real problems, (diabetes is no joke), and lots of action in the last half, which was fun. The mythical abilities of an Aswang are wide and varied and as such leave a lot of room for imaginative storytelling; which is one of the reasons that made me wish this tale didn't end so quickly.

 

SWEET ASWANG was a lot of fun without getting too seriously bogged down with medical jargon or sappy teenagers stealing kisses on the front porch after dark. With a fast moving plot and a cool creature like the Aswang, this book was over before I knew it and I was sad to be finished.

 

Recommended!

 

You can get a copy here: Sweet Aswang

 

 

*As noted above, I received this copy free, in return for my honest feedback. This is it!*

Childgrave (1982) by Ken Greenhall

Reblogged from Valancourt Books:

New Release

 

Available in hardcover, paperback and ebook (audiobook coming soon). “Writing in Shirley Jackson’s precise, sharp, chilly prose, Greenhall delivers a slippery book that can’t be pinned down, all about spectral photography, little dead girls, snowbound small towns, and the disquieting proposition that maybe God is not civilized.” - Grady Hendrix, author of Paperbacks from Hell.

 

 

Book Description

When photographer Jonathan Brewster’s four-year-old daughter Joanne tells him about her new invisible friends, he doesn’t think too much about it. But then he sees them for himself: weird and uncanny images of the dead appearing in his photographs. The apparitions seem to have some connection to Childgrave, a remote village in upstate New York with a deadly secret dating back three centuries. Jonathan and Joanne feel themselves oddly drawn to Childgrave, but will they survive the horrors that await them there?

The third novel by Ken Greenhall (1928-2014), whose works are receiving renewed attention as neglected classics of modern horror, Childgrave (1982) is a slow-burn chiller that ranks among Greenhall’s best.

Reviews

“Writing in Shirley Jackson’s precise, sharp, chilly prose, Greenhall delivers a slippery book that can’t be pinned down, all about spectral photography, little dead girls, snowbound small towns, and the disquieting proposition that maybe God is not civilized.” - Grady Hendrix, author of Paperbacks from Hell

“A very well-orchestrated, eerie tale.” - Publishers Weekly

Now available:

Hardcover
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
eBook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

3 Festive Tasks Completed!

For now, I'm just using the book covers for the book tasks I've completed. 

I'll figure out a different marker for other tasks later. 

But, whoohoo 3 done!

Thanks for making the book tasks so flexible!

 

 

Square one task: Write an epitaph for your most hated book: (Woman in Black.)

 

Square 9: Book themes for Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter, –OR– set in the Arctic or Antartica: (Deadbomb Bingo Ray-winter in Philly.)

 

Square 6: Book themes for Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht:  A story involving children or a young adult book, or a book with oranges on the cover, or whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) –OR– with tangerines, walnuts, chocolates, or cookies on the cover. (Room by Emma Donoghue, which even features a character called "Old Nick.)

Deadbomb Bingo Ray by Jeff Johnson

Deadbomb Bingo Ray - Jeff Johnson

Mark my words readers, Jeff Johnson is an author to watch! I haven't yet read anything from him that I haven't enjoyed, and as such he's one of my go-to authors.

 

In DEADBOMB BINGO RAY, we have a tall, handsome "fixer" who earned his nickname during an unfortunate incident at a casino. He earned his reputation the hard way and everyone knows who he is and stays clear.

 

That is, until he finds himself on the radar of one Tim Cantwell, a man he's already taken down once. Unfortunately, Cantwell did not learn his lesson the first time around and now he's looking for revenge. Throw in the beautiful Mary Chapman, a black man named Skuggy, DBR's secretary Agnes, her son Cody, and the new love of his life, Abigail, and you have a memorable cast of characters. Will Cantwell be successful in his bid for revenge? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I need to get one thing straight with you-DEADBOMB BINGO RAY is NOT a hero. He is not a good guy. What he is is a thinker-capable of masterminding schemes and plans that make Lex Luthor look like a drooling idiot recently escaped from the asylum. Oh, and he sometimes kills people.

 

What makes this story so entertaining is the characters. Even though DBR isn't a good guy, you cannot help but admire the style with which he goes about his nefarious deeds. His home sounds beautiful, he rescued a Pomeranian, and, (like most of Johnson's main characters), he cooks. His secretary Agnes hates Woody Allen so much,(because of the situation with his step-daughter), she tells everyone she meets that she's going to kill him. She also loves dogs. Ray's friend and sometime assistant, Skuggy, is an hilarious mystery of a man with long fingernails and colorful language, who likes Newports. All of these characters are so vividly drawn and real, they seem to come to life with little to no effort on the part of Johnson. He makes it look easy.

 

There is plenty of material here that will offend people; as previously stated DBR is not a good guy. People die. Some animals die. That's part of the gritty reality of this neo-noir world and that's who these people are. At least when they are committing crimes, they do it stylishly.

 

One more thing I want to mention is the inclusion of song titles/bands throughout the novel, many of which I weren't familiar with. I did not listen to all of them, but when I had the opportunity and the means to do so, I did. I felt like these songs helped to set the mood of what was coming next and I also thought it helped to achieve an almost movie-like experience while reading.

 

These are all the reasons I said at the start that Jeff Johnson is an author to watch. Every book I've read from him so far is totally different from the rest, but they all have one thing in common and that is STYLE. I like it and hopefully you will too!

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get a copy here: Deadbomb Bingo Ray

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss and Turner Publications in exchange for my honest review. This is it. *

Ash Wednesday by Chet Williamson

Ash Wednesday - Chet Williamson

 

A beautifully written and touching story of what happens when the dead of the town of Merridale are suddenly visible and blue. They're visible in the places in which they died or in the places that meant the most to them when they were alive. At first, people are freaked out, (wouldn't you be?), but then they get used to it. Well, some do and some don't.

 

The characters in this story are well drawn and believable. This is a story about guilt, and about making the most of the short time that we have here on earth, among other things.

 

I'd classify this as a quiet horror tale, not too many bloody, ugly scenes and that's the type of horror I prefer these days-the quiet, atmospheric, and psychological kind. This book just hit all the right notes with me. Bravo!

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get a Kindle copy here for only $2.99! 

Epitaph For My Most Hated Book Ever

Square 1-Dia De Muertos

 

Task: Write an epitaph for your most hated book ever.

 

 

Here Lies the Woman in Black, 

who nearly bored me to death. 

All that fog made the going hairy, 

but in the end she wasn't scary. 

 

 

 

RIP Woman in Black. 

 

The Woman in Black - Susan Hill 

October 2017 Round Up!

Cthulhu Blues (Spectra Files) - Douglas Wynne The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton Halloween Carnival Volume 4 - Kealan Patrick Burke, C.A. Suleiman, Ray Garton, Brian James Freeman, Bev Vincent Coraline - Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl Lightning Men: A Novel - Thomas Mullen Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever - Tom Neely Halloween Carnival Volume 5 - Lisa Tuttle, Kevin Quigley, Norman Prentiss, Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman

 

October was a crazy month here at the Horror Corner! 

 

The most important, (and beautiful thing), was that my lovely niece married her best friend of 20+ years. The ceremony was wonderful and the reception a lot of fun!

 

 

 

Then, two weeks after that was the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival!

You can find my post about that HERE.

 

Here's a photo of myself with Rio Youers. Isn't he the cutest? He's also extremely gracious and very funny. 

 

All of this is why I only read 10 books this month! 

 

Graphic Novels: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever by Tom Neely and friends.

 

Total: 1

 

Audio Books:

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell, narrated by Matt Godfrey

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 

Coraline written and narrated by Neil Gaiman

 

Total: 3

 

ARCS:

 

Cthulhu Blues by Douglas Wynne

Halloween Carnival: Volume 4

Halloween Carnival: Volume 5

The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl

Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

 

Total: 6

 

 

READING CHALLENGES

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June & July: 0

August: 1-The Talented Mr. Ripley

September: 1  Carter & Lovecraft

October 0 (But had LOTS of fun with Halloween Bingo!)

Running Count: 7

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017 

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

June count: 4

July count: 4

August count: 5

September: 1

October: 1

 

Running Count: 35! Challenge Met!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Devoured by Curtis Lawson, narrated by Jason Sprenger

The Devoured - Jason Sprenger, Curtis M. Lawson, Curtis M. Lawson

 

THE DEVOURED is an insane read. Insane, I say!

 

A man leaves his wife and child to fight in the civil war. His wife, (and therefore his son, Emmett), are of native American heritage and while the man is gone, his wife becomes ill. Emmett, big for his age of 16, decides to seek out his mother's father, a Shaman, (from whom she's been estranged), to request a cure for her illness. Can she be cured? And if so, will she be cured? Lastly, what is the price for that cure? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This book seems to have elements of everything. By that, I mean it has a western feel to it, along with some Norse mythology, (Thurs, giants, Utgard, at one point there was a large tree- Yggdrasil?), witches, cannibals, and I don't even know what else. You might think that there is just too much going on, but somehow Curtis Lawson pulls it all together within the framework of a man trying to save his family.

 

I especially liked the characters of the old man, (I'm not sure if he was ever named?), and his companion, a young black boy named Hank. At first, I liked Emmett, but his turn down a dark road changed that by the time it was all over.

 

It took a while for everything to gel for me, because there was a lot going on, but when it did, I was impressed by the skills on display. Lawson's knowledge of history and mythology is impressive. I was feeling slightly off balance due to all the different aspects of the tale, but I finally stopped worrying that I was missing something and just let the story sweep me along. And that it did, right up to the brick wall that is the denouement. It was just the type of ending that I love!

 

I listened to this book on audio, which was narrated by Jason Sprenger. I've never listened to his narrations before, but I thought he was excellent. His voicing of the different characters was very good, but his main voice was the BEST, reminding me of Sam Elliott at times.

 

Overall, this book was just plain FUN! A mixed up combination of genres, mythology, American history and more, I can't think of another book or author, (well, maybe Tim Curran?), that can blend such things successfully. Curtis Lawson did so, and did it in spades.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: The Devoured

 

*I received a digital copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Halloween Carnival Volume 5, edited by Brian James Freeman

Halloween Carnival Volume 5 - Lisa Tuttle, Kevin Quigley, Norman Prentiss, Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman

In this, the last entry of the Halloween Carnival series, Hydra hands us a great group of stories that couldn't possibly be more different from each other. This is a good thing!

 

Richard Chizmar's DEVIL'S NIGHT, impressed the heck out of me. The only thing of his I've read is his collaboration with Stephen King. Now I'm going to have to read more of his work. 4*

 

THE LAST DARE by Lisa Tuttle was a neat little story with no explanation. The characters were very well drawn for such a short tale and I found myself thinking more about them after I finished the story. This one grew on me, but after the fact-if that makes any sense. ?Look, all I know is I'm not entering any houses with tower rooms, okay? 3.5*

 

THE HALLOWEEN BLEED by Norman Prentiss was a twisty little tale, with half told secrets taking place between a learned man and his eager to learn interviewer. Little does he know that he isn't as smart as he thinks. 4.5*

 

SWING by Kevin Quigley. This was a sad and poignant tale and I enjoyed it. I just didn't see what it had to do with Halloween? 3*

 

PORKPIE HAT by Peter Straub. Let me preface this by saying Straub's Ghost Story was my favorite novel for a few years-I just loved it so much. Shadowland and Floating Dragon followed and I liked those too, and don't even get me started on how much I loved The Talisman. But since then, not much of his work has appealed to me. Until now. I ADORED this story. It has jazz, musicians, a student/reporter/nobody, and a subtle back story packed with racism, double standards, adulterers fear and loathing. I loved how PORKPIE HAT unfolded like some kind of origami animal and I just had to have some peace and quiet to read it in its entirety. For me, this was the star of this collection. 5*

 

I didn't have time to read all of the Halloween Carnival entries, but of the ones I did read, this is my favorite. I like all kinds of dark fiction stories and I loved the variety here. I didn't think even one of them was a clunker, but of course your mileage may vary.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks to Hydra and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Halloween Bingo-Final Card!

 

With the calling of American Horror Story I bingoed for the 4th time!

 

I would like to say THANK YOU to MR and OB for putting this all together. I had a fabulous time filling in my card and watching everyone else fill theirs. 

These are the kinds of things that make Booklikes special for me, so a big THANK YOU to Booklikes as well! 

 

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell, narrated by Matt Godfrey

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey

Blackwater: The Complete Saga on audio is absolutely phenomenal! Phenomenal! That's right, it's so good, it deserves two PHENOMENALS. 

 

First-about the book itself. Michael McDowell was a force to be reckoned with as far as writing about family dynamics. If you've read The Elementals, Gilded Needles, or Cold Moon over Babylon, (and if you haven't you SHOULD), you already know that McDowell writes about families like no one else. Now imagine those books expanded to cover several generations of one family, in this case The Caskeys, and you might have an inkling of how great a work of literature, (that's right, I'm calling it literature), Blackwater really is. 

 

Starting with a huge flood in Perdido, Alabama and a mysterious woman found in a partially flooded hotel and ending with another flood in the same town, there is a symmetry here not often found in horror fiction. Perhaps it's because Blackwater isn't really a horror novel, (or series of novels, as it was originally released back in the 80's), at all. I would describe it more as a Southern Gothic soap opera or family saga, with supernatural and horrific elements.

 

One of the things I adore about McDowell, and there are many of them, (click here for my essay on McDowell's work), is how he treats horrifying supernatural events as if they were no big deal. Somehow, the way he does that makes the event even more horrifying, if that makes any sense. 

 

Of course, as I mentioned above, McDowell writes family dynamics like no one else and this book proves it. Throughout generations even, McDowell is at the top of his game writing about this family with its rich men and domineering women. Being from Alabama himself, the authenticity of the family's bearing and standing in their community of Perdido is never in doubt. His insights into human behavior are unmatched and beautifully written-without fail. Here's a quote from the first book of this novel,The Flood, (which takes place in the early 1920's):

 

That was the great misconception about men: because they dealt with money, because they could hire someone on and later fire him, because they alone filled state assemblies and were elected congressional representatives, everyone thought they had power. Yet all the hiring and firing, the land deals and the lumber contracts, the complicated process for putting through a constitutional amendment-these were only bluster. They were blinds to disguise the fact of men's real powerlessness in life. Men controlled the legislatures, but when it came down to it, they didn't control themselves. Men had failed to study their own minds sufficiently, and because of this failure they were at the mercy of fleeting passions; men, much more than women, were moved by petty jealousies and the desire for petty revenges. Because they enjoyed their enormous but superficial power, men had never been forced to know themselves the way that women, in their adversity and superficial subservience, had been forced to learn about the workings of their brains and their emotions.

 

 

I could go on and on about McDowell, as many of you already know, but now I'd like to address the narration of this story by Alabama native Matt Godfrey. 

 

I just don't have the words to describe how McDowell's words, combined with Godfrey's narration, made me feel. Together, they made a great work even greater. Godfrey's voicing was so true to the source material it made the Caskey voices come alive. ALIVE, I say! I laughed out loud many times, and I cried a few times too.

 

I most especially adored his voicing of James and of Oscar. Don't get me wrong, I loved these characters back when I first read the books a few years ago; but with Matt's voice attached to them, they became larger than life. It was easy for me to recognize who was talking just by the inflections and changes of tone. I've never listened to an audio book where it was easier for me to identify who was who, just by how the narrator voiced them. I've listened to a lot of audios over the last few years, and that's never happened to me-at least not in a book with as many characters as Blackwater. That's why I say now, with no reservations, that this is the BEST audiobook I've ever read. PERIOD.

 

I hope that I've convinced you to give this audio a try by giving it my HIGHEST recommendation. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you do give it a go. 

 

You can get your copy here: Blackwater: The Complete Saga

 

*I received this audiobook free, from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.* **Further, I consider Matt Godfrey a friend, even thought we've never met, but this review IS my honest opinion.**

Second and Third Bingos!

 

Two more Bingos, going straight down. 

Finally, Supernatural was called! I also read something for Demons so I was able fill that square as well. Whoohoo! When American Horror Story is called on Halloween, that will be my final bingo.  

 

 

 

Called & Read: (Jack O'Lantern)

Carter & Lovecraft - Genre: Horror 

The Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen: Murder Most Foul

Twisted and Gnarled, (Dark Screams Eight) by Billy Sue Mosiman-Terrifying Women  

The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea:- Modern Masters of Horror

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories-(M. E.Braddon's "Herself") -Haunted Houses 

The Wilderness Within by John Claude Smith-In the Dark, Dark, Woods

Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn-Serial/Spree Killer

Haven by Tom Deady, (narrated by Matt Godfrey)- Terror in a Small Town 

Money Back Guarantee by Hunter Shea-80's Horror

The Grip of It by Jac Jemc for the center square-Haunted House

The Girls by Emma Cline-Chilling Children

Carmilla by J. Sheridan LaFanu-Vampires

When the Leaves Fall by Paul Melniczek in Halloween Carnival Volume 4-Amateur Sleuth (Man goes back to his hometown to investigate what happened to his dad.)

The Travelling Grave and Other Stories-Gothic (The Travelling Grave)

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Farris-Monsters 

urn of the Screw by Henry James-Classic Horror

Mystery Road by Kevin Lucia-Supernatural

 

 

Read But Not Yet Called: (Ghost)

 Cthulhu Blues by Douglas Wynne-American Horror Story 

 

 

Called But Not Yet Read: (Black Cat)

Werewolves

Witches

Diverse Voices

Aliens

Classic Noir

 

BINGO CALLS

 Ghost

Cozy Mystery

In the Dark, Dark Woods

Horror

 Locked Room Mystery

Murder Most Foul

Witches

Werewolves

Modern Masters of Horror

Terrifying Women

Diverse Voices

Haunted Houses

Serial/Spree Killer

Terror in A Small Town

Aliens

Darkest London

Gothic

80's Horror

Classic Noir

Chilling Children

Magical Realism

Vampires

Country House Mystery

Amateur Sleuth

The Dead Will Walk

Demons

Monsters

Classic Horror

Supernatural

 

 

 

 

 

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever - Tom Neely

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever was hilarious!

 

It works on the premise that Henry Rollins, (Black Flag), and Glenn Danzig, (The Misfits), who are both the most manly men you can imagine, have a gay relationship. Hall & Oates live next door and are Satanists. Lemmy from Motorhead also shows up and shenanigans ensue!

 

I loved the humor and the silliness in this book. What I did not enjoy very much was the artwork, (at times-there were a lot of different artists), and the misspellings, (there were a few.) I know this is just a comic or graphic novel, but spelling is still important, and graphics, (being that this is a GRAPHIC novel), need to be outstanding, and I didn't think they were.

 

That said, I really did think this was funny as hell and if you're looking for a laugh, this should do it, for sure. 

 

I was able to check this graphic novel out of my local library. Libraries RULE!

Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell, narrated by Matt Godfrey

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey

 

I just finished the audiobook of Blackwater and I'm crying. This is, without a doubt, the best audiobook I've ever read. 

It's going to take me a while to compose myself and write a review.

 

But, be assured-the audio of Blackwater gets ALL THE STARS!

 

#14 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Char's Horror Corner [Nominated]

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Halloween is coming near. The spooky time requires a special guest and we think that Charlene from Char’s Horror Corner is the perfect one for the Halloween Follow Friday interview. 

 

Check out what Charlene is reading and follow her blog Char’s Horror Corner on BookLikes http://charlene.booklikes.com

 *

 

How did your book love begin? 

 

It started early on! There weren’t a lot of other children around where I grew up, but there were a lot of elderly people. The bookmobile would come around so that those without transportation were able to get something to read, and in the summers I would stand in line with them. I loved to check out mysteries from Agatha Christie and other authors, and then I discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the great Edgar Allan Poe.

 

You’ve reviewed over 800 books on your BL blog. What do you enjoy about book blogging the most? 

 

What I enjoy the most about blogging/reviewing is giving and getting book recommendations. I just love when someone tries a book I recommended and they like it. Conversely, I always feel bad when a person tries a book I recommended and they do NOT like it.

 

 

You’re a horror book lover. Why this genre is so special for you? What do you cherish the most about it? 

 

Horror is often about outsiders and being an outsider, that always appealed to me. I felt like an outsider during most of my time in junior high and in high school and I related to those kinds of stories. What I cherish the most about the horror genre is the community. I help moderate a group on Goodreads, (Horror Aficionados), and we now have nearly 13,500 members. They are the best bunch of people, authors and readers both, they’re supportive, smart and funny and they welcome everyone! What’s not to cherish about that?

 

If not horror, than what? Do you often switch to another genre or is horror your ultimate love?

 

I do like to switch things up at times. I love to read biographies and autobiographies, as well as classics, mysteries, thrillers and true crime. Horror is my ultimate love though, and I never stray away for too long.

 

 

There are many sub-genres of horror. Can you tell more about them to our readers? 

 

As you’ve stated, there are many! These days, my favorites lean more towards Quiet Horror. This is horror that generally does not feature a lot of blood and guts. No slashers or torturing or things like that. It’s heavier on atmosphere, building dread and those things caught out of the corner of your eye.

I also enjoy Cosmic Horror. Now this can include parts of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and the monsters he created, or it can be more generic and just reflect the cold, unfeeling universe and the lowly place of mankind within it. I also enjoy ghost stories, creature features, (fun books with imaginative monsters, and usually faced paced killing), and haunted house tales.

 

Name your Top 3 horror books.

 

Yeah, that’s too hard! Today, my answer is:

1. Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon  , which is not exactly horror, but coming-of-age dark fiction.

2. It or The Stand by Stephen King  .

3. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King  

 

Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammonIt - Stephen KingThe Stand - Stephen King'Salem's Lot - Stephen King

 

Are there any particular titles you’re impatiently waiting for this fall/winter season?

  

Yes, I’ve been waiting for Joe Hill’s latest title, Strange Weather and I finally got it on Saturday at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival. Joe Hill appeared there and his fans were able to purchase copies prior to the book officially going on sale 10.24.17.

 

Read the relation from The Third Annual Merrimack Valley Book Festival!

 

 

We’ve noticed the horror audiobooks on your BookLikes bookshelf, recently you’ve also interviewed a horror story narrator -- do you prefer reading or listening to horror stories? Is there any difference in experiencing the novels? 

 

I prefer reading to listening, actually. In a very few cases though, a worthy narrator can elevate my reading experience. This has happened on a few occasions. The first was when I listened to Kate Mulgrew narrate Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. Her narration brought the story even more alive than Hill already had and that changed my original rating from when I read the book of 4/5 stars to ALL the stars.

NOS4A2: A Novel - Joe Hill,Kate Mulgrew Bravo to both Joe Hill and Kate Mulgrew for the hours of pleasure that is the audible book NOS4A2! Read a full review ->

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt GodfreyThe second time this happened is actually still happening, with Matt Godfrey’s narration of Michael McDowell’s Blackwater. Since this saga is set in Alabama, and Matt is from Alabama, the accents and voices have really come alive for me, even more so than when I read the books a few years back. It’s amazing! (And HE’S amazing!)

 

The most wonderful horror author(s) is/are… 

 

Stephen King, Robert McCammon, and Joe Hill.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers? 

1. Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon  (see link above, on Question 6)

2. The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two.

3. Last Train from Perdition by Robert R. McCammon 

 

 

Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammonThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowellLast Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon

 

How do you pick another book to read? 

 

Generally, my reading is booked far in advance. I have this crazy urge to haunt sites like NetGalley and Edelweiss for advance review copies of books. I generally try to read them by the publication dates, so that usually determines what I’m going to read next. I had challenged myself to read 40 books that I ALREADY OWN this year, and I’ve only read 7. That’s because I just can’t stop myself from browsing the books that are coming out soon and requesting them. I just want to read ALL the books.

 

A paper book or an e-book? 

Both!

 

Halloween is coming near. Can you suggest three titles to juice up a Halloween party? 

 

1.Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton. This is an excellent collection of short stories all connected by Halloween.

2. The Halloween Children by Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss. This is a fun little tale about what happens when you choose not to give out candy on Halloween, (among other things!).

3. The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories volume 1 or 2. Or better yet, both! These are excellent tales that have rarely or never been reprinted since their original release.

 

Featuring authors like Michael McDowell and Stephen Gregory, everyone should be able to find a pleasing story within.

 

Haunted Nights - Ellen Datlow,Lisa MortonThe Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman PrentissThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Francis King,John Blackburn,Richard Marsh,Michael McDowell,Stephen GregoryThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowell

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

Anywhere, really, but my favorites are in my recliner, by the pool, or in what I optimistically call my library.

 

 

 

Your favorite quote?

We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God's sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they'd allowed to wither in themselves. - Robert McCammon, from Boy's Life

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be? 

 

I think I would like to sit down with Mary Love from Blackwater by Michael McDowell. I would love to hear her Alabama accent and ask her why she acted the way she did as the matriarch of her Southern family.

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

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Horror Aficionados
Horror Aficionados 11358 members
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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