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.

 

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The Lost City of the Monkey God

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story - Douglas Preston, Bill Mumy

 

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story is not my normal cuppa, but came to me highly recommended. I'm glad that I reserved the audio at my library.

 

The story was enjoyable and educational, but I was slightly disappointed at the time spent actually exploring. The beginning of the book goes into previous expeditions to areas near this city and the problems faced due to the fact that Honduras can be a very dangerous country. Not only due to the insects, snakes and other poisonous creatures, but also because of drug cartels.

 

The brief portion that involved the actual exploration was fascinating. Imagine going into an area completely untouched by mankind in 500 hundred years. How exciting! However, the actuality of exploring such an area means exposing oneself to thousands of dangers from extremely deep mud, insects of all kinds, snakes and even jaguars, to name just a few.

 

There was another brief section talking about the problems with other archaeologists and academia throwing shade on this expedition, some of them doing so with no REAL knowledge of what went on, how LIDAR worked and what was found.

 

Lastly, and the part I found most interesting, was what happened to many of the explorers after they got home and that is: Leishmaniasis. OMG. This is a disease, (actually many diseases and symptoms, grouped under one name), which is carried by tiny sand flies. The havoc this disease can wreak is almost unbelievable. This led to another section of the book which spoke about new world diseases and how they affected the Americas. There is talk of how some of the early civilizations disappeared and how that may have been caused by parasites and diseases. I found all of this fascinating but extremely scary. Most especially when it was mentioned that cases of Leish have now been found in Texas and the speculation about how that is because sand flies are moving northward due to climate change.

 

What I found most surprising is that many of the explorers that were diagnosed and treated for Leish, jumped at the chance to go back to the site. I can only assume that they were CRAZY!

 

I enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about Honduras and its history. I recommend The Lost City of the Monkey God to anyone interested in learning more about Honduras, the city and the history of the world, in general.

 

*I checked out this audio from my local library. Libraries RULE!*

The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman

The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman

 

 Vampires and American muscle cars. It's like this book was tailored to me personally. And on top of that, it ROCKED!

 

A family is on a road trip on an American highway one night, with their young son in the back seat. A car with no lights on pulls up next to them, grabs the arm of the boy, (he had his arm out the window), and poof, the boy is gone. Next thing you know, the car is crashed on the side of the road, with both mom and dad badly injured. Where did the boy go? Who took him? Will he ever see his father and mother again? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

There's no sparkling here and there's no romance, (well, maybe a little, but it's a different type of romance.) Instead, these vamps traveled in a pack during the late 60's. For me, the time period was a perfect, refreshing setting because: 1. the cars were all American,(this was a time before the invasion of imported cars), 2. I'm an American car gal AND I love muscle cars and 3. there were no cell phones or other technologies distracting me from the story.

 

At this point in my horror-reading life, I'm vampired out. It takes a special book to get me excited about them, and this one was it. I loved the return of vampires with hypnotizing skills, (remember when Dracula did that hypnotizing thing?), ones that can make you do his/her bidding and then forget you ever saw them. I enjoyed the fact that these vampires had other special skills which I'll leave you to discover on your own, (but trust me the skills were COOL). I loved that these monsters were just that: MONSTERS in capital letters. Lastly, I also loved the fact that the protagonist was strong and female, never exactly sure of her strength but pressing on just the same. Jude was one to root for and root I did! 

 

Now I'm sad that I only have one Christopher Buehlman book left to read. If you're out there, sir, I hope you're working on something new!

 

If you haven't read any of Mr. Buehlman's work as of yet, you should rectify that-and quickly! I doubt you'd be disappointed with any of them, but I highly recommend The Suicide Motor Club! It might just restore your faith in vampire horror stories and give you a new author to read!

 

You can get your copy here: The Suicide Motor Club

 

*I obtained my copy through my awesome public library, because I'm usually broke. Libraries RULE*

APPROVED!!

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix

 

I ask you, is there anyone more perfect to review this book than yours truly? I think not!

 

I requested this from NetGalley back in March or April, and I just got approved today. 

 

So...WHOOHOO!

 

The Daily Show: An Oral History

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests - Chris Smith, Jon  Stewart

 

This book was a lot of fun! It seems like everyone that was ever part of the show as far as on-air personalities or behind the scenes people were interviewed here. However, many of the guests-friendly to the show or not, were also interviewed, which made the book all the more interesting.

 

I learned a lot about the dynamics of the show and how it worked. I learned about who was not happy there and who was. I learned that Jon Stewart paid people out of his own pocket for as long as he could when the writers went on strike. I learned that Jon really cared about the people he worked with, and he deeply cared about some causes-like obtaining health care for 9/11 rescuers. I learned all of this and plenty more, laughing all the while.

 

I enjoyed hearing what John McCain felt when interviewed, (at times friendly interviews, at others-not so much). Anthony Weiner, Hillary Clinton and many others were also interviewed-all very absorbing.

 

This book didn't present only one side, but it did mostly slant towards loving Jon Stewart, and since I already did that, now I love and respect him even more. I'm not sure if the book started out to deify Jon, or if it was just because he's actually a good man- so what everyone had to say about him was mostly positive.

 

What I disliked about this audio book is that actors do all the voices. First, that was hard to get used to. Second, since all of these former employees, guests, and comedians were interviewed for this book already, wasn't there a way to get their permissions to use their actual voices instead of actors?

 

The Daily Show: An Oral History was hilarious and I learned a lot. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the show.

 

*Thanks to my awesome local library for the audiobook loan.*

July 2017 Round Up!

Bone White - Ronald Malfi A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly The Necromancer's House - Christopher Buehlman Halloween Carnival Volume 1 - Lisa Morton, Kevin Lucia, John Little, Brian James Freeman, Robert R. McCammon Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories - Gary Gianni, Gary Gianni The Twilight Pariah - Jeffrey Ford For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska, Steve Upham, Charles Black, Reggie Oliver, Reggie Oliver Behind Her Eyes: A Novel - Sarah Pinborough Zomcats! - Amanda Horan, Graeme Parker, Jack Strange Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

In July I read 19 books!

 

Graphic Novels:

 

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three, House of Cards

The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three, The Prisoner

American Vampire, Volume 6

Gary Gianni's Monstermen and Other Scary Stories

 

Total: 4

 

Audio Books:

 

 

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough 

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

The Necromancer's House by Christopher Buehlman

Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus by Matt Taibbi

Nevertheless: A Memoir by Alec Baldwin

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

 

Total: 6

 

ARCS:

 

Dark Screams: Volume Seven edited by Brian James Freeman & Richard Chizmar

Optical Delusion by Hunter Shea

Halloween Carnival Volume 1 by various authors

A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book by Wallace Fairfax

Bone White by Ronald Malfi

The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

 

Total: 7

 

Random Books 

 

Zomcats! by Jack Strange

For Those Who Dream Monsters by Anna Taborska 

 

Total: 2

 

 

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

Running Count: 5

 

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

 

Running Count: 28 CHALLENGE MET! WHOOHOO! 

The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

The Twilight Pariah - Jeffrey Ford

 

Everyone knows that you don't disturb buried skeletons. Everyone except Henry, Maggie and Russell, that is. With the summer off from college, three high school pals get together as Maggie has convinced the other two to help her with her amateur archaeology project. They're going to dig up an old outhouse pit and see what they can find. Not only do they find a buried skeleton, the skeleton is very small and it has horns. Anyone sane of mind would leave that thing alone, fill the hole back up and take off-but that wouldn't make for a very good horror story now would it? And this is definitely a good horror story! So what happens to the demon baby skeleton? What happens to this trio of friends almost immediately after disturbing said skeleton? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Digging up an outhouse pit , (at night of course), near an old abandoned mansion is a creepy endeavor to start with, and when odd things started happening it got very creepy indeed. I especially loved the portions about the mansion and the Prewitts, the people that used to live there. Actually, I would have loved to have learned more about them and the history of the family. Still, what happened to Marlby Prewitt and what resulted from that incident, was a unique and new idea, (at least to me), and I loved what Mr. Ford did with his creation.

 

The Twilight Pariah was a LOT of fun! I read it in just two sittings and when I finished, I was sorry that it was over. There is a lot to be said for lean storytelling and tight prose, but let me be clear, I would have delighted in more! More of the Prewitts, more of the trio and their friendship, more, more, more! In such a tight space, Mr. Ford brought these characters alive, made me care for them, and then boom! It was over and he took them away!

 

I'm embarrassed to say that this was my first book from Jeffrey Ford, but it will not be my last. I HIGHLY recommend The Twilight Pariah!

 

You can pre-order your copy here: The Twilight Pariah

 

 *I received this paperback ARC free of charge by responding to a Tweet from Mr. Ford. This did not affect my opinion of this awesome story.*

 

Find this review and others like it at: www.Horrorafterdark.com

Booklikes-opoly Update!

The Twilight Pariah - Jeffrey Ford

I finished my Free Friday book last night, (The Twilight Pariah),  and that will be it for me as far as Booklikes-opoly! At 176 pages, I net $4.00 and my total bank is: 68.00! (I have to wait a little bit to review this as it's an ARC, but I will.)

 

My bank is kind of lame, I know, but I think I did well, considering that my reading is planned out for almost a year ahead! Luckily, M.R. and Obsidian did a great job creating the board which allowed for many different books-I usually was able to find something to fit. 

 

I had a great time playing and want to thank M.R. and Obsidian again for all the fun that was Booklikes-opoly!

For Those Who Dream Monsters by Anna Taborska

For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska, Steve Upham, Charles Black, Reggie Oliver, Reggie Oliver

For Those Who Dream Monsters is an excellent collection of well written short stories. Not all of them are horror, but I thought that almost all of them were good.

 

A lot of Polish history comes through in these tales, with actual history making an appearance as well as a few myths from Polish culture.

 

There were even some laughs, such as in DIRTY DYBBUK, in which a virtuous young girl is invaded by the spirit of her horny aunt. Most of this collection is on the dark side however, such as the stories LITTLE PIG and THE GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT-tales about the cold inhumanity of war. I also enjoyed SCHRODINGER'S HUMAN and UNDERBELLY as they both made me gleefully uncomfortable.

 

A widely varied collection of marvelous stories from a new to me author is like finding a nugget when sifting for gold. It makes me excited for the future. Hopefully, Anna Taborska is working on something meatier that we can all sink our teeth into!

 

Highly recommended!

Booklikes-opoly Update!

Way back on July 4th, I landed on Main Street 10.

I finally finished my choice for that space which was Bone White by Ron Malfi.

 

At 384 pages, my bank now stands at: $64.00! 

 

Since it's Friday, I'm going to try to read a book over the weekend, so I can slide one more in before the end of the Booklikes-opoly road! 

Wish me luck!

Bone White by Ronald Malfi

Bone White - Ronald Malfi

In the cold town of Dread's Hand, Alaska, Paul Gallo arrives in search of his missing twin brother. He will never be the same again.

 

“You didn’t arrive in Dread’s Hand, he realized, but rather Dread’s Hand came at you piecemeal, a bit of itself at a time, like someone reluctant to make your acquaintance..."

 

I'm not going to rehash the plot, as the synopsis and several other reviews already do that. I can only tell you how it made me feel. Uneasy. Jumpy. Disconcerted. All these things and more.

 

Ronald Malfi's writing keeps getting better and better. It seemed to me that in this book, the writing disappeared altogether, and the story was directly injected into my brain. Isn't that the best writing of all?

 

Bone White is that feeling you get when you glimpse something out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn there's nothing there. Combine that feeling with the cold isolation and cold people of a small closely-knit, Alaskan town. One that's hiding a secret. Don't expect long drawn out explanations here. Instead, expect crosses, headless bodies and dark shadows.

 

This is the second book I've read this month which will undoubtedly make my best books of the year list. You should read it, so that you can add it to yours.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks so much to NetGalley and to Kensington for the e-ARC of this phenomenal book, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

Norse Mythology written and performed by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman, HarperAudio

 

I'm always getting my Gods confused. Roman, Greek and now Scandinavian-I can't keep them all straight! However, this is Neil Gaiman and he reads it himself, so how could I resist?

 

I enjoyed the hell out this! It was hard at first when all the Gods were introduced at once, but there weren't so many that I couldn't keep track. I loved the stories of the time when Thor's hammer was stolen, and when Loki schemed to kill Baldur. My favorite myth, however, was the time when Thor and Tyr were tasked with obtaining a cauldron big enough to brew beer for all of the Gods.

 

Neil Gaiman's reading of these tales was imbued with joy and sadness as the story dictated and I loved it. I've listened to his narrations before, but this was by far my favorite.

 

If you want to learn more about Norse mythology, or if you just want to listen to some entertaining storytelling, this book accomplishes both. Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks to my awesome public library for the loan of this audiobook!*

Bombardier (1944) by Stephen Gilbert

Reblogged from Valancourt Books:

With the release of Christopher Nolan's new hit film DUNKIRK, we thought we'd highlight a title from 2016 you might have missed, Stephen Gilbert's BOMBARDIER (1944). Gilbert, best known as the author of horror classic RATMAN'S NOTEBOOKS (the inspiration for the WILLARD films), took part in the Dunkirk evacuation and describes the experience firsthand in his fascinating, thrilling novel. Check it out here: http://www.valancourtbooks.com/bombardier-1944.html

 

Zomcats! by Jack Strange

Zomcats! - Amanda Horan, Graeme Parker, Jack Strange

 

Zomcats! is the follow up to Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse, (click to see my review),  and one I was happy to discover. The ginger feline, Henderson, was originally brought (back) to life in that book, and he quietly stole the show! This time around, he is the rightful star of the novel. Well, he and the American president which we'll get to in a moment.

 

In this novel, we follow Henderson's travels as the American president visits the U.K., seeking help with the zombie problem. Since the Prime Minister successfully dealt with the celebrity chef zombies in Britain, President Adolf Doughnut wants to see if he can do the same to the zombies in the U.S. Since the two are in an infantile pissing contest, the Prime Minister makes the President come to the U.K. to get the requested aid.

 

President Doughnut is the amalgamation of a few different people and is totally hilarious. Just like in the first book, there are plenty of political observations and commentary here. Even though I thought the first one was a bit sharper, the sarcasm and wit are both evident here in Zomcats! as well.

 

If you are in the mood for a creature feature that contains razor sharp wit as well as bloody, gory and insanely funny zomcat kills, then this is the book for you!

 

You can get your copy here: Zomcats!

 

*I was gifted an e-copy of Zomcats! in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts:

Nevertheless written and performed by Alec Baldwin

Nevertheless: A Memoir - Alec Baldwin

Nevertheless: A Memoir was exactly what I expected it to be: Alec's life story.  I have always loved his voice and I was thrilled to discover that he performed the audio himself.

 

His childhood growing up on Massapequa, Long Island was interesting. I enjoyed hearing  how his love of books and movies came about and what life was like with 5 siblings. It was also interesting to hear about how his career got started, how his love for politics developed  and what it was like working with various Hollywood actors, directors and agents.

 

He definitely has some choice words for many in the legal field, especially those involved with divorce cases. He explains, or attempts to, the horrible voice mail he left for his daughter and he also talks a bit about his actions towards the paparazzi.

 

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this and learning more about Mr. Baldwin.

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book by Wallace Fairfax

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book - Wallace Fairfax

 

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book , ("How much more black could it be?"), is exactly what you expect and hope it to be-which is FANTASTIC!

 

 

It includes a complete discography and history of the band. It includes close up looks at each individual member, including most of the drummers that are no longer with us.

 

A bio and background information is provided on Marty Debergi, how he came to be turned on to the band, and became interested in making a documentary about them.

 

It has a few tidbits too, such as-remember when David St. Hubbins was talking about the audio books that were read by celebrities of the same last name as the author of the books? The full list is here, such as: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson as read by Pamela Anderson.

 

Behind the scenes interviews with band members and an entire section on the horrible Jeanine Pettibone who took over as Tap's manager after Ian Faith left.

 

Everything is here: "turn it up to 11", Sh*t Sandwich, the puppet show, "Hello Cleveland!", the Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed by a dwarf, everything...it's all here. 

 

 

If you are a "Taphead" this book cannot fail to put a smile on your face. If you aren't familiar with the band: buy this book and see the movie, and you soon will be!

 

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book gets my highest recommendation!

 

*Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This is it!*

Currently reading

Dreamwalker by James Russell Lowell
The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman
Progress: 45%
Haunted Nights by Lisa Morton, Ellen Datlow
Progress: 50%
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix
Progress: 20%

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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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