Tag Archives: horror

Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 2

Worst Books Read in 2011

2. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

This is a teenage girl on zombie love story. It takes place in a neo-Victoria post-apocalyptic society. It includes the phrase “extra sparkly unicorn fart kind of special” and is from a series titled Gone with the Respiration. This is a picture of the author:

Original Review
My friend Ala’s brilliantly funny review

3. Sequence by Adrian Dawson
4. Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
5. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
8. The Black Company by Glen Cook
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale


Review: John Dies at the End

John Dies at the EndJohn Dies at the End by David Wong
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Warning: This Book Contains Multiple Scenes With Disgusting Huge Spiders

*ahem*

I had avoided adding John Dies at the End until a friend roped me into it through a challenge. I have to say, it was a pleasant surprise. Well, maybe not pleasant. That’s not a word that describes, well, anything in this book.

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Review: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas TerrorThe Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror is good stuff. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of Christopher Moore, but I may look into some of his other books. There are zombies, evil Santas, they make fun of those horrible bell ringers, there’s a crazy Zena-type, and a remarkably mentally challenged angel. Oh, and the fruit bat. What’s not to love? I’m not coming up with anything. If you take the holidays seriously, you might disagree and should probably steer clear. There isn’t a lot of Christmas cheer and you’d be horrified by some of the things done to Santa and the Nativity story. If you revel in the irreverent, well, this is the Christmas book for you.

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Review: American Psycho

American PsychoAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I have now read American Psycho. I now feel completely justified in my previous suspicion that Bret Easton Ellis is not the author for me. Oh, when it isn’t taking itself seriously, the book is very well-written. Even the originally incredibly irritating repetitive detailing of brand names and prices and food became a part of the rhythm of the book in a way I was not expecting. Patrick Bateman is certainly a psychopath, whether his crimes are only in his head or real. With all of these things though, I would still love to give this one star. The reason it gets three is because of the way a consistent crawling horror was maintained. There was no respite, even in the seemingly innocuous sections. This takes talent. I still found it anything but enjoyable, and towards the end became annoyed when Ellis tried to make it somehow meaningful in a greater sense. Oh, and it’s certainly gory in every sense of the word, in case there was someone who missed that. I need a stiff drink now.

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Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Yeah…this was definitely not my thing. Both facepalmed and hoity-toity should not be in the same book. “Extra sparkly unicorn fart kind of special” also made an appearance. I use these to illustrate one of the most annoying aspects of the book; the bizarre swings between quasi-Victorian language and contemporary youthful slang. I also found the characters flat and, honestly, the basic premise of girl on zombie kind of grossed me out. I think I can quite definitely say that I will not be reading anything additional by Lia Habel. (Oh yes, did I mention that the series is named Gone With the Respiration. Seriously.)

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Review: The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the ScrewThe Turn of the Screw by Henry James
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Forget cabins in remote wooded places or suspicious small towns; I am convinced that English country houses, particularly in cloudy areas, are the most dangerous places to live or visit. At best, you’ll be robbed of something valuable. Maybe something you own will turn out to be cursed. Most likely you or someone else in the house will be brutally murdered. If you’re lucky, that is. The characters in The Turn of the Screw do not get off so lightly. The book is narrated from the point of view of a governess who may or may not be insane and includes such staples as precocious and creepy orphans, possible ghosts, mysterious pasts, and a handsome but distant master. A very good book to read for Halloween and one which will likely be argued over until the end of humanity.

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Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It would be difficult to overstate the creepiness of [b:We Have Always Lived in the Castle|861577|We Have Always Lived in the Castle|Shirley Jackson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1269310843s/861577.jpg|847007]. [a:Shirley Jackson|13388|Shirley Jackson|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1196262589p2/13388.jpg] brilliantly weaves a story of three recluses who are all frightening in their own way. The book begins with the knowledge that something terrible has happened and something terrible is going to happen. The steady pacing and consistent revelation of just how terrible the lives of the Blackwoods are is countered by the arrival of a greedy, disruptive cousin. Despite knowing that the reclusive way the characters Mary Katherine, Constance, and Julian live is extremely unhealthy, I could not help hating their cousin for the way he behaves. The event for which you wait is traumatic to read, particularly for someone who cannot bear for beautiful things to be destroyed. Overall, while [b:The Lottery|6219655|The Lottery (Creative Short Stories)|Shirley Jackson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266579353s/6219655.jpg|15161007] is also excellent, I found this to be more powerful.

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Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Uncle SilasUncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu does bone-chilling creepiness exceedingly well. This book made the hairs on my neck stand up at least twice; not the easiest thing to accomplish with fiction. The story contains several villains, with varying degrees of overt nastiness and subtlety. That being said, I found myself repeatedly grinding my teeth at or wanting to shake the heroine into using her brain at least once in a while. Admittedly, I am relatively unversed in the gothic horror sub-genre having only previously read the Bronte sisters, but I do not recall their heroines being quite so limp and hysterical. This definitely hurt my enjoyment of an otherwise excellent book. Uncle Silas is yet another book that makes me wish I had the option to give 3.5 stars. As it is, being unable to accurately give it 4, I have to downgrade it to 5.

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