Showing posts from 2016


Disappearance At Devil's Rock - Paul Tremblay  3/5 stars

     So, A Head Full Of Ghosts was one of my favorite novels of 2015, and then I heard about the new book, but I kept forgetting the damn title. Finally remembered it and then I got a copy for my Kindle app which I don't recommend by the way. There's a problem with Tommy's notes not showing up well and the only way to see them is by zooming in on them which becomes a pain in the ass after awhile. Fork out the cash for the dead tree version. Anyway, Devil's Rock is the story of a boy's strange disappearance, but this is a Paul Tremblay novel so nothing here is ordinary or run of the mill. I have twins that are Tommy's age so I felt a connection with this book. It's a parent's worst fear and Paul doesn't waste any time in getting us close to Elizabeth so that we feel her anguish. Each character is molded well, and realistic. They act exactly as they should, and you don't feel as if they…

The Good Girl

The Good Girl - Mary Kubica 5/5

      When I borrowed this one from the library the librarian told me this was a little bit like Gone Girl, and I couldn't disagree more. Gone Girl burrows into your head kinda like a tapeworm, and refuses to leave, but the Good Girl is a different animal entirely. For a debut, this is quite strong and has the usual likable, and not so likable characters. James for instance, is a cold feeling father that makes the perfect villain. He's a horrible father, and a terrible husband so anytime he enters a scene you can almost hear a few boos and hisses. While the similarities to Gone Girl are no doubt popping up everywhere this one has sort of the same ideals, but Gone Girl is a much better novel and the surprises there are mouth dropping. I don't want to take anything away from The Good Girl because it does have its share of jaw dropping moments, but they just don't have the same impact.

     Mary Kubica is a decent writer and manages tel…


Haunt - Laura Lee Bahr  5/5

      Haunt could easily be described as an anti novel. It takes pride in not existing in just one genre. The strength of Haunt is in the writing itself. Bahr has a gift for creating a story that takes the reader on a journey that doesn't follow routine story telling. If you love books that break new ground this is a book that you will no doubt devour, and come back to just see if there's something you may have missed. For those that like books that follow routine story telling are going to find this frustrating, but that's okay. At its core is a narrative that flows well and you feel as if you're a part of the story even at its most confusing, but in the end everything comes together.

      The question is how do you review a novel like this? You can only talk about its brilliance and how it's a ghost story with enough twists and turns to give you whiplash. Each character is well thought out and interesting so that when the narrativ…

Cripple Wolf

Cripple Wolf - Jeff Burk 5/5

      How do you describe Cripple Wolf? It's bizarro with hints of horror, and it's a book that would make a great introduction to classic bizarro. The kind of bizarro you just don't read anymore. As I read it I was reminded of how great this genre was and still can be. This short story collection starts off on a high note and just doesn't let up. There's not a bad story here and Burk is a great story teller that isn't so out there that you can't grasp the concept of the stories. Each story here is amusing, and well written. The lead off story Cripple Wolf feels like a classic B-rate horror film. It's got gore, and best of all a werewolf that happens to be in a wheelchair. For those with an aversion to the holidays there's even a twisted take on Frosty the Snowman that is quite disturbing.

     Of all the bizarro short story collections I've read, Wolf is one of my favorites. It's a classic collection that never …

All Dressed Up, Got Nowhere To Go

Too Much, Too Soon: The Make-up & Break Up Of The New York Dolls - Nina Antonia 5/5

     Let me just say thank Bob for Youtube so I can finally see old footage of the Dolls live because I wasn't lucky enough to have seen them during their initial run. I was born the same years the Dolls exploded on the scene looking like crazed transvestites. They were original at a time when rock music needed it and they gave rock fans something no one had ever seen before. You can see their influence all over popular music. Let's be honest and say that if it weren't for the Dolls those hairbands from the 80's would've never existed, and it's a known fact that KISS was hugely influenced by the band as well. With that being said, the book tells the Dolls story as it slowly unravels. The Dolls it seemed were poised to be the new face of rock 'n' roll, but instead they became a casualty.

      The books doesn't hold anything back and as far as bios go this one …


Metallica - Hardwired...To Self Destruct 3/5

       I woke up with some wicked ass heartburn and couldn't sleep so I headed over to and downloaded my digital copy of the new Metallica record. There was a lot of temptation to listen to this before release day but I avoided the videos that were released every two hours and the leaked version that came out on Sunday. Let's check it out. Right off you get punched in the dick by the title track which could easily fit on one of the band's first three albums. James is in fine vocal form and Lars who seems to have lost his skills as a drummer seems to be able to flail away with reckless abandon. This was exactly why I pre-ordered the record. That in your face thrash makes you want to wreck your neck and form a mosh pit with your cats. Atlas, Rise starts off with a riff that sounds a little familiar. Yeah, some of this song is lifted from the Four Horseman and you know what? It fuckin' smokes. I have to admi…

Kali On A Rampage

Kali On A Rampage - R.D. Cervo 5/5

     I received Kali On A Rampage in exchange for an honest review, but somehow it got lost on my Kindle. When I was transitioning over to my tablet I stumbled onto it and dove right in because it’s an interesting premise. As you read it you begin to see that these characters are connected. They’re like a line of dominoes sent tumbling forward with such force all you can do is watch and hope for the best. Cervo has clearly done a great deal of research on mental illness and has crafted these characters to be as realistic as possible. None of them have any redeeming qualities which adds a gritty realism to the book. It’s a dark, violent read that you don’t just read, it slowly filters into your mind. The point here is if you’re looking for a light fun book, this isn’t it. I love books like these not because they’re violent, but it offers up characters that broken, and often misunderstood. I like dark fiction and Rampage is pretty dark, but it’s a book …

Amy Fisher!!

If I Knew Then..... - Amy Fisher  2/5

     I think it's interesting how some books change your perception of people or events, but some don't for one reason or another. Take Amy Fisher's book for instance. I saw it in the true crime section of the library and thought, what the hell. I was pretty familiar with the case and the story itself was intriguing. The problem is that Amy Fisher is a vile human being and while she wants you to forget about what she did, and how she's made strides to finally put the past behind her it's just not true. A Google search will tell you that for awhile she tried to live out of the spot light and piece her life back together it just wasn't meant to be. She's made a porn tape, divorced her husband and even rekindled her romance with Joey. Would someone who is trying to forget the past do that?

    The book itself is interesting as it gives you a glimpse of Fisher's life in prison, and what it was like during the huge media…
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer 3/5

      Hi, I'm Michael, and I'm a fan of Amy Schumer. I know, I know I hear what you're saying; "You're a fan of Carlin, Hicks, Kinison! You can't seriously find Amy Schumer funny!" I do, and yeah, it surprised me too, but when I heard about the book I wanted to read it because Amy's funny and the book should prove a little interesting. I ignored all the reviews because they all pretty much said the same thing. No help at all. If you're a fan, you'll like the book, and if you're not, well you won't. It's that simple. It's not even a biography just some essays, but they aren't bad. Quite a few of them are pretty damn funny. At times it did feel as if she were trying too hard to remind people that she's just like everyone else, but let's be honest and say that she's not, and hasn't been for quite some time.

     The book is exactly what you'd expect. We …

The Last Days

The Last Days Of Salton Academy - Jennifer Brozek

      I received a copy of Last Days in exchange for an honest review, and to be honest I had no idea what it was about. All I had was a title and an idea of what it could be about. A school slowly dying. Had no idea that it was a zombie novel, not a clue. The thing is that this is not your typical zombie novel. It's way more than that. It's a character study of a school doing what they can to survive. There a lot of plot lines running through the novel and at times it's very distracting, but if you tried to streamline some of them the novel wouldn't work as well as it does. You have these survivors and their stories connect to the entire plot. It then becomes addicting to see what happens and where all of these threads lead.

     If you're not a fan of the zombie genre and who can blame you? You should still read this because it's a great piece of fiction. Brozek keeps the plot moving at a steady clip and I…


Amnesia - Matt Hickman 5/5 stars

          Matt Hickman owes me some sleep. I stayed awake to finish Amnesia and by the time it was all over it was almost three in the morning, and I blame Matt because Amnesia is the sort of novel that allows you to think you know what's going to happen and then you realize that you're wrong and it sucks. No one likes to be wrong especially when you're reading a book and you think you know what's going to happen, but then the author decides to throw in a massive twist. It's a great novel that gives you just a hint of what's to come. The biggest question here is why do these people have amnesia? What's going on that we're not being told. Not only is this a decent plot but you have well drawn characters that are stuck together for what's supposed to be a simple drug trial. You know something is going to happen and when it does it's shocking and totally unexpected.

      The thing is that Matt Hickman is a tale…

Its Just A Ride

American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story - Cynthia True 3/5 stars

      I've been an avid Hicks fan for a very long time and I know that people say that quite often, and quite a few times it's all bullshit. The reason I love Hicks so much is that he said exactly what I was thinking most of the time. He connected with his fans on a level that most comedians only dream of and American Scream was finally our chance to learn about who Hicks was. I think most of the problem is True's fear of upsetting his fans. She gives us exactly what we want and we get to know Bill a little better, but as a fan I was expecting more. It's as if she knows that we want a book that respects Bill while talking about his life, and his Legacy. There's very little dirt here, but we do get to experience his frustration with the American audience for not getting him or his material. When you see Hicks live there's so much intensity there, but there's also an intelligence that most pe…

Dark And Disturbing

Monstrosities - Jeremy C. Shipp

      When my tablet died I had to move everything to my phone. It was a pain in the ass, but I found books that I forgot I had. I balance between digital and dead tree so it's possible that some things just fall through the cracks. Monstrosities is one of those books I had gotten way back when I got my first tablet and just forgot about. Not that there's anything wrong with it I just keep putting it aside and soon forgot that I had it. I have a huge to be read pile and I don't think I'll ever get to everything on the list, but I am glad I found Monstrosities. This is one that I should have read a long time ago.

      Shipp has a style all his own and this is a very short collection. The stories at times seem like ideas that came suddenly and their impact is felt long after you read them. Shipp writes dark horror that borders on bizarro. These are stories that sometimes feel like an assault on your senses. They hit fast and hard and then…

The Power Of Christ Compels You!

Heart Shaved Box - Jeff O'Brien 5/5 Stars

     I've been waiting for this for quite awhile. I saw the cover and thought hey, that chick looks like a sluttier version of Velma from Scooby-Doo. The book took awhile to come out. Seems Jeff had writers block or something. He also got a new dog which probably delayed the process a bit too. After what seemed like an eternity started writing again and the book was finally finished. He was kind enough to give me an advanced copy to review and as I stared at that sexy cover I wondered if they writer's block messed with his head. Is this going to suck? What if it sucks?

     The good news here is that Box doesn't suck. Not one bit. For O'Brien fans that's a good thing, and this may actually be the best book he's written so far. It's also his most offensive. If you're at all squeamish when people make fun of religion, talk about vaginas, and sex, well you are going to hate Heart Shaved Box. This one starts…

It Was Aliens

Very True Stories Starring Jeff O'Brien  - Jeff O'Brien 5/5

      What is your definition of truth? Do you believe in aliens? Do you believe that the world has been saved twice by a scruffy dog lover and a Starting Lineup action figure? As a fan of Jeff's I have read just about everything the dude has put out and as I gazed at the cover I knew that I was going to be in for one hell of a read. Jeff writes the kind of stuff that he would like to read, and along the way he's picked up a bit of a following. Whatever he writes it always seems to work, and shouldn't be taken to seriously. The same goes for his latest book which will no doubt piss of scores of people, but I thought it was a lot of fun.

      Are these any of things in O'Brien's book plausible? Does it matter? What's important is that Jeff is a decent writer that can tell you a story while winking at the same time. The Allston Girl kicks things off and here's the moment where you cough and …

Ladies And Gentleman, Lenny Bruce

How Talk Dirty and Influence People - Lenny Bruce  5/5 stars

     In this politically correct version of the world Lenny Bruce is just as offensive as he was back when he was being busted by the fuzz for being obscene. You see Lenny is an icon that paved the way for greats like Carlin, Pryor, Hicks, and even Sam Kinison. Words themselves aren't dirty. It's the image that they create. Lenny was ahead of his time and he paid dearly for it. It's unfortunate that Mr. Bruce doesn't get the respect that he deserves. He changed the way that people approached comedy and busted down doors that were formerly closed. I know I'm coming off fan boyish, but Bruce is one of those guys that taught me more about life than most teachers. I learned about free speech from Lenny, and I also learned that you don't really have the freedom to speak at all. You just think you do.

     This isn't the first time I read this book I read it back when I was eighteen and I hadn't …

Season Of Decay

Season Of Decay The Decaying Worlds Saga Book 2 - Michael W. Garza  5-5 stars

     You want a tight, intelligent zombie novel you've come to the right place. Seasons picks up after the first novel ends so it's pretty important to read the other books in the series before picking this one up. What I like about this series is that Michael has attempted to put his own spin on the zombie apocalypse without relying on gore or even the zombies themselves. The focus is on the survivors who are now faced with a coming horde of the undead. I enjoy Garza's work a great deal because he writes stories that pull you in and make you feel as if you're one of the characters. As the series progresses we can see the story evolve organically which can be frustrating at times, but Seasons is a book that takes a variety of different genres and comes up with something unique.

     A tale of survivors is part of the plot, but then you have the Nexus and just how important it is. It'…

Rob Zombie's 31

31 Thoughts and a review

     Once upon a time I saw a trailer for a movie called House of 1000 Corpses, and was blown away. Finally a horror film that paid tribute to the films I grew up watching. The second it came out on DVD I snagged my copy and immersed myself in the mayhem. Corpses was, and is a huge influence on me and as I watched it I realized that this was a film by a guy known mostly for his music. It wasn't supposed to be this good, but it was. Critics of course dismissed it and most horror fans didn't understand it, but when it comes to horror films most critics are elite snobs anyway. What Corpses did was show us that you can make a decent horror film that is not only shocking, but entertaining.

      I became a fan of Zombie's films, but not his music To this day I still say that Lords Of Salem is his best film, and who knows I'm probably wrong. What matters is that when you see a Rob Zombie trailer you know you're in for one hell of a ride. Zo…

I'm a dude and I read a Kasey Hill book!

Firefly Of Immortality (The Guardians Of Light Book 1) - Kasey Hill 4/5 stars

     When Kasey gave me a copy to review I was stoked because I thought that her take on the Wizard of Oz mythos was pretty damn cool. She should a lot of promise and easily became a writer to watch for. Now we have Firefly and the premise is cool as hell. I wanted to read this and you should despite my awarding this four stars. It's a book worth reading, but the problem is that I'm a dude and this is clearly not a market that this book was intended for. If you're into young adult fiction with a bit of cheese, then this is for you. If you're like me and don't like young adult fiction with a bit of cheese you should avoid this and find something you do like.

      To be perfectly honest I love Kasey's writing style and her characters. These are complex and well thought out which is essential in a book like this. If you have characters that don't pull you into the story then there&…

The Dinner

The Dinner - Herman Koch  5/5 stars

      Have you ever read a book and then sat and thought about it for a minute trying to decide if you liked it or not? That's exactly what happened after I finished The Dinner. The book itself isn't hard to follow and the message itself is up for interpretation. How it leaves you feeling is where the trouble lies. Is that the mark of a good writer, or is it something else entirely? Koch has written a novel that leaves you exhausted and confused. I wanted to hate the Dinner. I wanted to throw it across the room quite a few times, but I was too invested to quit. I had to read it through to the end. Novels like these are complex, but not because of the plot. It's the characters. These aren't characters that you want to hang out with, and I don't even like them. They all have character flaws and are quite despicable. Not just one or two characters mind you. Each and everyone of them.

      Koch has written a novel that you will ei…

Love Wins??

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, And The Fate Of Every Person Who Ever Lived - Rob Bell 3/5 stars

     I remember when this book first came out people lost their minds! It seemed as if everyone had an opinion and if you weren't against it then you were part of the problem and declared an enemy of Christianity. Sadly, I was one of those Christians. It doesn't make sense does it? As a Christian you're job is to show some sort of compassion, and love all people, but when this book came out Rob Bell was the most hated man in America. It's interesting that no one talks about religion and if you do you're attacked because you don't follow the mainstream beliefs of Christianity. The problem is that Christianity is full of hypocrites that talk a great game but when it comes to actually following the Bible they fail miserably.

     Now that I'm in a different mindset and removed from my Christian faith I thought I'd read Rob's book again. The diffe…


America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter To Freedom 4/5 stars

  I saw this at my local library and the title alone caught my attention. Based on that alone I had to read it . The premise is simple and not as daunting as most people would expect. Michael and Meghan aren't trying to change your opinions at all and only offer up their insight throughout their road trip in a smelly RV.  How would this play out? These are two people on opposite sides of the the political spectrum on the road to discuss politics. The thing is that the politics of course come up, but to quote from The Dude: It's just like their opinion man. If you're not into politics all that much you may or may not hate this book, or if you're expecting it to explain why this country's so screwed up you may end up hating this book. 
      It's more about their trip and how they interact with one another. That's what the book is really about. Meghan is surprisingly not as annoying as I thought sh…

Gore Carnival Book 4

Standing Ovation: Gore Carnival Book 4 - Various Authors 5/5 stars

      Here we are fiends. We have reached the end of the carnival and one thing that has impressed me so far is the talent that has graced these pages. Jaded Books Publishing has created an anthology that sets the bar pretty high. This is a company that has left behind the corpse of Fat Lip Press and has made a one helluva statement. If you're a new publisher this is how you get noticed. You don't need a gimmick just a stable of talented authors. I'm not going to lie to you. I was nervous going into book 4 due to the fact that it's been so damn good. There's no way they can keep the momentum going can they? Answer? Yes, they do. Not all of these stories take place in the circus but they are dark and sometimes quite funny. I have a sick sense of humor so I'm sure that some of these weren't meant to be funny.

      Black Swan Song kicks off the set and it's not a bad story. It feature…

Gore Carnival Book 3

Gore Carnival Book 3: Encore Various Authors 5/5 stars

      Now we've made it passed the intermission, and so far this is one hell of a box set. If you like your horror sadistic and dark then you've come to the right place. There's been a wealth of great talent and all of these stories have been really well written. In a volume like this though you can only hold the momentum so long before you start hitting the clunkers. The confusing thing is that this is titled Encore but it differs greatly from the style and pace of intermission Had these titles been swapped it would have made more sense. The stories in volume 3 aren't as in your face or half as disturbing as book 2. This is my type of horror. When it needs to be it's extreme but it doesn't become the focal point. Case in point the lead off story Chuckles. This is by far a high point of the set and one that slowly follows a clown as he slides into insanity. Well thought out and one that has a hook that…