Book Reviews, Novels, YA

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 31 : 40] (1992 – 1997)

a series of 62 novellas, #s 31 to 40

[#s 1 : 10 | 11 : 20 | 21 : 30 | 31 : 40 | 41 : 50 | 51 : 62 ]
Check out the rest of the series using the links above!

Continue reading “R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 31 : 40] (1992 – 1997)”

Book Reviews, Novels, YA

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 21 : 30] (1992 – 1997)

a series of 62 novellas, #s 21 to 30

[#s 1 : 10 | 11 : 20 | 21 : 30 | 31 : 40 | 41 : 50 | 51 : 62 ]
Check out the rest of the series using the links above!

Continue reading “R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 21 : 30] (1992 – 1997)”

Book Reviews, Novels, YA

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 11 : 20] (1992 – 1997)

a series of 62 novellas, #s 11 to 20

[#s 1 : 10 | 11 : 20 | 21 : 30 | 31 : 40 | 41 : 50 | 51 : 62 ]
Check out the rest of the series using the links above!

Continue reading “R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 11 : 20] (1992 – 1997)”

Book Reviews, Novels, YA

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 1 : 10] (1992 – 1997)

a series of 62 novellas, #s 1 to 10

[#s 1 : 10 | 11 : 20 | 21 : 30 | 31 : 40 | 41 : 50 | 51 : 62 ]
Check out the rest of the series using the links above!

Continue reading “R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps [#s 1 : 10] (1992 – 1997)”

Book Reviews, Non-fiction, YA

R.L. Stine’s It Came from Ohio!: My Life as a Writer (1997)

co-written with Joe Arthur and Susan Lurie

R.L. Stine’s life has not been very exciting, but I think that’s something to appreciate. He’s lived a very normal life up to a point. He’s always been a writer, and that’s all he’s ever tried to be. He grew up drawing his own humor magazines and recording mock radio shows with his childhood friends; later, he wrote for Ohio State University’s Sundial and did plenty of gutter-work (like writing exclusively about soda…). Eventually, he was offered a lucky job with Scholastic and his life was set.

He’s also proud to have been an at-home dad, which is pretty awesome.

Continue reading “R.L. Stine’s It Came from Ohio!: My Life as a Writer (1997)”

Book Reviews, Novels

Jonathan Carroll’s Voice of Our Shadow (1983), as recommended by Neil Gaiman

Voice of Our Shadow is a weird novel. It’s compelling, creepy, lame, uncomfortable; it leaves you wondering if it’s going anywhere or just dilly-dallying inside an unlikable Joseph Lennox’s head.

Joe is a horrible, selfish and self-obsessed brat of a narrator — but his voice is also utterly uncomfortable precisely because, in being horrible, he’s toeing a line that most of us have difficulty with. E.g., he uses friends for personal gain, all the while convincing himself and his audience that he’s playing the Nice Guy, that maybe he’s being unjustly victimized.

A lot of this novel’s horror comes from that: He’s just a disgusting personality. Too human and too me-and-you.

Continue reading “Jonathan Carroll’s Voice of Our Shadow (1983), as recommended by Neil Gaiman”

Book Reviews, Short Stories

Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, vol. I (1984) — a silly collection of angry misogyny, cool ideas, and purple prose

It’s easy to see the quality horror fans attribute to Barker’s early work. He’s an excellent writer, and his ideas are jaw-droppingly creative and original, at times.

Personally, however, I don’t connect much with it. After a couple of his books, it’s hard to put my finger on why. Part of it, I think, is I find his prose too clinical and passive, his use of uncommon words and phrases too hand-me-that-Thesaurus. Some of his stories are affected by personal pathos, too. There’re no interesting or realistic female characters in any of his early stories that I’ve read, for example: They all amount to being described as worthless whores not just by characters, but by the omniscient narration itself. Their only personality traits are being dumb and craving sex with everything. (Granted, in a lot of Barker stories, you’ll find all anyone craves is sexual depravity, but at least one gender is granted a will.)

Continue reading “Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, vol. I (1984) — a silly collection of angry misogyny, cool ideas, and purple prose”

Book Reviews, Novels

Stephen King’s Misery (1987)

King draws a love-hate relationship from me, and he tends to evoke both a numbing rage and blissful joy at every plot juncture. Misery‘s fantastic. It doesn’t get drowned out with the ‘King-isms’ that tend to crowd his plots with cockadoodie savant children, classic rock-quoting writers, nonsensical endings full of deus ex machinas and left-field twists, and hallucinated comedic relief — with jokes so unfunny and drawn-out their inclusion is the scariest part.

Misery dips into this, but it’s contained enough and focused enough to keep cool. It’s a story of a man and a woman, set mostly in one room. The lady holds complete power over this man, and the extent of her strength is well-developed and frightening. Really frightening.

Continue reading “Stephen King’s Misery (1987)”