Cody's Bookshelf

So many books, so little time

CABAL Review

Cabal - Clive Barker

The basis for the horror film Nightbreed, Clive Barker's short 1988 novel Cabal is typically Barkian in all the best ways. Off the page drips this author's trademark transcendent prose; poetic and striking and maddeningly puzzling, line for line Barker is one of the most talented writers in the business. I must admit I am sure parts of this story went over my head, but I don't mind — that gives me cause to revisit this dark tale again in a couple of years.

 

This is the story of a man called Boone, who suffers from an unnamed mental illness. He is the core of the story — all that happens happens because of him. I absolutely loved the semi-fantastical place he ran to (said place being Midian), a place that is not found on any map and is crawling with shape-shifting monsters. I thought the tone and atmosphere of this story was spot-on: it evoked dread and fear without going over the top. It stays cool, and creepy.

 

Filled with gore and love and lust and regret and death, Cabal is classic Barker. And at only 200 pages in hardcover, this story about what's in between life and death (and what it means to be a true monster) is a quick and rewarding read. I liked it a lot!

 

Read for Darkest London. Though this story doesn't take place in that city, this authors hails from there and this novella very much resembles London horror. So I'm counting it.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 82 out of 204 pages.

Cabal - Clive Barker

This story is weird, but a good weird. I haven't seen the Nightbreed films so I don't know where this is going. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 52 out of 204 pages.

Cabal - Clive Barker

Barker's command of the English language truly astounds me. So good! 

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 204 pages.

Cabal - Clive Barker

I've decided to use this book for 'Darkest London'. I don't know if this actually takes place in London, though it is likely--most of Barker's stories take place in that area. And Barker is from there so I'm counting it. LOL. 

 

Bingo Card Update!

BINGO CALLS


Ghost
Cozy Mystery (N/A)
In the Dark, Dark Woods
Horror
Locked Room Mystery (N/A)
Murder Most Foul
Witches
Werewolves
Modern Masters of Horror
Terrifying Women

 

Red = Called but not read
Green = Read but not called
Blue = Called and read

 

 

Books read: 

 

1. Edward Lorn, THE BEDDING OF BOYS (Serial Killer Spree) 

2. Joe Hill, STRANGE WEATHER (Modern Masters of Horror) 

3. Stephen King, PET SEMATARY (In the Dark, Dark Woods)

4. Ania Ahlborn, THE DEVIL CREPT IN (Terrifying Women)

THE DEVIL CREPT IN Review

The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

It's been a while since I felt so indifferent toward a book. Like . . . I'm having trouble thinking of anything to say, at all. Sorry 'bout that. It happens to every reviewer.

 

Ania Ahlborn has talent, okay? I can tell. She has talent in spades. Brother, though horribly gruesome and terrible, is well written and . . . well, horrific. That book still makes me a little sick.

 

The Devil Crept In is much tamer. I liked that. I'm not a fan of excessive gore and whatnot (though I do enjoy splatterpunk from time to time). This was a novel more about atmosphere and psychological scares. I liked the characters, especially little Stevie. And I loved part two, with Otto. I could have read an entire novel about that storyline.

Part three lost me. I don't know. I just got bored and had to force myself through. I'll give this 3 stars because I really enjoyed parts one and two. Maybe I'll reread this in the future and like it more.

 

Read for 'Terrifying Women'.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 32%.

The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

Not loving this. Not hating it, either? Just kinda 'meh'. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 11%.

The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

A missing kid, abusive adults. . . I'm intrigued so far! 

Reading progress update: I've read 1%.

The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

Reading this for "Terrifying Women." 

 

PET SEMATARY Review

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Read for "In the Dark, Dark Woods:" I've reviewed this novel already, and that review can be read here. My thoughts haven't changed much, though Pet Sematary was more effective on me during this reread than ever before. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 170 out of 374 pages.

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

"Keep me in mind, Dr. Creed. I was alive and then I was dead and now I'm alive again. I've made the circuit and I'm here to tell you that you come out the other side with your purr-box broken and a taste for the hunt, I'm here to tell you that man a grows what he can and tends it. . . . Remember the secret and tend your garden well."

 

Instead of using this for "The Dead Will Walk" in Halloween Bingo, I'm using it for "In the Dark, Dark Woods."

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 374 pages.

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Wasn't planning to read this as I just reread it last year, but no other novel will do at the moment. I'll be using this for "The Dead Will Walk" in Halloween Bingo. 

Halloween Bingo Card Update!

CALLED:

Ghost

Cozy Mysery 

In the Dark, Dark Woods 

Horror

Locked Room Mystery

Murder Most Foul

 

Red = Called but not read

Green = Read but not called

Blue = Read and called (none yet) 

 

 

Books Read: 

 

The Bedding of Boys, Edward Lorn (Serial Killer Spree)

Strange Weather, Joe Hill (Modern Masters of Horror) 

STRANGE WEATHER ARC Review

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

Read for "Modern Masters of Horror:"

 

I was two people when reading this collection of short novels. I read the first two stories ('Snapshot' and 'Loaded') mere days before my best friend took her own life. I read the latter two entries ('Aloft' and 'Rain') after. Naturally, my mind was elsewhere when reading the final two stories — but they were good. Very good. Especially 'Aloft'. I'm terrified of heights, so that one got to me. 

After The Fireman, my faith in Joe Hill had been shaken a bit . . . But my faith is reaffirmed! These are four excellent, scary stories. Highly recommended. Would love to give a more in-depth review, but I am medicated and just want to sleep. 

Snapshot - 4 
Loaded - 5
Aloft - 4.5
Rain - 5 

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

Reading progress update: I've read 63%.

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

Currently reading the third story in this collection, 'Aloft,' about a skydiving venture that goes... badly, to say the least. 

 

I have a major fear of heights. I'm stopping reading for tonight because this story has given me an anxiety attack. No hyperbole. My reaction is a sign of excellent writing on Mr. Hill's part... but my nerves!!!

Reading progress update: I've read 56%.

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe Hill

I hate comparing Joe Hill to his father, but 'Loaded' felt like vintage King — the King of Cujo and  Apt Pupil — set in the modern era. A novella about gun violence and racial profiling in America, I was on edge from the start and terrified shortly thereafter. The ending made me actually scream, and cry a little. DAMN. 

 

Even if the last two stories in this collection don't live up to 'Loaded,' this release will still get a high rating from me. 

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