August 5, 2011
By Wrath James White
Review by: Ronnie Tucker
Review posted 08/05/2011
His Pain is a book about pain, but thankfully it's not painful to read. The book begins with a new born baby who is diagnosed with a rare condition which means every sensation results in severe pain. Rather than euthanasia the parents keep the child in a manufactured world to keep him safe from every sensation and be as pain free as possible. Eventually the mother hires a yoga master who can help the child focus his pain and convert it to pleasure. And if you've read Clive Barkers Hellraiser you'll know that no good comes of pleasure and pain! Parts of His Pain remind me of Barkers Books of Blood stories. Back when he wrote good stuff.
The book starts off quite slow. It's necessary set up, but I felt it was a bit too wordy. Everything was explained to us word by word. The letter the mother writes to the yoga master is verbatim as is his speech on TV (which is what gets the mother interested in him). If things like that had been suggested to us then we'd have gotten to the action much quicker. And we'd have more room for even more action! Win win methinks.
It's once the yoga master teaches the boy to convert pain to pleasure that the real fun begins. There's top class hookers, incest, emo chicks, murder, gore... the list goes on, and all in the second half of the story!
It's a short story, at 88 pages, but it's well written and doesn't beat about the bush when it comes to sex and controversy. It takes a good writer to write about sex (and incest) without turning it into either a cringefest or a Mills & Boon romance.
If you want a quick short story with graphic depictions of sex and gore then this will fit the bill very nicely!
August 3, 2011
By JW Schnarr
Northern frights Publishing
Review by: Ronnie Tucker
Review posted 08/03/2011
Alice and Dorothy is, in essence, a road movie novel. It also pulls in inspiration from, as the author admits, Alice in Wonderland, and (to a lesser extent) The Wizard of Oz.
Alice is a drug addicted prostitute who often visits her dealer who is, shall we say, a 'friend with benefits' which works both ways. One night she begins convulsing, and her dealer (being the nice guy that he is) takes her to the hospital. Unfortunately he drops her off and bolts. Alice ends up in the funny farm and it's here she, and we, meet Dorothy who, the doctors suspect, tried to killer herself. They eventually become friends, even lovers, and decide to make a jail break. Along the way things go horribly wrong involving a brick of dope, guns, hallucinations, and (of course) death.
My main complaint is that the Alice hallucinations really confuse matters as you, like Alice, begin to wonder what's real and what's hallucination. Having Alice as just a plain Jane good ol' psychopath would have been just dandy, and would probably have been a nod toward realism such as Aileen Wurnos the female serial killer.
Every so often there's be several words in italics, I assume, emphasized something, but sometimes the part emphasized didn't make sense, and I'd have to go back, and re-read a sentence/two to see what the emphasis was for! That really popped me out of the story on many occasions.
Still, a good story none the less. It has a strong female character, a hint of madness, and plenty of gore. I'm sure if you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland you'll love it even more.
The official Alice and Dorothy Page http://andjws.blogspot.com/
July 31, 2011
By Bryan Smith
Review by: Gina Desory
Review posted 07/31/2011
Highways to Hell by Bryan Smith is a collection of 13 stories that are often bizarre, thrilling and just plain scarey. The list includes:
Living Dead Bitch- Rick and Danny are in the car, hopped up on drugs and discover a woman's body in their car. It looks like a ghost, but acts like a zombie. After that, it becomes a matter of how the two handle this new found item.
Slugger- Walter Percy has a hard life. He eats to make up for any bad things that has happened to him, gets ridiculed for it and through an injury gets out of baseball. However, soon Walter gets to play a new type of game, one in which he relives the thrill of being someone in control.
Pizza Face- Will Hopkins, a pizza delivery guy, delivers a pizza to a house that is experiencing a home invasion. After the door opens for Will, his world changes forever.
Remorse- Jack Roth killed his girlfriend and what he figured was her lover. He gets a second chance to relive his life through a strange new guardian. But does getting a second chance always mean it's the right choice?
Jarhead-Craig meets up with a lost friend Mark. He takes his love, Jenny, with him. Questions are asked what happened to Mark for so long. Some are answered and others are left hanging. After a brief time, Mark takes Craig into his van to show him a head in a jar. What happens next is something Craig could not have possibly ever imagined.
Sustenance- Kent Hogan one day leaves his wife. He has no reason, just does it. He waits at a light thinking about his wife and his life, that perhaps he regrets it. When soon he sees a woman walking in front of his car. She doesn't look good and collapses. He runs to her, with thoughts he doesn't think are right, but will act on them. But soon after meeting this woman, there are things that he discovers that will never make him the same again.
Killers on the Road- Heather and Josh went to rob a store. What they didn't expect was who would be coming there as well and what they would have hoped would never have happened.
Brain worms crave soul food- Rafe Martin is a writer with a very bad relationship. He feels stuck and with writer's block becomes worried. A strange headache forms. It seems okay until little things come out of his nose, relieving the headache, but causing chaos like he has never known.
Rattlehead- Ray Webber is getting annoyed by this person they calle Rattlehead. The man never shuts up. One night he gets the urge to just kill him. And the urge produces a very strange result that will change Ray's life forever.
Truth-Kyle Miller has nightmares of killing. He doesn't want to sleep or think of these dreaded dreams. But are the dreams real or is it just a way for Kyle to get out his frustrations of life? The truth for Kyle is worse than his nightmares.
Left for Dead (Moon child ascending)- Mitch MacCaffrey gets shot one day and left for dead where all he sees is the moon in the sky. Then a woman appears and Mitch is given strange powers that he uses to seek one thing, revenge.
Walk among us- Jack Grimm and Andy O'Day are time travelers who use their magic and wisdom to track down creatures with unexpected results.
Hell ain't a bad place to be- John Marlowe wants to be a serial killer and he succeeds. Then one day one of his victims starts talking to him, one that he has already killed. He soon discovers they are a match made for each other. But where does this take John? To a place he finally feels he belongs to.
This collection often made me think, at times even cringe. The stories played out so well together except for one and that was 'Walk among Us.' This story was often too jumbled and confusing at times. While the other stories talked of revenge, even a moral in there somewhere, this particular story left me with confusion and questions, making it hard to get through.
The best story out of this collection is 'Killers on the Road.' If you like twists that seem to bring justice to bad actions, this one is for you. It had a certain niche that made me want to read more about these characters. I was thrilled to see such a story in this collection.
Highways to Hell is not a collection for those who like light horror or not bizarre type situations. However, this collection will bring the fear out of you like nothing you have ever experienced. But be warned, if you are not sure you can handle it, take care in turning the pages.