30 Days of Horror #26: Doctor Sleep #HO17

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book every day until we reach Halloween!

Tonight’s horror book choice is one that I was pleasantly surprised by. I’ve liked most of the Stephen King books I’ve read but perhaps not as much as some people. I didn’t know what to expect from a Shining sequel though, especially so many years after the first was published. But I thought Doctor Sleep was a great effort. And well worth revisiting.

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Available in all formats incl audio, 531 pages

Published September 24th 2013 by Scribner

 

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

 

Goodreads // My Review

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Read this? What did you think?

Don’t forget to vote in the flash fiction battle!


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30 Days of Horror #19: Phantoms #HO17 #30daysofhorror

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book for each day until we reach Halloween!

Tonight’s pick is a classic. I haven’t read it, but I saw the movie adaptation late one night when I was probably too young to watch it, and boy did it stay with me. As I got older and started reading horror books, I remembered it and was sure it must be a Stephen King novel. It’s very King-esque. But no, it’s Dean Koontz’s Phantoms. I must read it at some point. I love these retro covers too!

Available in paperback & digital, 446 pages

First Published 1983

CLOSER…


They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California.

AND CLOSER…


At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.

AND CLOSER…


But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined…

 

Goodreads // Not My Review

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Have you read it? What did you think?

Up Next on Horror October:

What will day 20 bring?

Horror October: Misery by Stephen King #BookReview #HO17

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miseryTitle: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 369 pages
Publication Details: July 7th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 1987)
Genre(s): Horror
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads 

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Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That’s when the car accident happened, and he woke up in pain in a strange bed. But it wasn’t the hospital. Annie Wilkes had pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news was that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news was that she was Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she found out what Paul had done to Misery, she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all.

Review

Whether you’ve read the book and/or seen the film, I’m guessing most people are aware of the story of Misery, so I won’t go into detail about the plot.

I have been meaning to read (or reread) this book ever since I got a World Book Night edition of it, but I honestly couldn’t remember if I’d read it before – as a teenager I suspected (yes, my memory really is that bad. I blame all the booze). It also doesn’t help that I’ve seen the film a bunch of times.

It wasn’t until I was about half-way through that it all started to come back to me. The differences between the film and King’s original novel are few, but certainly significant.

I really enjoyed giving this novel another go after what must be about 15 years. Once I got into it I couldn’t stop reading, but I am going to say something that might be a bit controversial…

I don’t think Stephen King should be called ‘a master of horror’.

Woah, I know, he is great, but hear me out.

King’s most successful books, for me, aren’t what I would class as horror, but as suspense. And I certainly think he’s a master of suspense! Don’t get me wrong, a lot of what makes something ‘horror’ is the suspense, but I’d say 90% of Misery is made up of suspense, followed by 10% horror.

He is also a master of characterisation. Everything he does is character-driven, and that’s why his books are so compelling. And why it’s so horrific when it all inevitably goes wrong. In this case, I didn’t find the main character, Paul Sheldon, very likeable at all, which makes it even more impressive at how sorry I felt for him.

The main thing that struck me when comparing the novel to the film, is that what happens to book Paul Sheldon is sooooo much worse than film Paul Sheldon, but I still found the film much scarier. Even after a few watches it still gets to me a bit. The penguin!!!

I’m not sure what that says about the novel, or maybe it just shows what a great film it is, and worthy of its Oscar (I defy anyone to not picture the terrifying Annie Wilkes as Kathy Bates), but essentially both mediums of this story are worth a go, and perfect for this time of year.

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Up Next on Horror October:

30 days of Horror: Battle Royale

 

 

Horror October: This Week in Books 04.10.17 #TWIB #HO17

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Wow, the first TWIB of Horror October is here already!

Throughout October, I’ll be doing the short version of this post where I will simply share what I’m reading now, then and next. Because quite frankly, there’s enough going on around here.

I’m afraid to say that my answers are the same as last week because I was too busy trying to launch #HO17 (and drinking gin with my mum) to get much reading done. I have caught up now though, so I’m ready to get stuck right in to some horror reads!

If you haven’t already, pleeeeeeeease take just a second to vote for your favourite horror story prompt for my second Flash Fiction Battle, below.

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Now: The Silent Companions ~ Laura Purcell // Norse Mythology ~ Neil Gaiman

I’m enjoying The Silent Companions but it is a bit slow-going. I hope it picks up a bit.

I haven’t got any further with Norse Mythology (which I’m keeping at work to read in those elusive lunch breaks), so nothing to report there.

Then:  Misery ~ Stephen King

Misery was great, as expected! My review will be up on Monday!

Next: ??? It’ll be I Am Behind You:

A supernatural superthriller from the author of Let the Right One In

Molly wakes her mother to go to the toilet. The campsite is strangely blank. The toilet block has gone. Everything else has gone too. This is a place with no sun. No god.

Just four families remain. Each has done something to bring them here – each denies they deserve it. Until they see what’s coming over the horizon, moving irrevocably towards them. Their worst mistake. Their darkest fear.

And for just one of them, their homecoming.

Vote Now! Four writers will write a short story based on the winning prompt.

Up Next on Horror October:

30 Days of Horror – what will day 4 bring us?

30 Days of Horror #3: Under the Dome #HO17 #30daysofhorror

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book for each day until we reach Halloween!

For obvious reasons, everyone is talking about IT at the moment, so because I’m like a petulant child who has to be different I’ve chosen Under the Dome for today’s 30DOH pick.

I’ve read this book twice, and if you’ve seen the size of it that should speak for itself. I thought it was great. Don’t even think about watching the TV series. That did not do it justice. I’d go as far as to say let’s just forget that ever happened…

Available in all formats, 1074 pages

Published November 10th 2009 by Scribner 

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

 

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids.

Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry.

But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.

 

Goodreads // My Review //

bookdepo

Have you read it? What did you think?

Up Next on Horror October:

This Week in Books.

Also don’t forget to vote for your favourite horror story prompt HERE.

This Week in Books 20.09.17 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy hump-day, you guys! I’ve slowly been getting back into the spirit of things after the whole WordPress meltdown. I’m so behind in planning this year’s Horror October now, but I’ve officially decided IT IS happening so that’s something! I’ll be posting about it soon so keep an eye out if you’d like to get involved.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

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Now: Misery ~ Stephen King // Norse Mythology ~ Neil Gaiman

I’m not sure if I’ve ever read Misery before…is that weird? Anyway it’s been on my TBR shelves for a few years so it’s about time I picked it up either way. I also picked up Norse Mythology which I’m keeping at work to read in those elusive lunch breaks (so it’ll probably be a slow process and up here for a good few weeks)!

Then: Weycombe ~ G.M Malliet  // Killing the Dead ~ Marcus Sedgwick

Weycombe was a good read, but not amazing. My review went up on Monday. I felt much the same about Killing the Dead which is a short, World Book Day book by one of my favourite British authors. I’ll probably do a short review soon.

Next: ??? I’ll be making a start on my next lot of ARCs that I requested especially for Horror October (more on that soon)! First on the agenda is The Silent Companions, and I Am Behind You.

 

New on the Shelves

I got a bit of a windfall from work last week when lots of beautiful new books were donated to us and I got to take some home (because there were seriously sooooo many!). The perks of being a librarian, ey!? ❤ The downsides however – space & time!!!

I’m Waiting On…

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Children of Blood & Bone, because…well, just look at it!!!

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Expected Publication: March 6th 2018 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

So that was my week in books, how was yours? If you’re participating feel free to leave your link in the comments so everyone can take a look!

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all about Dads! #TTT #HappyFathersDay

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Father’s Day related Freebiefavorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc

I thought it was about time I joined in another TTT post. It’s always fun, but I don’t always find the time. I thought I’d make a special effort this week however, seeing how it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.

I’m going to split my list into two: Good Dads Vs Bad Dads!

Good Dads in Literature

  1. Vicente – The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Sáenz writes such wonderful characters, and the dad in this novel is a new favourite. He’s kind, loving, strong, and cool. He’s always there for his son, Sal, but he doesn’t smother him. He’s a gay artist who gave up the man he loved for his adopted son, and he treats his son’s best friends as his own. He’s the best!
  2. Jack Peak – She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick: I thought I’d be able to remember more about this book than I’ve just realised so forgive me for inaccuracies, but I do remember that I loved Laureth and her relationship with her semi-famous author Jack Peak who goes missing. Laureth is blind but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her father’s interest in seeing patterns and connections in things rubbed off on her and she uses those skills andsheer bravery to try and find him.
  3. Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I really want to reread this book as I haven’t read it since I was at school. Atticus Finch is possibly the most recognised dad in fiction though and so it’s hard to forget about him. He’s a single father in a tough economic climate but he still manages to raise his two children as kind, loyal and accepting.
  4. Matt – The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lipton: I really loved this book, and for some reason, Matt -the father in this story- stood out. I say it like that, because I’m not sure how good a father he actually was. Matt is a wildlife photographer and was absent for a lot of the book (and his daughter’s life by the sounds of it). Similar to She is not Invisible, Matt goes missing, and his daughter Ruby goes in search of him. Ruby is deaf and loves that her dad doesn’t try to make her speak like her mum does, which brings them closer together. They have a unique bond that made the story as good as it was.
  5. Mo – The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke: For my last pick of ‘good’ dads I was torn between Mo and Detective Swan from Twilight…they are both great dads! But Mo wins for his storytelling abilities and huge heart.

Bad Dads

  1. The Marsh King – The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne: This one is fresh in my mind because I finished it recently (and loved it!). The dad in this story is the worst kind of dad. He kidnapped, raped, and abused Helena’s mum, and Helena was born into captivity. The even worse part was that Helena didn’t know any different and almost idolised him because he taught her how to hunt and live in the wilderness. He also trapped her in a well when she did something he didn’t like, though. BAD DAD. 
  2. Humbert Humbert – Lolita by Vladimir Nabookov: I think this one speaks for itself. Humbert is the worst ‘step-father’ ever. A scheming, slimy, seductor. Eugh.
  3. Jack Torrence – The Shining by Stephen King: Alcoholic, unhinged and the worst taste in jobs; Jack was never gonna be in the running for Dad of the year.
  4. King Shreave- The Selection series by Kiera Cass: It’s not apparent at first but the King in this series is horrible. He’s controlling and violent and has lied to the entire country. Poor Maxon!
  5. Pastor Thorne – Release by Patrick Ness: Adam Thorne’s dad was pretty bad but to be honest I wanted him to be worse. I felt like this book need more drama and less subtlety, but that aside, he was still a dad who is close-minded, strict, and bigoted. So still not great. Especially for the lovely Adam who just wants another boy to love him.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s lists this week because there were so many others  I could have chosen. Who made your lists? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out. 

Top Ten Tuesday:Unread yet highly recommended horror books #TTT #HorrorOctober

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… all about recommendations. 

I’m going to tweak this week’s topic a tad and go for books I haven’t read yet but have been recommended to me, whether it’s by fellow bloggers, friends, websites or the ‘if you liked this try this…’ type of thing. As I’m in the midst of Horror October, I will of course be narrowing it down to realm of horror and its close affiliates. 

NOS4A2 ~ Joe Hill: I’ve only read Horns by Joe Hill and really enjoyed it. I was recently recommended this by a fellow blogger who said it was one of the scariest books she’s read. That’s pretty high expectations to live up to.

Misery ~ Stephen King: I loved the movie but haven’t read the book, and so many people have told me I have to. I’ve heard a few of the differences already too, so I pretty much know what to expect, which is probably why I haven’t got round to it yet.

Phantoms ~ Dean Koontz: Again, I’ve seen the film and loved it. I imagine the book is better though.

Heart-shaped Box ~ Joe Hill: Another Joe Hill book I’ve been told I must read. This time by my friend who really enjoyed this book.

Battle Royale ~ Koushun Takami: I’m not sure about this one. I’m usually the one recommending this to the Hunger Games fans out there, but I’ve only seen the movie which is amazingly brutal! I’m a fraud, I really should read it. But I’ve been put off by people saying it’s hard going because of the translation.

The Funhouse ~ Dean Koontz: I haven’t actually read any Dean Koontz which is quite shocking really. I’ve been told to read this one because of my fear of clowns. Aren’t my friends so nice.

Live Girls ~ Ray Garton: I have no idea who recommended this book to me, but I do remember that the conversation was about underrated vampire novels.

Anno Dracula ~ Kim Newman: Lots of blogs and people have recommended this to me and I really want to. I just haven’t got round to it yet.

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray ~ Chris Wooding: I was recommended this after enjoying his book Poison. I’d love to read more by this author, and this one sounds great.

Sleepless ~ Lou Morgan : I read Frozen Charlotte and loved it so I’ve been told I must read the other Red Eye titles. I recently bought a 4 book set of them and Sleepless sounds the best.

What books have you been recommended but still haven’t read!?

Join in and leave a comment!

Up Next on Horror October: This Week in Books 12.10.16

#HorrorOctober 2015: Week 3 Round-Up

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Wow, we’re in the final week of Horror October already! Where ever does the time go?

Anyway, here’s everything you may have missed from week three!

Horror October Week 3: 16th – 22nd (Click on the images to view the post)

Horror Films That Still Scare Me #2

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Review: Seize the Night

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Guest Post: My Love of Murder and Mayhem by Cleo Bannister

Murder on the Orient Express

This Week in Books

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Review: Vampire Vic

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Great Posts from the around Blogosphere

If you’d like a link adding to next week’s round-up, email it to me on lipsyylostnfound-AT-gmail-DOT-COM-

Horror Films That Still Scare Me #2: The Stephen King Edition #HorrorOctober

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Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my favourite ‘still scary’ horror films. You can read my first post here.

Stephen King’s It (1990)

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Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (teleplay)
Cast: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O’Toole, Tim Curry

“In 1960, seven outcast kids known as “The Loser Club” fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. 30 years later, they are called back to fight the same clown again.”

I’m not sure if my fear of clowns came before, during, or after watching It, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always be scared of them. Pennywise, played by the amazing Tim Curry is definitely the scariest clown I’ve ever encountered…I just can’t even.

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I also wonder if my fear of balloons has something to do with this film (I always forget it was originally a two-part mini-series) too…it really wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, I can look at a balloon, but if someone throws one at me, or I have to touch one, it really freaks me out. UGH.

Pet Sematary (1989)

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Director: Mary Lambert
Writers: Stephen King (novel & screenplay)
Cast: Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne…

“Behind a young family’s home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.”

I think this film scares me more now than it did when I was young. There’s only really one thing in the film that catapults Pet Sematary into my Scary Hall of Fame and that’s this…

It’s not always the first film I think of when I think of evil creepy-ass kids, but Gage is definitely the most terrifying part of Pet Sematary. Damien’s got nothing on him!