Category: Small Town horror
A best of collection you don't want to miss!
The Best of Joe R. Lansdale (2010) New!
If you've never heard of Lansdale, now's your chance to catch up with this solid collection of short stories. Lansdale has become a legend in his own time, definitely one of the most innovative voices writing in horror today. His stories run the gamut of weird, wild, wacky and wonderful. Have you seen the movie Bubba Ho-Tep? That's Lansdale.
One online reviewer describes his writing as:
Texan storytelling at its best – rude, crude and offensive! His stories have a tall tale feel to them, and though they contain many unpleasant circumstances and characters there is also an underlying sentimentality to them.... The strength of Lansdale’s stories rest squarely on the shoulders of his colorful characters, who are usually piss-full of vinegar and colorful language. They mainly hail from the hearty backwoods of Texas or other rural places, living hard lives and encountering many strange creatures, including zombies, mummies and even albino mules.
The King of Horror gets back to the basics
Full Dark, No Stars
by Stephen King
The master of the macabre returns with four spine-tingling novellas, meant to thrill and chill!!
Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: When a master of horror and heebie-jeebies like Stephen King calls his book Full Dark, No Stars, you know you’re in for a treat--that is, if your idea of a good time is spent curled up in a ball wondering why-oh-why you started reading after dark. King fans (and those who have always wanted to give him a shot) will devour this collection of campfire tales where marriages sway under the weight of pitch-black secrets, greed and guilt poison and fester, and the only thing you can count on is that "there are always worse things waiting." Full Dark, No Stars features four one-sitting yarns showcasing King at his gritty, gruesome, giddy best, so be sure to check under the bed before getting started. --Daphne Durham
1922: "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger . . ." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922," the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.
Big Driver: In "Big Driver," a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself.
Fair Extension: "Fair Extension," the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.
A Good Marriage: When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.
Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.
Eden Lake has finally arrived!
Note: There was a delay in getting this movie in, so some of you have probably been on the wait list for a long while. But the wait is finally over!
Eden Lake (UK 2008) New!
Written and Directed by James Watkins
***WARNING!!!! Contains graphic horror violence***
When a young couple goes to a remote wooded lake for a romantic getaway, their quiet weekend is shattered by an aggressive group of local kids. Rowdiness quickly turns to rage as the teens terrorize the couple in unimaginable ways, and a weekend outing becomes a bloody battle for survival.
The Cryptkeeper's review:
I watched this movie on a whim, hadn't even heard of it ... and I'm still shaking. Seriously, I'm truly traumatized. This movie is so graphic, so brutally realistic, that I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. And it's not like it's so original -- young, pretty couple in love venture out into nature to take in some R&R and cross paths with a gang of young "toughs" and the situation rapidly escalates into bloody confrontation.
Couples in peril at the hands of vicious tormentors is hardly new. I thought Vacancy was decent, and I felt The Strangers upped the ante on the home invasion scenario. The French flick Them was even better in some respects. But nothing in any of those movies prepared me for the unflinching sensory assault of Eden Lake. Ferocious and relentless, not to mention my absolute worst nightmare come true.
Like the recent controversial French-Canadian horror movie, Martyrs, Eden Lake will not just haunt you, but hurt you. Don't say I didn't warn you! Grade: A+
See previous blog post: Abandon all hope ye who enter here
Latest King tome falls short of epic
Under the Dome (2009)
The Cryptkeeper's review: Good but not great. My expectations for this one were extremely high folks, perhaps too high to be fair. King has delivered so many outstanding epics that it's hard not to expect that caliber of storytelling every single time, but I've come to realize that this is just not humanly possible, even from the master.
Under the Dome starts with a bang (Dome Day wherein a small town is encased in a glass-like dome) and maintains its narrative momentum throughout. It chugs along at an almost break-neck speed, but for a book that's over a 1000 pages, such a pace begins to wear in places. It becomes an at-times uncomfortable frenetic pattern of -- and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened.
Nobody writes with such vigor and insight about small-town behaviors like King, but here King stretches even my ability to suspend disbelief when he introduces so many violent sociopaths contained within the borders of one sleepy town. The stress of such a bizarre situation as the Dome could quite possibly bring out the very worst in many of us, I give you that. I'm reminded of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and even Jose Saramago's Blindness. Even King has explored this thematic terrain before in his brilliant novella The Mist. What's disappointing here is that the villains of Under the Dome are so very villainous, as if ripped from the pages of a Marvel comic. When I think of the depth and breadth of psychopath Annie Wilkes (who still haunts my worst nightmares), Big Jim Rennie and his son Junior just fall flat.
These are my disappointments. But there was also a lot of cringing, white-knuckled pleasure along the way. Some sequences are rendered so well with such command of detail that they unfold in full technicolor like scenes from a movie. King's humor, always appreciated, is rampant in these many pages, and I got the impression that he was having a blast, so that made me happy too. For a book that's an intimidating 1074 pages, it's a fast read and fairly rips along.
Canadian zombies, eh?
Pontypool (Canada 2008)
Based on the novel Pontypool Changes Everything, by Tony Burgess.
The Cryptkeeper says: We Canucks have been known to make our fair share of horror movies and when we do, they tend to depart drastically from Hollywood slice 'em, dice 'em fare. Canadian horror strives to be a little bit more cerebral and will often rely heavily on stark winter landscapes to set mood and trap characters.
David Cronenberg's early work is probably the most notable Canadian horror I can think of, but there's a slew of others from the cult classic Black Christmas (1974), to the sleeper hit Ginger Snaps (2000) that spawned a very successful franchise. Fans of early slasher films will recognize these titles, but probably not as Canadian: Prom Night (1980), Terror Train (1980), Happy Birthday to Me (1981) and My Bloody Valentine (1981).
More recently, Canadians have delved into the zombie genre with Fido (2006), which earned much love from film critics and fans alike, and just last year with Pontypool (2008).
Pontypool is not your average "zombie flick"; far from it. It has all those elements I mentioned above - a brainy horror movie with a message that showcases the Great White North at its most frigid and menacing. And did I mention it's as scary as hell?
Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com writes: "Pontypool is something like a claustrophobic, locked-in-the-barn zombie movie, only almost without zombies. It's mostly set in a church basement, where a washed-up morning-radio shock jock (Stephen McHattie) becomes the world's principal source of information on the mysterious apocalyptic virus that is turning the inhabitants of snowbound Pontypool, Ontario, into ravening cannibals."
New King cover revealed at last
It's been one of the best kept secrets of the 2009 publishing year, but the cover art for Stephen King's new novel, Under the Dome, has finally been revealed. And it's a goody. While a huge fan of his writing, King's book covers have often been underwhelming, and that's being kind. His name and the title are always so very prominent it leaves little room for inspiring, interpretive art. There are exceptions and these include Cujo, Pet Sematary, Misery, Delores Claiborne, Bag of Bones, and On Writing.
Now, after a career that spans more than 35 years -- and 50+ novels -- finally a book cover emerges worthy of a King. I love it. The muted dusky colors suggest twilight, and that sleepy little town under glass, what has Stephen King been doing his whole career but putting sleepy little towns under a magnifying glass to expose the horrors that lurk beneath? Great stuff.
What say you?
Look for Under the Dome at Regina Public Library!
New Stephen King Book "On Order"
Under the Dome COMING SOON!
Release Date: November 10th, 2009
Stephen King's latest novel, Under the Dome, hits stores on November 10th. Rest assured that Regina Public Library will be getting many copies to meet the anticipated demand. The book is currently showing in the catalogue as "on order" so please feel free to place a hold now. There will also be copies available in our Popular Picks collection for short term loans, so don't get discouraged if you are far down the holds list.
Like The Stand, IT, and King's other famous epic door-stoppers, Under the Dome weighs in at a whopping 1088 pages! Word is, fans won't be disappointed. Check out this early review published in Library Journal .
The Cryptkeeper says: I can't wait for this one ... I'm so excited. The only fly in the ointment is that I've signed up to take the NaNoWriMo challenge this November, so I'll have to wait until December to read it! It's going to be so hard to wait!
Shirley Jackson Awards announced
The 2008 Shirley Jackson Awards were announced on Sunday, July 12th 2009, at Readercon 20, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Click here for a complete list of winners and nominees.
The Shadow Year
by Jeffrey Ford
Product Description: On New York's Long Island, in the unpredictable decade of the 1960s, a young boy spends much of his free time in the basement of his family's modest home, where he and his brother, Jim, have created Botch Town, a detailed cardboard replica of their community, complete with figurines representing friends and neighbors. Their little sister, Mary, smokes cigarettes, speaks in other voices, inhabits alternate personas ... and, unbeknownst to her siblings, moves around the inanimate clay residents. There is a strangeness in the air as disappearances, deaths, spectral sightings, and the arrival of a sinister man in a long white car mark this unforgettable shadow year. But strangest of all is the inescapable fact that all these troubling occurrences directly cor-respond to the changes little Mary has made to the miniature town in their basement.
Properly creepy, but from time to time deliciously funny and heart-breakingly poignant, too. For those of you—and you know who you are—who think the indispensable element for good genre fiction is good writing, this is not to be missed. -- Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Think Ray Bradbury’s Green Town stories, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Stephen King’s The Body (made into the film Stand by Me) and you get an idea of the tone of Ford’s latest fine work. Grade: A -- Rocky Mountain News
Canadian zombie apocalypse, eh?
Pontypool Changes Everything New!
by Tony Burgess
The Cryptkeeper says: First published in 1998, Burgess' epic Canadian zombie apocalypse scenario is getting re-released thanks to Bruce McDonald's recent film adaptation Pontypool (2009). We've seen this scenario many times before -- zombie "virus" sweeps through humanity turning everyday civilians into flesh-eating creatures on a cannibalistic rampage. But Burgess' detailed exploration of zombie behaviour rises above the average zombie fare and achieves un-put-downable, page-turning status. You don't want to miss out on this Canadian horror classic!
Plot Summary: The dark side of humanity is explored in this electrifying science fiction thriller in which an epidemic virus terrorizes the earth. Causing its inhabitants to strike out on murderous rampages, the virus is caught through conversation and, once contracted, leads its host on a strange journey—into another world where the undead roam the streets of the smallest towns and largest cities, hungry for human flesh. Describing in chilling detail what it would be like if thousands suddenly caught such a virus and struck out on a mass, never-ending, cannibalistic spree, this terrifying narrative is perfect for those who are ready to explore their darkest secret imaginings through a sinister and compelling literary work of art. This new edition includes a new afterword on the making of the new motion picture.
Look for Pontypool (2009) the movie, coming soon to RPL on DVD!
"...the waters are rising..."
River Runs Red (2008) New!
by Jeffrey J. Mariotte
"...seamlessly weaves our modern and ancient terrors into a breathless, fascinating novel of magic, murder and friendship..."
--Christopher Golden, author of The Boys are Back in Town
Within a labyrinth of caves in a small Texas town on the Rio Grande...lies a pool of strange, luminescent water...Twenty years ago, and anthropologist unknowingly unleashed an otherworldly force of a malevolent nature here. Three teenagers...spent time in the caves, unaware of the entity that inhabited them. Now they've been inexplicably drawn back to the site and will confront not only their pasts, but also one another -- as combatants in a supernatural war flowing across the globe through the raging currents of the world's rivers...[Product Description taken from back of book].
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