Posts Tagged With: book review

Red Equinox Audible Review

red-equinoxRed Equinox has received praise as a must-read for Lovecraft fans; and it is! Now you have a chance to listen to it, too. Even though I have already read this book, I was excited to listen to the audio-book. I really enjoyed revisiting the characters in this story, and reading the book beforehand only enhanced the experience of listening to it. Continue reading

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Book review: Sing Me Your Scars

Title: Sing Me Your Scars

Author: Damien Angelica Walters

Publisher: Apex Publications

Date Published: 2015

Category: weird fiction, small press, female authors, short stories, horror

I haven’t felt this way about a collection of short stories since I read Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead Dreamer. Walters’s collection of short stories is haunting, creepy, and beautiful. The author makes mundane terrors seems otherworldly, and the otherworldly seems strangely familiar. I seriously needed to pause in between tales due to the heaviness of each story.

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Frankenstein Diaries: The Romantics

Title: Frankenstein Diaries: The Romanticsid17705-125

Author: Michael January & Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Publisher: Winged Lion Publications

Date Published: 2015

Category: historical fiction, gothic horror

The lives of many of my favorite authors are just as interesting, if not more so, than their writing. As a huge fan of Mary Shelley, I was really excited to see a new book about her life. In Frankenstein Diaries, Author Michael January brings forth some “forgotten” diary entries that detail Mary Shelley’s travels with Percy Shelley and provide insight into the inspiration for the classic book, Frankenstein.

I reviewed Frankenstein Diaries: The Romantics for the Online Book Club. I’ve been reviewing lots of books for the Online Book Club, which is why I’ve been kind of neglecting this blog. Anyway here is the full review of Frankenstein Diaries: The Romantics

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The Stars Were Right by K.M. Alexander

stars were rightTitle: The Stars Were Right

Author: K.M. Alexander

Publisher: K.M. Alexander

Date published: September, 2013

Category: paranormal, urban fantasy, Cthulhu mythos, mystery

 

 

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Book review: A Season in Carcosa

season in carcosa A Season in Carcosa (Miskatonic River Press, 2012), edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr, is a collection of 22 short stories that are based on Robert Chamber’s King in Yellow mythos.  The request to potential contributors of this collection stated: “No reprints. No HPL anything…This is a book about madness, altered realities, splintered minds, and what is behind the mask.” The stories in A Season in Carcosa range from good to AMAZING. Most stories range in the ‘very good’ category. A few were well-developed but the writing style was not my cup of tea. I have a confession… Continue reading

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Complete Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe

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This collection of Poe’s poetry and tales was published by Barnes and Noble in 2006. It is a beautiful book, and can be displayed proudly on any bibliophile’s bookshelf. The bonded leather book has a bound satin ribbon bookmark and silver gilding on the edges. It has a sturdy cloth binding and the pages lay nicely when reading.

Comparing the table of contents to the chronological list of poems and stories on the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore site, most of Poe stories and Poems are included and are presented in mostly chronological order.

I compared the table of contents  with a chronological list of Poe’s poems and stories that is found  on The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore website. So this collection might be better named “mostly complete.”  In addition, the chronology of the tales can be questions, and differ at times from the  what is found on the EAP Society’s website. Some of Poe’s tales were renamed and republished at different times. This collection uses that later names of the tales as opposed to the earlier names.

Missing Poems:image

  • An Achrostic
  • Spiritual Song
  • May Queen Ode
  • Epigram for wall st
  • Divine right of kings
  • Model verses
  • Beloved physician
  • Lines of ale- (questionably Poe’s)

Missing Stories

  • Journal of Julius Rodman
  • The Lighthouse

The book includes an introduction by Dawn B. Sova, author of Edgar Allan Poe, A-Z. The introduction includes a brief biography of EAP and provides some commentary on his works and his place in history.

I would have enjoyed a forward to each story, as was found in HP Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction. However it was nice to have the stories presented in chronological order

While Poe’s stories are in the public domain and can be downloaded for free on one’s electronic reading device, it is nice to have the collected tales in a hardback volume for a reasonable price.

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Book Review: The Strange Dark One by W.H. Pugmire

The Strange Dark One: Tales of Nyarlathotep

W.H. Pugmire

Miskatonic River Press
2012

the strange dark one cover

When I was young I loved monsters. I wanted to tell these poor things that I cared for them and understood them even if the rest of society did not. I always imagined myself and these creatures spending time together as two misunderstood souls. Pugmire’s work brings me back to these fantasies.

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Horror for the Holidays

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Horror for the Holidays is a collection of 26 Lovecraftian tales published by Miskatonic River Press. It was published in 2011 and was edited by Scott David Aniolowski. The figure of Krampus is featured on the cover. He is standing beside a 19th century-garbed evil elf-child and what appears to be a sack full of dead children. Despite this cover, the collection features holidays throughout the year, not just Christmas.

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Book Review: The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas

The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas

the-sea-of-ash-front-cover

The Sea of Ash is told from a first person perspective by a school teacher who has won the lottery and taken up a hobby of collecting rare books. He has become obsessed with a rare copy of  a Victorian doctor’s journal. The teacher goes on a journey to see the sites that are described within the journal. He starts off as a self-proclaimed “tourist” but ends up getting touched (literally) by the mysteries and horrors described by the doctor.

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Book review: Coffee with Poe

In honor of my new Poe coffee mug, I am going to review: Coffee with Poe
(The closet thing you will get to an Edgar A. Poe autobiography!)

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While I have been a Poe fan for many years, I only know the basics about his life. Coffee with Poe was an enjoyable way to learn more about Poe without having to hit the stuffy history books. I found myself fact-checking the author, Andrew Barger, when details popped up that I found hard to believe. I found most of the events portrayed in the book to be accurate or at least based on established theories. However, as much as I want to believe Poe was a fan of coffee I have not seen much to back it up in online sources (I would love if someone proved me wrong on this!). Obviously there are many parts of the poet’s life that remain a mystery, including his death. Barger does a good job of incorporating some more respected theories into the story.

A few of Poe’s letters and poetry are interspersed through the text. The added context of the when and why he was writing these letters made these additions more enjoyable than they would be on their own. After reading Coffee with Poe I’m not sure if I would have liked Poe had I known him in person. In multiple letters to John Allan he both rails against him and then begs him for money, which is ironic and a bit childish. The author downplays Poe’s drinking, perhaps how Poe would have done in real life but does discuss Poe’s low tolerance of alcohol. Poe’s financial struggles, his romantic relationships, and the quarrels with his many detractors were also well illustrated in this book.
There were some typos and editing oversights, especially towards the end of the book. Some of the dialogue, especially in the first few chapters, was not realistic and even a bit cringe-worthy at times. I almost didn’t make it past the first few chapters due to this, but I am glad I did as the book picked up once it got to Poe’s adult life. There were a few anachronisms, for instance a character ordering a Caesar salad while out to lunch with Poe. I don’t think these were a thing at that time?! However these flaws are forgivable in the overall scheme of this book. A large amount of research obviously went into this work and these are just minor quibbles. I would recommend this to any fan of Edgar Allan Poe who wants to know more about the tragic but fascinating life of this author.

UPDATE: I found out (from Andrew Barger!!!) that the title of this book comes from a quote about Poe by Sarah Helen Whitman: “…never seen him inspired by any more dangerous stimulant than strong coffee, of which he was very fond & of which he drank freely. MacIntosh says that the measure of a man’s brain is the amount of coffee he can drink with impunity.” So yes, Poe was a coffee fan!!

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