Recent Reads: Tears, Hemmroids, Torture, Shapeshifters, Chalk, Bees, and a Milky Bath of Death

By on April 25, 2014 in Books, Recent Reads

I’ve read some interesting books during the past few weeks. Here is a quick run down of just a few that I think were notable:

I Loved You More – Tom Spanbauer

Fucking Tom Spanbauer, man. My personal favorite author. His writing connects with me, heart to heart. His latest, a sort-of love triangle between two men and a woman, is probably his most personal book. Beautiful and touching as usual.

The Hoke Moseley Series – Charles Willeford

Charles Willeford wrote a series of novels starring detective Hoke Moseley. There are only four (not counting the unpublished Grimhaven). But they are unique and exciting and incredibly engaging. I can’t believe all of the pieces that Willeford keeps moving in these books. He must be a juggler.

Miami Blues (they made a cool film out of that one). New Hope For the Dead (I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had as much going on in it as this one did), Sideswipe (After the previous book, I can understand Hoke’s mindset), and The Way We Die Now (A fitting final entry).

The Girl Next Door – Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum writes brutal horror pretty well. Most of his books are entertaining throwaways (The Off-Season series), but this one stands above the rest. A girl is held captive in her foster mother’s basement under the watchful eyes of the neighborhood kids. What makes this different than Ketchum’s terrible Right To Life, is that the idea of authority and mob psychology are explored. You get a POV of one of the children and you can see how this incident developed from the ground up. I reviewed the film here.

The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King

Stephen King gets a lot of flack for being a perceived hack but that is just not true. This Dark Tower entry is excellent. The novel focuses on a story that Roland tells while hiding out from a Starkblast (A cool idea by itself). It recounts one of Roland’s first missions as a Gunslinger. Nostalgic, fantastic, exciting. Great character’s too. A good example of what Stephen King can still do.

The Rithmatist  – Brandon Sanderson

This is the best book I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson. The cornball chalk-drawing magic system is much more interesting than it sounds. The book moves quickly, has an intriguing mystery, and builds to a cool ending. And it full of the charm that young kid in magic school books can have if done well.

Deadman’s Crossing – Joe R. Lansdale

A set of hilarious and action-packed weird west novellas by the master of the genre, Joe R. Lansdale. They all star Reverend Jebediah Mercer, and each one is better than the last. Very pulpy, in a good way.

The King in Yellow – Robert W. Chambers

More of an interesting oddity than an engaging read. It’s a set of short stories that all revolve around a made-up play called The King in Yellow. If you read the second act of that play, you will go insane. It’s a cool idea, but not all of the stories were engaging. The ideas in this book did influence Lovecraft, though.  So that should be good for something.

 2 Responses to “Recent Reads: Tears, Hemmroids, Torture, Shapeshifters, Chalk, Bees, and a Milky Bath of Death”

  1. bean says:

    In The Girl Next Door, I don’t think it was her step mother’s basement… I think it was her aunt/foster mom. I don’t think I’m being picky with details; I think the distinction is important because of how she ended up living there in the first place.

    I think the 2nd Moseley is next for me!

  2. Patrick says:

    Bean, you are right. I mis-represented that character. It was her Aunt who was her foster mother.

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