WWW Wednesday – July 29, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Nothing! I’m currently between books.


Recently Finished

Different SeasonsVery early on Monday I finished reading Different Seasons by Stephen King. I posted a full review yesterday. While it still took me most of July to read through, I’m happy I was able to get through a nearly 700-page book in about three weeks. That’s pretty fast for me. The last two stories I enjoyed quite a bit. “The Body” was a wonderfully poignant and nostalgic coming-of-age story that seemed more like autobiographical fiction on King’s part that I’d been expecting. The final story, “The Breathing Method”, held the most surprises for me as, unlike the other stories, I had no idea what it was about. One notably fun thing about it was it marked the only other return of a mysterious club in New York where members share stories with each other. This served as a narrative frame in a story in Skeleton Crew, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it again here.

Immortal Hulk Breaker of WorldsLast night I also read through The Immortal Hulk: Breaker of Worlds by Al Ewing et al, the fifth volume in the series. I continue to love this series and its horrifying interpretation of the Hulk. Over the last few volumes the Hulk has been contending with a shadowy military organization hellbent on putting him down for good, and this volume has it all coming to a head in a way that brings about an end to this phase of the story. Toward the end of the volume Ewing doubles down on some of the literally cosmic horror stuff in a way that’s got me intrigued, though it was initially a little jarring. I’m excited to see where this series goes next, but am also starting to get a sense that the story’s direction may be getting predictable.


Reading Next

The Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetI still have every intention of starting Into the Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan soon, I just wanted a bit of a buffer between books to read The Immortal Hulk. I’ve also decided to start reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which I’ve been wanting to check out for a while now. Hopefully reading books in tandem works out for me. I’ve come to understand it takes a lot of inspiration from Star Wars, which is always a plus for me. I also just love the tone that the title suggests. Why are the people on this planet so mad? I’ll have to wait and see.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – Different Seasons by Stephen King

Different Seasons

Different Seasons is a 1982 collection of four novellas by Stephen King. At the time, this book marked a bit of a departure from horror for King, the stories within telling more dramatic tales. Each novella is headed by a sectional title that assigns a season of the year to it: Hope Springs Eternal for “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”, Summer of Corruption for “Apt Pupil”, Fall from Innocence for “The Body”, and A Winter’s Tale for “The Breathing Method”. In the first story, a wrongfully imprisoned convict manages to rise above his destitute fate, in the second a gifted teen becomes obsessed with the dark past of an elderly local, in the third four rambunctious boys go on a quest to find a dead body, and in the final a single mother-to-be goes beyond the natural in order to save the life of her baby.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – July 22, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Different SeasonsGosh, I’ve gotten bad at getting these up early, huh? I’m still in the middle of reading Different Seasons by Stephen King. I haven’t made a huge amount of progress over the last little bit, but I did finish reading “Apt Pupil”, the longest novella in the book, so I’ve gotten over a significant hump of the book at least. It ended in a fairly predictable fashion, but goodness was it bleak. I did enjoy it as a thriller, but I suspect it won’t be standing out as my favourite story in this book. There wasn’t a lot of good to balance out the awfulness of the characters and what they get up to. The next story is “The Body”, which the film Stand By Me is based on, so I’m expecting a nice coming-of-age story. It’s so strange that three out of four of these novellas each went on to become a well known movie.


Recently Finished

Nothing for this week, I’m afraid. I actually haven’t read all the much over the last five days or so. I’d taken some time off (I work weekends), and apparently extra downtime doesn’t necessarily mean more reading.


Reading Next

Into the Unbounded NightI’ve still got a couple of volumes of The Immortal Hulk that need reading, never mind the numerous other graphic novels I could crack open. With some ARCs that I’ve received releasing soon, I should probably start one of them rather soon. So, I will probably be reading Into the Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan next. I want to be able to get it reviewed for August. I’ll have to start reading books in tandem, which I don’t usually do, if I want to stay on top of my to-read list for the year as well. I’m cautiously hopeful it will all work out.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – July 15, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Different SeasonsI’ve made fairly good headway in Different Seasons by Stephen King, having finished “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” and already well into “Apt Pupil”, the longest novella in the book. While the former was a rather uplifting story, if a bit dreary in spots, “Apt Pupil” is unrelentingly dark. A 13-year-old boy in the mid-1970s discovers that one of his neighbors is a Nazi war criminal living in America under a false identity. Instead of turning him in, however, he blackmails the decrepit old man into telling him all the “gooshy” details about running one of the most infamous death camps. This book may not be any sort of supernatural horror, but this story goes to some uncomfortable and frightening places. That being said, I’m enjoying it quite a lot as a psychological thriller.


Recently Finished

Through the WoodsThe other night I finished reading Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, a comic book collection of horror stories that I learned about rather recently. It was a fairly quick read, and at first I had some misgivings. The art is absolutely lovely, so I didn’t feel any disappointment in that respect, but the first story was a little unremarkable. These feelings were abated rather quickly as I got further into the book, though. One story in particular, “His Face All Red,” I absolutely loved. I was happy to discover after finishing the book that the author is not only Canadian, but also from Southern Ontario too, like myself. I should have a review up within the next week.


Reading Next

I’m still going to be chipping away at Different Seasons for the next little while, but along the way I’m going to continue reading volumes of The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al. Beyond that, I’ve gotten some review requests and ARCs that I need to start getting to soon, so I’m thinking about starting one of those too.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – July 8, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Different SeasonsI started reading Different Seasons by Stephen King over the weekend, though I’ve been busy the last couple days and haven’t made any further headway. It starts with the novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” which has been really interesting as a big fan of the film. The film is actually quite faithful to the story, it just tells it a little more chronologically and streamlines some of the story points. Red is our sole narrator, and while he’s Irish in the book, there is no escaping hearing it all in Morgan Freeman’s voice. I think it’s all the better for that. I’ll be finished this story in the book sooner rather than later, so I guess I just have to wonder if it has any surprises in store for me that were left out of the film. The rest of the book is fairly unknown territory, at least. Regardless, it’s great to read some classic King again.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Unnatural SelectionOver the weekend I also finished reading Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon, the fourth Hellboy novel. With all of it said and done, I want to say I have mixed feelings, but it’s actually weirdly straightforward. I think I’m going to remember this novel better than the other Hellboy books I’ve read so far because of how simple the story is. I don’t necessarily mean this as a strike against it, though I certainly do feel certain things could have been done much better. The premise was just simple enough, with memorable action and some evocative characters, that it will leave a better impression on me than some of the more complicated plots of other Hellboy books. I’ve been more preoccupied this week, but I should have a review up soon.


Reading Next

Through the WoodsI’ll be occupied with Different Seasons for a little while, I’m sure, so no novel has been chosen next, but I do really want to start reading Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, a comic book collection of short horror stories. I recently heard about this collection in a video discussing horror graphic novels, showing it as an example of some of the better stuff that has come out of Western comics lately, which made me eager to give it a look. Flipping through the pages, the art looks lovely, and I can’t wait to read through it.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – July 1, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Hellboy Unnatural SelectionI haven’t finished reading Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon like I planned to last week, but I am less than 100 pages away from finishing it, so I got pretty close. I’ve got weirdly mixed feelings about this rather action-heavy novel. On the one hand, it is exactly what I wanted as a palette cleanser: pulpy fun. My mind does glaze over occasionally while reading extended action scenes, but Hellboy fighting a bunch of dragons wreaking an airport does make for good fun. I’m oddly most interested in the characters introduced in this novel though, i.e. none of the series main-stays. I think the writing is best when told from their perspective. A lot of the characters come of as low-key hot for each other too, which I’ve found strange. I’ll probably have it finished and a review up in the next week.


Recently Finished

Immortal Hulk AbominationOver the weekend I read The Immortal Hulk: Abomination by Al Ewing et al, the fourth volume in the series, and it has reminded me just how much I love these books. It’s a series about the Hulk told within the main Marvel Comics continuity, but tells it as a horror story. This story introduces a new interpretation of the Abomination, as well as a strange new form for the Red She-Hulk, both of which I really liked. The Abomination was absolutely haunting, which is amazing considering how mainstream and often cartoon-y these big hulking brutes are as superhero characters. Beyond the body horror of it all, I love how the psychology of Banner and the different personalities that reside within him are fleshed out and given depth.


Reading Next

Different SeasonsIt has been a week, yet before I started writing this I realized that I still hadn’t made a decision on what book I want to read next. Well, I have made a snap decision. I will finally start reading Different Seasons by Stephen King. If I remember correctly, this collection of novellas was one of the first of his books that I bought when I really started getting into his work outside of The Dark Tower, yet I let it languish while I read through others instead. It’s time to fix that. This will be a long one, but I’m hoping his writing style will help me breeze through it. My understanding is these stories have less of a horror bend to them as well, one having been adapted into the film Stand By Me and another The Shawshank Redemption.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Movie Review – Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep_Poster

Doctor Sleep is a 2019 horror/thriller directed by Mike Flanagan, based on the 2013 Stephen King novel of the same name. It is the sequel to the 1980 horror classic The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick, itself having adapted the predecessor King novel. Years later and suffering from alcoholism, the same as his father, Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) is still traumatized by his experiences at The Overlook Hotel when he was a young boy. After years of drifting he settles in a small New Hampshire town where he manages to clean up and eke out a peaceful existence as a hospice orderly, known by some as “Doctor Sleep” for using his psychic abilities, or “shining,” to ease those passing on. This is all disrupted when a young girl named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), with a shine more powerful than his own, comes to him for help against the True Knot, a tribe of psychic vampires that prey upon those like them.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 9, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Hellboy Odder JobsOn Saturday I started reading Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. I’ve only read the introduction and the first story so far, but already I’m enjoying it. The first tale was a poignant ghost story about gunfighters from the Old West and one spirit who stubbornly hasn’t passed on. I really do wish the films captured Hellboy as a character as faithfully as he’s represented in the comic books and prose. He’s typically depicted as a lug and a bruiser, which is accurate to an extent, but there’s also a dry, subdued quality to him to that the movies haven’t touched. This story especially highlights how he doesn’t just solve problems by smashing them with his fist. There’s a grace to what he does sometimes too.

Little HeavenI also started reading Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which has thus far been a lot different from what I was expecting. The opening chapter describes something malevolent rising from the earth and possessing living things, starting with the lowliest aphid. Moving up the food chain it becomes an amalgam of animals, morphing into a many-limbed, haunting thing of indistinct shape. I’m slowly being introduced to characters that somehow have a connection to this thing and whatever malignant force controls it, so I have no idea where this story is going now. It seems much different than what the summary suggested, though I’m not complaining.


Recently Finished

Last week I finally finished Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, my first Frighteningly Good Read for 2019. You can check out my full review here. I’ve not got much more to say about it, except that I left it a little disappointed. I loved the characters, but the villains never got scary for me.

Black DossierI also just finished The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I’m going to be honest, I literally just finished this book before writing this post. I work nights, as I’ve mentioned before, and wanted to get it finished before posting today, but I didn’t manage to do so last night. Add some general fatigue after I got home and everything is coming up in the afternoon today. The book has been a trip, in any case. One section of prose I read last night was only comprehensible read aloud, while the last several pages of the story required 3D glasses, which the book provided a pair of. I understand now why this is considered a bridge between volumes, and I look forward to continuing now that I’m further caught up.


Reading Next

I am very tired, so for this week I shall just refer to my post outlining my Frighteningly Good Reads for the month. I have no intention of deviating from this plan.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep

Kicking off my Frighteningly Good Reads for 2019 is Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the 2013 sequel to one of the author’s most famous novels, The Shining. Dan Torrance, now a grown man, is still haunted by his experiences at the Overlook Hotel all those years ago. Some ghosts are harder to escape than others, and the violence and drinking that plagued his father has come back around on him, leaving him to aimlessly wander around the country. He eventually winds up in Frazier, New Hampshire, a small town that inexplicably triggers visions, despite the years of drinking dulling his “shine.”

Dan decides to settle in the town and gets his act together, attending AA meetings and eventually working at a hospice where he uses his psychic gifts to comfort those passing on, gaining the nickname “Doctor Sleep.” One day he is remotely contacted by Abra Stone, a young teen girl with a “shine” far more powerful than his own. She has attracted the attention of the True Knot, a tribe of psychic vampires who feed off of victims with powers like theirs, and needs his help if she is going to survive.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 2, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Doctor SleepStill chipping away at Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Just 25% to go. I think I’ll actually finish in a decent amount of time for me despite the page count, but I’m starting to resent how long I’m taking anyway. I’m still enjoying the story, though, especially with things coming to a head in the conflict with the True Knot. I’ve started to have some issues with it too, however, namely with the aforementioned group of villains, who are psychic vampires. They’re just not scary. They’re a bunch of supernatural schlubs living in an RV caravan with delusions of grandeur. I’m sure that’s much of the point, but with a few exceptions I haven’t found them threatening enough to actually worry for any of the characters. I’m hoping that will change as they come up against their big boss, but we’ll see.

Black DossierI’ve only gotten a little further in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, finishing off the first “Black Dossier” section of the book. Not much more to say about it, except that I’m amused at how sexual a lot of the dossier has been. I suppose that is why it was censured by the 1984 regime in the first place. I do think I like it better that the more mixed media sections of the book are split up, so I’m not reading them back-loaded into the book like I did in volume two. I’d rather not, once again, finish reading the comic book section, feel like I’m done, only to get stuck reading prose for a longer time than I read the comic book. It was interesting stuff, but it got under my skin. Moore is a madman. A brilliant, madman.


Recently Finished

Nothing again this week. Oh dear. I am woefully behind on my Goodreads challenge too. I don’t know how all of this has gotten away from me. I guess I was slacking in September and didn’t notice. I’ve not actually finished anything since Coraline back on Sept. 15th. I usually read a few more graphic novels to keep the numbers up. A little disheartening, to say the least.


Reading Next

I feel like I’ve repeated myself several times on what I’m reading next, so I won’t bore you with repetition. What I will say it I plan to post a little blog post tomorrow for Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 that will outline the books I’m hoping to read through for the month of October. Hopefully I can make up for all of the lost ground in September.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.