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.

WWW Wednesday – September 25, 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 SleepI’m still in the middle of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which I’ve decided will be my first official Frighteningly Good Read for the 2019 Halloween season. Check out the link to learn more. According to Goodreads I’m about 44% of the way through the novel, which isn’t bad considering how slow my progress can be sometimes, but I do wish I was further along all the same. The last couple of days my reading has waned a little. I’m enjoying it a lot, nevertheless, and I’m looking forward to when things really come to a head. It’s been a slow burn so far, building up character and laying the groundwork for the conflict ahead. It’s only been a few years since I read The Shining, and despite the greater gap in time between the publication dates it really does read like a sequel.

Black DossierI also started The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill last night. It’s a little jarring to find Mina and Allan so far removed from where we left off, though still interesting. It’s 1958 and the government of the novel 1984 had had a decade or so controlling Britain, their regime now over and the country still reeling from it. The duo had a run-in with James Bond in what I’ve read so far (going by Jimmy), who is represented about as unflattering as I’d expected considering Moore typically brings to the forefront the worst about these characters. This read is really going to be an undertaking, as the titular Black Dossier is a document we read as the characters do, with sizable sections of prose being the most daunting.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. Doctor Sleep is long.


Reading Next

Hellboy Odder JobsI still plan to read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter next. Hopefully that will be within the next week or so. It all depends on how much reading I manage to get done. In the meantime I’ve also been thinking about Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. It’s another book on my scrappy to-read list this year and I’m sure it will qualify as a Halloween read too. It could make for a great supplemental book, though I think I will need to finish The Black Dossier first. It’s more than filling that position itself already.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 18, 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 SleepLast night I started reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. I’m only about 40 pages in, which is a drop in the bucket for how long the book is, but I’m liking it so far. The first chapter dealt with the more direct aftermath of what took place at The Overlook and how Danny learns to deal with the ghosts that continue to haunt him. The following chapter introduced the antagonists of the story, who seem interestingly eccentric so far, though not particularly menacing yet. The book has been a little heavy handed with the abuses we hear about characters having suffered, though I haven’t found anything to be too egregious. I just hope this isn’t indicating a trend in the novel, unless of course it has something to say on the matter I haven’t caught on to yet.


Recently Finished

Late last week I finished reading Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, which you can check out my review for here. I’m quite happy with the way this story wrapped up. It’s an excellent novel and I’m pleased with how much it surprised me.

CoralineI’m pleased to report that, as I planned, I started and finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman over the weekend. I’ve seen the film before, so it didn’t have much to surprise me with, but it was nonetheless an excellent book for children and adults alike. I’ve got a special place in my heart for stories suitable for younger audiences that are nonetheless creepy as all get-out and this book is a quintessential example of such a book. There was such whimsy and fun mixed with very troubling situations and even darker implications. I especially liked how much of a firmer a grasp of Coraline’s perspective this gave over the film. I felt much more in the character’s head.


Reading Next

Little HeavenWith October creeping ever closer I have to keep pushing for spooky reads. Consulting my scrappy to-read list I think I will read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter as my next novel. I really enjoyed The Troop last year, so I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Plus, it’s Canadian! Goodness knows if I’ll actually be starting it soon though, since Doctor Sleep is by no means a short novel. I’ve got a collection of Lovecraft stories on my list as well, which is probably going to be quite the undertaking too. I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 11, 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

Small GodsI’m in the final stretch of Small Gods by Terry Pratchett; only about 75 pages left to go, give or take. I’m disappointed with myself for not having finished it up already, but my attention was a little divided (it ought to be more divided, to be honest), so I’ve still got a little bit of it left. In a rather surprising turn this standalone entry in the series is becoming one of my favourites. A lot of it has to do with the fact that, while it has still be humorous, it’s not funny in the same way the previous books have been. That’s at least how I feel about it, anyway. There’s an underlying sense of menace to the book, thanks to evils of dogmatism, that’s enriching the narrative. I’m not sure I’ve felt this anxious for a Discworld protagonist before.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week because I am an appalling failure…well, not really. I went to a cottage for a few days last week, then had to quickly readjust to my nocturnal schedule, so I’m giving myself a bit of a pass since I had to shift gears more than normal. Hopefully I can still pick things up though. There’s still only four months left of the year…


Reading Next

Doctor SleepThe time for decisions is now! Coraline by Neil Gaiman is up and coming, as I’ve said before, but I will also start Doctor Sleep by Stephen King soon. I want to get it done before the film comes out, and it’s time to get more in gear for the spookiest time of year. No I won’t pipe down about that until November. I’ve got a whole line-up of horror related fiction I want to read, and darn it I mean to get to them.

On the comic book front, I’m still going to start digging in to the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books I recently picked up. I’d like to start checking out The Immortal Hulk as well, which should also conveniently be Halloween appropriate.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 28, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

aftermathempiresendI’m still in the thick of Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, a little under the halfway point in the book. I’m really enjoying the way it’s ramping up on pretty much all character fronts so far. I’m surprised by how much I’m into some of the political stuff around the New Republic and Mon Mothma. Someone else already means to take her place as Chancellor in an election and despite the Empire still being a huge threat there is a lot of subterfuge and backstabbing at play. The occasional interlude chapters have been rather interesting too, especially one that offers a glimpse into the fate of one of the franchise’s most infamous characters: Jar Jar Binks. I’m going to have to push myself especially to finish this, since November is all but finished, but I should hopefully have it done by next week so I can stay on track for the rest of the year.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1952Over the weekend I read Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952, which is the first volume in a more recent Hellboy series showing his earlier years with the Bureau. This book tells the tale of his first ever field mission to a Brazilian village where a lot of people have been turning up dead under mysterious circumstances. This story unfurls into encounters with ape-like monstrosities and Hellboy’s first ever confrontation with Herman von Klempt, the twisted Nazi scientist. It is his successes during this mission that result in him being granted honorary human status by the United Nations, which was a nice touch. I do wish it had looked a little harder for the big red guy, however. Despite looking like an adult, he’s less than 10 years old at this time and could have been made to look a little less experienced at the whole fighting Nazis thing.


Reading Next

Battle of Jericho HillMy plans are still fairly carefully laid out for reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett next, but Battle of Jericho Hill by Robin Furth will likely be the next thing I finish, either before or after Empire’s End. It will feel really good to have caught up on another comic book series. It has felt too much like my progress with comics had slowed down since I finished the Star Wars backlog I was working on most of this year.

Until next week, thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday – November 14, 2018

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

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

I’m a little over halfway through reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink, which has in many ways been a rather different beast from the podcast series that it is retelling. Something I’m actually finding I miss are the little episodic outings from Keisha’s journey in the series. There are some nods as she investigates more about Thistle, but she doesn’t encounter these anomalies herself like she does in the series. I understand why this would be removed from a novel adapting all three seasons, to keep the narrative clean and without filler, but I miss them all the same. Those little oddities were some of my favourite things from the podcast.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I finished reading Elevation by Stephen King, which you can read my full review of here. I liked it well enough; it was a nice uplifting story with a bittersweet ending, though I think it’s a far cry from horror. I’d meet it halfway and call it eerie fiction, if that can be considered a genre. It was also a very fast read, which made it a welcome little addition to my reading endeavours. There really isn’t much more to say about it here. It was short and sweet, with some references to other King works for the keen-eyed fan, since it takes place in the recurring setting of Castle Rock.


Reading Next

I’m going to start reading Fall of Gilead by Robin Furth et al soon, as I said last week, but I have my books worked out for the remainder of the year too. There’s not much time left of 2018, so I decided I had to commit. Once I’m finished with Alice Isn’t Dead, which I expect will be rather soon, I’m going to start Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, the final book in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. I know a little more about how things turn out than I would’ve liked going into it, thanks to some fanatic research in the past, but I’m still looking forward to seeing this trilogy through.

Until next week, thank you for reading!


Book Review – Elevation by Stephen King

Elevation

Elevation is the newest book by Stephen King, taking place in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, the setting of a great number of his stories. This novella follows Scott Carey, a recent divorcee who suffers from a bizarre illness; he keeps losing weight, yet it has no effect on his physical appearance or how he feels. If anything he feels better. He has more energy and feels lighter on his feet. Despite this, he does wonder whether it will stop, or if a day will come where he weighs nothing at all and what that will mean. His troubles don’t stop there, as tensions develop between him and his lesbian neighbors over dog poop on his lawn, which ends up cluing him in to the way the largely conservative community of Castle Rock has alienated the couple, who struggle to keep their new restaurant up and running.Read More »