the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘more horror

last-days-jack-sparksThe Last Days of Jack Sparks, by Jason Arnopp

published: September 2016

where I got it: received review copy (Thanks Orbit!!)

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The Last Days of Jack Sparks was the perfect brain candy book to be reading just before and just after the recent election. What I mean by “brain candy” is that this is the kind of book that gallops along at a breakneck pace and the reader is just along for the ride. You’re gonna have a lot of fun, you’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna cringe, you might have a few deep thoughts right there at the end, but generally speaking this is not a think-y book. It’s a hand-to-mouth candy book. And it was exactly what I needed in those middle weeks of November when my facebook and twitter feeds were a shitshow.

Journalist and author Jack Sparks will do just about anything for attention. And the only thing bigger than his ego is his need to disprove the paranormal once and for all.  After a FastFood Nation-esque experiential documentary book called “Jack Sparks on Drugs”, he spent a few weeks in rehab and then decided his next project would be Jack Sparks disproves the supernatural. Ghosts, poltergeists, exorcisms, hauntings, spirits, and more,  Jack will prove they are all a sham. For the first half of this book, every time Jack talked (which was a LOT), I heard Anthony Bourdain’s voice.

Most of The Last Days of Jack Sparks are Jack’s drafts and notes for his novel. Recorded in his snarky and often disrespectful voice, Jack makes light of exorcisms, hauntings,  mediums, and basically everything he encounters.  The rest of this novel are e-mails between Jack’s estranged brother Alistair,  Jack’s roommate Rebecca, and a few other people.  Because, you see, the stories of what happened that fateful November don’t match up. Someone has their story either somewhat wrong, or very horribly wrong.

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2014-06-01 19.37.17Bird Box, by Josh Malerman

published March 2014

where I got it: purchased new

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For the purposes of a quick survey, I want you to make believe that like me, you are deathly afraid of spiders. Yes, even the itty bitty ones. Yes, I know they are more afraid of me than I am of them. Yes, I know they don’t have teeth. Just make believe, ok?

Which is scarier: seeing a small-ish totally squishable spider in your bathtub, or knowing there is a spider in the bathtub, but not knowing how big it is? It could be teensy tiny and killable or it could be an articulated legged, egg carrying, huge as fuck brown recluse? (Jesus Christ, just typing that sentence has me scared fucking shitless)

The second one, right?

We all know how to fight things we can see. Fight zombies with shotguns, fight aliens baddies with superheroes or flamethrowers, fight diseases with medicine, find someone who isn’t arachnophobic to take care of the spiders. But what about an enemy you can’t see? The unknown is far scarier than the known. Once we know something, we can categorize it, understand it, and learn how to defend against it if it really does mean us harm. It being unknown makes all of that impossible. It’s also the devil’s food for your imagination.

In Josh Malerman’s debut novel Bird Box, something is ravaging humanity. Not a disease per se, but something that makes people kill themselves, often taking other loved ones or even random people with them. These are not serial killers or sociopaths, these are not revenge or attention seekers. These are old ladies who commit suicide in the middle of the street, children who sit the bathtub and slit their wrists, happy people, healthy people. No one seems to know what’s causing it, they just know it is getting worse, and it is everywhere. All anyone knows is that it is something you see. Something gets into your eyes, and from that moment on your life can be measured in minutes. Easily one of the most intense books I have ever had the pleasure of reading, if Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who and The Walking Dead had a threesome horror story love child, Bird Box would creep the shit outta that baby.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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