After reading Nina you realize just how much of a fucked up vile human being Blag Dahlia is. However that is, of course, the reason we all love him. For those of you that do not know this is the same Blag Dahlia of the punk band the Dwarves, and if you think the Dwarves lyrics are too tame for you a little while back Blag started a venture into book writing. His first book, Armed to the Teeth With Lipstick, was more of a seedy sci-fi detective story, but Nina takes a totally different direction. Nina is the story of a teenage girl who has no remorse and makes no apologies for her actions. There’s plenty of sex in this book, but the drugs and rock n roll is lacking. Instead you get more sex, death, and a lot of cold-bloodedness. While I did like Blag’s first book better this one does have a fucked up charm to it. Only 110 pages and short chapters (which I’m a personal fan of) you should be able to breeze through it pretty quickly then take some time to let everything you just read sink in.
So there are the old Gods, the ones we’ve heard myths and stories about for years, going back to greek mythology, ancient religions and whatever else you can think of. But now a days most people don’t care about them anymore, we have new Gods. The new Gods of today we all know but might not think of that way, TV, Radio, the Internet. So the question that we have here is what happens when the old Gods are tried of getting ignored and want to take back the glory they once had. Neil Gaiman tries to answer that here in American Gods. The story mostly centers around Shadow, who from the start is having a pretty shitty time. He’s in jail, but he’s getting out, but then his wife dies. From there it doesn’t get much better for him. Overall after I finished I basically enjoyed the book, the main problem is for most of the book nothing really happens. It’s a whole lot of small information coming to you that doesn’t have a payoff until about the last hundred pages of the book. At the end of the book it’s a pretty great payoff but it’s an uphill battle getting there. If you feel like investing some time here it will turn out pretty well but if you don’t long periods with nothing going on you might wanna look at something else.
In 1996 there was a TV series called Neverwhere, later it was adapted into a book by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman had a hand in the series with the help of Lenny Henry and Director Dewi Humphreys. However this isn’t about the series, we’re looking at the book here. Here we follow Richard Mayhew, a normal average guy in London, he’s got a good job, a good apartment, and a fiancee. Then one day he comes across a girl named Door, she’s badly injured and is in need of help, from there his life is never the same again. He gets sucked into an entirely new world, the London Underground where he’s being chased by assassins, and running into con-men, monsters, angels and talking rats. All of this crazy fantasy world is centered around a murder mystery. It’s a pretty damn good read, I tore through this book pretty quickly, it grabs your attention and holds on until the end. If you’re into the fantasy/mystery thing or you’re just looking for something new you could do worse than reading this.
H.P. Lovecraft is one of the greatest horror writers of all time, here is a small collection of some of his works. It’s only four different stories but it’s great as a Lovecraft starter or if you just happen not to own any of these. Coming in at 184 pages it’s a relatively quick read, three of the stories are quite short.
At the Mountains of Madness: This is the bulk of the book and an indisputable Lovecraft masterpiece, a story told as a narration after the event. A team of explorers travel to the arctic cold only to stumble upon a lost city that dates to the beginning of Earth. Most of what they find was thought to be legends but they quickly find it to be fact.
The Shunned House: This might be my second favorite story in the book, however it’s really short. An old abandoned house seems to have had bad luck forever, after some reasearch it becomes apparent that this isn’t bad luck, its something closer to a haunting. Two men set out to put an end to the evil that lurks in the old house.
The Dreams in the Witch-House: This one was adapted by the great Stewart Gordon as part of the ‘Masters of Horror’ series on Showtime, it might be the best episode of ‘Masters of Horror’ that was made. The story has some minor differences, but as you might guess it’s just as great.
The Statement of Randolph Carter: This one is super quick, more of an after thought than a complete story but still the tale of two men that go to check out a deep dark place.
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Andromeda Klein isn’t the most popular kid in school, in fact her best and only friend (besides her cat) just recently died, on top of that she has bad hearing, fragile bones and low self-esteem to boot. Her life is basically working at the local library, avoiding her mom and magic. Now when I say magic I don’t mean she’s working on card tricks, she’s more into the works of Aleister Crowley. This comes in handy sometimes because she’s been having these strange dreams that are trying to tell her something, luckily she can intrepid some of them and will hopefully get to the bottom of it. This she has to balance out with school, saving books at her library and dealing with “friends” a guy who’s trying to be her boyfriend and the one she wants to be her boyfriend ignoring her. This isn’t your typical teen novel, nor what I would expect from this author but in the end I liked it. The biggest thing was expecting the whole occult/magic theme to drop and it never did, once I realized it was here to stay the book was somehow more enjoyable. Written by Frank Portman aka Dr. Frank, the same Dr. Frank from the pop punk band The Mr. T Experience. This is his second book, the first, “King Dork” was one of the best books I’ve ever read and seemed to be a pop punk novel. This one had the same outcast teen ideas of the first, and most of his songs, but took a different road. While “Andromeda Klein wasn’t as good as “King Dork” it was a good read. And if anyone has read Dr. Frank’s first book, keep a sharp eye out and you’ll catch a pretty cool cameo appearance if you’ve got a decent memory. Clocking in at 432 pages, I can’t wait for Frank’s next book (or album).
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