“So,” I thought, reading the back of the book I’d picked up from a random table of Halloween picks at the bookstore “A story about a lovelorn dog catcher who falls in love with female werewolf about to break from her pack. There’s another novel I’ll read when they invent the eight day week.”
And I ALMOST put it down, but cracked it open, hoping perhaps to find some chuckle worthy sub Stephanie Meyer’s writing within, despite the Nick Hornby blurb on the front.
“Well huh, that’s funny it’s not a novel at all. It’s apparently a 300 page epic poem… Well that was unexpected. Just a few stanzas…” But by then I was as helpless as one of the pack’s victim’s once they have their jaws on their throat.
I can pretty much guarantee that Sharp Teeth is unlike just about anything you’ve ever read. Unless of course you regularly read books composed long form free verse poetry about weredogs that are one part gang warfare epic, one part enticing mystery, one part surprisingly effective soap opera, one part surprisingly(er) effective love story, and one part seriously balls out brutal horror story.
Didn’t think so.
If you’re looking for a quick bloody read this October, I don’t believe you can do better.
As has been stated rather conclusively, I am more or less totally in the tank for Joe Hill. The question then is what to recommend. The moving combination of The Haunting and The Royal Tenenbaums that makes Locke And Key one of the best things going on in comics right now? What about the darkly funny Horns. Or 20th Century Ghosts, which showcases the full range of Hill’s talent from the Juggernaut “Best New Horror” to the wistful “Pop Art” and the disturbing Lynchian “Masks” Not to mention the titular story one of the most loving tributes to cinema I’ve ever seen in print.
But there’s still no better place to start from then Heart Shaped Box. Which as balls out a ghost story as has ever been written.
Hill’s dark fertile imagination gives Box it’s haunting power. But it is the unexpected story of a man coming late in life to his better nature, that gives it its heft.
Read one Hill and I can guarantee you’ll be hooked for life.
Walking Dead is of course the graphic novel zombie epic soon to be transformed into a TV series on AMC.
In the word’s of Henry Jones Senior, Most zombie movies “leave just when they were getting interesting.” With the last vestiges of human civilization overrun by the zombie hordes.
Walking Dead uses that as it’s starting point. And explores how society rebuilds itself. Or doesn’t. The zombies, which are basically ringers anyway, aren't nearly as scary as the answer's Kirkman comes up with. But the real subversive thing about Kirkman's work isn't the fact that he shows humans doing horrible things in the wake of societal breakdown, it's the fact that he posits that societal breakdown itself as a boon.
The world being overrun with zombie hordes portrayed almost as a Thoreau like awakening of the human spirit rather then a tragedy. The Walking Dead is at its core a story of the anesthetic wearing off.
Before Seth Grahmn Smith kick started the most annoying meme of all time with the still funny despite its predecessors, Pride Prejudice and Zombies and then proved he was more then a one gimmick man with Doris Kearnes Goodwin (That still blows my mind) approved Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, he penned this little ditty. Which provides advice for surviving everything from encountering Satan (hard) to surviving a night of babysitting (harder).
Fleet and “Laugh out loud so hard you disturb the strangers on the bus” funny Smith’s book is a thorough deconstruction of horror tropes with a thorough understanding and an even thorougher affection for the genre. This belongs on the shelf of every horror aficionado in the country.
If I had to encapsulate it in an annoying horror blurb (which I am) I’d say it’s like Shaun Of The Dead, if our heroes were trapped not in a Romero film but in a Raimi one.
I would go on. But why should I when "Dave Wong" himself does such a better job telling you why you should buy his book.
Every once in a while you run into a porn video or website that you can't, in good conscience, recommend to your friends because it's simply too erotic. The actress's boobs were too perfect, the scenario too plausible, your erection too firm--almost to the level of exquisite pain.
This is the situation I find myself in with the horrortacular, John Dies at the End. A friend will say, "Hey, David, I see you have a copy of John Dies at the End. I like horror, and it's getting awesome reviews. Should I run down to Borders and... Jesus, what is that in your pants?"
What am I to say? Sure, my friend likes horror, but he "likes" beer, too. That doesn't mean he would enjoy being trapped inside a half million-gallon vat at the Anheuser-Busch brewery, forced to drink his way out or die trying. And he would like it even less if, instead of beer, the vat was full of horror.
John Dies at the End is like that, it's the porno you hesitate to recommend. My answer to such friends is always the same: "Are you sure you know what you're getting into? Because imagine an all-you-can-eat buffet. Only instead of food, it's crack cocaine. And instead of crack cocaine, it's horror. And the object in my pants? It is but my erection--an erection I've had ever since I purchased my copy of John Dies at the End... THREE WEEKS AGO. So sure, go right ahead and buy a copy if you dare. Just know that you won't be able to give out any hugs to family members at Thanksgiving."
And if that wasn’t enough. Here's some text from the actual book…
We kicked through the slithering things and stomped up after the dog, just as the stairwell door banged shut on its own. I reached for the knob.
At the same moment it began to melt and transform, turning pink and finally taking the shape of a flaccid penis. It flopped softly against the door, like a man was cramming it through the knob hole from the other side.
I turned back to John and said, "That door cannot be opened."
I believe the word you're looking for is "Add To Cart"