The Monk is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror novels ever. I don’t think it lived up to its reputation. I think the book shocked people back when it was written because people didn’t speak ill of monks and priests. Priests were revered as holy men. Since that time, priests have fallen from societies graces. I would sooner trust my daughter in the hands of your average beggar than with a priest (an un-average beggar). Starting the book with a view that most priests are sexual predators at the worst and sexual deviants at the best, I didn’t see anything shocking in the slightest in the entire book. I would say, if you own the book and don’t want to dredge through the entire thing, read the last 25 pages. It is the most action in the whole book and really a great ending.
The thing that struck me most was the way the book is told. The drum that is beat loudest in creative writing circles is to always show the story, not tell it. Lewis basically runs the gambit of he said-she said for the whole of the book. Styles change, and perhaps when it was written it was the style of the day, but it was a poor example of a well written book in today’s terms.
Even when King is off, I still find him to be the best. This one is a miss for the master. This is the second book in the Bill Hodges/Mr. Mercedes Trilogy. It is the story of Morris Bellamy, a fan of a JD Salinger type of writer, but imagine if Salinger had turned Holden Caulfield into a sell-out advertisement agent before he stopped writing. You may not be outraged by the indignation, but Bellamy was. He was driven completely insane by the idea, driven to the point of murder. Bellamy’s monomaniacal fan-boydom is the driving force behind the book. While I would say it is a miss, I enjoyed the hell out of it and would still recommend it with gusto. I look forward to reading book three.
I picked this book up again recently because my recent project had me thinking about it. I last read it fifteen years ago, and loved it. After reading it again, I still enjoyed it, but not on the same level I did when I first read it. I found that all the best parts I still remembered, but the bulk of the book, the parts I forgot, were very forgettable. It is a short read, and if you haven’t read it, you should. But don’t read it twice.
So I have been writing.
Want to know what I have been writing? Want to? Huh? Come on, you know you want to?
Well hell, I’m going to tell you anyhow. I recently typed the end to a book about America. It is a book about America and Americans and Trump and zombies.
I wrote a book about a zombie apocalypse, but there are no zombies in the book. The book takes place in America under the rule of President Trump in a time when the zombie apocalypse has ravaged the rest of the world, but no zombies have been spotted in America. Now stop for a second and think to yourself, how would the Trump voters in your life react to such an occurrence. Yep, all of that and so much more. If you are a Trump supporter, SCREW YOU! but also think about how the foolish liberals would react in the scenario. Yep, that’s in there too.
In my frustration of the election results, I wrote this novella and had a lot of fun doing it. I plan to release it on inauguration day. Stay tuned, and be sure to nab up a copy.
I have never been a huge Koontz fan. I view Dean Koontz as the McDonalds of genre fiction. Nobody really likes it, but a lot of people go there. Or maybe Coors Light is the better comparison since Coors light can do the trick, but you aren’t going to like it while it’s going down, and you may need to chase it with whiskey just to get the burn you need. The House of Thunder is very much a Coors Light. It is a novel with promise but no punch. It has a pulse but lacks a soul. Enough mixed metaphors? Okay, then let’s talk about the book.
First let me say that if you want to read this book, I suggest you don’t. It is crap, but if you insist, then stop reading this now. I will not hold back on spoilers. Deano spoiled it enough for everyone just by writing it.
Still reading? Okay then, let’s continue. The House of Thunder is a book about a young woman that wakes up in a hospital with no knowledge of how she got there. Then she starts seeing people from her troubled past, people that murdered a childhood boyfriend. There is some wonderful scary bits in this first 100 pages, but Deano being Deano, spoiled it all to shit by having her start to uncover a conspiracy in the hospital. This fragile, emaciated woman that had just came out of a coma begins running around and seducing the doctor. Just when the whole story becomes completely unbelievable, Deano outdoes himself by having it be a town wide conspiracy. Everyone is in on it except for lover-boy Doc. Around this time you as a reader will be ready to leave the book on the transit bus for the next poor sucker to pick it up and waste several hours reading it, but I wasn’t that smart. I finished the book. Want to know the big kicker, the big surprise ending? It was Russians. Yep. Russians. Now, go read something else, something that really burns going down.
This book was an interesting duality of fascinating subject matter about a subject that I really couldn’t care less about. Joshua Foer wrote a very good book about his personal journey from being a B-rate journalist to the National Memory Champion. The problem is, training for a memory competition is pretty boring stuff, incredibly boring really, mind numbingly god-awful boring. Yet Josh was able to write a book about it and make it interesting. The trick he used? It was the same trick that won him the championship. You take something boring and make it memorable by adding perverse, tantalizing details. By dispersing glimpses into the drunken debauchery amongst memory athletes, scathing accusations of savant fraud, and humorous antidotes Foer has made this a book I won’t soon forget.
I have read many of Card’s books, and I have always found them enjoyable. This was the first complete fail of his that I’ve read. Well, maybe complete miss was a bit strong. I was into the book for the first half and was excited to keep reading. Then he lost me. If you plan on reading this book, stop reading this review now. He lost me by doing the one thing a writer is always cautioned against doing, the one thing that will make people put down the book and refuse to finish it. He killed the main character. While I want to admire him for doing something that goes against the grain and spits in the eye of convention, I can’t. The reason is, Card killed the main character midway through the book. Death is the end. Game over. I was no longer invested in the story. I didn’t care how it turned out. The book had the feel of a post-party hangover after that point.
I was apprehensive about reading this book, knowing it is a political book and knowing Card’s politics, but he makes a case in this book that polarizing your beliefs is about as damnable as anything you can do. I agree with the sentiment. I am a liberal and an atheist, but I am also someone that sees all sides of arguments and am always willing to exchange thoughts with people that can be civil.