August 22nd, 2005

there!, Hello

Quabbin yes/aliens, no; Leaves' Eyes live; Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary)

Saturday we took a road trip to the Quabbin Reservoir further west in Massachusetts. The place is the supplier for Boston's water, and it was featured in Stephen King's novel Dreamcatcher, filmed under the unassuming name of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher. Well, we saw no aliens, but we did see plenty of beautiful scenery and had a lovely time. Jon and I played Frisbee with our Official Doug Clegg's Priest of Blood frisbee, while the ladies all knitted and passively dodged our lousiest throws. Then, we whipped out the Doug Clegg's Priest of Blood beachball and had a jolly old time playing around the picnic table and bouncing it off the ladies' heads. Sigh. Thank you Doug, for these great toys! Love em bunches, though the ladies weren't as amused as they could've been.

I am ubergeeked. Aye, uberGEEKED I tell you. Leaves' Eyes, the Norwegian Black Metal band are coming to Rhode Island and Worcester! Woo hoo! This is a big deal for me, since I don't usually go to concerts. Champing at the bit for this one, though. They come in October (and the Worcester show will be part of the Rock and Shock weekend horror con).

So, I read a couple of books over the weekend. Fear Me by Stephen Laws was much better than I prepared myself for. I'm not a fan of vampire fiction, but this novel was surprisingly engaging. Not exactly a traditional vamp story, and yet it echoed Dracula quite nicely. The structure made intriguing use of flashbacks. Like its central beasty, it seemed a little long in the tooth at times, but overall, a decent read.

Edward Lee's Flesh Gothic was somewhat disappointing because it utterly lacked a sense of wonder. How does one write a haunted house story that's not scary? This novel succeeded, by treating the supernatural as utterly blase. As a thriller, it was well paced, but it had not a single lick of fear to it.

With Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary): an Andrew Mayhem Thriller, Jeff Strand has done the remarkable. He's written the most interesting, first person thriller since Gregory McDonald's Fletch. In fact, this book might actually be better than Fletch. It oscillates smoothly between laugh out loud wit to utterly chilling gruesomeness. What genre is it? Gleeful horror, maybe. Shocking humor? It's the kind of novel Christopher Moore, Agatha Christie and James Ellroy might have penned together. At times funny, at times mysterious, and at times utterly mean. It's not a perfect book (it doesn't answer all the questions to my satisfaction), but it's such a delightful romp that I didn't mind. And Andrew Mayhem is a fantastic character. Highly recommended.
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