Horror, Lisa's Book Life

My Books Smell Funny…

Every day I’m coming across Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks From Hell, whether it’s on Goodreads or Twitter or here on WordPress. I don’t actually own it at the moment, but I will be getting it soon. Very soon. (Update: I now own it. And LOVE it!)

I absolutely love the horror genre, particularly stuff from the late 70’s and early 80’s, and seeing so many posts about vintage horror books had me causing utter chaos amongst my bookshelves.

The disarray was well worth it though, because this is what I wanted to share:

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Isn’t it just a sight to behold?

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s ALL by James Herbert. (Apart from the ones ABOUT Mr Herbert!) And what I noticed when I was organising the books is that my Magic Cottage is missing! (Not my REAL magic cottage, you understand, just the book. To misplace my real magic cottage would be very careless. And impossible, as I don’t have one.) I’ve loaned it to somebody and I can’t remember who. I’m mortified, so I’ll have to replace it, but I want the same edition as before, naturally. Anyway, now I’ve come to terms with the fact I’ve lost track of one of my FAVOURITE books and have mopped up my tears, lets discuss the smell.

If only I had a scratch and sniff option on my blog! (Although if I saw someone scratching my beloveds, I wouldn’t be best pleased, so I guess it’s a blessing really.) Some of these beauties have been sat on my bookshelves for over 30 years. They’re yellowing and dotted with mould. Some pages are falling out, the spines are ripped, but they’re loved. They have that smell that I struggle to describe, nothing I can think of can compare. It’s not a ‘oooh let’s get a Glade Plug-in like that’ smell, it’s more of a WONDERFULLY GRUBBY AROMA that oozes the stench of my first horror adventures.

Oh how I love you my fabulous fousty friends!

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So, from fousty friends, to bookish friends. Fancy sharing some smelly old reads that are close to your heart and catnip for your nose? I’d love to see more photos, especially if any are by (IMO) The Master of Macabre himself.

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In memory of James Herbert OBE 1943 – 2013.

I’ll finish on a lighter note, James’ dad was called Herbert. Yep, he was Mr Herbert Herbert, what crazy parents he must of had! Or just lazy!😂

 

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Goodreads Reviews, Horror

Box: A Psychological Horror by Matt Shaw

Box: A Psychological Horror by Matt Shaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Box by Matt Shaw was definitely psychologically horrible!

I’d say it was a very simple concept, in that it was a short story, with very little actually going on. But it got right into my head!

I was hooked from the first few paragraphs, just because I’m a sucker for horror and I wanted to find out if it would disgust me, as other books by this author sound pretty hardcore!

Maybe I’m hardened to certain things, as being a horror fan for so long, I’ve read some twisted stuff in my time! A couple of parts made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but overall, I really liked it.

So, if you’ve got half hour or so to kill and fancy a horror that’s written by an author who thinks, erm,‘outside the box’, (ha!) give it a go!

I recommend this to readers who aren’t too squeamish, but it’s just horrid enough to subtly shock.

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Goodreads Reviews, Horror

Doll House by John Hunt

Doll House by John Hunt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

‘….and I would of gotten away with it too, had it not been for that dog and you pesky kids!’

Ha! This came to mind on finishing Doll House. It felt very ‘Scooby-Doo’ as it headed to the conclusion. An 18+ version may I add, because it was sick and very gory in places. Scabby blood clot anyone? And a side order of ear maybe.

So, 2 stars? It didn’t deserve 1 star, as there were a fair few bits I really enjoyed and I think 1 star is too harsh for this.

The first quarter of the book wasn’t written very well. It seemed that the author struggled to get the momentum going, using very basic language and descriptions.

As the story became established, and the action got going, John Hunt found his feet. He’s rather good at creating a dark, tense scenario. I had feelings of foreboding and high tension at regular intervals, which is my reason for finishing this.

I thought I knew who the serial killer was, and prepared myself for the ultimate anticlimatic end ever, when, I was proved wrong! And for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, it still felt a tad disappointing, but it pleased me that I was wrong. Had I of been right, it would have received just the 1 star.

I found this book difficult to review, as I always feel bad about not really liking an ARC. I am always thankful for the opportunity, however, reviews are personal and honest, and this is all I can find to say about this one. This book was initially heading for my DNF shelf, but I’m glad I persevered as there were snippets of good horror writing amongst all that naff!!

I’d like to thank Black Rose Writing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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Goodreads Reviews, Horror

Cold Calling by Haydn Wilks

Cold Calling by Haydn Wilks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Need some time to erm…..digest this! It was horrible. In a highly entertainingly sick kinda way!

So, Cold Calling is a short and not at all sweet story of a psychopathic white-collar employee who basically looses the plot.

God help you if he calls to offer you life insurance and you piss him off.

With elements of American Psycho (the movie I’ve seen, the book is TBR) this book is absolutely gross. It’s sick and twisted and, for me, extremely enjoyable. Does that make me sick and twisted too?! I think not, because I could never write a story like this and the content is shocking. On various occasions I think the author went too far.

The writing style was very British and raw, with countless laugh out loud moments. Even the horrific gore had proper comedy overtones which I enjoyed immensely.

This is not a book for the easily freaked out, or for those of a nervous disposition. It would disgust and appal many readers. This is blood and guts at its very best. Or worst.

Cold Calling ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I am left wondering what will happen to our protagonist.

I’d like to thank the author, Haydn Wilks for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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