Header and Creekers by Edward Lee

There is something beautiful and poetic about  the splatterpunk redneck fiction on display in Edward Lee‘s novella Header (1995) and the long-form novel Creekers (1994). Lee’s redneck horror pays homage to Richard Laymon‘s novels of backwoods terror as well as James Dickey‘s classic, Deliverance. Lee’s work is violent and nasty, but his pacing and dialogue are […]

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a slow literary slog. This 1967 novel, considered a landmark work of Latin American magical realist fiction, is a major drudge. It felt like it took me 100 years to read. I couldn’t find my way around the Buendia family tree and all its weird, gnarled branches. […]

Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon

Is corn scary? It is a rather bizarre plant. It grows tall and fast and has vaguely human qualities, like corn-silk hair and ears. I never really thought corn was scary, until I read Stephen King‘s Children of the Corn as a teenager. King made corn creepy. But before King conjured the Children of the […]

The Book of Paul by Richard Long

 I didn’t know what to expect when I dove into Richard Long’s debut novel, The Book of Paul, other than Stephen King endorsed it and the novel was billed as “ a paranormal thriller.” Based on the cover, I figured The Book of Paul was a mythology-based tale of pirates for young adult readers. The skeleton […]

The Twelve by Justin Cronin

The Twelve is a well-written action thriller, a good, solid novel. But it doesn’t hold a candle to The Passage, the first book in author Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic vampire series. The Twelve suffers from the same “middle child syndrome” that plagues so may “Book 2s” in a trilogy series. It’s neither a beginning, nor an […]

Horns by Joe Hill

Every single one of us has got the devil inside, and nobody knows it better than Ignatius Parrish the narrator of Joe Hill’s novel Horns. Ig wakes after a night of sorrowful drinking to find he’s grown horns on top of his head. Worse yet, the horns bring out the worst in everyone Ig encounters. […]

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Author Rick Riordan found a way to make 6th grade Social Studies interesting by giving Greek mythology a modern update and employing a likeable adolescent hero in this first installment of his Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, The Lightning Thief. Percy is a dyslexic, ADHD kid who has been kicked out of six schools […]