Review: IT

IT by Stephen KingTitle: IT
Author: Stephen King
Published: September 1986
Author’s Website: stephenking.com
Genre: Horror

Review:  There’s not a lot of build-up before disaster strikes for “Stuttering Bill” Denbrough in 1958.  While Derry is in the grips of a flood, and Bill is laid up in bed sick, his brother Georgie has an unfortunate meeting with Pennywise the Clown.  Tragedy, in Derry, seems to be a way of life, as Bill and The Losers’ Club soon learn.

The thing was to get through this one. To get the power back on, and then to forget it.  In Derry such forgetting of tragedy and disaster was almost an art, as Bill Denbrough would come to discover in the course of time.

The Losers’ Club, a group of kids who form a deep bond over one terrifying summer, are called back from their adult lives by the only one still living in Derry, the small town in Maine in which they all grew up, on the strength of a promise they barely remember making as kids.  It turns out that the promise is all most of them remember of the adventure that brought them all together as kids, pitting them against a malevolent entity that seems to have been preying on people in the town for a long, long time.

As they gather and talk and start to remember more of that summer, IT is also reaching out and bringing in help.  A pawn or two with easily swayed minds may be able to prevent The Losers’ Club from a repeat performance, maybe from even making the attempt.

Fighting through muddled memories, emotions, and fears, as well as the forces that IT is able to marshal in its defense, The Losers’ Club make their way to the final confrontation, hoping to summon enough of the magic they found as kids to overcome IT once and for all.

The quote above and the ones below are the “Teaser Tuesday” posts I made over the course of this story:

His face uttered a strange smile which said that, while he didn’t believe anything so silly, he believed it completely.

Richie understood.


Whatever it was, it came to me in the night, left its talisman…and then disappeared.

Tied to my reading lamp was a single balloon.


He was about to turn away when something caught his eye: a cement cylinder with a heavy steel cap on the top.  Morlock holes, Ben used to call them, laughing with his mouth but not quite laughing with his eyes.


They stood in the rain in a huddled group, hugging each other, listening to it hiss down on the bushes.  That was what she remembered best:   the sound of the rain and their own shared silence and a vague sorrow that Eddie was not there with them.

Bottom Line: Maybe it’s because this was my first Stephen King novel, but IT has always been one of my favorites.  Maybe it also has to do with being able to relate to The Losers’ Club –I was never hounded by bullies, but my circle of friends always seemed to be the nerds, the not-quite-outcasts, those who’d rather go build forts in the woods and use our imaginations than do what was “cool”.  This is truly a horror story, consisting of both human and supernatural monsters that prey upon children and adults, but it’s also a story of hope and magic, the kind that we find in ourselves and our friends.  I highly recommend IT.

Review: The Voice of the Night

Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsTitle: The Voice of the Night
Author: Dean Koontz
Published: March 2011 (first pub 1980)
Author’s Website: http://www.deankoontz.com/
Genre: Horror

Review:  Colin is a shy kid who idolizes his new friend, Roy, one of the most popular kids in school.  Along the path to becoming blood brothers, Roy talks a lot about killing animals and people, even asking Colin if he’d be willing to join in killing someone for no reason other than it being a real “popper”.  Colin doesn’t really believe Roy has or will kill anyone, but when he crosses Roy, he learns just how crazy Roy is.

Bottom Line:  This is a great horror/suspense story.  No monsters or ghosts.  Not a lot of blood and gore.  Just suspense.  Building and building…and then building a bit more.  When, finally, the suspense is broken, it’s a brief respite before more suspense leading to the final climax.  I highly recommend it to fans of the suspense/horror genre.

 

Teaser Tuesday: The Voice of the Night

Teaser Tuesday post for 17 March 2015
from The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz

The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz
from The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz
"People who say they love you will pounce when they get a chance.  You gotta always remember that they're just waiting for the opportunity to get you."
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Teaser Tuesday logoTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday: 77 Shadow Street (again)

Teaser Tuesday post for 17 February 2015
from 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
Both Edna's expression and posture confirmed the reality of the incident:  Her eyes were hoot-owl wide, mouth formed in a perfect O of unvoiced astonishment.

After a silence, Edna said, "Dear, I haven't seen you spring onto action like that since back in the day when a board-of-directors meeting wasn't going well and you had to whip them into line."

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: 77 Shadow Street

Teaser Tuesday post for 10 February 2015
from 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

77 Shadow Street by Dean KoontzEarl Blandon was gone.  Apparently the car had arrived at the third floor, and the ex-senator had disembarked.

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: ‘Salem’s Lot

Teaser Tuesday post for 27 January 2015
from ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingAnd in the awful heavy silence of the house, as he sat impotently on his bed with his face in his hands, he heard the high, sweet, evil laugh of a child --

           --and then the sucking sounds.

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Review: Nightmares & Dreamscapes

Nightmares & DreamscapesTitle: Nightmares & Dreamscapes
Author: Stephen King
Published: October 1993
Author’s Website: http://stephenking.com/
Genre: Horror-ish

Review: Nightmares & Dreamscapes is a collection of short stories.  There are a handful or more of the stories in here that certainly don’t fit the horror genre, and most that I’d say fit it, aren’t that particularly scary.  A few of the more horror-ish ones are “The Night Flier”, “Sneakers”, “You Know They’ve Got a Hell of a Band”, and “Rainy Season”. “Head Down” is a work of non-fiction that shows you can write true stories with a flair that makes them interesting.

Here are a few excerpts I used for Teaser Tuesday posts:

“On the mound, Matt Francke, who was twice within inches of winning his game, lowers his head, not wanting to look.  And as Ryan rounds second and starts back toward home, he seems to finally understand what he has done, and at that point he begins to weep.” – from ‘Head Down’

““Oh, I write like a boid,” Dees said, and offered a smile he hoped looked good-humored and warm.  This was an expression he had practiced almost constantly and continued to practice with fair regularity in the bedroom mirror of the New York apartment he called his home, and in the mirrors of the hotels and motels that were really his home.  It seemed to work–Selida McCammon answered it readily enough–but the truth was that Dees had never felt good-humored and warm in his life.” – from ‘The Night Flier’

“It wasn’t much, but Brad Pearson had learned that killing bats had at least one thing in common with cutting down on your cigarette intake:  you had to start somewhere.” – from ‘The Ten O’ Clock People’

“He loved to hear Grandpa talk.  The things Grandpa said continually amazed him because they almost always made sense.” – from ‘My Pretty Pony’

“At first his course of action had seemed clear-cut and simple: avoid that particular men’s room, and avoid all thoughts and questions about the sneakers.  Simply turn that subject off.” – from ‘Sneakers’

 

Bottom Line:
This wasn’t my favorite Stephen King book, or even my favorite collection of short stories that he’s released.  Not that the writing in the stories is sub-par, of course, but most of the stories just didn’t grab me.  A couple that did, though, have stuck with me for years, like “The Ten O’Clock People” and “The Night Flier”.  I would recommend this to real fans of Stephen King, but not for folks who’ve read one or two of his scarier books and are looking for more of the same.  For those who’ve not read Mr. King’s works and would like a good intro to his writing style without too much “spooky”, this would fit the bill.

Teaser Tuesday: Children of the Night (one more time)

Teaser Tuesday post for 30 September 2014:

Children of the Night by Dan Simmons“Kat,” he had said, “the bad news is what my daddy taught me –namely, a good big guy can always beat the shit out of a good little guy.  I’m afraid that even when you get good at all this kicking and gouging stuff, you’ll always be a little guy.”

from Children of the Night by Dan Simmons

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Children of the Night (again)

Teaser Tuesday post for 23 September 2014:

Children of the Night by Dan SimmonsShe and O’Rourke said nothing as the motion of the train rocked back and forth and from side to side.  With each motion, their legs touched more fully–first their knees, then the inside of their knees, and finally their thighs–not rubbing against one another of their own volition, but making contact passively, inexorably, insistently, through the gentle rocking of the train.

from Children of the Night by Dan Simmons

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Children of the Night

Teaser Tuesday post for 16 September 2014:

Children of the Night by Dan SimmonsIt was New Year’s Eve, the last night of 1989, and the dawn would bring what was popularly thought of as the last decade of the millennium.  But the sight out the window remained a glimpse of the fifteenth century.

from Children of the Night by Dan Simmons

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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