Stephen King’s The Dark Half
Mar08

Stephen King’s The Dark Half

Summoning Demons: Revisiting Stephen King’s The Dark Half     “Kull meditated a while, then spoke.  ‘Can you summon up demons?’ “’Aye.  I can summon up a demon more savage than any in ghostland – by smiting you on the face.’” –Robert E. Howard, The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune     Fittingly for a novel that deals so obsessively with the subject of twins, doubling and mirror images, Stephen King’s 1989 novel The Dark Half is...

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View from the Madhouse: Revisiting Stephen King’s Misery
Feb14

View from the Madhouse: Revisiting Stephen King’s Misery

View from the Madhouse: Revisiting Stephen King’s Misery     Loosely sandwiched in between two novels with truly enormous casts – It and The Tommyknockers – King’s 1987 Misery was a stripped-to-the-bone two-hander. Yes, there really are only two people featured over the 350-odd pages.  One is writer Paul Sheldon — famous for his money-spinning bodice-rippers starring heroine Misery Chastain. The other is his isolated,...

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The Legend of Batman Volume 3 Born to Kill
Feb14

The Legend of Batman Volume 3 Born to Kill

The Legend of Batman Volume 3 Born to Kill     Admittedly, with a title like that one, I should have known better than to expect something uplifting or life-affirming.  OK, that I could live without, but how about entertaining?  A bit of that, maybe? Not a chance.  Born to Kill is simply unremitting ugliness.  It is a near-enough unredeemed black and sickening vision of life that makes you want to scrub yourself clean after...

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Batman : Zero Year
Feb02

Batman : Zero Year

  Batman: Zero Year     Legend of Batman is another set of collections from Eaglemoss, the quality of which I raved about last year when the company launched its series of Star Trek graphic novels.  And this looks to be every single bit as good, if the initial two volumes here are anything to go by.  Mind you, it is probably necessary to be a complete bat- fanatic if the intention is to collect all of the dozens of volumes.  I’m...

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Justin Cronin’s The Passage
Jan24

Justin Cronin’s The Passage

Regions of Blackness: Justin Cronin’s The Passage     Being the busy season that was in it – you know, when you attempt to be vaguely sociable whilst making a reasonable go at a happy face – I had only read a few short stories and a couple of comic books over the Christmas and New Year period.  So when the rather stunning cover photograph on the paperback edition of Justin Cronin’s The Passage caught my eye, I paused. Paused...

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Anno Dracula 1899 And Other Stories
Jan24

Anno Dracula 1899 And Other Stories

Anno Dracula 1899 And Other Stories   Buried deep within this grab-bag of odds-and-ends from the wonderfully eccentric Mr. Newman is a story so exquisitely beautiful that it is worth buying this collection for alone.  But I’ll return to that later because, sadly, Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories is in most other ways a bit of a con. I was under the impression that it was a volume of uncollected tales that were set in the Anno...

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