Arthur C.  Clarke’s Childhood’s End
Jun17

Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End

Arthur C.  Clarke’s Childhood’s End   Contains Major Spoilers   Well now, twice in one week; wonder what that means. Ten or so days ago I found myself left with a feeling of bleak sadness on rereading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.  It was a sort of ‘localised’ sadness:  just this recognition of time passing and even ending for those who I love or have loved through the years.  Of the Veil pulling back and Oz the Great and Terrible...

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Pet Sematary (Novel)
Jun05

Pet Sematary (Novel)

Older and Wiser: Going Back to the… Pet Sematary   It’s funny, isn’t it, how something you read so many years ago can have a completely different feel when you return to it. This has been true of most of those early Stephen King novels that I’ve been revisiting of late…but none more so than with his 1988 Pet Sematary. I was in my twenties when I first stumbled across that clearing in the Maine woods.  That odd patch of ground where...

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Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon
May30

Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon

Hollywood Hokum & Snail Masturbation; Welcome to… Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon   Dear oh dear, what a sordid and depressing 2001 novel this one is.  From the pen of horror writer Clive Barker, it should be pressing all the right buttons for me.  In particular, I’m a sucker for tales of Old Hollywood — and Coldheart Canyon is even advertised as a ‘Hollywood ghost story’.  Yet so much of it is wrong, wrong, wrong; not...

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The Sign of the Four
May23

The Sign of the Four

Cocaine and Criminal Capers: The Sign of the Four By Arthur Conan Doyle   Despite the moans of some, I think that A Study in Scarlet, the debut teaming of Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson is just a little gem of perfect structure.  I really enjoyed it a great deal. A little less than three years later, Arthur Conan Doyle brought the duo back with a very different outing, in the 1890 short novel The Sign of the Four.  At least...

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Revisiting Stephen King’s Different Seasons
Apr26

Revisiting Stephen King’s Different Seasons

Revisiting Stephen King’s Different Seasons   Reading this collection of four excellent pieces in 2017 is a very different experience to having read it back in 1983, shortly after its initial publication. It’s not that my opinion of Stephen King has changed much; if anything, I appreciate him even more now than I did then.  Rather, in what is surely a unique case, three of the collection’s four stories were turned into films that are...

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Stephen King’s Cujo
Jan24

Stephen King’s Cujo

The Monster Never Dies: Stephen King’s Cujo   “Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine… “He was not a werewolf, vampire, ghoul, or unnameable creature from the enchanted forest or from the snowy wastes; he was only a cop named Frank Dodd with mental and sexual problems.  A good man named John Smith uncovered his name by a kind of magic, but before he could be captured – perhaps it was...

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