Archive for hardcore

KILL THE DEAD By Richard Kadrey – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2013 by stanleyriiks

It’s not often that a book comes along that excites me. It’s not often that anything excites me. In fact, it’s a very rare occasion that anything wakes me from the tortured stupor that is my day to day life. I read almost constantly to escape the dull oblivion that is my pitiful existence.

And then a book like this comes along…

James Stark (demon fighter and part-Angel celebrity) is dragged into LA’s zombie while being Lucifer’s bodyguard. And that’s barely scraping the surface of this story, but I don’t want to ruin the surprises in store for you.

This is the second book in the Sandman Slim series, and if I haven’t read the first book then go read it. Go now. What are you waiting? Go, just go. No, don’t read any further, get it now! Right now I tell you!

You could probably pick this book up and struggle along to catch up, but don’t. The first book is a hell of a story (literally), and there’s far too much you’ll have missed out on if you start the series with book two. Although this is pretty much a stand-alone story, this is very much the second part of a series, and there’s a ton of background (and it’s really fun background!) that you’ll miss out on if you skip the first book. Do not skip the first book! DO NOT!

Stark is a serious piece of work, an alcoholic, chain-smoking, demon assassin, murderer, kick-ass detective; just the kind of dude Lucifer wants as a bodyguard. Our hellish anti-hero is a brilliantly humorous, angry young man, killing vampires and zombies with witty asides, and inventive techniques.

Kadrey has produced an LA dripping with monster filth, which works so well. This is a city bound-up with demons and hellions, drowning in Sub-Rosa (magical families), and is an antidote to those good folks in the Harry Potter novels. These magicians would cook up Harry and his pals for breakfast and then shit them out as zombies. This is hardcore witchcraft, terror and death.

This book is demented genius. Kadrey raised the bar for urban fantasy with Sandman Slim, and the expectations were high for the second book in the series. Not only does Kadrey gives us another exciting episode, but he continues to explore one of the most fascinating and engaging narrators/creatures in modern genre literature.

Sandman Slim is dead. Long live Sandman Slim!

Advertisements

PRETTY LITTLE DEAD THINGS By Gary McMahon – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by stanleyriiks

Harrowing. If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be that one. Disturbing, horrifying, terrifying, creepy, gruesome, unsavoury, rotten, nasty, filthy would all work too. This is the kind of book that makes you want a shower afterwards. The kind that leaves a lingering sense of decay, one that takes a little part of your soul with it. There are horror novels, and there are Gary McMahon horror novels. He is simply in a different class.

Thomas Usher’s was driving when a car crash killed his wife and daughter. He survived, but quickly found he had been left with a terrible, horrible gift. Usher can see the dead. But if you think this is going to be Haley Joel Osmond in The Sixth Sense, or Jonah Hex or Odd Thomas, then you are so very wrong. Usher’s guilt-filled existence is horrible enough, but he happens to be following a young woman who is murdered (the third to be hung), and his friend is related to a young girl who is abducted. How are the abduction and the murders related, and can Usher uses the powers that he’s been trying to suppress for the past year to help solve the cases?

McMahon builds a gritty world of urban decay, his human characters are just as revolting, gruesome and disturbing as the supernatural elements. Our narrator and protagonist, guilt-riddled as he is, is the only faint hope we have.

As depressingly realistic, as nasty and brutal as this novel is, you have to read on. You must. There is a grinding darkness that saps your will to escape. McMahon’s first Usher novel is a stupendous feat of hideousness. In the best possible way. This is horror as it’s most revealing. You cannot read this book and not feel unclean, untouched. McMahon does what the best writers do, he makes you feel. You feel disgust, you feel slightly sick, you feel relief. McMahon makes you hurt. Pretty Little Dead Things should be McMahon’s break out novel, this should be a best seller, every horror fan must read this book. They will find out what they’ve been missing all these years. Pretty Little Dead Things is hardcore. Unrelentingly dark and terribly atmospheric, you have not read a horror novel until you have read a McMahon horror novel.

Never, in over twenty years of reading horror, have I been so intensely disturbed by a novel.

Pretty Little Dead Things is sublime. Real horror at it’s very worst (meaning best). Hardcore horror. Not for the faint of heart.

Ridiculous Reviews, Fascist media, and Antichrist

Posted in Life..., Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by stanleyriiks

I was on a British Airways flight back from a weekend in Stockholm, lovely city by the way, plenty of museums, clean, efficient, and loads of ice cream; when I picked up the Daily Mail, a traditionally English tabloid, often lambasted for its view on johnny-foreigner, who are obviously to blame for all the ills of England.

The paper was free so I thought I’d flick through, the new is invariably bad so I tend not to watch or read it often, I find the several stabbing a day, rising crime, cheating and fraudulent politicians, all rather depressing. Most of the articles I barely read, more exciting staring out the window and waiting to get off the plane, it’s only just over two hours away.

When I got to the media reviews I found an article on Lars Von Trier’s new film Antichrist and read that with interest, and then rising disgust. The film is apparently sexually graphic, but that’s not what I found completely repugnant. It was the fact the reviewer had never even seen the film or intended to, he started off the article saying that he wouldn’t bring himself to watch such filth (I should have stopped right there), and then proceeded to say how evil, wrong, and corrupting the film was. How the film was not only a moral hazard, bound to turn even the most angelic of children into rapists and murderers, but also a sign of the liberal attitude of British Board of Film Classification. A Board which banned the erect penis from all films and kept hardcore pornography illegal until only a few years ago, British still has one of the strictest classification systems in the world, and certainly the strictest in Europe. Barring Albania obviously.

I don’t mind a film being completely ridiculed or critically torn apart, if it deserves it all the better. What I can’t stand, really can’t stand, is when someone gives an opinion, which will be taken seriously by many of the Mail’s readers, without one ounce of knowledge.

You cannot and should not be allowed to write a review of anything without having actually seen or read or heard some of it. Fair enough if the whatever is so bad you couldn’t make it all the way through, I wish I hadn’t wasted two hours of my life sitting through the hideousness that was Crank. But you must try, you must, with all integrity, attempt to watch the film.

To review it after reading what sounds like a brief plot summary from the publicists aimed at stirring up controversy, is prejudice of the highest order and really shouldn’t be allowed.

The fact that this non-review, a basic, hypocritical, bullying tirade is allowed to be published in a daily newspaper just makes me cringe. It makes me angry that such idiots, I say this without ever having met the reviewer, but obviously that isn’t important in making an informed decision about their intelligence, are allowed to spout such nonsense in a legitimate avenue of so-called journalism.

I haven’t watched Antichristso I won’t try to defend it or review it,  although I might get it on dvd, all that sex makes it sound very much like home-viewing material.