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Little Library of Horrors Reviews: A Simple Plan

Little Library of Horrors Reviews: A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan

By Scott Smith

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” – Mary Wollstonecraft

 

Have you ever been watching the news or scrolling through your news feed and come across a story about how a civilian came across a large amount of cash and turned it in? What was your reaction? My guess is that it’s much like the rest of us; “I would have kept that”. Now, I’m sure some of you are going to play the high and mighty card and swear you would turn it in as a good person should. Well, let’s up the amount. Say instead of a couple thousand, you come across four and half million dollars. A duffel bag filled to the seam with envelopes neatly packed, holding bands of ten thousand dollars each. You could move anywhere you want, do anything your heart desires and buy things you only dreamed of. A real life restart button. Would you still turn it in? Surely, someone is looking for an amount this large. But, then again, you haven’t heard of any news stories about a large sum of money disappearing. You can just hold onto it until it gets too hot to hold on to.

What if it was you and two friends who found it? You know you can keep a secret, but how well do you really know your friends? Enough to risk a brand new life? How far are you willing to go to keep that secret? This seemingly impossible situation is one that Hank Mitchell, Jacob Mitchell, and Lou Chambers find themselves in when they come across a downed plane. The pilot is dead, but next to him is more money than any of them could have ever imagined. Two brothers and a friend, all with the glimmer of a new life just out of their reach, only have to wait. Just a few months and they would all be richer than ever. It was all so simple…

Scott Smith wrote one of my absolute favorite horror novels of all time, “The Ruins”, and I read that close to five years ago. “Why wait so long to read more of his work if you have such high praise for that book” I hear you ask? Well, simple. I couldn’t bring myself to finish all of his work because I knew once this was done, there were no others to go to next. Scott Smith has only written two novels, “The Ruins” and “A Simple Plan”. He just sort of fell off the face of the Earth after that. You’re not here for that, though. You’re here to find out about the book.

If you’re going to read this book, I highly suggest getting two copies. One for reading, and one for your shelf that can stay in better condition because chances are you’re going to rip a few pages by accident due turning them too fast to realize. From start to finish, “A Simple Plan” is a thrill ride that will have you staying up way into the wee hours of morning to find out what happens next. The characters, the action, and the plot twists all compliment each other so perfectly that I honestly can’t recall a book in recent memory that had me gripped so tightly like this did.

What really makes this book so good is the realism and the actuality of a situation like this happening. It’s something that while not likely, could very well happen to us. It presents situations that you can put yourself in and really think about how you would act. There’s no magic or super natural influence, just real people in a real situation. Smith manages to pull up every single scenario and thought that a person would have in that situation and it just adds so much more depth and connectivity to the story. I mean, really think about it. We would all love to find a random stack of cash, but what if we really did find it? How would you tell your partner if you had one? How long is long enough before you feel okay spending the money? Can I spend the money without seeming suspicious? Is the money marked? So many questions and they’re all present in the story.

The best thing about the book is easily the pacing. I never felt bored or detached from the story. Every scene felt necessary and added significance to the plot. Oh, and the plot twists? My god, the plot twists. Smith makes his plot twists flow so seamlessly into the story and is unlike any I’ve ever seen. The story is just going along and you’re there enjoying the ride and suddenly one sentence completely throws it into over drive. The thing is, that one sentence is not the reveal of a plot twist, but the one leading up to it. There was one scene in particular that had my jaw not been hinged to my face, it would have hit the ground and cracked a tile from the speed it fell at. I just couldn’t believe it.

If I had to gripe about one thing, it’s that there was something in the book that was made to have some sort of significance through out the story, but it just kind of disappeared without any sort of explanation. I may have missed it with my brain constantly needing to slow down and comprehend the madness I just read, but I’m fairly certain it just never lead to anything. Which is fine, it doesn’t take away from the story, but I hate when authors put so much focus on something in a story and just let it fizzle out later.

“A Simple Plan” is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. Not just as a suspense novel, but as a story. The characters are grounded and realistic and they pull you in with their realism. The action is never over the top, but it demands your attention and doesn’t let up until that chapter is done. There’s a constant feeling of unease as the characters start to develop and just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they pull the unthinkable. While you unfortunately will not find this book in any top suspense novel lists, I would easily put this up there with books like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

While Scott Smith may have only written two novels, they were two of the best damn books I’ve ever read and I feel that he is one of the literary greats. If you’re looking for a story that will have you forgetting the world around you and second guessing your closest friends, you absolutely need to read Scott Smith’s “A Simple Plan”.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a man I need to see about a one way flight to New Zealand.

 

5/5

Posted by Kryptic Kollector in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, BRUTAL REALITY, Categories, FICTION AND POETRY, THRILLER, 0 comments
Little Library Of Horrors: Women in Horror Month

Little Library Of Horrors: Women in Horror Month

Women In Horror

 

When I ask you to think of some iconic authors in the horror genre, who comes to mind first? Stephen King? Edgar Allen Poe? H.P. Lovecraft? Maybe even lesser known authors whom have had made an impact like Jack Ketchum, or Max Brooks. While all of them are important in their own way, I’d like to show some appreciation for the women in the world of horror novels. Like their male counterparts, there are a multitude of female authors that have shaped horror into what it is today.

Ann Rule launched the true crime sub-genre into a frenzy with her intense and very personal novel, “The Stranger Beside Me”, in which she details her friendship with serial killer Ted Bundy and gives us an inside look into his life. Shirley Jackson set the bar for haunted house stories with her terrifying novel, “The Haunting of Hill House”. One of the most influential female authors in not only horror, but literature in general, Mary Shelley, whom created the beloved and often misunderstood Frankenstein’s Monster. Easily one of the most iconic monsters in history. Last, but certainly not least, is an author whom has recently gained a boom in her career after her latest novel gained a lot praise, including a seal of approval from Stephen King. She is an author whom I believe will make an impact in horror not just for women, but for future authors as well. I’m talking of course about Alma Katsu.

Alma Katsu started her writing career back in 2011 when she wrote the first of a three part series called, “The Taker”. It was a huge success and was even named a “Top Ten Debut Novels” that year. Her latest novel, “The Hunger”, has been praised by the horror community and is compared to the earlier works of King. Speaking of which, Stephen King had tweeted that her novel was “deeply, deeply disturbing and hard to put down. Not recommended reading after dark”. I myself have just finished the novel and I couldn’t agree more with King.

“The Hunger” is eerie, terrifying, no holds barred horror at it’s finest. It’s a retelling of the tragic events of The Donner Party with a supernatural twist to it. It does give off an early King feeling because it’s set in a small community like Derry or Jerusalem’s Lot and you get to really know all of the people in the community. Everyone feels unique and real. The pacing is incredibly well done and the sense of paranoia throughout really grips you.

What I love the most though and the reason why I feel like she’ll make such an impact is how real she makes the supernatural in this. Sure, any amount of supernatural takes a little bit of suspension of belief, but isn’t that all of horror? The feeling of unbelieving that something like that is possible and yet, here it is, happening? She has a way of making that suspension so minimal, so minute that it’s hard to even know you’re doing it. Plus the pure fear the characters feel is gut-wrenching. You have to remember that this was an actual event that happened (minus the supernatural, of course). Real people suffered this terror.

I love that Alma took a real life event in our history and gave it her own twist. If you’re into historical fiction with a horror twist, I can’t recommend checking out “The Hunger” enough. She also has a new book coming out on March 10th, 2020 called “The Deep”. She is once again diving into one of the most famous tragedies in human history and cranking up the terror by revisiting the Titanic. I’m excited to see where she goes over the years and I hope you all do yourself a favor and do the same.

Posted by Kryptic Kollector in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, Categories, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, HORROR HEROES, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, THRILLER, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments

Elements of Horror Book One: Earth – Free to download for the Black Friday Weekend

Horror fans can grab themselves a deal that’s worth getting this http://technology.swbts.edu/faculty/writing-essay-conclusion/18/ writing lab reports how to write a factual summary https://www.curbellmedical.com/drugstore/viagra-cream-form/99/ viagra 20 mg school day essay follow link go here thesis building activity https://signaturemd.com/for-patients/cialis-for-daily-use-dosage/50/ how do i get text messages on my ipad and iphone at the same time define formal academic writing essay on air travel generic viagra soft tabs 50mg https://bmxunion.com/daily/dissertation-printing-and-binding-reading/49/ do my homework for money go here https://www.platinumed.com/mentrial/how-long-viagra-kick-in/29/ http://admissions.iuhs.edu/?page_id=medpharmashop http://www.cresthavenacademy.org/chapter/case-study-in-educational-psychology/26/ topics for a problem solution essay cheap essay writing services with discount bilingual education essay go to site cialis verkauf go site how to write a critique paper on an article to write a vote of thanks ampicillin black box warning https://healthimperatives.org/rxstore/watermellon-vs-viagra/71/ go site civics homework help Black Friday weekend as the horror anthology Elements of Horror Book One – Earth from Red Cape Publishing is now Free to download until the end of Sunday.

Elements of Horror Book One: Earth, is the first in a series of four horror anthologies based on the Elements. Within these pages, you will find a variety of stories from some of the best independent horror writers on the scene today, including P.J. Blakey-Novis, Theresa Jacobs, R.C. Rumple, David F. Gray, Donovan Smith and many more. Fall into sinkholes, brave the tales of witchcraft, grotesque creatures, and demons, and feel the terror of explorations gone wrong.

Elements of Horror Book One:  Earth is also available to buy in paperback.

Elements of Horror Book: Two Air and Elements of Horror Book: Three Fire are now available to buy now in paperback and on ebook.

You can also pre-order Elements of Horror Book Four: Water on ebook for just 99p until the release date on 3rd December

You can find out more about Red Cape Publishing on the website and follow on social media: 

Website – Twitter –  Instagram – Facebook

Posted by Philip Rogers in HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
Tony Newton takes a look back at the Video Nasties in the upcoming VHS Documentary “VHS Nasty” and reference book “VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties”

Tony Newton takes a look back at the Video Nasties in the upcoming VHS Documentary “VHS Nasty” and reference book “VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties”

VHS Nasty is part 3 in the infamous cult VHS documentary series “VHS Lives“. In the early 1980’s, VCR players were in every house, but a legendary cult following developed during the VHS era like no other, those that loved The Video Nasty! Yes kids, with video stores on every corner during the VHS boom, they were flooded with an array of exploitation and horror the likes of which we will never see again. The art on the VHS sleeves was awesome and these unregulated horror, gore and sexploitation films rocked before they were banned in the UK and the hysteria started to spread across the globe!

VHS Nasty delves deep into the cult classic satanic panic that is the video nasties, taking an indepth look at censorship within horror films specifically the video nasty scandal that shook not only Britain in the early 80’s, but shook the world into a frenzy of panic! Talking about cult video nasties such as Faces of Death, Cannibal Holocaust, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Driller Killer and many more.

VHS Nasty is available on Amazon Prime now and coming to DVD in the UK and US from September 23rd

UK DVD available to pre-order from hive.co.uk

US DVD available to pre-order from Barnes and Noble and Alchemy Werks

VHS LIVES : A Schlockumentary Part 1 and VHS Lives :Undead Format  Part 2 are also available on DVD and VOD.

To coincide with the documentary  the recently released book “VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties”  is also now available as a Kindle eBook. Packed with information with over 800 pages of Nastiness, it takes a detailed look at the VHS Video Nasties, Censorship and horror films!

VHS NASTY: The Essential Guide Book to Video Nasties is currently available in the UK and US on Amazon

UK Amazon Kindle

US Amazon Kindle

Posted by Philip Rogers in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Necro Publications release new horror anthology book ‘Polish Extreme’

Necro Publications release new horror anthology book ‘Polish Extreme’

Grab your air-sick bag and get ready to sample some of the goriest gore and grossest grossness that the great country of Poland has to offer. This ain’t Harry Potter, folks, this is a gleeful bacchanal blood-squirting, gut-flinging, erection-throbbing FUN!

There’s more to Poland than sausages and perogies and thousand-year-old churches; there’s a hardcore horror movement that’s blowing the rest of Europe out of the water, and here are the four authors leading the pack:

Tomasz Czarny
Karolina “Mangusta” Kaczkowska
Lukasz Radecki
Tomasz Siwiec
Plus an intro and new short novel (set in Poland) by Edward Lee!

Polish Extreme is available now on ebook and Paperback

Polish Extreme Anthology edited by Edward Lee (Trade Paperback)

Posted by Philip Rogers in Categories, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, 0 comments
First ‘Elements of Horror’ anthology book from Red Cape Publishing to be released September 3rd

First ‘Elements of Horror’ anthology book from Red Cape Publishing to be released September 3rd

Red Cape Publishing are proud to present ‘Elements of Horror’, a series of four multi-author horror anthologies. Based around the four elements, each collection brings together stories from some of the greatest independent authors on the scene today.

Book One: Earth is now available at a pre-order price of just 99p ahead of its release on September 3rd.

Books Two to Four (Air, Fire, Water) will be released in October, November, and December respectively.

Submissions for books two to Four are currently still open. Full details can be found on the submission page here

Red Cape Publishing is a modern publishing house dedicated to promoting to best independent and small-press releases. Red Cape was born out of a desire to spread the word about the indie scene, firmly believing that promoting other people’s work is of benefit to everyone.

You can find out more about Red Cape Publishing on the website and follow on social media: Twitter – InstagramFacebook

Posted by Philip Rogers in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, Categories, COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
New documentary ‘Scary Stories’ coming to DVD THIS JULY

New documentary ‘Scary Stories’ coming to DVD THIS JULY

Scary Stories, the highly anticipated documentary about Alvin Schwartz’ iconic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series, will be released on DVD July 16 via Wild Eye Releasing.


Explore the history of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature: The best selling teen classic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which scared a generation of young readers and became one of the most banned books of modern times. Scary Stories creates both the ultimate celebration and dissertation of this iconic piece of horror literature.

Cody Meirick’s film features more than 40 interviews, from family members of author Alvin Schwartz, to fellow children’s book horror authors like R.L Stine (Goosebumps) and Q.L. Pearce, to folklorists, artists and fans discussing the impact that the books have had on both themselves as well as the culture at large. The documentary also explores the various times in which the books were banned or targeted by parent and religious groups as ‘satanic’ or otherwise too macabre for its targeted teen scholastic audience.

Penned by Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen GammellScary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a three-volume series consisting of short horror stories for pre-teens and children that were adapted from American folklore and urban legends.  Because of some of the violent illustrations and the subject matter, parent groups, religious organizations and school boards had the books pulled from libraries and schools at various times. A feature film adaptation of the books, produced by horror icon Guillermo del Toro, is due in theaters this summer.

Posted by Philip Rogers in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
‘The Special’ shocks audience during an exclusive private screening

‘The Special’ shocks audience during an exclusive private screening

‘The Special’ had an exclusive first private screening at the Appell Centre on Friday and it soon became apparent that some audience members were not prepared for the controversial subjects of the film. One couple walking out of the cinema halfway through in disgust commenting “I’m not sitting through anymore of this”.

It is no surprise with a tag line of “This is not a love story” and Harrison Smith asking people to ‘See it with someone you hate!” the film was always going to get a provocative response. However, the feeling of the couple were obviously not shared by the rest of the audience who gave the film a standing ovation and positive early critic reviews.

The interest has continued to build leading up to the release of The Special, even though details regarding the film have been deliberately held back with audiences asked not to discuss the events in the film. Although the film artwork involving a box with a whole which says ‘Stick it in here’ has naturally raised some speculation regarding the film’s themes.

‘The Special’ is directed by Harrison Smith, with the script adapted by Mark Steensland and James Newman from their novella of the same name. It is not a film for the squeamish or easily offended and serves as a stark warning regarding infidelity and obsession.

The film stars; Davy Raphaely (Camp Dread, Zombie Killers), Sarah French (Death House, Rootwood) and David Sheridan of Scary Movie” fame.

The film also includes special cameos from Howard Stern’s Richard Christy, pro wrestler Chris Jerichoand singer, musician Howard Jones.

When Jerry Harford who discovers what he believes to be his wife having an affair, his best friend urges him to fight fire with fire, with horrific results. Harford begins a nightmarish trip down a surreal rabbit hole that gives Fatal Attraction a dark spin.  

Filmed around Phildelphia, York and Lancaster Pennsylvania. The film also reunites Harrison Smith with Felissa Rose as associate producer.

You can keep up to date with new about The Special by following

Harrison Smith on Twitter: https://twitter.com/harrisonsmith85

The Special on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/givemethespecial/  

 

Posted by Philip Rogers in EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
AMC’s The Walking Dead: Start to Finish

AMC’s The Walking Dead: Start to Finish

 No Way Out

By Nicole Robinson

Walkers take Alexandria

Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead saw the wall of Alexandria come tumbling down when the tower fell and “Start to Finish” picked right where it left off after a foreshadowing opening scene of ants devouring a cookie in Sam’s room.  A flood of walkers came pouring into the streets of the community where the group calls home and Rick has fallen to the ground.

Rick being Rick, shots at the incoming herd in a fury of wasted bullets as he screams for everyone to get into their houses and keep quiet. Deanna is injured after she falls on a blade and is bleeding from her side and leg.

The action came fast and furious after that as the survivors all separated into different hiding spots — Carol and Morgan in one house, Rick, Carl, Michonne, an injured Deanna, Jessie, and the kids in another. Maggie is trapped up on a tower, while Eugene, Rosita, and Tara are in a garage. Denise is stuck with the Wolf that Morgan has locked up.

Each group takes stock of their situations, none of which seem to be very good considering the streets are quickly filling up with zombies.  Deanna discovers that, in addition to her other rather painful and threatening wounds, she had been bitten in the side during her fall. In what are probably the most appropriate words of the entire episode, she says “Well Sh**”.

Carol appears to have a concussion as the result of a fall and tricks Morgan into thinking she is resting so she can escape and kill the wolf he has locked up. The two fight after a stand-off but both are knocked out just as Tara, Eugene, and Rosita walk in and the Wolf takes Denise hostage with a knife to her throat. He demands their weapons and Tara and Rosita kick over their guns while Eugene surrenders his machete. This is a seemingly odd move considering they had two guns and outnumbered him but for entertainment purposes we can let it slide. He escapes with Denise as hostage leaving us wondering if one or both of them will survive the mega herd that is flooding into Alexandria.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, teen angst posterchild Ron locks Carl in a garage in an attempt to kill the son of the man who killed his father. Walkers break up the fight and get into the house.  Carl takes Ron's gun and gets in the best line of the night in response to Ron's attack, "Your Dad was an A**hole". Deanna takes on the herd until her six bullets are gone in a final stand of strength that results in being eaten off camera.

The group decides to shroud themselves in bedsheets covered in walker guts to make an escape by walking right through the crowd. Sam decides that walking through a massive herd of flesh eating zombies is the perfect to get his mom’s attention and says “Mommy” right before the credits role and we are left to process until the show returns on Valentine’s Day next year.

 

LUCILLE IS COMING

Meeting Negan's henchman

During the first commercial break of Into the Badlands a 2 minute sneak-peak showed Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl on their way home in a truck when they are stopped by a group of bikers with big guns. A shiver of glee goes down every comic reader’s spine as the speaker for this group tells them ALL of their property belongs to… Negan. That’s right. The Saviors have arrived and Lucille is coming.

Negan and the Saviors, first appear in issue 100 of the comic book counter part of the series and knocks at the gates of Alexandria demanding half of everything in exchange for not killing everyone. When Rick turns him down he uses a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire named Lucille to beat to death fan favorite Glenn as Rick, Maggie, and the rest of the survivors watch helplessly as Negan taunts them, saying things like “He is taking it like a champ”.

The Saviors are a mix between a biker gang and a psycho cult and Negan is the most ruthless one of them all, using fear to exploit supplies and loyalty out of the members as their leader. He does the same to the Alexandria and Rick as well as the surrounding communities that we can look forward to coming soon as well. The Hilltop also appears around this time in the comics and that brings about the arrival of resourceful badass Paul Monroe aka Jesus. Tom Payne was announced to be playing Jesus back in September bringing the assurance we will be seeing him at some point during the second half.

Not long ago it was announced that Jeffery Dean Morgan has been casted to play Negan and will appear during the second half when it returns in February. For those of us that read the comic, it will be a long winter break waiting to find out how this is going to play out on the small screen. Looks like there is going to be a lot of itch a**es until The Walking Dead returns.

In case you missed the sneak peek, watch it here: 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982)

The King of Horror Wrote a Series,
and Constant Readers Followed
A Short Review of The Gunslinger

By Woofer McWooferson

gunslinger

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

The opening line of Stephen King's The Gunslinger is one that Tower Junkies (as fans of The Dark Tower series call themselves) know well.

The Gunslinger is the first of eight novels (thus far) that comprise Stephen King's Dark Tower series. The series combines horror, science fiction, westerns, drama, romance, and intrigue into what King himself calls his magnum opus. Although this first book is a far different style and subject than most of King's fans expect, it is still clearly a King novel. Constant Readers (as King refers to his fans) are dropped into the middle of the gunslinger's pursuit of the elusive man in black as they trek across an unforgiving desert.

The Gunslinger is established as a western immediately but other elements and influences fall into place as the story unfolds. King's typically florid and descriptive prose is abandoned in favor of a languid and sparse style that matches the dry desert we cross with Roland, the gunslinger. Indeed, the Constant Reader gains keen insight into Roland's character and world as he travels. Other facets to Roland's quest are revealed as we follow his interactions with others (for there are a few souls who brave desert living, some in towns and some alone). On this journey, King introduces Constant Readers to what will be hallmarks of the series. We learn that the gunslinger has been chasing the man in black for a very long time, and his single-minded determination ensures that he will not stop until he catches him. We learn a little about his past and that he is last of his kind, a sort of enforcer whose effort to catch the man in black is but a portion of his true quest. We learn the measure of both the gunslinger and the man in black, and we learn that we have much, much more to learn.

To say much more would deprive the Constant Reader of the pleasure of experiencing The Gunslinger for the first time. As noted before, The Gunslinger's prose, tempo, and style may deter some, but it is appropriate and the Constant Reader will be well rewarded for continuing.

NOTE: There are numerous references to The Dark Tower series in many other King novels and stories. After King completed The Dark Tower series, he revised The Gunslinger to reconcile some issues between what he wrote in college with the rest of the series. This is known as The Gunslinger, Revised Edition.

Spoiler Alert: The man in black is neither the Dread Pirate Roberts nor Johnny Cash.

Watch for my reviews of the rest of the Dark Tower series as I once again follow the gunslinger and the man in black.

8/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments