Hell Train by Christopher Fowler

Posted on 10th January 2012 in Reviews

As a youth I loved watching Hammer Horror flicks – a habit thankfully that’s continued to this day. They are delightfully creepy, superbly melodramatic, absolutely kitsch at times, but nonetheless passionate in their attempt to output a unique tranche of terror onto the big screen. So it was with some delight that I dipped into Hell Train by Christopher Fowler to discover a most impressive tribute to this slice of ghoulish cinema.

With a title like Hell Train you can rest assured that this is an unapologetic ride of terror. Set around the time of the First World War, the Arkangel train, which passes through its Eastern European stations at midnight on the 8th full moon of each year, is a monstrous steam and iron behemoth. As it journeys on it collects an unusual assortment of passengers, and those who board soon realise that the cost of a ticket on this locomotive could come at a price far higher than they might’ve bargained for. Click here to read more.. »

Supernatural: Night Terror by John Passarella

Posted on 14th November 2011 in Reviews

Not too long ago I’d pass quickly on any TV-show tie-in novels without a second thought. I either figured them an excuse to cash in on marketing dollars, or viewed them with some cynicism having read a couple of such books from my youth that were just plain dire.

However, given my enjoyment of the TV show Supernatural, and love of the horror novel, a little while back I decided to give Christa Faust’s Coyote’s Kiss a read; I found that book to be quite enjoyable and entertaining. Click here to read more.. »

Night Shift by Stephen King

Posted on 25th October 2011 in Reviews

Night Shift is a collection of Altoid-strength, horror-focussed short stories. The stories here are not just strong in an almost consistent manner. They are modern classics, and I’d argue that they’re definitive in the genre. Several from this collection alone have been made into films, and justly so. There was even talk for one of the stories here, Trucks, may actually be remade into a film for what would be a third time, in the near future.

There is nothing here that is not great, and that is not worthy of reading. From the opening Lovecraft-inspired Jerusalem’s Lot, a tale that rewards equally the King hardcore fan (for ‘Salems Lot followed from here) as well as the reader who loves all things Arkham House, this collection picks up steam and keeps going. Click here to read more.. »

Vaguely Definitive Surreal Endings

Posted on 5th September 2011 in Blog

Passionate discussion and debate, isn’t that what it’s all about? When a tweet popped up this afternoon as regards a topic close to my heart – horror literature – I couldn’t resist being pulled in to read a blog post or two from some fellow book reviewers’ sites. What follows is my own, arguably vague Monday-afternoon rambling about those things lurking toward the back pages of books.

It’s a question of endings, you see? The issue raised in the post by Speculative Scotsman’s Niall Alexander, in reply to Nathaniel Katz’s recent review of The Ritual was effectively one of potential dissatisfaction with the endings of certain horror novels, and raised a question of options used in the culminations of various dread fiction. Click here to read more.. »

Read by Dawn: Volume 1 – Ramsey Campbell (Host)

Posted on 5th August 2011 in Reviews

Horror anthologies are not rare, and can often lack consistency. They can be like a bag of penny-mix sweets offered up to a stranger; potentially there’s something for everyone, but will you like what you take?

That’s why it’s important that we trust that the publisher has gone to a fair amount of effort to ensure that we the reader are getting a safe selection to whet our shock-sated appetites. With the first volume of Read by Dawn, I can assure you that you’re in safe hands.

This compendium of stories, that run the gamut of styles and tastes that the horror genre has to offer, is impressive, and to cement the deal it’s ‘hosted’ by Ramsey Campbell. The master of horror writing introduces the book, and closes the selection with a short story of his own. Click here to read more.. »

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