THE LESSER DEAD by Christopher Buehlman — A Review

BOOK | FICTION | HORROR
THE LESSER DEAD
CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN
AUDIOBOOK
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★


The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.
The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry… 


New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks.

The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy.

Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

And neither are the rest of us.

Amazon Book Description

Except for the originals — Shelley’s Monster; Stoker’s Dracula; Stevenson’s Mr. Hyde, etc. — when it comes to horror, regardless the medium, whether it be movies or books (although, nightmares get a pass — nothing like a good monster trying to chase me down and rip me to shreds in my dreams), I typically will give a hard pass to any story with a monster in it. Not sure why… maybe because I find that most are just too goofy to suspend reality enough for me to enjoy them.

But I tell you what, I love Christopher Buehlman’s monsters like no man should ever love a monster.

THE LESSER DEAD is my third book by Buelhman — THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER and SUICIDE MOTORCYCLE CLUB are the other two and both are outstanding reads in their own right. However, by comparison, TLD is a completely exceptional read, a pure literary masterwork, not just as a genre novel, but as a true literary novel. But even regarding it just as a horror novel, by comparison with its angsty and vulgar (vampire) coming of age vibe to it, I would say it ranks as the THE CATCHER IN THE RYE of its genre if I didn’t think TCITR was so grossly over rated. But regardless, to me TLD, although a much more complete body of work than TCITR in my opinion, deserves such similar acclaim among its contemporaries as TCITR enjoys among its. Not to mention TLD has an ending that is pure literary genius.

As if that weren’t enough, Buehlman himself narrates the audiobook and his skills as a voice actor are equal to his skills as an author.

The dude’s for real folks.

#whythefhaventanyofthisdudesbooksbeenmadeintoamovie


Featured image courtesy of Goodreads

 

The Elementals – A Rapid Review

BOOK | FICTION | HORROR
THE ELEMENTALS
BY MICHAEL MCDOWELL
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

As they used to say back in my navy days regarding the structure of military correspondence: always put the bottom line first…

So, in harking back to days long past, I’ll (kind of) begin this non-military correspondence with the proverbial bottom line…

BOTTOM LINE >> THE ELEMENTALS just may be my favorite horror novel of all time.

 
 

I’m not ready yet to call McDowell’s wonderfully written Southern Gothic horror the favorite because there are a few other wonderfully written horror novels that are also in the running, one or two of which I hope to review in rapid fashion here one of these days.

But what puts THE ELEMENTALS in the running for being the best of the best is, not so much that it is scary — when you’re as old as I am and have been through as much BS as I’ve been through, you’ll find that words on a page, regardless how well written and who writes them, no longer have the ability to scare… and that’s unfortunate — but that it is powerfully descriptive.

I was overwhelmed with its haunting descriptions so completely and cast within its magical spell of verisimilitude so deeply, that it really seemed as if I could feel the oppressive Alabama Gulf Coast heat, or as if the constant glare off the steaming hot white sand was really blinding my eyes, or as if the aged Victorian beach houses were really being overcome by the creeping and creepy dunes… all of which stayed with me long after I finished reading the masterpiece.

Man*, I really, REALLY, love books that do me like that…

I only wish it would happen more often.


*Non-gender specific

NIGHT FILM – A Rapid Review

BOOK | FICTION | PSYCHOLOGICL THRILLER
NIGHT FILM
BY MARISHA PESSL

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

Night Film by Marisha Pessl is a haunting mystery with a complex, engrossing story and complex, intriguing characters, especially Stanislas Cordova, a creepy, reclusive cultish film director who I wish to the literary gods was a real person.


Continue reading “NIGHT FILM – A Rapid Review”