Tag Archives: minibookexpo

Review: Zombie Frank Herbert might do a better job

Anyone who has read a review on my site before will be familiar with my “Stars” rating system; I will forgo this system initially to provide for you a reaction shot of me; while I read this:

oh-god-its-looking-at-us

This may look like I might have been enjoying myself; but you are reading my expression incorrectly.  I am about to poke my eyes out with “The Horns”.  This was to prevent the blood that gathered behind them from exploding from my sockets in a hematic squirt.

Paul of Dune

Frank Herbert’s son attempts to fill in some of the Plot of Dune, with predictably hilarious results.

Did I say Hilarious? I meant unreadable.

My rating: 0.5 stars
1/2

It took me months to trod through this drek.  I’m not a fan of Space Opera at all; this book simply cements my poor opinion of the Genre.  Thanks to Mini Book Expo for the chance to read this one; I will forgo resiting my instincts on these books in the future, Scion of Herbert be DAMNED!

Review: The Book that Stinks

The Show that Smells

The Show That Smells is the most SHOCKING story ever shown on the silver screen! It’s also the tale of Jimmie, a country music singer dying of tuberculosis, and Carrie, his wife, who tries to save him by selling her soul to a devil who designs HAUTE COUTURE CLOTHING! Elsa is a powerful Parisian dress designer, and a vampire. She wants to make Carrie look beautiful, smell beautiful – AND THEN SHE WANTS TO EAT HER! Will Carrie survive as her slave? Will Jimmie be cured? Starring a host of Hollywood’s brightest stars, including Coco Chanel, Lon Chaney and the Carter Family, The Show That Smells is a thrilling tale of HILLBILLIES, HIGH FASHION, AND HORROR!

My rating: 1.0 stars
*

Bad Book. Bad Book. Bad Book. Horrible Tropes.  Bad Book. Bad Book. Stunt Typography. Bad Book. Bad Book. Bad Book. Vampires are all Homosexual Baby Killers.  Bad Book. Bad Book. Bad Book. Graphic and Morbid Rape Scenes.

There isn’t much of a plot to this screed, so I won’t waste any time with discussing characters or plot.  There are 6 actual characters and about 15 speaking roles in this made-for-Limbaugh Vampire novella.  It all devolves into a kind of stunt-book, with words strewn among typography tricks and over-used AMICLEVER section mastheads meant to evoke a maze of mirrors.  The Vampires are monsters and as they themselves state, they are gay, because everyone who is evil is gay, right?

My satire detector is broken again I guess, but the heavy “We kill babies and have forced butt secks” section was more than enough for me, as was the pointlessly brief climax.  Avoid this book and any derivative Jack Chick tracts it may spawn or else be forced to envision a melty-faced Lon Chaney standing behind a crying (pantsless) man saying “HAW HAW HAW” as he violates him with a perfume bottle.

Review: World Made by Hand

World Made by Hand

Robert Earle lives in Union Grove, a little piece of America touched by history, good fortune and the malaise of the collapse of modern society. After the Oil disappears and the age of Globalism is over the people make a living by digging out bits of the Modern world to rebuild a semblance of Post-Civil war America.

Robert Earle was a corporate executive with two kids and a family. He lived the high life, flying across the country 3 or four times a month, first class of course. After the Oil dried up and the Modern world collapsed in Nuclear Fire, Plague and ennui Robert was left alone in union Grove, his wife and daughter dead, his son long gone into the wilderness. When a group of strangers come to town led by a man as equally worldly as he is religiously ardent; Robert is caught up in the rapid changes that only new blood can bring.

My rating: 5.0 stars
*****

Before I being my review; I’d very much like to ask James Howard Kunstler to please sell the rights to this novel as a movie as soon as possible.  A novel about a post-apocalyptic world that doesn’t simply descend into cheap nihilism is as refreshing as a cool breeze in summer and it has been a long hot summer this year.

I will have to admit that at points I had to restrain myself from siomply giving up and throwing in with some of the characters from the novel, they are a likeable and entrancing group.  Brother Jobe and his New Faithers are a composite group that I have described to others as “Industrious Mormons who Drink and Fight Like Sailors”  which I think is the most apt description.  They arrive in Union Grove like shadows but bombastically “take over” helping revitalize a town caught in the doldrums of a slow death, mourning the lost world.

Robert Earle is one of the many single men in town, acting as the local carpenter and somtime lover to his best friend’s wife.  He lives his life fishing, woodworking and playing in the local musical group.  He tolerates the Former Bikers who have taken up as scrap merchants and archeologists, has an amicalable relationship with the local Laird, a plantation owner and is respected in the town.  When a young man is murdered and it falls to the loca Laird to adjudicate, Robert finds himself thrust into more than one situation that requires him to be more than just upright and moral.  A sometimes hero and sometimes confidant, Robert is a strong lead character.  If I was to make any complaint, Robert (like many a post-apocalyptic hero before him) is an amzing man who cannot step through the day without being set upon by love crazed women; such is his sheer physical prowess.  By the time he had bed his second woman, I was already tired of the concept.  This stands as my only complaint about the novel and should be set aside as a personal complaint and no real black mark on the book itself.

Mr. Knustler has taken great pains to give some obvious archtypes voice without heavioy playing the statements; the denizens of the trailer park are rough red-staters who would claim that just punishment for their crimes was oppression (even as they are oppressing themselves and their clan), the government is staffed by people who look to others to solve their problems (but are quick to use force to prove a point), Religious fervor has replaced community in places and it is up to the common folk to solve their own problems regardless of how insurmountable they seem.

“World Made By Hand” was rewarding to read and I STRONGLY recommend it to fans of political fiction, dramatic fiction and post-apocalyptic faire.  In a world where the sudden report of a radio tuned to static is an alien and foreign thing, Mr. Kunstler has crafted a believable and utterly fascinating novel that bears repeated reading.

Are you a Splitter a Risen or Just Abiding in Sodom?

My first mini book expo book has arrived; “Therefore Repent!”  Jim Munroe‘s Graphic Novel about a post-Rapture Chicago and two new arrivals “The Raven” and “The Mummy.” George W. Bush is on a tour of the “Loyal” Red States with “Mr. Christ” in tow and the newly faithful are engaged in a protracted battle to win the favor of the God who left them behind.

It was interesting to see a world post-Rapture world from another point of view. It contrasts well with “The Chrysalids” and “Left Behind” where in both cases the focus was on the Faithful and The Newly Faithful as the protagonists, facing and evil world; “Therefore Repent!” is led by the meandering Gen-X’ers and lacksidasial hippies or spiritualists who had long given up on a Christian paradise.

“The Mummy” is revealed to be a spiritual person; whose own convictions are stronger than his own faith.  I think many an agnostic who grew up in the Church can see themselves in his character, someone who has examined their faith and come to terms with it.  While sympathetic “The Mummy” isn’t heroic, he is simply a vessel for the story and helps to guide us from point to point in the story.

“The Raven” is an enigma, a woman hidden from the world in a Raven Mask, hiding more than just her face.  I felt that her presence as protagonist was the strongest in the novel.  She is clearly running from her past; while traying to come to terms with something in it.  The Rapture appears only to have solidified that she is cursed in some way and that curse appears to have become unpredictable and dangerous.

Post-Rapture Chicago is populated by the people who have accepted that the Rapture has come and they have been left behind.  This is the most striking aspect of the world that we’ve been given.  There doesn’t appear to be any denial or suspicion of what has happened.  It has simply been accepted and the remains of humanity have moved on.  Even the media have simply accepted it into their news cycle.  Some of those who are left behind are trying to buy their way back “Splitter” and some are acting in the stead of Jesus “The Risen” but the majority have either given up or just moved on and accepted the new way.

Then the Dog talks and the dead keep rising.

It is clear that the world hasn’t just continued as normal; Angels are culling the west coast and Did I mention that Jesus is on tour with George Bush?

Now,  as a Graphic Novel I feel obliged to mention the Art.  I won’t linger on it.  Salgood Sam doesn’t present a stand out world of destroyed buildings and smoking craters.  Instead we are given a strong visual record of a normal world, populated with miracles and loss.  It’s like a hand-drawn history.  I valued the strong messages that were portrayed in the art of the characters that became more and more poignant as the story progressed.

All of that aside, I have read a very similar story before, I hesitate to list it by name but wonder if perhaps Mr. Munroe  was influenced by the same nietzcheian notions that led to it?  Nevertheless, this is an enterrtaining read and a strong graphic novel. “Therefore Repent!” is well presented, bound as a nice quality trade and distributed by Insomniac Press it is available from Jim Munroe’s website no media kings. I’d recommend it for fans of Post-Apocalyptic fiction, Gen-X prose and the religious aunt in the family.