REVIEW: Strange Secrets by Mike Russell (2018)

Strange Secrets by Mike Russell
Publisher: Strange Books
Format: Paperback
Length: 154
Published: 2018
Author: Goodreads, Website, Twitter

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Synopsis via GoodreadsDiscover the mystery of the two-headed rose and many more Strange Secrets in this new collection of extraordinary stories by Mike Russell. ‘It can’t be real.’ ‘But it is.’ Strange Secrets invites you to discover the magical and the marvellous. Startlingly inventive and constantly entertaining, these unique, vital and vividly realised stories will take you to places you have never been before. Strange Secrets is Mike Russell’s third short-story collection. 

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REVIEW: Wisps of Memory by Chris Sarantopoulos (2017)

Wisps of Memory by Chris Sarantopoulos
Publisher: Self Published (Amazon)
Format: E-Book
Length: 16 (short story)
Published: 2017
Author: Goodreads, Website, Twitter

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Synopsis via Goodreads: The end doesn’t always come with a bang.

Ian is a loner middle-aged man who lives with the memories of his daughters and grandson, rather than with them. He hopes that they will remember him during the holiday. In the meantime, his nearly paralysed arm starts twitching uncontrollably. A couple of weeks before Christmas, his last friend leaves the country, and Ian finds himself with no one in his life. Day by day, he feels life is ebbing away from him.

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REVIEW: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (2016)

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff 
Publisher: Picador
Format: Hardcover
Length: 372
Published: 2016
Author GoodreadsTwitterWebsite

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Synopsis via GoodreadsThe critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great-grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centres on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of one black family, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying spectre that continues to haunt us today.

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REVIEW: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Publisher: Doubleday
Format: Paperback
Length: 709
Published: 2000
Author Goodreads, Twitter, Website

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Please note: There are different versions of this book that could alter the way the narrative is presented. I read the black and white paperback edition, but there are also full-colour editions in hardcover. Research the different editions before you purchase! And do not waste money on an e-book version. This book must be read in a physical copy to get the entire story — it’s very interactive.

Synopsis via Goodreads: Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story—of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

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