Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Frankenstein Or, The Modern Prometheus

Like many of you, I am a fan of the classics, and the story of Frankenstein is in the top 2 of my favorites. The folks at Dover Publications were kind enough to send me their new hardcover of Frankenstein to review for you. We are all aware of the story of Frankenstein; the horror classic that has spawned countless films, merchandise and retellings, so with this book review, I won’t be reviewing the story, I will be reviewing the artwork, but first, a bit of information on this beautiful book.

As previously mentioned, this is a hardcover book. Frankenstein boasts 240 pages of art and literary magic. As with all other hardcover books, the price is a little higher than a paperback ($40). Given the artwork and the overall size of the book, this is not a bad price at all. Now on to the review of the stunning artwork inside of the book.

Frankenstein was written originally by Mary Shelley, but this rendition is accompanied by stunning artwork by noted Disney artist Nino Carbé. If you are a fan of classic artwork, this book is perfect for you; it combines pen-and-ink, black and white images with brilliant full-color paintings. The illustrations add depth to the already phenomenal story. 

The images included are not tiny pictures, they are full page (some are even two pages). I know what you’re thinking, “but they were done by a Disney artist, so they must be very cartoony, right?”, wrong. They remind me of old-time Gothic paintings, they are dark yet sophisticated. I have never seen a more perfectly illustrated version of one of my favorite stories. Take a look at some of the artwork below and see for yourself.

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If you are looking to add to your collection, and you want a real statement piece, this is the book for you. If $40 seems like a lot for a book to you, use the code WABG and you will receive 25% off (code good until 7/15/16). Pick up your very own copy at doverpublications.com.

 

 

 

‘Things You Think About in a Bar’- A Book of Tim Burton’s Napkin Art

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Tim Burton, the man behind such films as A Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow has released a book through Steeles Publishing of his napkin doodles. Things You Think About in a Bar is made up of 140 pages of dark, genius artwork. It is a mini companion to the award winning book The Art of Tim Burton. I was sent a copy of the book to feature and review; here are my honest thoughts on the book. 

The overall appearance of the book is phenomenal. It is small and sleek giving it the perfect look for an art book. The cover is a black cloth material that has been stamped with a shiny, silver foil. The binding of the book is great, the pages do not tug too much while you are flipping through and it is not overly delicate. The addition of a silky, purple attached book mark adds a touch elegance and a bit more Burton flare. 

The pages inside are durable and matte. The matte look of the pages adds to the beauty of the artwork on them, there is no gloss to enhance or take away from them. 

The artwork is phenomenal. It is pretty cool to get a glimpse at what such a creative mind thinks about on the road including pieces from already beloved Burton films to potential future classics. Take a look at a few pictures below to get an idea of just how great this book is (they do not to it justice, you have to see the physical book to get just how great it is).

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If you are a fan of Tim Burton, this book would be the perfect addition to your collection or if you know a Burton fan, Things You Think About in a Bar would make the perfect gift. If you would like to purchase this incredible book, it is available for $19.99 (which is a steal for an art book of any kind) at SteelesPublishing.com.

Book Review: I Hate Myselfie

1902910_10153126167249726_5194282958607195699_nMost know Shane Dawson as the YouTube superstar that can make you want to laugh, vomit or cry, maybe even all of them at the same time, and some may recognize him from the horror film, Smiley. Shane made his “Hollywood” directorial debut in 2014 with Not Cool, but Shane can now add author to his ever expanding resume. That’s right, Shane has written his first book, I Hate Myselfie- A Collection of Essays By Shane Dawson

Before I get a bunch of flack about this not being a horror book, he is a horror fan, has been in a horror film and has made a horror short film. Not to mention, I think a lot of horror fans can relate to Shane, feeling like an outcast and not being the most popular, and like myself, being an extremely awkward teen. This is not a sponsored review, I went out and purchased the book myself.

Shane’s videos are full of stories from his teen years and many of them are full of dick and fart jokes and Disney porn conspiracies, but behind the humor is a lot of heart and an incredible collection of stories. I love that Shane put so much personal information about himself out there, he always says he’s not very manly, but he sure showed a lot of testicular fortitude putting some of his most embarrassing moments out there.

The book is not very long, it took me less than 2 days to read. I couldn’t put it down, while reading I Hate Myselfie, I felt like I was reading my own teenage years and I could relate to Shane that much more. The realness you will read in this book is mind-blowing.

I will caution that maybe this is not the book for the young audience due to the abundant use of the word “fuck”, countless masturbation references and so forth, but for the proper aged audience, this is a must read. If you have ever, even for a split second felt like a worthless pile of diarrhea brought on by eating week old Chinese takeout, this book will help you see that no matter how bad things get, you can turn it around and make something of yourself.

Fart jokes and Ellen Degeneres haircut jokes aside, Shane is an amazing writer. His ability to fully describe a situation is incredible. He paints such vivid pictures of every scenario, you will feel like you’re sitting under “the crazy tree” with Shane and his friends living every second with him.

If you’re looking for a book full of humor and real shit, pick up I Hate Myselfie anywhere books are sold or at IHateMyselfieBook.com.

Shane even made a short film book trailer for I Hate Myselfie, check it out below.

For more of Shane and his work, subscribe to his YouTube Channels, Shane and ShaneDawsonTV. Also, be sure to follow him on twitter (@shanedawson) and Instagram (@shanedawson). Oh, be nice too, the world is full of assholes, don’t be one.

 

Book Review: ‘Die Trying’ by Nicholas Ryan

I have previously reviewed Ryan’s novel ‘Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse’, and I was absolutely blown away with the depth of his writing.  When the opportunity arose to review yet another zombie novel masterpiece, I could not pass it up.

81XWy1JvdTL._SL1500_Title: ‘Die Trying’

Author: Nicholas Ryan

Synopsis:

Trapped amidst the horror of the zombie apocalypse, three men hear the sound of a helicopter overhead and know it represents their last desperate hope to survive the terror and reach safety. But survival comes at a cost – and the undead hordes that ravage the world are not the only lurking evil the men must face. But for Mitch Logan, his brother, Jed, and their friend, Clinton Harrigan, there is no choice. They must fight to survive – or Die Trying

One of the most impressive elements of any bit of writing from Nicholas Ryan is his ability to paint the most vivid of scenes, and his natural gift to draw the reader into his apocalyptic tales.  I absolutely loved ‘Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse’, but I must say that ‘Die Trying’ is even more intense.

‘Die Trying’ had all of the elements that a genre novel needs to be successful, graphic details, inner demons and zombies.  With genre novels, if you are not careful, they can fall flat very quickly, but Ryan kept the action high from start to finish.  The story arch of the novel was flawless and the character development was the best I have read in a novel in a long time.  Your heart will be in your throat through the entire novel.

Areas that include dialogue are key, and many authors struggle here, but Ryan is a natural with these sections.  The dialogue is so well written, it is like over hearing a conversation or watching a great film by Romero.

The ending was very suspenseful and a little open.  I hope this means that Ryan will be giving readers another zombie apocalypse tale worthy of a film adaptation.  As a matter of fact, I would love to see any one of Nicholas Ryan’s books become a film.

I could not think of a single complaint to make about ‘Die Trying’.  Everything was covered and I was not at all left disappointed.  I highly recommend this novel to any fan of the zombie, horror genre.

Nicholas Ryan is by far the most impressive author in this genre today.  His name has become synonymous with zombie apocalypse stories, and I hope he will continue to bring readers more of his apocalyptic genius.  I only see him going up from here.
Buy ‘Die Trying’

To keep up to date on Nicholas Ryan and his latest work, like his Facebook page.

 

Related Articles:

Book Review: “Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse

Book Review: Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

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Written By: Kevin Smith

Page Count: 272

Formats: Paperback/Hardcover/Kindle/Audio

Released: February 5, 2013

Gotham Books

Non Fiction/Comedy/Biography/Film/Self Help

 
Buy Tough Sh*t

 

Kevin Smith has been known as that ‘clerks’ guy since 1994, but he really is much more than that.  He is a hockey jersey wearing genius.  I’ve heard a lot of buzz about ‘Tough Sh*t’ and being a fan of Kevin and his work, this was a must read for me.

*Disclaimer* if you are easily offended by obscene language, tough shit, real talk, or any of Kevin’s movies, then this book probably isn’t for you, and you’re probably a giant pussy.

A “self help” style book is probably the last type of material people thought they’d see from Kevin Smith, but ‘Tough Sh*t’ really is a how-to guide.  This is not your run of the mill advice guide, and the comedy is not lost.  It was informative yet profane and was overall fun to read.  It was a lot like listening to one of his SModcasts.

Tough Sh*t really brought to light how much wisdom Kevin has and how much he busts his ass for his craft.  This book was written with as much passion and thought as any of his films.  I adored him before, but after reading this, I have a whole new respect for Kevin Smith and the awesome films he has worked so hard to bring us.

Tough Sh*t is a must read for any fan of Kevin or his movies that would like to take a profane journey down memory lane with him while he gives some very sound advice to wannabe filmmakers.

 

 

 

Book Review: Ground Zero by Nicholas Ryan

GroundZeroCoverSAWWhen I think zombie novels, I used to think Max Brooks, but there is a new name I will think of from now on, Nicholas Ryan. I was contacted a while back by Mr. Ryan to review his new zombie novelGround Zero‘ and I’m glad I accepted to do so.

Synopsis:

When the zombie apocalypse sweeps across the eastern states of America, Jack Cutter is the man least likely to last beyond the first few minutes. Dealing with the recent tragic deaths of his wife and child, Cutter is forced into a desperate struggle for survival – and for redemption. Everything Cutter came to expect from life is torn away and turned upside down so that all he has left is his instinct and a sense of fate that compels him on his journey.
The action is frantic and terrifying as Cutter slowly discovers the cost of staying alive is dealing with his guilt and accepting responsibility he can never be prepared for.
‘Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse’ is a real story with real characters that readers will cheer on until the final shocking twist.

Many zombie novels that I have read have been severely lacking the proper descriptiveness to draw the reader into the horror they are trying to give them.  Nicholas Ryan’sGround Zero‘ is every bit as horrifying and descriptive as a Max Brooks novel.  The scenes he describes are terrifying and so vivid I almost feel like I am watching a George A. Romero film.  The way he depicts his characters and the scenarios that they are faced with, I could feel their fear and I felt as though I was watching all of these horrors unfold through the eyes of these terrified people.  He gave every character a back story, so you really get to know them and learn what makes them tick.  This is what makes any story worth reading.

The twists and turns that his main character, Jack Cutter, faces are fantastically thought out.  The changes he goes through and the things he comes to terms with are both heartbreaking and unsettling.

Ground Zero‘ is not a lengthy story, but packs all the punches of a Stephen King length novel.  None of the story feels rushed.  The natural flow of the novel from beginning to end is seamless and well thought out.  Through the time that I was reading it, I never thought “well this could be better” or “he really should have added something here“.  ‘Ground Zero‘ really is a work of art and has all of the makings of a real horror literary classic.

I could not recommend ‘Ground Zero‘ enough to anyone that enjoys a truly captivating horror story.  Even if you are not a fan of horror or zombie novels, I would still give it a read.  The story is so well written, it could draw in any reader, horror fan or not.

Like Nicholas Ryan on Facebook to keep up with news and to get to know the new face of zombie novels.

To purchase ‘Ground Zero‘, follow the links below:

US customers, Click Here

UK customers, Click Here

 

Review of Terry M. West’s A Psycho’s Medley

PSYCHOSMEDLEY copy (4)I am honored to have been contacted by Mr. Terry M. West to review his new compilation of short stories, A Psycho’s Medley.  Terry M. West is an acclaimed horror author, filmmaker and actor.  He is best known as the director of Flesh for the Beast.

A Psycho’s Medley is a 109 page compilation of horror short stories written by Terry M. West and published by Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc.  on July 21, 2013.

Synopsis:

Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc. presents a blood soaked collection featuring some of the most disturbing horror fiction that Terry M. West has ever written!  These stories revolve around human monster known as the psychopath.  West closely examines the twisted souls and crimson fantasies of these killers.  Take this journey through terror and you may never feel safe again!  This collection includes the never before seen story A PSYCHO’S MEDLEY, THE NIGHT OUT (a finalist for an International Horror Guild Award for a short story), the brand new story MORSEL, TRAITEUR (the story that would become the novel, DREG), WAITING FOR THE THUNDER, and the newly expanded novelette, HAIR AND BLOOD MACHINE (which made the 1999 preliminary ballot for a Stoker Award for long fiction).

We all know that most novel style books or stories open with an introduction from the author.  Terry M. West did an incredible job with hisimages (3) introduction.  It was very creative and incite-full.

My favorite short story from A Psycho’s Medley would have to be, A Psycho’s Medley.  This short story was written from the perspective of a newspaper story and the diary of a murderer.  This was my favorite because it seemed so real.  I felt like I was really reading a story in the newspaper of a man gone mad.  The diary entry parts from the perspective of the murderer were chilling and beyond disturbing.  There is no lack of imagination or creativity in this short or any of the others.

The entire collection of short stories that make up A Psycho’s Medley are all creative and are sure to send a chill down your spine.  I’m not sure what is more disturbing, how real the stories seem or how well Terry M. West knows the mind of a psychopath.

A Psycho’s Medley is captivating and Terry M. West knows how to draw the reader in.  I will definitely be reading this again.  I highly recommend this collection to anyone that enjoys an all to real scary story.

This amazing read is available for the kindle on Amazon for only $1.99 (free for Amazon Prime customers)!  Follow this link to purchase A Psycho’s Medley: Purchase A Psycho’s Medley

UNMASKED Book Review

Credit:  Cover & Author Photo: Jesse Adair Cover Design:  Enve Creative
Credit:
Cover & Author Photo: Jesse Adair
Cover Design: Enve Creative

I recently picked up Kane Hodder’s book “Kane Hodder UNMASKED The True Life Story Of The World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer48f35ac21dc078c5c00dc750990d1b3ebecause I am a huge fan of Kane and his work.  UNMASKED was written by Kane Hodder himself and Michael Aloisi.  The book opens with acclaims from fellow horror icons Bruce Campbell, Robert Englund, Doug Bradley, Tony Todd, Bill Moseley and more followed Hatchet-2.1 (1)by one of the most badass forwards I have ever read by none other than the writer and director of the Hatchet series, the badass Adam Green.  Adam goes into talking about being a fan of Kane and how they met and how he got Kane to star in the Hatchet movies and his friendship with Kane.

I had already had a tremendous amount of respect for Kane and all of his hard work, but after reading his book, that respect has grown exponentially.  In UNMASKED, you get to know more about Kane and his career and the hell he went through to make it to where he is today.  I got this book 3 days ago and have already read it cover to cover.  This says a lot because I usually get bored with books quickly, but I just couldn’t seem to put this one down.

Kane takes you through everything from the traumatizing beatings and never ending bullying he endored as a child to wanting to be a stuntman to reliving the horrifying burns he sustained after a stunt gone wrong all the way to the iconic horror badass we know and Jasonpt7-335x258love today.  A lot of times when actors make an attempt at writing a book, it is nothing more than a giant piece of shit and a huge waste of money, but this is not the case.  Kane has an amazing personality and is actually one hell of a funny guy.  His personality really translates well into text.

UNMASKED is truly an emotional roller coaster ride.  Kane is does an outstanding job making you understand his feelings and the trials and tribulations he went through.  There were parts that made me laugh hysterically and parts that made me tear up.  Kane maybe “the world’s most prolific cinematic killer“, but he is also one hell of a remarkable guy.  I never lost interest from Kane talking about growing up in Nevada and Kwaj to his struggles to hatchet22make it as a Hollywood stuntman and I was exceptionally interested in the feelings he expressed about the rise and fall of his Jason.  I love that there was 0% of holding back.

When he talks about getting to bring Victor/Thomas Crowley to life, you can almost feel his excitement projecting from the pages.

I love that Kane included in the back of the book some things that are truly near and dear to him.  The first one is Scares That Care,

a non profit formed by horror industry professionals that provides money, toys and other items to sick kids.  Also being inspired by Kane’s story, they are dedicated to helping burn victims and their families.  All donated proceeds go to ScaresLogohelping children in need. ~UNMASKED

Be sure to visit the official Scares That Care website for more information.

The second extra that Kane talks about is his love for the paranormal.  He along with Rick McCallum founded a ghost hunting team called Hollywood Ghost Hunters.  They are joined by R.A. Mihailoff, Steve Nappe and Danielle Harris. Kane, Rick and R.A. had a guest appearance on the widely popular 167483_189907997692996_2507040_nshow Ghost Adventures.

I think a thank you is owed to Mr. Kane Hodder for allowing us such an in-depth look into his life.  If you are down and you don’t think you can go on anymore or you think you’ll never amount to anything, read UNMASKED and hear all the shit Kane had to go through to get to where he is today.  Definitely a must read for any horror fan.  If you don’t respect Kane now, read this book, and if you still don’t after that, then fuck you.

My next book purchase will most likely be Michael Aloisi’s book “The Killer & I“.  This book profiles Micahel’s one year long journey of working with Kane Hodder on his book.  Pick it up at KaneHodderKills.com.

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Be sure to catch Kane in Hatchet III!

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Book Review: ASYLUM- 13 tales of terror by Matt Drabble

asylum front 2013 new

I was approached about doing a review of Matt Drabble’s new novel, ASYLUM- 13 tales of terror.  I am usually not a big reader, but this novel was sensational!  I started reading and couldn’t stop.

Let’s start with his characters.  The main character Martin Parcell was a promising author until a car accident.  After the accident, he took a job at Blackwater Heights, a private mental hospital.  His supervisor, Jimmy, was ready to retire and offered Martin a new idea for a book, 13 tales of some of the darkest minds at Blackwater Heights.

Matt Drabble is nothing short of a genius when it comes to painting a picture of his characters and the scenes of his stories.  His description of Blackwater Heights was eerie and all around terrifying.  The descriptions of each patient gets even more disturbed than the one before it.

The tale that stuck out the most to me was chapter seven: The Voice.  Duncan Murray was crazy and maybe even a little dangerous, but at the same time he was likable and I felt a bit sorry for him.  The vision of Duncan was painted so vividly,  I felt like I was truly hearing about a real person.  Drabble gave each character so much thought.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone that likes a good psychological thriller.  ASYLUM- 13 tales of terror is very high on my list of novels that I will read again.  Matt Drabble is definitely a name that I look forward to seeing on more works.

Keep up with Mr. Drabble and his amazing works by visiting his official website, Facebook, and twitter.