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Book Nerd

As you can maybe tell, I'm a serious book nerd. As of late, I haven't had much time for reading, but I HAVE been booking it up with some fabulous texts, and have chosen to post a plethora of favorites here that you all should check out, recent as well as past delicious works of literacy.

Last updated: 3/6/02
Jumping Jesus it's been a while, hasn't it?
Well, here goes..all from memory, mind you...

999: Horror Compilation by Al Sarrantonio
This was AWESOME.  Absolute page turner, but stories short enough to cut off when you want to get some sleep for a change.
BIG recommendations for this book: Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, Mad Dog Summer, The Ropey Thing, The Goat Man, and Elsewhere. 
Best New Horror: by Stephen Jones
This was also AWESOME...boasting such authors as Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, and Gene Wolfe, I couldn't put it down.
High Highlights for this book:  **The Emperor's Old Bones*** (F'ING RAD), Just Like Eddy, Naming the Dead, and White.
Tick Tock:  Dean Koontz
Tommy Phan is our patron, a first generation Vietnamese American, spy detective novelist, and future running man in a race against the clock, a race against a wicked little beastie that hatched out of a cloth doll left on his doorstep on a blustery night.  Enter a curse, a poppet that hatches a nasty little maniac lizard thing, a crazy, rich cellestial waitress, her mother, an overprotective Vietnamese mother and family, and a plot to wild to comprehend.  It's hard for me to read scary things, because I have to wait for things in the plot to cool down before I go to bed, otherwise I dream about it, and that's not fun.
Definite reccommendation here!
Fear Nothing:  Dean Koontz
Christopher Snow, a man with the rare genetic condition XP (unable to tolerate sun or bright false lighting) has just lost his father to a curious cancer.  His dying words of "fear nothing" were more true than he ever thought they could be.  It begins with the mysterious theft of his father's body, the body of a mutilated hitch hiker replacing his at the crematorium, which he sneaks away to find the truth about what happened to his father's body.  His presence is discovered, and as he's being hunted down in the woods, a mysteriously intelligent gray cat leads him to saftey.  It gets even more bizarre as people die, a mysterious pack of hyper intelligent monkeys appears and torments him, and his friend bobby, a laid back surf nut with an isolated house on a peak by the sea, and the things he thought he knew began to fall apart.  An abandoned military base, a secretive genetic experiment headed by his long dead mother in hopes of curing his XP under the guise of superintelligent animals to use in war, and his loyal pet dog...given to him by his mother, an animal from the lab, who's more than he seems.
Awesome book.  Read it.  Dean Koontz is fantastic.
False Memory:  Dean Koontz
Are we detecting a theme here?  Hey, I find an author, read all they have out, then move on.  It's easier that way...
Bobby is overcome with a sudden bout of autophobia...fear of yourself. Plauged by horrid dreams, and her anxiety rising, she suppresses her fears to aid her ailing childhood friend, susan, after the breakup of her marriage, her debilitating agrophobia, and the collapse of her realestate business.
Susan is sure someone is coming in at night and raping her, that someone is watching her, and she only feels safe during her twice weekly visits to the shrink...her fabulous shrink, a man nobody can find fault with.
Little does anybody know, this fabulous shrink is a sadistic sociopath, who uses a drug coctail and hypnosis sessions to open a "mind chapel" in his patients, induced with a name from "the manchurian candidate" and activated with a self composed haiku.
The twisted story isn't limited to the urban town in costal california, when bobby and her husband dustin begin to delve into the doctor's past when susan commits suicide and dustin's brother tries to jump off the roof of a house they were painting.  It leads all the way to sacramento, to destroyed families and lives all over the country, all thanks to the fabulous shrink.
This is a great book too.  Enough said, don't wanna ruin it TOO much.
The Bad Place:  Dean Koontz
This is it for now, I promise, but my sister has a whole library at home, so beware.
Julie and Bobby Dakota are working for "the dream"...early retirement and a seaside home where they can live in peace, bring Julie's younger brother Thomas with them, who is affected by Down's syndrome, and live out their lives in peace, and with lots and lots of time.
Then Frank comes along.  Amnesia, strange and violent blackouts and attacks by an unknown "mr. blue", jars and jars of raw red diamonds, wierd diamond scavenging bugs, bags of cash, and black sand.  And worse, erratic and unpredictable teleportation.  Only problem is, he can't controll it, can't explain it, and can't stop it...and he's not putting himself back together right, little by little.
He's being persued by his older brother Candy...who CAN teleport at will, is big, mean, nasty, and hellbent on delivering the punnishments of god.  Especially on frank...frank killed their mom. 
People die, people that you don't WANT to die..and it's sad, but it's a good book too, so read it.
Over and out, I'm done, end transmission!

Last updated: 4/09/01

The Picture of Dorian Grey- Oscar Wilde
I hate to say it, but I've got a dreadfully short attention span, and usually have to re-read or re-watch books or movies to fully grasp the whole picture. I had a devil of a time getting into this book, shuffling my way through enormous paragraphs of such eloquently phrased poetry and such was getting a bit trying, but after settling in and forcing my brain to pay attention, I found I was in the middle of quite a treasure.
Basil Halliward, a painter, is painting the portrait of a young man named Dorian Grey, with whom he is absolutely fascinated and enthralled with. Dorian, a stunning and rich young man, naive and childish, becomes acquainted with a frusterating character Lord Henry, or Prince Paradox as he is so quaintly called throughout the story. He is a man of the senses, and everything of his personality and philosophy is a contrast to itself, cure the mind by means of the senses, cure the senses by means of the mind. As Dorian's portrait is completed, he looks upon it, and falls in love with himself, with beauty, with youth and becomes desperate to preserve himself. He cries "I wish I should stay forever young and beautiful, and the painting wither with age!" From those fateful words on, the story becomes a sorid and twisted tale of fate, indulgence, and sin. Dorian falls madly in love with a local actress Sybil Vane, then scorns her visciously and she commits suicide. He then looks upon his youthful portrait....and sees the picture altered so slightly.....the smirk on the lips, a cruel gleam in the eys. He hides the painting away for none to see....and throws himself madly down a path of destruction, his own youth never altering, while the portrait corrodes and ages and rots. Murder, deciet, corruption and debauchery of every way shape and form pass through Dorian Grey to the visage, the very mirror of his soul. This story is so vivid, so intoxicating, I could not put it down for a second. I put this at the top of my must read list. I have to finish the other short stories at the end of the novel, and will report back soon. Read it!

Last Updated: 2/12/01

Plastic Jesus: Poppy Z. Brite
Yeah, I know, I'm obsessed, but she's the only fiction writer I've come across that I can stomach lately for some reason. I scored this hardcover and hand autographed copy on ebay for only 30 clams thanks to my lovely michael, bless his heart. Woo HOo!!!
This book starts with a murder in new york from the eyes of the victim.....KYDDS singer Seth is gunned down by a psychotic anti gay killer just outside his new york flat on a cold night in fall. His bereaved lover Payton seeks his dead partner's shrink and the story unfolds within the psychiatrist's office, the story of The KYDDS, a british rock band in the sixties, and a story of two boys, seth and payton, their rise to fame, the sex, the drugs, the madness and the unseparable love they find for each other in the manic world of the rock and roll rollercoaster. This story is like a homosexual twist on the beatles, the murder almost parallel to the murder of John Lennon. It's a short but fascinating story and a definite top of my list.

Last updated: 2/7/01

Satan Speaks!: Anton LeVey
This is the sequel to The Devil's Notebook (see below) and is VERY MUCH SO required reading for anybody who is interested in philosophy, satansim, intelligent thought etc.
This collection of essays continues Dr. LeVey's thought continum of life as a satanist, striking back, living life, rational thought, and the little quirks that make Anton everybodys favorite fiend. My favorite part is "The Witch's Shoe as Weaponry", the "one shoe on, one shoe off" defense/attack method, how to hide an arsenal in a stillhetto heel such as an icepick, a gun (who knew? Who says shoes are purposeless...) and such. "Next time, try wielding your birkenstock or tennis shoe at your attacker and see what happens......sure you could run faster, but women have been doing that for far too long...."
*ouch* touche, pal......we love you anton....
MUST READ! That is your homework assignment....you don't have to be a satanist to enjoy him....but he might just change your mind.....if you have one.

Last updated: 01/15/01

Lost Souls:
This is one of Poppy Z. Brite's earlier novels (her first?) and is nothing short of a prelude to some truly drippingly delicious prose and storytelling.
A baby is mysteriously dropped on the doorstep of unwitting parrents, baby Nothing, whom they name "Josh" (?) and raise as their own. As baby Nothing grows, he is deeply aware of something within him that is not right. He discovers he was abandoned and sets out on the road to find his home, seeking the two people alone who feels he understands, Ghost and Steve of the band Lost Souls?. This story darkly twists and turns through Nothing's long forgotten deadly roots, his mother a 15 year old runaway who is impregnated and killed by his childish and coldhearted vampire father, who's rampant path, with sticky fingered candy-loving cohorts in tote, crosses that of Nothing's and they travel to Missing Mile North Carolina, a small and mysterious town to find Lost Souls? and find "home". This is also the first novel that Steve and Ghost appear in (other than in a short story in Wormwood "Angels"), and introduces other charachters such as Kinsey, the local club owner/mechanic/lost soul of sorts himself.....this dark and erotic story unvelops unyeildingly into your brain and makes you beg for more.

Drawing Blood:
This has easily got to be my favorite book in the goddamned world. As a child, little Trevor McGee, son of famed underground Taboo comic artist, witnesses the slaughter of his family at the hands of his derranged father. After years in a boy's home, he returns to the world of the living, sort of, and returns to the old house of Violin Road in Missing Mile to attempt to sort out his distorted and bloodstained childhood. His path crosses with that of Zachary Bosch, a psychologicaly abused system hacking technology freak from New Orleans on the run from the feds for heaps of illegal computer stuff. Boy meets boy, boy loves boy....boys find in each other a home they never had anywhere or with anyone else. Together they delve into Trevor's hiddeous past, as well as Zach's own fears of cildhood, abuse and his fear of AIDS....into the dark and freakish realm of Trevor's father's own "Birdland" to finally lay his past to rest.
This book is FABULOUS and DRIPPING with...just "wow". Poppy really knows her stuff and how to suck you in and suck you dry....and you will always come back for more.

The Crow: Lazarus Heart:
This is also another Poppy Z. novel, which sadly belongs to the over-beaten dead horse of the Crow franchise. But this is no dead horse...it's a dead man....Jared Poe, murdered in prison on death row, accused of mutilating his boyfriend and being a serial murderer in New Orleans, responsible for the deaths of transvestites, transexuals, and gay folks. Not so, Jared Poe, the famed and dispised fetish photographer "married" to Benny DuBois, the brother of transgendered identical twin "sister" Lucrece (formerly LUCAS), who found refuge in New Orleans as young teenagers. Benny is slaughtered at the hands of a wacked out riverside dwelling maniac who is fighting the "androgyney contagion" by capturing and torturing his queer victims. When Jared is brought back by the crow, he reunites with Lucrece and goes on a structured killing spree to avenge his death, not realizing who it is he has his bone to pick with......until it is too late. This story is by far the best crow novel since the first and original, and would make far better a movie than this "salvation" or "city of angels" shit. Hint Hint...I'll have to mail this to someone important...hmmm.

The Devil's Notebook:
DO READ THIS! Even if you are christian or of any religion (or none, as the case was with me), this is an easy to read, thought provoking, and humorous collection of essays from the father of modern day satanism. This is not Devil Worship, Anton outright blasts the ridiculousness of cults, sects, the "new age" crap and "occult trends" of today, pagans so on and so forth. Anton seems not only to be able to laugh heartily at everyone else, but at himself too. There is a sort of mirth to his works which I find irrisistable. He was a prankster at heart and truly the last TRUE humanist, urging you to discard your good guy badge, your mediocre life and slavery to fashion, media and trend, and be the human you are. Such titles of his essay chapters are as following:
"the whoopie cushion shall rise again"
"it's time to kick some ass"
"the importance of being evil"
You get the picture. This is a marvelous set of essays, and a sort of guidebook to loose the fetters of social slavery, fashion, and religion. He wrote his own little satanic hymn, which is wonderful, yet humorous in it's sincerity. A true intellect and scholar of human nature and behavior through life experiences (he even worked for a large part of his life in a carnival, the ultimate forum for human gulliblity and childish curiosity), and makes no apologies for being HUMAN. Something we could all learn from...