Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo

The Jigsaw Man saw Gord Rollo break into the world of Mass Market Paperback Horror as a mid-list writer, and what an entrance it was. Written in the first person (which I usually hate but Rollo seems to make work brilliantly) the reader is forced into the mind of the vagrant main character, Michael Fox.

Now get this - the story is centered around one question: How far would you go to get your hands on $2 million. That's a damned good question. Most of us would posture and say "pretty far!", but for the life of us we don't know how far that actually is. Michael Fox is about to find out.

In the midst of a suicide attempt, Michael is interrupted by a very rich stranger who has a lucrative offer for him...and no part of it is illegal. All he has to do to get the cash is give up his right arm. "S'cuse me?" you say, "His right arm? Like, his right arm?"

Yes. His whole right arm. And that's only the beginning of the story.

With The Jigsaw Man, Rollo relies heavily on his incredibly strong descriptive ability. The reader feels every nuance of the story, from Mike's trepidation upon first being offered the money to his sheer terror later on. While Rollo can create incredibly believable characters, it's the way he weaves his words when describing actions and emotions that are the true stars of the tale. The reader can't help but just feel everything, and as the terror mounts, you can rest assured that your blood pressure will skyrocket as well. Gord Rollo will take you on a journey that will definitely change the way you look at paperback horror novels.

Brilliantly crafted and expertly written, Jigsaw Man is surely one of the best Leisure Books has to offer.

PBH

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nothing To Lose by Steve Vernon

Captain Nothing isn't your average super hero. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to call him a hero at all. For starters, he doesn't have any super powers. Hey, just because he wears a cape, that doesn't make him a hero. Also, his mask...well, I'll let you figure that one out. Let's just say it's a little permanent. And his trusty sidekick? A yellow cab. Yep. That's right.

This is one of the best chapbooks I have ever come across. The blurb on the back writes "Nothing To Lose is a collection of stories that will show you the darker side of courage.", and it shows in spades. The 3 stories that are compiled in this little number are quite possibly the meanest, grittiest, nastiest stories detailing the dark side of heroes that your favorite Marvel/DC/Vertigo friends won't touch.

For those of you who know who Steve Vernon is, you'll be rewarded with his incredibly lyrical style of sarcasm and wit. His darkest work yet, Nothing To Lose proves once and for all that Vernon is capable of taking on any genre of fiction. And for those of you who aren't familiar with him, you'd better get your hands on this.

Published by Burning Effigy Press and selling at $8.00 USD, what have you got to lose? Nothing.

PBH

*Note of interest - Captain nothing shows up again in an anthology called Tabloid Terrors 2, which is balls out gross and borderline inappropriate for all ages. Paperback Horror fully enjoyed every minute of it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Endless Night by Richard Laymon



Richard Laymon has somewhat of a formula with his stories. They're mostly going to have women in various disturbing circumstances, with personalities different from what you would see in a real person, and they're more than likely going to either get naked of their own accord, or forcefully. It's a twisted and terrifying Laymon paints, but it's his all the same.

Endless Night holds every single little nuance that makes a Laymon story "a Laymon story", and you'll be hard pressed to find a fan out there that doesn't count this as his best.

This tale begins with a young girl named Jody Fargo and a sleep over at her friend's house. If you're a Laymon fan, you already know what's going to happen next. Killers break in a slaughter everybody but Jody and her friend's younger brother Andy. They somehow manage to escape the chaos and ritualistic killing performed by a group of stinky, skin-clad maniacs, and now have to run for their lives.

Simon Quirt, one of Laymons more twisted and despicable villains, is on the hint for the two he let slip from his grasp. Alone, he must find and capture Jody and Andy, before they can get to the anybody who will ruin the sweet deal him and his friends have going. He's motivated by one other thing though...the thought of having Jody for himself.

Seriously folks, this one has to be read to be believed. Laymon really outdid himself with the gore and the twisted stunts this villain is capable of pulling off. The story is tighter than anything else out there, and the pace is incredible. You'll be finished before you can believe you've just blown through just under 500 pages.

I'd count this as one of my Top 5 favorite books of all time. Not only because Laymon dared to take the reader to places many authors don't, but because Laymon does it so damned well.

Now, as a point of interest, there's a lot of talk about there being similarities to Dean Koontz's Intensity, but I don't really see the comparison. Maybe one day I'll get off my ass and take a side by side look-see, but not any time soon. Just know that, having read both books, I don't see the similarity in story, just in tone and subject matter. Hopefully I'll have a breakdown of Intensity up soon.

PBH.

Paperback Horror

I read books like they're going out of style. Seriously. Every time I see a book that I want, I have to pick it up. It's some sort of compulsion. Ask the missus. It's killing out bank account, killing our bookshelves, and killing our floor. Hell, I don't think it'll be able to hold up one more bookshelf, let alone another copy of some random movie tie-in novel.

Not to mention the fact that I'm a regular poster over at the Rue Mortuary, Rue Morgue Magazine's Forum. I'm on there every day ranting and raving about books and literary whatever. While I don't believe I've overstayed my welcome, I do believe it's time to branch out and inflict my nerdiness on others.

That's why I started this blog.

I know I'm going to have more fun writing about this crap than you're going to have reading it. I'm going to make sure of that.

Sweet Screams,

PBH.