“The jungle grew darker and more mysterious. Bugs seemed buggier, and the trees almost seemed alive. The sun was like a blazing ball of fire in the sky. Strange little birds hovered over the flowers, stabbing them with their long, pointed beaks. Sinister rock formations appeared on shore and even reached up out of the water. I guess that’s where Hawaii got its famous nickname, “Land of a Thousand Nightmares.” The narrator is cajoled by his friend Don into taking a trip to Hawaii. While […]
I was first drawn into Emily St. John Mandel’s world back in 2015, when Station Eleven caught my eye after popping up in a few “best of” lists. It became an immediate favorite, and I know that love is shared here within our CBR community! I’ve read it twice since first picking it up, most recently in March, right as the world started to dip further and further into pandemic horror. I wrote in a previous review that I would not have picked up The Glass Hotel […]
This book was praised to high-heavens, thus giving me high hopes. It is all over “best of” lists, there are tons of snarky little quips in write-ups, and the paperback features pull-quotes from Margaret Atwood and Karen Russell. I was ready to be ruined by this book… but. …it fell flat, as so many pumped-up things often do. Samantha, an unreliable narrator if ever there was one, is a post-grad MFA fellow at Warren College, a told-but-not-shown sPoOoOoKy college somewhere in New England. There’s some […]
This very moment was the correct time for me to charge through this nasty (a compliment!) little slice of life. There was a time, not too long ago, that the crippling desperation of Millie would have felt far too familiar. There is a lot of Hannah Horvath (Girls) in Millie, and I found Girls very hard to stomach when I too was young, squandering privilege, and living like a recluse outside of my seriously uninspiring job. “Everyone thinks deep in their hearts (at least when they’re young, […]
If you are in the least bit interested in this story- as an avid reader of Tana French or a curious newcomer- then heed the warning and DO NOT be tempted by the book jacket! The inciting action is described- in detail- right on the open flap of the cover, but you will spend a good 250 pages wandering around in wait. It will ruin one of the many surprises, and lend an unnecessary element of additional suspense to something that is already full of […]
“Horror,” Laura Miller says in the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Haunting of Hill House, “turns on the dissolution of boundaries […] between the outside of the body and everything that ought to stay inside.” Maybe the way horror lurks in liminal spaces, only rarely coming right out in the open, has something to do with how much I enjoy the genre. And The Haunting of Hill House serves masterfully as our guide to those cracked and uncertain places.