Reading Reviews

Stay Fanatic!!! vol. 1 Reading Review NEW
Stay Fanatic!!! vol. 1 by Henry Rollins, reading review by Michael Channing Family may fail you. Friends can change. Music has never let you down.
The Stone God Awakens Reading Review
The Stone God Awakens by Philip Jose Farmer Leave it up to Farmer to install a brand-new knob on a well-used trope and crank that sucker up to eleven billion.
Set to Sea Reading Review
The Changing Land by Roger Zelazny Hard labor, bad food, pirate attacks: the life of a sailor is less than idyllic.
The Changing Land Reading Review
The Changing Land by Roger Zelazny This book has great promise. The setting is intriguing, the main character is cool and interesting, the action is well paced. It vaults high but lands badly, twists its ankle, and limps away embarrassed.
The Outsider Reading Review
The Outsider by Stephen King It's a grisly crime: the molestation, murder, and partial cannibalizing of a young boy in a small town. The killer is spotted and identified by multiple people, first with the boy then without him but covered in blood. It's an open-and-shut case. At first.
Gahan Wilson's Out There Reading Review
Gahan Wilson's Out There by Gahan Wilson Wilson is known for his subversive and often gruesome cartoons, but he's done much more.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Reading Review
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a flawed book, but at its core is a truth so deep even its most egregious faults cannot ruin it.
Norse Mythology Reading Review
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman All I knew of Norse mythology I learned from Marvel comics or Dungeons and Dragons manuals. Which meant I really knew nothing at all.
The Invisible Man Reading Review
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells Everyone but the titular character sees the immense problems with becoming permanently transparent.
Bluebeard Reading Review
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut Bluebeard is different in that it actually seems to care about its characters rather than what they represent.
The Voyage of the Space Beagle Reading Review
The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. van Vogt In designing the template for how space exploration is handled by a good majority of artists, this book is a definite piece of science fiction history. But is it a good read?
Rendezvous with Rama Reading Review
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke The book's strength is the wonderment of the alien ship. Clarke does a great job in hooking the reader and keeping you fully engaged as Rama slowly awakens from dormancy and begins to reveal its secrets.
Cold in July Reading Review
Cold in July by Joe R. Lansdale How badly can a father fail before his son follows his path to ruin? And if the son is heir to the father's sins, how responsible is the father for the monster he creates? At what point is the father required to make amends for the deeds of his offspring?
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Reading Review
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny We think children are the only ones to see things purely, but we only have that thought when we reach maturity.
A Night in the Lonesome October Reading Review
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny Zelazny is trying to use familiar building blocks to construct an alien tower. And then he looks at it from low angles, through a dog’s eyes.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Reading Review
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick Anything can, at any moment, change form; anyone can shift allegiance. The universe will not maintain balance or rationality, and it cares not for your sanity. This is an action story embedded in a philosophy dissertation, and it comes close to nihilism.
Uncle Sam Reading Review
Uncle Sam by Steve Darnall and Alex Ross The failure between the ideals of America and the broken promises is tearing Uncle Sam apart.
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Reading Review
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. In Vonnegut’s world view, no one, not the working man or philanthropist millionaire, has a firm grip on anything you might call happiness.
Green Shadows, White Whale Reading Review
Green Shadows, White Whale by Ray Bradbury When you try to change Ireland, you do so at your own risk.
The Border Reading Review
The Border by Robert McCammon The great things about this book are many. The aliens are very alien, unique in a long line of literary invaders. The horrors are gut-wrenching. When blood flows, it flows deep.
Rusty Puppy Reading Review
Rusty Puppy by Joe R. Lansdale There's a passage in Rusty Puppy that is beautiful and haunting and heartbreakingly cruel. It's about the Robin Hood Tree. Long-time readers will remember that tree.
Trinity Reading Review
Trinity by Matt Wagner I was immediately hooked by the personal touch of Clark trying to fit in with humans by manufacturing his own imperfections.
Cat's Cradle Reading Review
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. This is way the world ends, not with a bang but with an ah-whoom. That's the sound of all the world's oceans freezing solid at once.
The Stand Reading Review
The Stand by Stephen King This is a big book, over a thousand pages long. It needs to be. The length is the book's greatest strength.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Reading Review
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl The anticipation of the book lies not in whether or not the kids who aren't Charlie will get their comeuppance, but in how gruesome that retribution will be.
To the Heart of the Storm Reading Review
To the Heart of the Storm by Will Eisner As goes one street corner in the Bronx, so goes the rest of the world.
And Another Thing... Reading Review
Beyond This Horizon by Robert A. Heinlein Something this book gets absolutely right--and I mean nails it to the wall and then puts another nail through the center of that nail--is the Vogons.
Beyond This Horizon Reading Review
Beyond This Horizon by Robert A. Heinlein I grabbed the first Heinlein I saw at the library one day. I figured anything from the Grand Master had to be great. I was mistaken.
From Hell Reading Review
From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell You thought you were going to read about a serial killer, maybe get a thrilling whodunit and police procedural. Didn't know you were wading into a sea of magic rituals and philosophical questions, did you? Welcome to Alan Moore.
End of Watch Reading Review
End of Watch by Stephen King In End of Watch, Brady Hartsfield takes on the role of that pleasing, deceitful voice. He finds folks at their weakest and tells them what they want to hear, that the end is easy and painless, and it will solve their problems forever. Otherwise, he says, the pain will go on forever, and no one will care.
Hell's Bounty Reading Review
Hell's Bounty by Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale It's a quest for justice and personal redemption, slathered in gore and dusted with gunpowder.
When David Lost his Voice Reading Review
When David Lost his Voice by Judith Vanistendael There's something this book gets absolutely right about cancer. It takes its time. Often, panels repeat, either completely or with only slight alterations, to give us the feeling of stasis that comes with dying.
The Maker of Universes Reading Review
The Maker of Universes by Philip José Farmer Farmer's two biggest talents are on full display: action writing and world building.
Brighten the Corner Where You Are Reading Review
Brighten the Corner Where You Are by Fred Chappell This book is fun all the way through, even the sadder parts, of which there are only a few. But it always feels like it's holding back secrets, that there are depths unknown just below the surface.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Reading Review
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams For almost the entirety of the book, ends miss ends, and you seriously have no idea what's going on. But you're laughing, having a good time, and you trust Adams, because he's not only funny, he's a fine writer.
Hell House Reading Review
Hell House by Richard Matheson The events unfold slowly, which is the proper pacing for a horror novel, but after a time the reader can't help but wonder if they stumbled into Heck House by mistake. But rest assured, Hell awaits, and the explorers do indeed suffer Satanic torments.
Honky Tonk Samurai Reading Review
Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe R. Lansdale Of course, being a Lansdale book, the action and plot are often sidelined by snappy, whimsical conversations about dogs, cookies, relationships, sex, and the best color to paint a jail cell.
Firestarter Reading Review
Here we have the tightest bond possible, that of a father and daughter, tested to its limits. We learn in this novel there aren't any.
Ruthless Reading Review
Ruthless is Adams' first book, and it's flawed. But the ending she chose is perfect.
The Shrinking Man Reading Review
By making the simple decision to remove the possibility of recovery, Matheson delivers a story far more terrifying and personal than anything that came before.
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Reading Review
To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer Secret loyalties are revealed, backs stabbed, duels fought, enigmas uncovered then cloaked in darkness once again. One theme appears again and again: Can a person change?
Misery Reading Review
Misery by Stephen King Be careful what you wish for. Especially when you're asking for it from Stephen King.
Johnny Got His Gun Reading Review
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. Joe is more than a mouthpiece for the writer's politics. He's a character we're willing to invest our time and emotions in. But the politics are there, and this book does have an agenda. It just happens to be one I've always held as my own.
Slaughterhouse-Five Reading Review
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. What about the damn aliens? Did they happen, too?
Fender Lizards Reading Review
Fender Lizards by Joe R. Lansdale I hope my daughter will read this one day. It's perfect for young readers, especially girls looking for a heroine with real faults and true guts.
Boy's Life Reading Review
Boys Life by Robert R. McCammon Overflowing with the magic and marvel associated with the doe-eyed innocence of youth.
Clockwork Angels Reading Review
Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson If you're familiar with the Rush catalogue, the book comes with a built-in soundtrack. Lyrical snippets from Rush songs are peppered throughout the novel. I often had to stop half way through a sentence and ask why my inner reading voice suddenly broke into song and jumped up two octaves.
Reading Review: Two Hap and Leonard Novellas by Joe R. Lansdale
Party on, Yoda. Party on, Merlin. A blissful, fistful good time.
Reading Review: The 2000 Year Old Man by Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner
the 2000 Year Old Man. A really old guy with really silly things to say. That'll be me some day.
Reading Review: Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale
Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale. A journey downriver to fulfill a dead friend's dream.

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing