Layton Reads the Dark Fantastic

I read books and listen to music and ramble on about both.

My Reading Goal for 2016...

This year has been a bad year for reading for me. School just took over my life and the times I had to just sit back and read were too few and far between. So next year I'm setting my reading goals a little higher than usual, which is a pretty terrible idea but oh well. 

 

Here are my "goals":

 

1. Read all or at least a hefty portion of Richard Laymon's adult horror bibliography.

 

 

Laymon has came to be one of my favorite authors over the past year even if his obsession with tits becomes a little obnoxious after a while. I've so far read The Cellar (which I didn't care for), The Traveling Vampire Show (which I loved), In The Dark (which I thought was terrific), and Island (which was a lot of pulpy fun). 

 

I'm hoping to buy a lot of his books in print. 

 

2. Finish reading all of Kealan Patrick Purke's books.

 

 

This man is just brilliant and I loved all the short stories and novellas I've read by him. I can't wait to read Kin. :)

 

3. Finish reading all of Michael McDowell's books that are available from Valancourt Books.

 

 

I love this writer and I'm so sad I haven't gotten around to finishing his books yet. His Blackwater Saga is so good I'm at a loss for words when I try to even talk about it. If you haven't read it GO DOWNLOAD IT TO YOUR KINDLE NOW.

 

By the way, I love the Valancourt Books cover art for his books.

 

 

These are my goals for 2016. What are yours? :)

 

 

What is Evil? - The Bleeding Season (Review)

The Bleeding Season - Greg F Gifune

It has been so long since I wrote a good review on here that I think I've forgotten how. I know I really neglect my reading websites and just my reading in general these days, but I've been trying to get back in the hang of things. I started by reading two Richard Laymon books, which are good, easy, fun reads which I'll probably post reviews of later. I read these books rather quick and they helped me get out of my massive reading slump. I was going through my Kindle after I finished the second book trying to figure out what I was going to read next and happened upon The Bleeding Season. I tried reading The Bleeding Season last summer but I really couldn't handle it. I don't know whether it was due to my mind set at the time or what, but the book was too dark and slow-paced for me to really enjoy at the time. So I decided to try to finish it. I'm extremely glad I did. 

 

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The Goodreads description of the book:

 

Alan, Tommy, Rick, Donald and Bernard were inseparable best friends living in the small, coastal Massachusetts town of Potter's Cove. A circle of five, their world was simple and happy until the day Tommy was struck by a car and killed. Nothing was ever the same. They were never the same.

Years later, as the four survivors-all unhappy, unsuccessful and marking time-approach their fortieth birthdays, Bernard suddenly commits suicide.

Within weeks of Bernard's death, one by one the mutilated bodies of murder victims are found in town, and as the three remaining friends attempt to solve the riddle of Bernard's suicide, they come to realize that he may not have been who or what they thought he was. His entire life may have been a lie, and rather than the sad, lonely and harmless person they believed him to be, he very well may have been a savage ritual killer, a bleeder of young women who conjured evil to fulfill his own demented dreams. To find the truth not only about Bernard, but themselves, they must delve into the darkness and those who inhabit it, a darkness that cradles an unspeakable evil so terrifying it could forever trap them in the shadows of the damned and shatter the very concept of their existence.

THE BLEEDING SEASON: Evil is a state of mind.

 

 

Evil is a state of mind.

 

Remember that. 

 

I've never read a book dealing more with what evil actually is than this one. 

 

And this is definitely not your typical horror story. This story is sad and at times you will want to put it down. It gets that sad. There is no scene in this book that is too gory (is that how you spell that?) or disgusting. It just isn't that kind of horror novel. This book builds atmosphere. Fuck, it chokes you with it and then makes you care about these characters who it puts through hell, literally and figuratively, at every turn. 

 

But what really disturbed me about this novel is that it actually made me feel vulnerable just like the characters in it. Do we really know the people we love? Are we born evil or influenced by it. Is evil a state of mind or is it like a disease? Is it both?

 

It's hard to talk about this book, but I highly recommend it. 

 

5 glowing stars

 

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I probably won't be on here much for a while because I have to go to this six week university program after vacation this week, but I'll try to make updates from my phone (which is a pain in the ass to do). Sorry about the inactivity. I'm reading Boy's Life by Robert McCammon right now and I'm definitely going to try to review that book, even though it might be harder than this book to review. I love it so far. :)

Michael McDowell's Death Collection!

 

A lot of us horror readers have became really interested in the works of the late Michael McDowell lately so I though I'd share this interesting picture I found on Instagram! McDowell had a so called "Death Collection" of objects or photos relating to people's deaths in the 1800s and early 1900s. This is a picture user mysteriousplanchette took of some of the items. Strangely interested and happy that I found this. 

 

 

New ARCs from Valancourt!!

 

 

Recieved two new ARCs from Valancourt Books yesterday! Already started on Cold Moon Over Babylon, and I'm excited to get to Night Things because I've heard great things about it. Thanks Valancourt!

 

Milestone - Haunted Place

Milestone: The Collected Stories, Volume One - Kealan Patrick Burke

I'm glad I ventured to read more Kealan Patrick Burke and wasn't entirely turned off by the lackluster Turtle Boy. It led me to this collection. This absolutely marvelous collection.

 

In this collection are four separate stories, each packed to the brim with true horror of the human variety, not just the typical goes-bump-in-the-night monsters fare. 

 

And through each you can steadily see the town of Milestone's decline from an already decrepit place to something more dark and deserted.

 

 

 

I won't give away much about the stories other than that all are great five stars reads and you won't forget them. 

 

Highly Recommended

 

REBLOG Pre-order on Kindle: KATIE (1982) by Michael McDowell

Reblogged from Valancourt Books:

I'm so excited!!!!

 

“A great read—evocative of another era, engrossing from the first page, chilling.” – Publishers Weekly 

“McDowell must now be regarded as the finest writer of paperback originals in America.” – Stephen King 

“Michael McDowell has a flair for the gruesome . . . the nurturing of utmost horror.” – Washington Post 

“You need a strong stomach . . . filled with gore and horror. At the same time, he writes so well that you can’t stop reading his books.” – Ocala Star-Banner

 

 

When Philo Drax receives a letter from her wealthy grandfather saying he fears for his life at the hands of the vicious Slape family, she rushes to the rescue. But too late! Katie Slape, a monstrous girl with psychic powers and a penchant for smashing skulls with her hammer, has already finished him off and gotten hold of his cash. 

Determined to track down the murderers, Philo hunts Katie and her family through the streets of 1860s New York, where the Slapes’ coffers are filling up with money as their cellar fills up with corpses. But going after the Slapes might be the worst decision of Philo’s life, for no one escapes the bashing of Katie’s hammer! 

A bloody, action-packed romp, Katie (1982) is a throwback to the exciting and violent “penny dreadfuls” of the Victorian era and features the same brilliant writing as Michael McDowell’s classic horror novels The Elementals and Blackwater.

 

Out on March 10th

 

http://www.valancourtbooks.com/katie-1982.html

"Blackwood's Baby"

Redone!

I've completely redone my blog to more well suit the direction I think it's taking. I hope you all like it.

Best of the year...

I will post three "best of the year" blog posts, with my favorite albums, movies, and books this year, and just a generally write up of this year for me. I'll start with music today, do movies next week, and finish the year off with my best books of the year post. I'll post in a little while. ;)

A Daily Funny

Spooky Ghosts

New Album...

So

 

 

I'm a bit obsessed with Florence and the Machine and I got news from a source today that they will drop their third album in March, over three years after the release of their last album. It's about time...

 

Sorry this post isn't about reading but I couldn't help myself, you know?

 

Maybe the Best Book I've Ever Read

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

If you read one book this year make it this one. It has power that no book should be able to possess.

 

That's all I'm saying for now.

 

And I apologize for not being very active on here of late.

Very Creepy...

The Daily Funny

E

My Favorite Childhood Book Series

I moved recently and I was sorting through boxes of my books and I came upon my old Three Investigators collection. This series is so good, and I haven't found many people who were as obsessed with these books as I was when I was younger. 

 

 

 

This was a children's series in the same vein as The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, but you can't really compare these books to them; they are just that good. The stories were also significantly darker than most children's books being published at the time. I mean just look at the beautiful endsheets from them:

 

 

I think they're gorgeous at least. 

 

And yes, that's old Alfred Hitchcock himself. He use to introduce and close the stories and set the Three Investigators on cases. He was the reason the series sold so well in the 60s.

 

I'm also pretty confidant that these stories caused my initial interest in horror and dark fiction. Some of these stories creeped me out quite bad, especially the fifth one, The Vanishing Treasure. I remember the story had something to do with a woman who kept seeing these evil garden gnomes around the house, and looking back it sounds kind of silly and brings to mind images of the Travelocity gnome, but for my fifth grade self it was scary as fuck.

 

So I'll probably be rereading some of this series because I love it so much, and I'd really love to know if you guys ever read these books!

Dr Seuss + horror =

Reblogged from Kitty Horror:

 

These, and others, have been done by an artist called DrFaustusAU. He has lots of other artwork on display, well worth having a look through.

 

 

Currently reading

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
Progress: 24%