Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

15 10 2010

I just finished reading the first book in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay.  I have been dying to read this book ever since I became hooked on the tv series.  I am pleased to say it did not let me down.  The characters were nicely fleshed out, the story developed gracefully and I love psycho killer Dexter just as much in the book as I do on the show.  It was a great pleasure to pick up the book and feel like I was meeting old friends because the characters and their actions were so familiar.

The other great thing about this book is it checks off another one on the Killer Thriller Challenge and I didn’t even realize it was on the list until I looked it over the not that long ago.  I can’t wait to read the next one!!! Luckily, it is sitting on the shelf, just begging to be cracked open.

This book is part of my personal library.





Update on the Killer Thriller Reading Challenge

6 10 2010

I have now read book 7 and 8 on the list. They are:  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and The Shining by Stephen King.  I can’t really say I took to either of them.  The Agatha Christie book was just not for me, and the end of it was so lame, and far-fetched I couldn’t believe anyone actually goes out of their way to read her  books.  At least I can say I have read it and add it to my list.

The Shining, which I was thoroughly expecting to be engrossed in really did not grab my attention.  It was a great book.  Probably Stephen Kings best, certainly a melding of what he does best – horror and psychological thriller.  Considering that I once was a die-hard King fan I was very surprised not be a big fan of this one.  I just wasn’t and I was amazed at how dated it was.  I know all writers are of their time and have to use their current time and place as a reference point but this book just felt past its prime.

I do remember that I loved the movie, I may have to watch it again.

I am about to start reading Truman Capote’s In Cold  Blood.  This one I have read before and it is a chilling account of a true story.  I think this one will definitely be worth rereading.

Both books were borrowed from the library.





The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

5 09 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles is number 10 on NPR’s 100 Best Killer Thrillers list.  What I want to know is why?  I hated it!  I was bored and uninterested the whole way through, thank goodness it is a really, really short book.  Even though it is less than 200 pages, and I thoroughly expected to finish it in a day, it took me nearly 3.  I could not stay with it, in fact I almost put it down and just skipped it completely.  In all the years that I have been reading with abandon I have never been interested in reading a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  And, no, it is not because it is a classic, I have read plenty of classics and have loved many of them.  It was just thoroughly bland.  I know there must be many people who would not agree with me , this is indicated by its place on the list.  Oh, well, I can say I have read it, and now I know I will never read another.

I am now on my 3rd from the list and hope to write about that one here soon too.

Book borrowed from the library.





The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

31 08 2010

The Graveyard Book is a children’s book written by Neil Gaiman.  This book really took me by surprise.  I thought that the way it started was very grisly and far too frightening for a children’s book.  In fact, I was so disturbed by the opening chapter that I almost put it down.  Boy, am I glad I kept on reading!

This book is certainly for a more mature child, one that is used to reading things that might be disturbing to think about or to imagine.  The first chapter opens with the murder of the entire family of the child who is eventually named Nobody (Bod) Jones, and for the killer’s hunt for him (a child of only 2).  However, as the story developed I found myself enchanted with the idea of the plot and also with the characters, especially those of Bod and his “guardian” Silas.  And then toward the end when you find out about the “Jacks”, the action really starts to move and the whole book comes together.

The cast of characters is great and what creative and daydreaming child would not want to have as much freedom as Bod, as many special powers, and so many loving caring souls looking out for him.

For me this book is about the strength of the pure and unjaded soul of childhood.  It is too bad that as Bod grows up he has to lose his special powers and his adopted “family” but we all have to grow up and go out in the world.  At least Bod’s life will continue to be a great adventure.

This book was borrowed from the library.





The Passage – Justin Cronin

30 08 2010

I recently finished reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.  I have to admit that I knew there was a lot of publicity and hype around this book, but I didn’t really know what it was about.  It wasn’t until I saw it listed on a post-apocalypse reading list that I decided to try it.  Also, it happened to be on the shelf at my library when I was looking for something to read.

Let me just say that reading this book was a very fortuitous accident.  It has been a long time since a book has gripped me like this one did.  So much so, that I found myself dreaming about it in between bouts of reading it.  Believe me, I only put it down so that I could sleep.  This book was all consuming. 

Yes, there were parts that were rather simplistic, and parts that I wish had been expanded upon but overall this was a compelling book and one that is very entertaining.  Also, despite the subject matter there were parts that were definitely meant to be humorous. 

The beginning reminded me a lot of Firestarter by Stephen King which is one of my all time favorite books.  The rest was purely original.  Some people are saying this is a vampire book, but you know what, based on the current sub-genre of vampire books that are popular, ie. sexy, friendly, animal eating, super heroes, this is not a vampire novel.  This is an original book that holds its own and will probably create its own sub-genre just like cyber punk created a sub-genre of Sci-Fi.

It is hard to say I loved a book like this, how can you love a book about the hopelessness of the end of the world as we know it?  All I can say is that I want more and I can’t wait for the next two books in the series.





My Current Reading Kick – Horror

10 08 2010

If you have taken the time to look at my reading lists from 2009 and 2010 then you will see a pattern in the number of books I am reading that would fall in to the genre of Horror.  I am not sure why this is really, maybe because they are just for entertainment, maybe it is due to the current frenzy for vampires and lycanthropes on television at the moment.  Some of these books have been great, some just good, others complete rubbish.  Here are the books by category:

Great:  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer – Seth Grahame-Smith.  A great combination of historical facts woven into the fantasy that Abraham Lincoln was a Vampire Slayer and that the American Civil War was really fought to destroy vampires and remove them from the fabric of our society rather than to free the slaves which was just a fortunate by-product of the war.  This book is very gory and some of the scenes the author describes are quite gruesome, no romantic, sexy vampires here.  Just true demons.

Good:  The Forest of Hands and Teeth & The Dead-Tossed Waves – Carrie Ryan.   Books about the Zombie apocalypse.  These are Young Adult and are very easy reading.  I did enjoy them both but definitely preferred The Forest of Hands and Teeth, it seemed more genuine.  I felt like the author was trying to hard with the main character of The Dead-Tossed Waves.  Also, I didn’t think the story line made sense at the end. 

Rubbish: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith.  I decided to read this after I finishedthe Abraham Lincoln book.  I have to say I am sorry that I bothered.  It was a tongue-in-cheek poke at the writing of Jane Austen.  I have no problem with that, I like her novels but don’t mind seeing them satirized for entertainment.  This book was just boring.  I kept thinking I should just put it down but then I kept hoping it would get better.  Unfortunately, I got all the way to the end and it never did.  I would read this author’s next book but would not recommend this one.

Rubbish:  The Vampire Diaries – L J Smith.  Let me start here by saying I am a great fan of the television show adapted from these novels.  Having said that other than a title and the character names the books and television show do not resemble each other at all.  I didn’t like the books one bit.  I am sorry to say I have nothing good to say about them.  The characters were annoying, I could not empathize with them at all, the plots were disjointed and had no cohesion.  For the first time I would have to say that I like the television show/movie better than the book.  When does that ever happen?

Rubbish:  Faces of Fear – John Saul.  I had always avoided reading anything by this author and this book just confirmed why.  I finished it but I will never read another of his books.

All these books were borrowed from the library.