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Book Reviews
#41
Zombie Love by Ray Garton

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Been buying Ray Garton for years, always hoping he would write his way back to the glory, gory era of Live Girls, Lot Lizards, and New Neighbor.
Splatter seems like a long time ago now, the punks aged and were supplanted by Eddie Lee and others of that ilk whose shock crutch was often cousin lovin’.

Zombie Love begins with three teens visiting the creepy old lady on the town outskirts.
The main character’s girlfriend recently died in an auto mishap, and they were hoping - maybe - that the old lady - if she were actually a witch - might be able to - “so something.”
She gives him a bottle of goo, tells him to rub it on the corpse, say some words, and whatever happens will be his responsibility.
Hardly original. Basic plot from “Monkey’s Paw” to Deadly Friend.
Quick read. Wickedly funny in the middle, copped out ending.

The wicked bit - not for prudes.


Of course the girlfriend gets revived. Yet, she is still dead.
Reference the title. Zombie!
Being teens, they make frequent stupid ass assumptions.
The boyfriend hides dead girl in the family poolhouse, goes to his room to sleep, thinking he’ll come up with a plan tomorrow.
Middle of the night, he wakes to his girlfriend straddling him, grinding away.
Dead or not, her primal instincts run strong, and his bedroom window was conveniently open.
Of course, she is dead and rotting, so along with love juices flowing from the temple of doom are also entrails. How will he explain those poor sheets when Mom washes laundry?
Lengthy passages describing the fragrance issuing from her portal are omitted here.
Another great scene is when the friends are taking her out for her daily stroll through the park.
She is fast and loose pets make fresh meals. So do unattended babies. Unhappy meals.
After one fast food feast, zombie girl’s face is smeared in blood so the teen friends wipe her clean with a tissue.
Except her nose falls off in their hands.
Without the nose, her sunglasses won’t stay on. There goes her disguise!
Book is howlingly funny in the mid section, before yielding to a tired, cliché ridden end.
Perfect example of Garton’s writing trajectory.
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#42
[SIZE=3]Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet[/SIZE]

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I really enjoy the film and figured I'd see how the play compares.
Surprised to see how simple it was. Two scenes in Act 1, one scene in Act 2.
I enjoy the movie quite more, but this was great.
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#43
[SIZE=3]The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
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An early Crichton novel, and possibly the best I've read of his.
Historical fiction tale (emphasis on fiction), some chaps are lookin to pull a ream flash pull, rob a shipment of gold from a moving train.
Crichton changes history to make the story more entertaining, if you want an accurate account of the affairs look elsewhere. If you want to read one hell of a heist story, pick this one up.

I also recommend searching out the movie version, directed by Crichton and starring Sean Connery. It's more farcical, but thrilling nonetheless.
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#44
[SIZE=3]Holes by Louis Sachar[/SIZE]

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Sachar struck gold with his tale of youth-inmates digging holes in the desert, unwittingly searching for lost gold.
Very entertaining, sure to delight young and old.
The Disney movie wasn't bad either.
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#45
[SIZE=3]Nine Stories by JD Salinger[/SIZE]

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The only other Salinger I've read is Catcher in the Rye, which I absolutely loved... back in high school.
These stories were hit and miss for me, unfortunately more misses. The most famous ones were the best (Bananafish, For Esme, Teddy) and the rest were frustrating.
The characters are fascinating, but rarely do they have anything interesting to say. I guess that's life though.
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#46
[SIZE=3]Zero Cool by John Lange[/SIZE]

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This was Crichton's fifth "Lange" yarn, published the same year as his first "Crichton" novel.
Young doctor Pete Ross is on vacation in Spain, he meets a lovely lady on the beach and soon receives a mysterious warning to refrain from performing any autopsies.
He's immediately swept up in a chase for a McGuffin, finding himself in the middle of rival gangsters and double-crossing women.
A fun tale, great for a sunny afternoon.
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#47
London Blitz Murders by Max Allan Collins

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Collins, better known for hard boiled mysteries, delves into cozy pastiche.
Based on a real life spree killer, the Blackout Ripper, the plot follows a trio of sleuths (DCI Edward Greeno, forensic expert Bernard Spilsbury, and Agatha Christie) hunting for an escalating murderer.
The plot jogs along, with neat touches: life under blackout, the crowded arrival of thousands of Yanks, and circumstances of working girls with limited options.
Not a book of any great depth, but a quick page turner, nevertheless, and a fun beach read.

West End buffs will appreciate the “actresses” who worked the Windmill Theatre -



- As well as tried out for ongoing rehearsals of Christie’s new production, “Ten Little Indians” (“And Then There Were None” for Americans).
Differences between Agatha Christie and Agatha Mallowan are interesting, though old hat for serious Christie fans.
I had a problem with the “voice” of this. Despite watching documentaries of Christie, despite seeing her likeness at Madame Tussaud’s, I still kept picturing - and hearing - Joan Hickson.
So much so, I wondered if Collins inadvertently used the actress as his template.
Could have been me, though.

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#48
[SIZE=3]Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne[/SIZE]

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I watched the Disney cartoons repeatedly as a child, yet I never read the book until now. It's absolutely wonderful, highly recommended.


I suck at writing book reviews, oh well whatever no bother.
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#49
[SIZE=3]The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker[/SIZE]

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My buddy is a big Clive Barker fan and turned me into a Hellraiser fan. If you've seen Hellraiser 1 then you know the plot of this novella. Barker stuck pretty close to his material when he adapted the film, but there's more passion in the writing.
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#50
[SIZE=3]Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton[/SIZE]

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I haven't read this since I was 10 or 11. It was much easier to understand this time around (duh).

I read an interesting online article arguing that the movie is infinitely better than the book. He makes some good points (the T-Rex attack is much more exciting on screen) but it's obvious he is biased towards the movie. And he can't recognize that a 400 page novel and a 2 hour Spielberg movie are completely different mediums. In a book it's perfectly fine for Alan Grant to be "bland" since we can get inside his thoughts, something you do with dialogue in the movie, thus making him feel more relate-able to the audience.
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