Timing is a wonderful thing, some of us have it and some of us don't. It can turn a funny joke into a hilarious one, it can also add an extra depth and poignancy to a great book.
Every once in while an author will show great timing by releasing a book that taps into the current zeitgeist, whether intentionally or unintentionally when this happens it cannot fail to add an extra layer of depth to the book.
OK I might be stretching the horror remit of this website a little bit in reviewing this rather splendid little children’s book, but here goes.
This charming tale of a little mouse, who after reading only the first part of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein decides to create a friend made out of socks and buttons. Silly little mouse she should have read the whole book, she would realised that the book ended in tragedy. And so her creation Doodeedoo is formed, and much like the source material he initially feels lost and alone, well wouldn't you if you were made out of socks and buttons, especially as it is not made clear if they are clean or not. Imagine going through life smelling of dirty socks.
This being a children’s book don't go into it expecting lots of death and chucking of kids into lakes, of course all is made well and Doodeedoo finds peace with himself and makes a friend for life.
Told in rhyme Doodeedoo is lovely little tale that will keep your young ones entertained. Lovingly Illustrated throughout this is a perfect bedtime read. If you want to make the book even more special then do what I did and go for the audiobook version of it, narrated by Chris Barnes. Chris has one of those made for TV Scottish voices, imagine that bloke for Coast crossed with Ewan Mcgregor. His narration adds a lovely lilt to an already lovely story.
THE SPECIMEN BY PETE KAHLE
Debut novels are always an interesting subject matter for a reviewer, it's almost like finding a kitten trying to hunt for the first time, it knows how to do it, but it just needs a bit of refining. Which is pretty much the case with Pete Kahle's debut novel. This doorstep of a novel is a satisfying and accomplished read, however it could have done with being reigned in bit. The sheer scale and scope of this novel prevents it from being a fantastic read. Nevertheless it's still a good read, that clearly shows that Kahle has potential for great things.
The last 18 months or so has seen an explosion in the number of short story anthologies and collections. It feels as though every man and his dog are throwing a bone in the arena. A lot of these books are generally rather poor when it comes to the quality of not only the stories but in the quality and care taken with the production of the book. Thankfully there are still pedigree editors and publishers out there capable of winning best in breed.
Mark Morris and Spectral Press have teamed up to bring us The Spectral Book of Horror Stories. Featuring a line up of authors that almost beggars belief, this should be one of the anthologies of the year....
I bought this book at a convention because it caught my eye and I’d got chatting to the author. As a kid, I loved reading books about local legends and folklore then retelling them to my friends at sleepovers or on the dull bus journey to school. The title and cover appealed to this nostalgic part of me.
This is a great book, if you come at it from the correct angle. I wasn’t sure what to expect and at first was a little disappointed by the level and style of writing. Reading the first couple of stories, it felt rather plain and lacking in verve, particularly if you compare it against the stories in the Mammoth series of anthologies, one of which I’d just finished reading. The imagery in Campfire Chillers is not grand and the prose is remarkably uncomplicated.