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41. Dracula (Signet Classics (Paperback))
$7.19 $2.98 list($7.99)
42. The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles,
$7.19 $4.68 list($7.99)
43. Swan Song
$12.89 $10.99 list($18.95)
44. Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower,
$4.95 $1.91
45. Frankenstein (Changing Our World)
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46. Infernal Angel
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47. Desperation
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48. The Atrocity Archives
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49. Merrick (Vampire/Witches Chronicles)
$18.87 $18.72 list($29.95)
50. Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection
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51. Bitten: Women of the Otherworld
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52. Blood and Gold (Rice, Anne, Vampire
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53. It (Signet Books)
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54. Nightmares and Fairy Tales: Once
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55. The Vampire Armand : The Vampire
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56. Flowers In The Attic (Dollanganger)
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57. Hellboy Volume 1 : Seed of Destruction
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58. Hellboy Volume 2 : Wake the Devil
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59. The Talisman
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60. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower,

41. Dracula (Signet Classics (Paperback))
by Bram Stoker
list price: $4.95
our price: $4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451523377
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Signet Classics
Sales Rank: 8672
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dracula is perhaps almost as interesting regarded historically as the product of a specific time as it is engaging to continuing generations of readers in a 'timeless' fashion. In her introduction Byron first discusses the famous novel as an expression not of universal fears and desires but of specifically late nineteenth-century concerns. At the same time she is entirely attuned to the ways in which, however much Dracula is a Victorian text, Dracula is a very twentieth-century character, a representative of modernity and of the future. ... Read more

Reviews (274)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not to be read when you're all alone......
Although this book was originally published many years ago it is still one of the most frightening horror stories ever published. Written in diary form it introduces the reader to the young English Lawyer Jonathan Harker, his wife to be Mina, the enigmatic Professor Van Helsing and various other colorful characters that make this story so deliciously scary.
At the heart of the story is the Vampire,Count Dracula of Transylvania who has decided to take residence in England and in doing so seals the fate of several people. One of the Count's first victim's is Mina's best friend Lucy who becomes a Vampire herself and suffers the fate of a stake through the heart and having her head cut off. Soon it is a race against time to stop Dracula getting his fangs into Mina as well, and only the brave Van Helsing and his trusty companions can save the day. Bram Stoker has written a very sexy and scary book for his time, and it is no wonder that Count Dracula's appeal in this form has not diminished over the years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very excellent book with only a few minor flaws.
*Note-contains spoilers*

"Dracula," the only book for which Bram Stoker is really famous, is very good. The use of multiple points of view enhanced the suspense, and the protagonists (my favorite was Dr. Seward) were all written well, as well as Dracula himself. And the first few chapters, beginning with Jonathan Harker's train arriving late, up to Harker attempting his escape from Castle Dracula, are some of the scariest passages in all of literature (especially the night-ride over the Borgo Pass, with the blue flame and the wolves). The climax is also very excellent, from the heroes' race to destroy all the earth-boxes to the final confronation with the Count himself.

However, the novel bogs down a bit in the middle, during the "Lucy Westenra" section. In fact, all of the flaws of the novel occur during this section. Lucy herself is so bland and boring you find yourself wishing Dracula would go ahead and just kill her now. And everyone else blathering on about how perfect and pure she is gets quite irritating. Thankfully, once she is truly dead, the novel picks right back up.

Overall--highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars the blood is the life
This is the most famous horror story of all. Based on the bloodthirsty Transylvanian ruler Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as the Impaler because of his practice of impaling enemy prisoners-of-war on stakes, "Dracula" is the tale of an evil count who is a vampire. The story has little to do wuth the historical Vlad, but that makes it no less spine-chilling.

This unusual novel is told entirely through diaries and letters of the main characters. Count Dracula buys a property in England through Jonathan Harker. The count seems to have a taste for English ladies' blood, and when he goes after Harker's fiancee Mina, she narrowly escapes, though her friend Lucy was not so lucky. Hunted and on the run, Dracula himself escapes back to Transylvania, hotly pursued by Harker, Professor Van Helsing, and others. This chase and its climax culminates in a thrilling show-down!

David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"

4-0 out of 5 stars Dracula Sucks (Blood)
See this old (...) be livin' la vida loca back in the day. He one day (around 1897) decides to take over London and hires a rather idiotic Realitor (solicitor) to buy him a dope crib up in London... complete with all the player (...) like a run down church to sleep in his coffin and a focked up house to hide the "violent room" aka bedroom... Well, see this stupid azz joe be at his house... his castle, right (Keanu Reeves) and it takes him days and days to figure out that this Castle of Dracula is his prison... etc... he be dumb. Oh, well. It is a classic piece of Victorian Literature... LITTER-for-Sure... and the first couple chapters are "swell" but the rest of the book is a waste of time... seriously you pretentious readers... the character is great (Dracula) but he is only up to no good in the first couple chapters... then it gets boring.... real boring.... snooozies.

5-0 out of 5 stars So this is what a Vampire is!
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I, of course was expecting to read something similar to the movie 'Dracula' that I had seen. While there are some similarities, the book is immensely better. I guess that it would be hard to convey all the emotions of an individuals character 'on screen'.

This extremely well written tale is written in a series of diaries. Everything that we read is someones diary, relating all of the events that are unfolding. I found myself unable to read this novel at night, as I was 'fearful'. I do not think that a novel or movie has to be 'gory' to convey a message of 'horror', it can be done with suggestive words and the type of enviroment that a character is in.

Unlike the movie, we are not made to feel for Dracula. We see him for the bloodsucking fiend that he is. There is no love or romance between him and the dedicated Mina. The 'slayer' Van Helsing is as witty as ever as are all the rest of the important characters. This tale unfolds quite nicely and is very enjoyable.

If you are looking for an interesting and well written read, then I recommend this riveting tale. ... Read more

42. The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II)
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345313860
Catlog: Book (1986-09-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 5601
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rockstar in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying exsitence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice's best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.
"Frightening, sensual."
... Read more

Reviews (289)

5-0 out of 5 stars Did Miss Rice really change her mind?
Most people say that Anne Rice completely changed her point of view when she wrote _The Vampire Lestat_ (1986).
I read the whole _Vampire Chronicles_ and am not pretty sure about this judgement. All those who read _Interview with the Vampire_ may have been shocked and amazed by Lestat's cruelty. But this doesn't mean that the protagonist of _Vampire Lestat_ is a substantially different character.
In _Interview_ we see a very strong comparison between Louis, a rich young man with some psychological problems, and Lestat, a strange, mysterious creature with a _lot_ of problems, both practical and affective (for example his old father). Louis supposes that Lestat is only an exploiter, but, as the story goes on, he must acknowledge that his perfidious companion is very useful, especially in the most critical situations.
Unfortunately, there are only misunderstandings between the two characters, especially because of Louis' moralistic and inflexible position.
So, when in the second book Lestat speaks about himself and his life, we get the impression that he is completely different from the former Lestat. As a matter of fact, only the point of view is different. All the positive aspects of Lestat's personality can be also identified in _Interview_, if the reading is deep and careful: he is generous, he cares for Louis and Claudia, he would do anything to conquer Louis' affection. And -most important of all- he forgives Louis and, in the final reel, even Claudia.
This is the same Lestat who loves his mother and cares for his friend Nicholas. The same who travels all around the world until he becomes so famous that Louis, finally, can find him and fall into his arms.

5-0 out of 5 stars will Lestat ever become human?
Lestat, this charming and fascinating character, had a difficult, troubled development. In "Interview with the vampire", the story is very well constructed, the language is exceptionally beautiful, but the characters are not very well focused. Louis describes himself as a victim, but, as a matter of fact, he is selfish, calculator and hypocrite. On the other hand, Lestat appears to be the "villain", but Louis should be grateful to him for saving so many times his life. And what is the return? Death, of course.
But Lestat cannot really die: he is too steadily alive in the author's mind (and heart). In the second book, however, Anne Rice had to change a lot of details. At the beginning, Lestat was the son of a countryman: now he becomes a French nobleman, very disappointed for Louis' misunderstandings. The young Lestat is very devoted to his mother, the Marquise Gabrielle de lioncourt, so much that he changes her into a vampire when he sses her in the throes of death. So we learn something unexpected: vampires are able to love. Killing is only a cruel necessity, and in any case Lestat imposes himself to kill only evildoers.
Will Lestat ever become human? Probably not, spite of "The tale of the Body Thief".But a human counterpart of Lestat exists, at least in Italy. His name is Ephraim Levi, a Jewish, blond-haired piano player, and he is the hero of the novel "Storie segrete" by Eleonora Cavallini, published in 1998 by Edizioni del Girasole, Ravenna. He is loved by men and women indiscriminately. He appears to have no scruples, but shows a very deep respect towards his father's religion.
On the other hand, Anne Rice's vampires are rigorously Christian (let us remember that the author is of Irish origin, just like Bram Stoker). But I suppose that vampires can be nothing but Christian, excepting Chagall, the famous Jewish vampire of Roman Polanski's "Those brave vampire killers".

4-0 out of 5 stars This is the best book!
I loved this book, it was just as good as Interview with the Vampire but I did read them in the wrong order.

So when I read interview with the vampire I was very defensive over Lestat because in this book he explains why he couldn't teach Louis everything because his own maker (Magnus)died before he taught Lestat anything about being a vampire so he went looking for answers and finally found a vampire called Marius (the oldest vampire in the world and Armands maker who Armand fought to be dead.) who answered some of Lestats un-answered questions. (just like when Louis and Claudia went looking for anwsers and found Armand.)

Also we find out why he hated his father so much and what his father meant in interview with the vampire when he said 'sorry, please forgive me' before he died.

The book is writen from Lestats point of view and is kind of like his biography.

My favourate part must be the ending when Louis comes back to Lestat after reading Lestats book and understanding Lestat was like he was.

5-0 out of 5 stars Majestically Frightening
This is one of Anne Rice's best works. The Vampire Lestat, using the same character carried over from 'Interview With The Vampire,' tells the tale of his life, and it's a great one. Lestat is pretty much the main focal character in the Vampire Chronicles, and you get to know the 'guy' quite well. Lestat, I think, is the most entertaining book because of its wide range of storytelling. Told in first person and beginning with Lestat's younger, mortal, days, the story takes us through his transformation of a young man to a powerful member of the undead, and how he learns to use his powers to his advantage. He even deals with the tale of 'Interview' as a book that was published and how he reacts to Louis' telling of the story. Absolutely fabulous work!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wowie Zowie
Oh My God!!! This is the best vampire book that I have ever read. Anne Rice describes everything magnificently. If you want a great read this is the book you need. Also, try reading the book Blood and Chocolate, that book is also wonderful. ... Read more

43. Swan Song
by Robert McCammon
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671741039
Catlog: Book (1987-06-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 18771
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Swan Song is rich with such characters as an ex-wrestler named Black Frankenstein, a New York City bag lady who feels power coursing from a weird glass ring, a boy who claws his way out of a destroyed survivalist compound. They gather their followers and travel toward each other, all bent on saving a blonde girl named Swan from the Man of Many Faces. Swan Song is often compared to Stephen King's The Stand, and for the most part, readers who enjoy one of the two novels, will enjoy the other.Like The Stand, it's an end-of-the-world novel, with epic sweep, apocalyptic drama, and a cast of vividly realized characters. But the tone is somewhat different: The good is sweeter, the evil is more sadistic, and the setting is harsher, because it's the world after a nuclear holocaust. Swan Song won a 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. It's a monster of a horror book, brimming over with stories and violence and terrific imagery--God and the Devil, the whole works. ... Read more

Reviews (363)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Buy, to Keep, and Read Again and Again
Many years ago I picked up "Swan Song" in a public library simply because it was a large book in the horror section and the cover art was interesting. I didn't know what I was getting into... a well-paced, well-written story that grabbed my imagination and kept me riveted. I hated to return it! McCammon takes a very real scenario of how global nuclear war could develop and then uses that war to set a stage for the apocalytic confrontation between Good and Evil... using people with whom you can identify, in locations that you can visualize, and situations that you can relate to. Just a few months ago, a friend and I were discussing "The Stand" and I told her that she needed to read this book... and got to thinking that it was high time that I read it again, too. Thanks to Amazon, I had a new copy within days, and while I told myself that it probably wouldn't be as good as I remembered, I was wrong: it was better. Now that I'm older, I found aspects of McCammon's story moving me that escaped me as a teenager. To put this story into any one genre is an injustice, because it has an appeal that crosses into many genres. I've read very few books that rival it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting read about a depressing wasteland
This was the first book that I read by McCammon, and I wasn't dissapointed. It has over 900 pages but believe it or not the book never gets boring and it is an absolute page-turner all the way through. Thats a rarity in books nowadays especially for such a lengthy novel. The story is amazing once the reader gets halfway through. McCammon has to be one of the best authors in terms of character development. He makes you visualize and care about most of the characters. There seemed to be a few questions remaining at the end of the book. Like the card of the Empress being mentioned throughout the book as an important thing. Then when Swan becomes the Empress with the crown she gets scared and never goes back to it. She seemed to be invincible with the crown, but it doesn't go into detail about it and I thought that was a critical aspect to the book. McCammon describes the scenery very well and sets up the depressing landscape throughout the book. He never explains who the villain really is. After reading the Stand I thought Swan Song was better because its such a riveting read. King's book has lapses in it and that never happens in this story. The villain in the Stand was far better. As good as McCammon is you still feel that he lacks the flair of other authors like Koontz and other popular ones. This book is character driven mostly and if you like that then read this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pofff
At least the bad man in the Stand had a character and was somehow charismatic. Here you have glimpses about the villain; he is never dominant; where he comes where he goes, what he dos whom he serves never never never told; he suddenly becomes dominant party; besides if he has super-talents or not you are not sure; at one time he seems more human than me; weak and easily scared; at other time he suddenly plays God; the narrative is second-rate; while similes and metaphors are not grinding type they are somehow not sophisticated. Lacks King's broad vision of culture,social reflections and political starkness. But I must admit: It reads well and flows but at the end you stand up, leave the book and that's all folks

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Page Turner.
People have complained that this book is too much like Kings' "The Stand". There are some resemblances - they are both about the end of the human race, they are both massive tomes and finally they are both incredible page turners. That is where the similarities end...

McCammon weaves a complicated tale of a few straggling survivors after the nuclear bombs stop falling... Several of them have horrible growths that entomb their faces... The results behind them can be more terrible than the worst cancer...other results can be beautiful... There is a little girl that somehow maintains the power to create life - and could be the savior of the human race...that is if the monsters (both human and otherwise) don't get her first...

This book is simply amazing and a must have for any fan of apocalyptic novels... Buy it and be prepared to stay up late...

1-0 out of 5 stars Good Lord
If this is not a rip-off, then what is? Even the descriptions smell like plundered from King's Stand. While I am not a very devoted fan of the Stand, I can easily say that it is really a unique experience; it may be slow but you can't deny its power with political and social connotations to the consumer-oriented world, governmental double-faced approches...the Swan Song also tries to capture this atmosphere but fails miserably even though McCammon has the ideas already laid down before him. Yes it quickly reads because there is not any sophistication but full of action; so it flows but at the end you feel empty as if finished a child's book. How McCammon is considered a rival to King is beyond me.

And it is certainly a rip-off and a much worse one.

After the disappointing Mystery Walk I figured out that McCammon's books are rather childish.

But I must admit that he writes better than Koontz. ... Read more

44. Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, Book 4)
by Stephen King
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452284724
Catlog: Book (2003-06-24)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 3622
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the fourth book of the bestselling Dark Tower series, a work of epic scope and vision that has creeped into the worlds of The Stand, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, Salem's Lot, and other familiar King haunts. ... Read more

Reviews (587)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story of Roland Deschain, the Last Gunslinger
"The Waste Lands," Book 3 in the Dark Tower series, left us with a bit of a cliffhanger: Roland Deschain, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, Jake Chambers, and Oy the Bumbler were all aboard a sentient (and quite suicidal) super-monorail named Blaine, who was planning on derailing at near 800 mph and taking Roland's ka-tet with him unless they could present unto him a riddle he could not solve.

Book 4 picks up right where Book 3 left off and wraps the dire situation up rather quickly to make way for the real essence of "Wizard and Glass": the story of Roland Deschain, a story of young love and tempered friendships, of shady villagers and a deep-running conspiracy, of a wicked witch and her parisitic crystal ball.

Chances are if you've been reading the Dark Tower series this far, you have at least some like for Roland, and have wondered what could have made him such a seemingly cold-hearted jaded figure. Rest assured that this novel answers all those questions (and a couple hundred more). The introductions of the oft-mentioned characters Cuthbert Allgood, Alain Johns, and Susan Delgado alone is worth the trip through this hefty tome.

The Dark Tower is getting closer and closer, and as it does, true fans are being rewarded more than ever. "Wizard and Glass" is a treat for fans and non-fans of King alike. With the series finale looking to come about in late 2004, now is the perfect time to catch up on everything you've (and that's quite a lot, believe me). You won't regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars For those who have read many a King book...
This book was a dream for me to read. I hope I can convey why.

My favorite book of all time is "The Lord of the Rings" by Tolkien. Behind that are "It" and "The Stand" by our friendly Mr. King. This you have to know to even begin to understand my love for "Wizard and Glass."

If you've read all the reviews, you already know almost the entire book is a flashback told by Roland which explains the momentous events which happened immediately after he became a gunslinger, so I won't waste time going into the plot. I will waste time explaining how the Dark Tower series seems to become better with each book (although I can't comment on "Wolves of the Calla" yet). I have just been blown away by an amazing story by Stephen King, speaking through Roland. Reading this book was better than watching most any movie out there. It has restored my faith in the abilities of an author to transport me to another plain of existance altogether.

And it has filled me with the desire to read every book King has written again, starting at the beginning with "Carrie." Because I started to realize something at the beginning of this book, even before reading King's afterword at the end. The world of the Dark Tower includes every story King has written. Fans of "It" will appreciate the references to the turtle. And fans of "The Stand" will simply jump in their seats in excitement, realizing that the story of Randall Flagg didn't quite end in that book...or did it? This is why I want to read all those books again. But I won't...yet. Anyway...

The other amazing thing King did in this book was a brilliant sense of misdirection in the form of his homages to the book which he says helped inspire this series and maybe even his entire career, "The Lord of the Rings." I was so busy paying attention to all the similarities to Frodo's quest, I missed the mirror images from the story Roland's quest resembles even more, "The Wizard of Oz." Simply amazing storytelling, whether King intended it or not.

I now plan to read some stories of King's which contain elements from the Dark Tower story before plunging into "Wolves of the Calla." I'm in it now, hook, line, and sinker. Thank you, Mr. King.

5-0 out of 5 stars A late start into a great thing.
So, sadly, I have finished Wizard and Glass, skipping ahead a couple of books in the Dark Tower series. I read The Gunslinger awhile back, and wasn't all that impressed. A friend told me that the Dark Tower books were good, but I didn't fully appreciate how A*M*A*Z*I*N*G they were by the first book. Anyway, I literally was unable to stop reading Wizard and Glass, and when I wasn't reading it, I was daydreaming about reading it. This book has Tolkien influences, mythology and characters from other King books including the STAND, an all-time favorite of mine, cowboy/western themes, WIZARD OF OZ references (brilliant!) and more. Stephen King truly is one of the most creative and brilliant writers of the 21st century. His characters become lasting memories. And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and buy every other Dark Tower book, except the Gunslinger, which I already have, and obviously, W&G. I give this book an A+.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
All I have to say is the dark tower series is the best reading I have ever done and this was my favorite book by far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Speechless
Well, about 4 years ago, when I was in the 9th grade, I got all gung-ho into Stephen King. I read a largue amount of his books in a pretty short period of time. It was then when I was introduced to the Dark Tower series. I read the first 4 books and was thoroughly impressed.

However, just at the beginning of this year I felt that I needed something to do in the little free time that I had before heading to college. So, what else, I picked up the good old Dark Tower series. Reading through the first 3 was a breeze and this being the second time around, I was able to enjoy and relish them much more than I had the first time around.

When I got to Wizard and Glass, there is not much that I can say other than that it is one of the best books I have ever read. I am still awed at how the same writer who dreamed up the psychotic-clownlike-killing-demon-monster is the same man who dreamed up this romantic coming of age story which sounded uncannily like something starring John Wayne. King does a superb job of formulating Roland's coming of age story, which was indeed my favorite part of the book.

However, the romantic western love story is not the entire book(although it does indeed take up about 600 pages or so). The only part of the book that I didn't particulalry care for was the whole Wizard of Oz scene.

I am truly looking forward to reading Wolves of the Calla, I have just recently ordered it and will delve into it ASAP. The great thing about the Dark Tower series is that this series of 7 books is like King's Dark Tower. It is the center of his literary world, it is in these 7 books that the beams of many of his other literary works meet. From Randall Flagg and Abigail(The Stand), to Father Callahan(Salems' Lot), to The Crimson King(Hearts in Atlantis), plus many more. It is the summit of King's literature where he has brought his works together.

Only King could find a perfect way to relate all of these together!

Long days and pleasant nights! ... Read more

45. Frankenstein (Changing Our World)
list price: $4.95
our price: $4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553212478
Catlog: Book (1984-06-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 6085
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the story of young Victor Frankenstein, who longed to seek out the answers to life and death. Day and night he worked to create something that the world had never seen. But he did not know that one day his efforts would destroy him and everything he had.

Chris Mould's unique style brings Mary Shelley's classic story dramatically to life. With color illustrations that capture the dark mood of the monster's plight, Mould follows the story from the sweeping icescapes of the Arctic through the birth of the monster and his escape, and on to the tale's tragic end. Children and adults alike will be entranced by this riveting introduction to Frankenstein. ... Read more

Reviews (289)

4-0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein
When I started this book I did not expect to be able to read it without falling asleep in the middle, but when I did begin, I realized I couldn't put it down. My teacher assigned this book for my english class and I assumed it to be exactly like all the other ones: boring, containing lots of big words, and having a bunch of quizzes over it. I do indeed have a test to look forward to, but the book was definitely not boring and although it had many "big words" they were not undecipherable. The plot is well developed and filled with interesting descriptions and events, however, she leaves many loose ends, but I don't want to spoil the story. Unlike the classic movie, Shelley describes Frankenstein's creature (no... Frankenstein is the SCIENTIST not the monster) as an intellectual, (how else could she use her fancy words...? ^_^) and as the story progresses, I winced at Frankenstein's stupidity. Towards the end, one finds it hard to decide which individual to pity, because both have suffered so much. This novel is one that I truly enjoyed and I hope that you will like it as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time; exquisitely written, terrrifying novel
I was surprised by the literary beauty of this book and by its intriguing horror. It was not at all what I had expected based on my exposure to Frankenstein movies and tales. This story is quite different in many ways that make it more appealing to the reader.

The tale involves a monster that is truly hideous in form but reveals a conflicted mind and heart. Shelley effectively causes the reader to have mixed feelings about this creature that wields destruction while confessing its own misery and affection for humanity.

She also conveys the dangers of a person pursuing his or her ambition at the cost of other values such as relationships and peace.

The novel is told in an innovative fashion. Shelley uses three different narrators to tell the story. This creates some variety in the point of view and in the voice of the narrator.

This book is very compelling, but at times I had to put it down due to the tragedy of it. The whole time you know where its events are leading and a part of you wants to go there and another part wants to avoid it--like watching Titanic, you know it is going to sink but you still hold out some hope it won't and you try to avoid its definitive demise.

I think this is a horror story that has yet to be surpassed in literature. I really felt for the characters, including the monster. I was completely entertained by the skillful writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein Rev.
Frankenstein is a very inventive story. That is a must for any horror story fanatic. The mid-section of the book drags just a little (little too repetitive), but all and all it's a very good book. I could go on, but i dont feel like it. The books ok, i gave it 4 stars ..just ..because. read it u want to, if u dont want to, then dont ...whatever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not as expected
I guess I based my presumption of this book on all the movies. Frankenstein is not the creature who I thought he was. I found myself feeling sorry for him. Wishing that someone would reach out to him. Mary Shelley left it to your imagination on really what he looked like. I enjoyed this portion to. The book was exquisitely written. I felt I was actually transported to this era. Enjoyed it very much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Old - but still fresh
Don't expect a mad scientist, angry mobs with pitch-forks, or a grumbling monster. Mary Shelly created a beautifully written masterpiece that inspires deep thought. The monster in this book is enourmous, ugly, intelligent, and in the beginning, loving. But both the monster, and its creator - Victor Frankenstein - live out a life of misery soon after the creation. Each with its own torture - and each caused by the other.

The story is dark and cold - the emotions in the characters are deep. The most amazing part of the book is the monster that thinks, feels, and talks. After reading the book, you are left with much to think about; the dangers of playing God, why do we seek revenge, the source of evil, and much more. Read it because it is beautiful, because it is a classic, or because despite the age of the book and all of the movie versions out there it is still a fresh and exciting story. ... Read more

46. Infernal Angel
by Edward Lee
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843952032
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Leisure Books
Sales Rank: 460762
Average Customer Review: 3.53 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Sequel to City Infernal
Infernal Angel is a quick and enjoyable read set once again in the world of the Mephistopolis, the city of Hell. Edward Lee holds back a little on his regular helping of extreme gore, but peppers the story with enough digusting elements to satisfy his fan base and attract new fans. The clues of the main storyline come together very nicely at the end. It's a fascinating plot that has a big payoff and if you enjoyed City Infernal, you'll eat this book up quick. I heard a rumor that Lee has outlined a third book in the series. If that's true, and you would like to read it, simply write an email to Don D'Auria (the editor of Leisure's horror line) at Dorchester Publishing and let him know to greenlight the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good sequel
I just got done with Infernal Angel and I think that is a pretty good sequel to City Infernal. It has lots of action and suspense to go along with a solid story. Cassie returns to contine her quest to find her sister Lissa. I have to admitt though that I was very dissapointed that Via and Hush wasnt in the sequel. They really helped make City Infernal a great novel. I also wished Lee would have completly explained what happened to Ezoriel. I thought he would be one of the central charaters in this book, but it never really brings him up. I was really dissapointed by that, but those things aside if you liked City Infernal you wont be dissapointed by Infernal Angel. It isnt quite and good as the first but it is very good in its on right.

There are alot of new charaters and its takes you to new parts of Mephistopolis. Lee is becoming one of my favorite writers.

I am just starting Monstrosity right now and if it is half as good as these two books were I know I will enjoy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Return to the infernal pits
I am an unabashed Edward Lee fan. Although I have only read a few of his novels, the smorgasbord of unsettling violence, intense erotica, and whiplash prose make his writings enormous fun for a dedicated horror fan. The biggest problem facing a potential reader is how to acquire many of his books and short stories. Nearly all of his old mass-market efforts are out of print, many other novels and collections are available only through wallet crushing small press editions, and the subject matter of a majority of his tales virtually insures much of his work will remain in obscurity. In other words, I am an Ed Lee fan insofar as my meager funds allow. It does appear a ray of hope is about to break on the horizon: Lee now writes novels for mass market Leisure press, and a few of his earlier works are starting to reappear in slightly more affordable trade paperbacks. "Infernal Angel" falls into the mass-market cheapie paperback category. The novel is a sequel to Lee's 2001 effort "City Infernal," a book that, just like this one, tones down the usual over the top gore and stomach churning seediness in an effort to pander to a general audience. No problem, though, since I will still take a watered down Ed Lee any day.

Don't worry if you haven't read "City Infernal." Lee fills in the details about the first novel at the beginning of this one. You'll discover how Cassie and her twin sister Lissa separated, how Cassie learned she's an Etheress with special powers and abilities, and how she spends her time seeking out her deceased sister for forgiveness. "Infernal Angel" picks up about a month after the first novel ended, with Cassie now locked away in an asylum facing a murder charge over her father's untimely demise. She can still travel to Hell anytime she wishes, but in the meantime she spends her days trying to explain her unusual powers to shrinks. Unfortunately, Lucifer and his minions haven't forgotten about Cassie's wondrous powers. The Dark Prince, always plotting the downfall of God's little creatures, hatches a nefarious plot that could very well install him as supreme overlord of the human race. The plan, involving a place called the Atrocidome, time travel, and Cassie's special powers, might just work. Of course, our heroine knows nothing about any of this until she runs through the requisite number of trials and tribulations in Hell with Angelese, her Caliginaut angel guide from heaven. For Cassie, the importance of returning to Satan's domain revolves around her wish to reunite with Lissa and expunge her guilt over her hapless sister's untimely demise.

In case his plans for Cassie turn sour, as all good plans hatched in the bowels of Hades usually do, Lucifer has a backup plan in the form of Walter. This geeky guy is a genius college student who thinks he cannot make any friends until he runs into the gorgeous Candice. Unfamiliar with how to handle women (do any of us ever figure out how to do this?), Walter falls for the oldest trick in the book, namely doing Candice's homework while the young lady "acts" like she's his girlfriend. Walter's wealthy brother Owen tries to tell his clueless brother what's really going on, but the kid won't listen to reason. He contemplates taking his life when he finally discovers the truth, but a series of increasingly disturbing events and a heck of a revelation from brother Owen convince Walter he has a higher-or lower, as the case may be-purpose in life. Lee throws in the usual inventive cast of characters and ghastly experiences in Lucifer's city to entertain the reader. This time around, we get something called an Intestisaur, umbra-specters, Alexander the Great's main squeeze, and the usual wacky spells and incantations that make the underworld such a wonderful place to spend a few days.

"Infernal Angel" has taken a lot of criticism from readers, and to some extent the book merits it. Lee's outing this time isn't as interesting as his first foray into the pits of darkness largely because the story doesn't spend as much time roaming the black alleyways and malefic pits of Satan's city. Most of the action takes place with Cassie in the asylum and Walter at school. There are lengthy segments of explanatory dialogue between Angelese and Cassie and between Walter and his own guide where nothing much happens. Moreover, complaints about the banal dialogue and paper-thin character development hold a lot of water. I particularly found Walter's character a source of great annoyance. Here's a guy who's supposed to be so smart and he can't figure out anything on his own. Too, we don't spend as much time in Hades as we would like. Actually, many of the problems I expressed about "City Infernal" pop up in spades here. Nonetheless, "Infernal Angel" is still an entertaining, imaginative read.

I'm just happy for the chance to read another Edward Lee novel that only cost a few bucks. Personally, I prefer Lee's darker books, like "The Teratologist," "Bighead," and "Portrait of the Psychopath as a Young Woman" to these toned down works aimed at mass audiences, but I understand that an author like Lee must write books that will pay the bills. I'm hearing rumors that another book will soon emerge concerning the further exploits of Cassie and Lissa, but I'm not sure how that will be possible after reading the conclusion of "Infernal Angel." I heartily recommend Ed Lee's "Infernal Angel" if for no other reason than the book might inspire an intrepid few to seek out his harder to find grotesqueries. If you're ready to move past Stephen King, this novel could well serve as a bridge that will lead you to the nightmarish realms of extreme horror.

4-0 out of 5 stars Now THIS is a Hell worth exploring!
Opening with a scene that grabs your bowels and twists them, Lee explores a new kind of Hell, a modern Hell, run by a mix of technology and scorcery and powered by money [much like Earth]. Revolting imagry that would be over the top in straight fiction is not just acceptable, in Lee's Hell we realize we didn't even see the worst of it!

Lee's Hell has rules, his angel's are far from perfect [swearing and some are even considered insane], and his usage of the 'age old sin' of suicide as a tool is brilliant! It would be amazing to see a companion to this novel with full descriptions and sketches of some of his creations in the netherworld...

The pace is steady, almost unrelenting as this is a very fast read with no clean place to put the book down. The style is choppy blended with eloquence, just like real people talk. He is courteous enough to define things briefly during action and in more detail when time allows to speed things along and prevent the ever present danger of 'skimming' description.

The story is fresh, imaginative, and complex - but smooth. New languages, definitions, strange words... it's easier to read what you're familiar with, but it's much more interesting to delve into a new world! The atmosphere is definately intriguing. We're so accustomed to Hell being portrayed as fire and brimstone, uncivilized, evil terrain, etc. Lee's Hell is
not only civilized, it's a booming metropolis that gives a moderization to torture methods mixed with a fixation of sorcery that is just disturbing.

The only weakness of the book is the characters - while they are well drawn out and wonderfully fun to follow along, you really don't get a sense of emotional attachment and have no concern for their future. I absolutely loved the insane angel, but wouldn't have been upset if she died... it's a strange thing to have such vibrant characters that you can't identify with.

The backcover blurb is also a little misleading... but it's well written and gets your interest. If I were to rewrite it I would briefly define Etheress/Etheran and state that it is a journey with their individual motives and personal guides [maybe a brief thought there] to hell and back, and back again.

Overall, definately a 4 because of the character attachment issue... a solid story, an excellent read, and another example of Lee's amazingly twisted mind!


3-0 out of 5 stars Just doesn't cut it!
I am at this moment whipping myself, for the blasphemy I am about to commit. Ed Lee is my all time favorite author, and the prequal City Infernal is my all time favorite book, but this, so-called sequal dissapoints. In the first book you fall in love with Via, Hush, Xeke and the fallen angel Ezoriel, then in this book you are just told they juast aren't around anymore, the father was killed and that Cassie is in an insane asylum. Lee basically throws practically the enitire first book away. This book is still a decent read, it would be a good book on it's own, but not a sequal. Another problem I had with the story was Walter, he is, in my opinion, completely useless. He serves a purpose in the very end, but Lee could have had that event happen another way without boring us with a hollow and worthless character. It took since the beginning of time to now in order for an Etheress to show up, it was even considered a myth and to not really exist. Now all of a sudden there pops up the male version called an Etherian within a year of the previous storyline, I don't buy it. There is supposidly a third book on the way, (I don't see how the story could continue) If you want to read all of them then read this, if you've read the first and loved it, you may want to stop and picture your own ending, it will probably be more satisfying. Ed Lee is still my God, but he failed on this one. ... Read more

47. Desperation
by Stephen King
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451188462
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 15910
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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A notice to those who feel that Stephen King has lost his magic touch: Desperation is the genuine goods. The ensemble cast of ordinary Americans thrown together by chance, including a disgruntled alcoholic writer and a child who is wise beyond his years, may be a bit too familiar. But the nearly deserted Nevada mining town with an enormous haunted mine pit and an abandoned movie theatre where the survivors hang out makes for a striking battleground, and the grisly action rarely flags. Best of all, though, are the characters of Tak, the ancient body-hopping evil who emerges from the mine, and of "God"--whom the New York Times describes as "the edgiest creation in Desperation. Remote, isolated, ironic, shrouded behind disguises, perhaps 'another legendary shadow,' this deity forms a sly foil, and an icy mirror, to Tak." ... Read more

Reviews (529)

4-0 out of 5 stars Under-Rated for Stephen King
This was the first Stephen King book that I picked up, and it's the only Stephen King book that I have been able to make it completely through at least four times.

The first page will have you cringing... I'd hate to tell you just because it would give it away, but I'll bet Amazon already has a "look inside" view on it, so check out the very first page!! That will show you just how much Stephen King digs into his own mind to come up with weird and crazy thing in this book.

In short, the story pretty much sums up to be a lot of people who by coincidence end up together in Desperation, Nevada; a "dead" mining town where about nobody lives. Tak, the evil guy, takes over other human bodies in able to decieve the good.

The reason I gave the book four stars instead of five... I love this book, I really do. However, I decided to also get "Regulators" since I had heard it was similar to Desperation. Okay, you can't read one after the other. It just doesn't work unless you wait at least a year. The whole thought of the brother and sister in Desperation being married in Regulators made the book a disaster. I never did get through the fourth page of Regulators, I just couldn't stand it.

But, all in all, it is a very good book. I hope that you can get a hold of it. It is extremely under-rated!

5-0 out of 5 stars Spine chilling story telling at its best!
I have recently finished reading Desperation and I have to say, this book scared the daylights out of me. Trust me, I don't scare easy! Stephen King once wrote, "..a writer is someone who has taught their mind to misbehave.." Makes you wonder...

Imagine travelling down one of the lonliest roads in America and then encountering 'The Cop From Hell'. This should give you a basic idea of where this story is coming from, but only just.

This book tells the story of a group of people from very different backgrounds, thrown together by circumstance and who have to rely on on each other, but in particular a young boy called David and an old "has been" writer called Johnny, to escape from a nightmare town known as Desperation.

What's great about this story is that at it's heart, it is a classic tale of good against evil, and if you want to enjoy a good horror story, you have to believe in the power of both.

Coming from a "And a little child shall lead them" vein, King shows us how this group of people first experience disbelief, frustration then fear which leads them to desperation (both physically and emotionally). But as soon as they start to "believe" (espeically about what David tells them), we see their desperation end and the way out of their situation made plain. I'll not say any more than that.

King's description of what happens to a body when it has been used up by the evil force in this tale, is pretty gory, so be warned!

If you like scary stories that are scary, then this one is for you. If you have delicate sensibilities or are easily offended, then you really shouldn't be reading horror stories anyway.

But be warned, this tale might give you nightmares! (Cue maniacle laugh).

5-0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu all over again
Desperation is very good Stephen King that builds a sense of peril and has the readers turning page after page well after they were supposed to turn the lights out.

However, the biggest surprise and pleasure is reading it with the Bachman (King) book The Regulators. It is such a weird deja vu experience having character you think you know in both books. Heros relegated to more minor roles and events playing out differently then you think they will because of your preconceptions. Overall a very enjoyable experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
good from start to finish..Tak!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Can I give it 4.75 stars? Tak!
In the Beginning (of this book), there was the Highway, and the Highway was Dry and Dusty. An eclectic group of travelers along a desert highway in Nevada get stopped by a very large local police officer, who initially seems friendly, normal, and all business. But, the more you get to know him, the more strange he seems. Is he really just a local cop? Is the alcoholic writer just an alcoholic writer? Is the twelve-year-old boy, with a newfound but strong sense of religion, just a normal boy? What about the local copper mine? What about the lady mining engineer?

In some ways, this is "The Stand" revisited, with a disparate group banding together to fight an evil and supernatural force. It is a bit formulaic, especially early on. But, "God is in the details," and "Desperation" is a mine rich with interesting twists, themes, subthemes, and characters. The book starts slow, with the different "good guy" characters running afoul of the cop and ending up incarcerated together, or worse. There are two things that make this story richer than what it first appears to be: the cop is not just a rogue cop gone over the edge, and David Carver (the boy) has hidden depths that turn this story into a near-epic. Good versus evil is the oldest plot (see the Book of Exodus in the Bible if you're unconvinced) but "Desperation" is definitely is definitely not your typical good guy battles bad guy story.

I think that Stephen King's best books, of the ones I've read, at least, are "The Stand" and "The Green Mile". Is "Desperation" on that level? Not quite but, oh, so close! Four-and-three-quarters stars for this hard-to-put-down supernatural, creepy thriller. Warning: There be Beasties in these waters! Not for anyone with significant fears of things that slither, crawl, burst open, or bleed. ... Read more

48. The Atrocity Archives
by Charles Stross
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930846258
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press
Sales Rank: 16681
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the title piece, Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, completes his theorem on "Phase Conjugate Grammars for Extra-dimensional Summoning." Turing's work paves the way for esoteric mathematical computations that, when carried out, have side effects that leak through a channel underlying the structure of the Cosmos. Out there in the multiverse are "listeners" who can sometimes be coerced into opening gates. In 1945, Nazi Germany's Ahnenerbe-SS, in an attempt to escape the Allied onslaught, performs just such a summoning on the souls of more than six million. A gate opens to an alternate universe through which the SS move people and material-to live to fight another day. But their summoning brings forth more than the SS have bargained for-an evil, patiently waiting all this time while learning the ways of humans, now poises to lunch on Earth. Secret intelligence agencies, esoteric theorems, Lovecraftian horrors, Middle East terrorist connections, a damsel in distress, and a final battle on the surface of a dying planet round out this story. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Electrify Your Synapses with Stross' Livewire Lovecraft Show
These two droll, amazing and entertaining stories hopefully herald the start of a cycle of "Laundry" tales. Stross' obsession with science, computers, internet technology, office management structures (!), occult history and HP Lovecraft meshes into a dizzyingly fun reading experience. Somehow, massive exposure to all this information - cleverly turned on its head to meet the demands of the stories - causes synapses to sizzle and crackle, giving rise to an illusory boost of one's own intelligence. Yes, Virginia, reading Stross makes you feel smarter, as others have observed....

This is Must Read stuff for Lovecraft fans, but if you like the work of Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, or Grant Morrison's THE INVISIBLES, then this is more or less guaranteed to flip your wig.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stross and MacLeod have created two fantastic tales!
This book was fun and definitely set in the sci-fi classifications of books, if not the fantasy world itself, due to its use of the occult. It would comfortably rest amidst such fantasy classics as "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter", and other such works as well as sci-fi and even cyberpunk like "Childhood's End", "Foundation", "Ringworld", "Puppet Masters", "Neuromancer", "Snow Crash", "Cryptonomicon", "Cyber Hunter" and others. Great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious "hard dark fantasy"
Charlie Stross has been making a name for himself over recent years for his extraordinary "Accelerando" stories, chronicling human and post-human civilisation towards and past the Singularity event at which technology becomes sentient and near-godlike. Another future world is being explored in the novel Singularity Sky and sundry short stories/future novels - also post-Singularity, and imbued with a pervading humour even through some quite horrifying passages.

The Atrocity Archives is best read with this in mind: despite looking a bit like horror, this is really hard science fiction with a lot of humour and a very weird Lovecraftian twist regarding the nature of the world. It's geeky but cool, a clever take on the spy thriller, and the only connection it has with "A Colder War" is that it's Lovecraft-inspired spy fiction by the same author. (Indeed, other even sillier Lovecraft homages appear in his short story collection "Toast").
The one-star review below should be taken with a grain of salt: don't come to any book with brittle expectations and then complain that it's the book's fault when your expectations are dashed!

The Atrocity Archives is quite unlike anything else out there at the moment, but those familiar with Stross, Cory Doctorow, or various other contemporary sf authors' up-to-the-minute genre-busting fiction will eat it up with gusto.
And the beginning passage, in which a succession of everyday events (such a pager going off in our hero's pocket) are made ominous by horror-inflected prose, is pure gold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deighton meets Lovecraft
It's difficult to review this book without comparing it to other authors, simply because they share certain common moods. The actual story concept is original, a fusion of espionage, horror, and SF that won't necessarily appeal to readers who are purists in any one of these genres, but is hugely enjoyable if you can take it all in.

Briefly, the story revolves around agents for a British intelligence organisation tasked with suppressing certain mathematical concepts; the ones that are the keys to other dimensions, most of them containing entities implacably hostile to mankind. The trouble is that they happen to be very interesting mathematical concepts, the ones that are close to the cutting edge of computer research, and there are a lot of people out there that are working on them. In the past it took thousands of man-hours to screw up reality, today a laptop can do it in sceonds. This can result in horrific accidents and is potentially the ultimate terrorist weapon. There is an uneasy peace between the world's intelligence agencies, which pool resources to counter this threat, but things haven't always been that way. The ultimate threat of the book is a remnant of Nazi research from the second world war, and turns out to be much nastier than expected.

I enjoyed everything in this book, from the home-life of the hacker/agent hero to its final apocalyptic scenes on a dying alien world. Thoroughly recommended.

I wrote this before seeing the publisher's description, and it's interesting to see how similar it is. That possibly means it's unnecessary, but that's life...

4-0 out of 5 stars It's a fun read
I'm about halfway through the book and totally disagree with Mayhew's review. He panned the book because it's not a sequel to another story he read.

Since I never particularly got into Lovecraft, or horror, I'm enjoying the book even more than I expected to. I find it a wonderful twist on the whole cyberpunk genre. The protagonist is a geek that talks and acts like a real geek. He even gets the slang right.

As I said in my title, the book is a fun read. ... Read more

49. Merrick (Vampire/Witches Chronicles)
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345422406
Catlog: Book (2001-10-02)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 12297
Average Customer Review: 3.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this mesmerizing new novel, Anne Rice demonstrates once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of myth and magic, as she weaves together two of her most compelling worlds? those of the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair witches.

... Read more

Reviews (290)

4-0 out of 5 stars Whoo-Hooo Witchy Woman!
Merrick is the story of a young woman of color who belongs to the infamous Mayfair family and, although far removed from the so-called "white Mayfairs," is quite the witch in her own right. I enjoyed reading this book because it brought together many of the characters from Rice's previous vampire novels, such as Louis, Lestat, David, and Claudia. For someone who is not an Anne Rice fan, you will definitely want to read some of her previous books before reading this one. If you don't, you may be a little confused. For those of us who are Rice fans and have read many of her books, it's like old home week when you open the pages of this book. The basic plot of the story is that Louis is feeling sorry for himself and pining for his vampire companion of old, Claudia. In an attempt to make Louis happy, David contacts his ex-lover and old friend Merrick, a very powerful Voodoo witch, to ask if she will conjure up the spirit of Claudia for Louis to see one last time. To find out what happens from there, you must read the book, because I will not give away the rest of the story! The story does not encompass a very lengthy period of time; however, the story is told in flashbacks by David, and these flashbacks tell the story of who Merrick is and how she came to be associated with David and the Talamasca starting in her childhood and ending in the present time. While this book is not quite as lavish in its language and descriptions as some her previous novels, Anne Rice nevertheless does a fine job with this story. I would recommend it to all!

2-0 out of 5 stars Expected More and Got Even Less
I'm going to be honest. I couldn't wait for this book to come out. I have been a huge fan of Anne Rice's for a long time. I have read and enjoyed most everything she has ever written as Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches are two of my favorite fantasy series. I was beyond estatic to see what would happen when Anne Rice combined these two series in one novel. Keep in mind too that I found "Blood and Gold", the novel released the year before this one, to be a HUGE disappointment.

But, I hadn't lost faith in Rice yet, so I shelled out the money for this book. Trust me its not worth it. The beginning and the end are the only things this books has going for it. And it would be a waste of money to buy this book for only two chapters. The middle is muddled and beyond boring, you learn nothing new about the characters, and less about Merrick herself. I don't recommend this book to anyone no matter how big of a fan you are of Rice and the Vampire or Mayfair series.

I rated gave this book two stars because the first and last chapters really are very good so they each got a star. Don't waste your money buying it for yourself. Ask me and I will be happy to tell you what happens.

1-0 out of 5 stars One of Ann Rice's Worst books
This book was actually worse than Memnoch or Body Thief(which I hated both). Although not the worst book of hers that I have had the misfortune of reading and yes at one time she was one of my favorite authors. My advise avoid this book. It was so badly done that I never want to read another one of her books again. Read the first three books in the series and Pandora. They are actually worth it. The rest are not very good.

2-0 out of 5 stars Witchy woman
Anne Rice tries to meld her two most popular series in "Merrick," where the Mayfair Witches and the seductive vampires collide. Unfortunately, with a limp title character and a meandering, weird plot, "Merrick" is most noteworthy for its unrealized potential and what it could have been, if Rice had cultivated it.

David Talbot encounters his protege/semi-lover Merrick Mayfair, an octaroon witch who now works for the Talamasca. He has an odd request for her: Louis de Point du Lac, a tormented vampire, wants to call up the spirit of the child vampire Claudia, so he can be reassured of her fate. And he needs Merrick's help to do so, since she has the ability to call up and control the dead with her voodoo magic.

David reflects on his first encounters with Merrick, her trips into the jungle in search of mystery artifacts, and the malevolent spirit of her dead sister Honey in the Sunshine. Now those artifacts may help her raise up Claudia's spirit, and might give Honey's spirit a way back into the world as well. But when Claudia is brought forth to speak with Louis, what she has to say may destroy him...

"Merrick" was advertised as the spot where the Mayfair and Vampire Chronicles converged, but that's kind of misleading. Except for some mentions of Julian Mayfair, there's only a vague connection with the "white Mayfairs." It's mostly vampires and more vampires, with only the Talamasca (a sort of supernatural FBI) as a connecting point.

As always, Rice's writing is lush and brimming over with steamy New Orleans atmosphere. But she could use some editing. There are constant references to Merrick getting snockered on rum, her breasts, her clothes, David lusting after her, Louis burbling about how he loves her, and so on. And Rice seems to lose her way in the final chapters, as if she wasn't entirely sure how to wrap up what she had started.

The biggest flaw of the book is Merrick herself. She's certainly an intriguing character, a beautiful witch who wants to be a vampire, and isn't afraid to bend the men (and vampires) around her fingers to get what she wants. But she doesn't seem to have any flaws, motives, or recognizable emotions. We get no insights at all to what she's thinking. Louis is a rather ineffectual presence, and David is basically there to lust after Merrick. But Lestat's brief appearance toward the end sets the pages on fire.

While "Merrick" is overflowing with promise, hardly any of that promise is actually used. Beautifully written but poorly characterized, "Merrick" tries to cast a spell but doesn't succeed.

1-0 out of 5 stars What Happened?
In the TV industry when a show is going down hill they refer to it as "Jumping the Shark" after the Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis.

The Vampire Chronicals jumped the shark in "Memnoch" but drowned in "Merrick"
This book is a voodoo spell gone horibly horibly wrong.

Not only does David, one of the dullest most annoying vamps, have the stage, but he introduces the most two demetional character in the Chronicals (up to ths point anyway).
What little personality Merrick has is irratating and selfish.
This little witch has no good side. She has none of Lestat's humor, none of Louis ingraine humanity, none of Armand's dark charisima.
This would have been bad enough, after all we suffered though Dora, Bengi, and Sybil. But two of our most beloved possesors of the Dark Gift, are warped.
Louis loses everything we love about him, and Lestat loses his fangs.

This book IMHO sounds the death toll for the VC. I couldn't get past the second chapter of "Blood and Gold" and I haven't had the heart to try the last two and see our Brat Prince so far from where he started.

Do yourself a favor, read up to "The Vampire Armand" and call it good. ... Read more

50. Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection
by Edgar Allan Poe
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694524190
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 6526
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Universally acclaimed as the maestro of horror and the morbid, Edgar Allan Poe's dark gift has for more than a century and a half set the standard for the genre.

Now, Caedmon Audio presents a classic collection of Poe's most terrifying tales performed by two of the most brilliant interpreters of his work ever to be recorded: Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone.

Between them, they perform 20 of Poe's chilling stories and poems, creating an unforgettably intense listening experience.

... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comment for the "reader from San Francisco"
Lighten up dude! It's Edgar Allen Poe not Andrew Dice Clay! What did you expect?

1-0 out of 5 stars Just turned me off...
I know that this is supposed to be a great and highly-regarded recording, but all I could hear was a dry old man's voice and a boring British accent. I felt like I was listening to a textbook, and was better off reading the text.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic readings of phantasmagoric tales
this is a really wonderful collection of readings from e. a. poe's oeuvre. all of them are clear and clean recordings, and the articulation in the readers' voices is superb -- it makes me wish i could have experienced radio plays as a child (unfortunately i had to make do with atari and nintendo). oh well. NOTE: this is a very generous package as well. i thought i was going to get one cd for [$]: i got FIVE. there are HOURS of readings on these discs, and everything i've heard is wonderful. i recently used this collection for a show i produced for my students: if you are a sound engineer it will be very easy for you to sample these recordings, because there aren't any soundeffects or music in the background (which i prefer, because then the acting really shines through -- there's no production getting in the way of what you hear). i ripped "the mask of the red death" for a dance concert, applied different filters to the portions of the track i needed, added my own effects and music, and presto i have exactly what i need: a soundscore based entirely on the spoken word (but you'd never know it to hear it!). highly recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars Audio Antique Treasure: Edgar Allan Poe Comes To Life
The reviewers for this audio box set of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous works of fiction are absolutely right. There is perfection in this product. The talented Vincent Price and Basil Rathborne lend their voices to the narration of the classic tales of horror and suspense. This is an antique. It is valuable and very reminiscent of the old World War II days of radio-plays sponsored by soap companies. This same style was responsible for the popularity of H.G. Well's "War of the Worlds". When Orson Welles narrated the story, his voice and the drama of the radio was so convincing, people actually believed flying saucers were invading American cities. The power of radio was very strong in the time before television media. At any rate, my point is that this same magnetism is felt in the drama that Vincent Price and Basil Rathborne provide to the original master of horror pre-Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe was responsible for creating the detective story, some would say the short story, American Gothic, macabre tales that gripped readers with haunting melancholia, dread and superstition. It was as if he took drugs and hallucinated and wrote down what he saw. Among his most famous tales, of which Vincent Price and Basil Rathborne perfectly read with powerful narration are "The Cask Of Amontillado", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Mask Of The Red Death," "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Tell-Tale Heart" and the "Black Cat". It is unfortunate that they did'nt include selections from "Tales From The Rue Morgue". Among the poems that are read and made Poe quite a literati are "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee".

With all the well-constructed suspense and literary Gothic, poetic romanticism, the tales of Edgar Allan Poe are suddenly alive and fresh in the old radio style. This is truly a great gift for fans of Gothic storytelling, and most specifically, for fans of Edgar Allan Poe. Not only is a great gift, a great audio treasure, but a perfect compliment to homework. Your high-school age son or daughter will benefit immensely from hearing these classic short stories, narrated dramatically by these old "mystery" movie actors from the 50's, a more pleasurable, but nonetheless educational experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just about perfect
This 5 disk collection of Edgar Allen Poe's works is one of the best audio collections I have ever heard. Generally, I am a fan of the "radio play" style of spoken audio, with a full cast and appropriate sound effects. Yet, Poe's work (especially on the represented stories) tends to be from a single point of view, and largely take place in the mind of the main character. This first person style lends itself well to a single narrator. I could not imagine two better chosen narrators.

The heritage of radio shines in there performances. These are two actors who cut their teeth in radio, in shows such as "Suspence," "Inner Sanctum" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." Voice acting is almost a lost art. It is amazing, the sheer richness that comes from hearing Poe's words manipulated by such talented voices.

Vincent Price, famous for his sinister voice, is a natural for Poe. He does fewer pieces, voicing "Ligeia," "The Imp of the Perverse," "Morella," "Berenice" and "The Gold Bug." All of them are well done, with "Ligeia" being a stand out.

Basil Rathbone does the lion's share of the CD set. As I was not as familiar with him, I was a little disappointed about this. Then I heard him speak. Wow. His voice is superb, and obviously highly-trained. I prefer him to Price on the recordings, and I am thankful that he voices my favorite pieces. He slips easily between prose and poetry, and has a voice full of both emotion and cold regard. Rathbone lends his tenor to "The Tell-Tale Heart," The Fall of the House of Usher," The Black Cat," "The Cask of Amontillado," The Masque of the Red Death," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Haunted Palace," "The Bells," "The Facts of the Case of M. Valdemar," "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," "Eldorado," "To--," "Alone" and "The City in the Sea."

Are there flaws to the set? Sure. The long tracks mean you have to listen to each story in one go. There are some abridgments, if you follow along with the books. However, the talent of the narrators combined with the respect for the words being spoken outweigh any flaws. This is a truly exceptional collection. ... Read more

51. Bitten: Women of the Otherworld : Book 1
by Kelley Armstrong
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452286034
Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 9618
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An addictive, deeply enjoyable thrill ride on the frontier of the feral and feminine...a debut novel of astonishing imaginative power from the future queen of suspense.

Elena Michaels slips out of bed, careful not to wake her boyfriend. He hates it when she disappears in the middle of the night, and can’t understand why any normal woman would crave the small hours of the morning, the dark unsafe downtown streets. But Elena’s skin is tingling, the pent-up energy feels like it’s about to blow her muscles apart — she can’t put it off any longer. She loves to run at the edge of the city, but she doesn’t have time to get there. She has to slink into an alley, take off her clothes and hide them carefully, and make the Change.

Elena’s trying hard to be normal. She hates her strength, and her wildness, and her hunger for food, for sex, for running in the night, for the chase and the kill. She wants a husband, children...even a mother-in-law. Or at least that’s what she tells herself.

And then the inevitable happens. The Pack needs her. The Pack she loves and hates is under siege from a bunch of disreputable and ruthless mutts who are threatening to expose them all, breaking all the rules that have kept them safe. The loyalty of her nature calls her home, and into the fight, which tests just who Elena is: the wild woman or the wistful would-be human.
... Read more

Reviews (101)

5-0 out of 5 stars Strong female lead, if Anita Blake were furry
This novel is a brilliant version of werewolf lore. This different take on werewolf mythology is brilliant, but I don't want to ruin it for someone who has not read it yet. This book is a romance, a mystery (albeit easily figured out), and part horror.

The main character, Elena, has left her pack and is trying to live a "normal" life in Toronto. The pack's leader, Jeremy, calls her home. There are murders that implicate werewolves. The risk of exposure is a threat too real to ignore.

The complexities of the characters were enthralling. Elena's relationship with Clay, her ex lover is perhaps one of my favorite parts of the story. Clay is also a complicated individual, but his love for Elena is beyond question. The interaction of the pack and their love for each other is also well worth the read. I can't wait until Stolen comes out. I hope that this is the beginning of a wonderful series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Riveting, Utterly Magnificent!
Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, "Bitten", is an unbelievably good book that captivated me from start to finish. I utterly adored this book and could scarcely make myself put it down from the minute I started it (which caused me to lose an entire night's sleep, but WOW was it ever worth it). "Bitten" is one of those books that you read at lightning pace, then flip right back to page one when you reach the end because you can't bear to part with the characters yet. It's that great. In my humble opinion, "Bitten" is one of the best werewolf books out there today. Filled with romance, horror, mystery, and some of the most compelling characters I've come across in a long time, "Bitten" will enthrall, delight, and electrify readers everywhere!

Elena Michaels has spent the last year living a relatively normal and quiet life in Toronto. She has a steady job as a journalist, a nice apartment, and a caring boyfriend. But Elena is no ordinary woman; she is, in fact, the only female werewolf in existence. Bitten by her werewolf fianc・瘢雹and defeating the odds by surviving, Elena has never gotten over his betrayal. After nearly ten years with her pack in New York State, Elena decided to leave them and try to make the stable, happy life she has always dreamed of. And things have been going just fine for the last year, until her pack leader, Jeremy, leaves her an urgent message, summoning her home to deal with a pack emergency. Determined not to be pulled back into her old life, Elena heads off to New York, resolute that she will find out what the problem is and then go back to Toronto. But upon arriving at Jeremy's estate, Stonehaven, Elena feels the unmistakable joy of coming home.

But there are many things to deal with at Stonehaven. Perhaps the most difficult for Elena is dealing with her ex-fianc・瘢雹and lover, Clayton. Clay is still and always will be deeply in love with Elena, though he is an incredibly complicated man. Bitten as a very small child, Clay somehow survived the Change and lived alone as an animal for years before Jeremy found him and took him in. Though he is brilliant, Clay is ruled by his animal instincts, making him a passionate, but often volatile man. But Elena cannot deny the pull she feels towards Clay, and the passion and love they share is both incredibly erotic and achingly beautiful. I absolutely fell in love with Clay and Elena as a couple, and was rooting for them the whole way through.

Unfortunately for Elena, dealing with her confused and powerful feelings for Clay is the least of her worries. A group of non-pack werewolves, known as mutts, have invaded the pack's home, killing humans and leaving them in Jeremy's forest. The mutts are bent on exposing and destroying the pack, and they are coming dangerously close to succeeding. The entire pack is called to Stonehaven to help, though they are only seven strong, including the steadfast Antonio and his fun-loving playboy son, Nick, the considerate Peter, and Elena's good friend Logan. Werewolf genes are passed down only through the males of the species, and women who are bitten virtually never survive the Change. As the only female werewolf, Elena is a very sought after woman, and the entire pack knows that the mutts will try to take her for their own if they get the chance.

Unable to leave her pack when they need her, Elena works with Jeremy and the others to try and figure out what the mutts are really up to and how to stop them. But the mutts are strong and ruthless and they take a deadly toll on the pack. Armstrong weaves a hugely suspenseful tale, and readers will become engrossed in the pack's fight to destroy the mutts before the mutts destroy them. The pack's fight for their territory and their lives is absolutely gripping, and is mixed seamlessly with the evolving relationship between Elena and Clayton. The tale builds towards an exhilarating climax that is sure to have readers on the edge of their seats, and Armstrong provides a wonderfully satisfying conclusion.

"Bitten" is a downright superb novel, a sparkling and inspired tale of love and suspense that will make every reader an instant Kelley Armstrong fan. It's delicious and sinful, and is best described as a compulsive page-turner! Armstrong provides readers with a fascinating and perceptive view of wolf society, and when the characters are in wolf form, their actions ring true. Each character is vivid, real, and brilliantly portrayed, from the controlled and compassionate pack alpha, Jeremy, to the fabulously strong, stubborn, and loyal heroine Elena. The suspense quite literally had my heart pounding and the adrenaline pumping through me, and the story came vibrantly to life inside my head. "Bitten" is an original and outstanding novel, and it's hard to believe it's Armstrong's first one. Kelley Armstrong has breathed new life into the werewolf genre and I just can't praise this book enough. So read "Bitten" for yourself and you'll see what I'm talking about. Trust me, you'll love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Too many wonderfully decriptive words, just can't describe..
Just WOW!
I adore this book. There are wonderful characters, a completely original plot ('cept it still follows the line bad guy wants something good guys have, goes through hell and puts everyone through hell in an attempt to get it scenario, but since the reasons are original it works). The characters are original, witty, funny, werewolves... I haven't mentioned that yet have I?? but these aren't your conventionally "half-man, half-god-knows-what-the-hell-thats-supposed-to-be... a wolf?" werewolves. When they change they become full wolf... including tail.
When Elena Michaels left the _Pack_ she thought she would try to return to a _normal_ life. Good bloody luck. Besides having to change in alleyways, lie to her live-in boyfriend, and make it to dead lines, she also has to try to ignore her pack. But when her Pack needs her she has to go, lying further to her boyfriend. When she returns to her Pack you're introduced to the main man in her love-life... Clayton Danvers. Six foot of muscle, blond slightly curly hair, blue eyes, werewolf, and completely head over heels for her. Just not _normal_ enough.
The bad guy/good guy scenario starts here, filled with sarcastic remarks, sex romps in the woods/backyard, house, make-outs in front of hotel rooms... its great.
I have read this book dozens of times, and probably will a thousand more. The seuel _Stolen_ is good too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Werevolves Shmerewolves
I avoided this novel for a very long time on the basis that I don't really enjoy reading about people who miraculously change into animals every full moon. Big mistake. This novel isn't about werewolves, it's about a captivating young woman who has survived a life of abuse only to find herself desperately searching for the family and security she's never had. It's a beautiful story. I was afraid that the entire book would focus on the free feeling of running with the wind in your hair and the agony of changing from man to beast and, although these do have their places in Bitten, that's really not where the focus is. Don't be put off by the entire werewolf genre -- this deserves, nay requires, a read.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!!
This was a wonderful book. It was perfectly written and the characters were wonderful. If you love werewolves, but hate the stupid zombie monsters, you MUST buy this book. If your still not sure if you want to buy it go the library or something - IT IS A MUST READ along with all of her other books. ... Read more

52. Blood and Gold (Rice, Anne, Vampire Chronicles.)
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345409329
Catlog: Book (2002-10-29)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 5259
Average Customer Review: 3.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, Marius is kidnapped and forced into that dark realm of blood, where he is made a protector of the Queen and King of the vampires–in whom the core of the supernatural race resides. Through his eyes we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine, the horrific sack of the Eternal City at the hands of the Visigoths, and the vile aftermath of the Black Death. Ultimately restored by the beauty of the Renaissance, Marius becomes a painter, living dangerously yet happily among mortals, and giving his heart to the great master Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious young apprentice Armand. But it is in the present day, deep in the jungle, when Marius will meet his fate seeking justice from the oldest vampires in the world. . . .
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Reviews (163)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but still nothing close to the first 5
If you enjoyed other Vampire Chronicles books then this one will certainly interest you. While this book is an interesting read, this book has some flaws which makes it much less than the first five VC books.
1) Marius as a character is much less interesting than Lestat. Lestat gave his books a sense of humor, youth and adventure which the older Marius (a Roman Senator) lacks. This problem is a recurring one in Rice's new Vampire Books in that the absence of Lestat is acutely felt.
2) Due to the subject matter, Rice had to summarize the first 5 books and this is irritating to the constant reader as well as confusing to the new one.
3) The story begins with a vampire called Thorne in our current time who awakes from a long sleep to decide to return to the world and meets Marius who entertains him with his life story. The story that occurs in the current time with Thorne, Marius and Maharet is separate from Marius' history though and occurs in the first two and the last couple of chapters. This second story is pretty poorly written and Thorne's personality especially makes no sense

That said there are still some very enjoyable parts in middle of the story which is it's best part. Rice takes us through the Decline of Rome, the Rise of Costantinople and the Renaissance periods in a breathtaking way. She as always is a great illustrator of history and is able to give you a true sense of these enchanting periods. The portion of the novel dealing with Mael, Avicus, Euxodia and Zenobia is definitely the most enjoyable in the whole book.

I would recommend reading this book for the constant reader, the new though should probably start with the first five as they are much better.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most beautifully written Anne Rice Novel I ever read
This was one of the best books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down so I finished this book in less than two days. For those of you that think it is boring, you are fools. Yes it may tread over some of the same grounds that were in previous books, but it gives a wonderful, fresh perspective on it. Remember in The Vampire Armand when he mentioned he might have seen Bianca as a vampire, here you find out why! You find out why Marius is such a bitter creature and why the beings he created are in such (I guess for lack of a better word) miserable state. You find out the depth of feeling Marius has and how immortality has really affected him, he admits how it is not what he thought it would be, it puts a spin on the things that he told Lestat. For the people who thought this would be a continuation from the ending of Merrick, I will remind you that if you are a huge fan of Anne Rice, you realize that only the first five books actually go in chronological order, the rest are books that take place here and there from the time of Memnoch the Devil. If it helps, the way I have figured out the books go after Memnoch is Pandora, Vampire Armand, Blood and Gold and then Merrick, but all those books are independent enough that they do not have to be read in order. So if you are looking for order in the books after Memnoch, forget it unless you are willing to put a lot of time into figuring out where things happen in the books and what is a continuation from the previous books you just read. Instead enjoy this book for the masterpiece it is. I for one, believed that Marius having his own book was long overdue, and I am glad he finally got to tell his tale. And for those that don't like rehashing, a lot of Vampire Lestat rehashes Interview with the Vampire and the last and first few chapters of Pandora and Armand rehash what has happened to Lestat since Memnoch the Devil. It is all the telling of the same tale from different perspectives. It is the telling of how all these beings are trapped together in the web of immortality. I think that that is what makes the Vampire Chronicles great.

3-0 out of 5 stars Been There, Done That
I was torn between giving this book a 3 or a 4 star rating. I enjoyed it, of that there is no doubt. I do love Anne Rice, and her work rarely fails to impress. Marius is also one of my favorite vampires.

However, there are some issues I have with this book.

Marius' story, in part, is Armand's story told from a different point of view, which makes for a redundancy that after reading Armand's story, seems a little boring to me.

Other than a single Bianca sighting centuries later by Armand, we never know what becomes of her. She was one of the most important characters in this book, and in fact, without her, Marius might not have escaped his villa. Yet, she is not important enough for Rice to have told us a little more. At the time that I read this, I imagined that we would get the rest of the story in one of the other books, but alas, we know nothing of the troubled Bianca's fate, and barely get to venture a guess. If this loose end is meant to be this way, then it was not done in a way that intrigues, but rather, it frustrates.

I gave the book three stars because Rice could have done better, despite the fact that this is a very entertaining book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and enrapturing
Oh god, this book was beautiful. Even if it wasnt Rice's best work, it was her most beautiful. Marius is so exquisite in his love, his life, and his isolation. The loving but evident painful quarrelling of him and his love Pandora; his hate for his companion and accomplice to making him, along with his love for Mael's lifelong friend Avicus was a perfect paradox and rising contradiction, and the addition of Zenobia from the ashes of the wretched Eudoxia was specifically beautiful. Although Rice seemed to cut corners, using "long sleeps" to attain a time that she wished to get to, i was relieved when the book finally reached the Renaissance, and Marius' intense and forbidden loves for the courtesan Bianca and his apprentice Amadeo. I will mention no more, but i will say that the book is gorgeously written, and you feel your emotions rising and falling with that of Marius.

The main reason this book only got 4 stars: the random use of the "Mind Gift" "Cloud Gift" and all of that when it had never been used before urked me. Also, there is never any conclusion to what happened to the strong Avicus, Zenobia, and Bianca. They were all strong, and it was never known whether Akasha destroyed them or if they just dissappeared. You would think that Rice would have given us closure on that fact, but no. For those two reasons, i had to dock her 1 star, but still it was one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching books i have ever read, and i really do adore it. Nice work Anne Rice!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Haven't we heard most of this before?
This novel is about Marius, my favourite vampire. Although I have quite a few problems with this book, it was still okay to read.

The problems were these:
1) most of the story line has already been told in the previous books;

2) I'm tired of all the vampires loving all the humans and always crying at the slightest provocation. They are becoming a bit too wimpy for me. Marius most often alternated between being sad and being shocked (is that the limit on vampire's emotions?)

What was also very irritating was the mention of other stories (previously untold) that Marius says that happened to him but he is not allowed to talk about them by the author. Instead, Anne Rice rehashes old plots. A bit boring.

Another irritating thing was the fact that after introducing a new and interesting vampire Thor (to whom Marius tells his story) she hardly gives us any insight into him. Not only that, but because we don't know much about Thor, the ending of the book makes no sense whatsoever, since it involves him and his history with his maker, the ancient vampire Maharet.

To sum up, a bit disappointing but okay. I say okay because I'm a big fan of Anne Rice (so I can take a lot of maudlin stuff from her), however, a casual reader would probably be irritated by this book. ... Read more

53. It (Signet Books)
by Stephen King
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451169514
Catlog: Book (1997-06-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 7240
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. What was it?Read It and find out...if you dare! ... Read more

Reviews (732)

5-0 out of 5 stars His most complicated and enticing book yet.
King was at his best when he wrote IT. Definiyely his best horror novel and also my favorite of his works. Even through all the complicated manuevering of going from 1957 to 1985 and back, he doesn't lose sight of his primary objective: storytelling. IT is sort of a encyclopedia of horror. IT has contains at least a trace of almost every kind of horror and terror that has been explored in the past. IT has one of the most interesting and structural foundations from what I have read in many years. Unless King comes out with something beyond genius in the incoming years, IT, especially after King's own death, I'm sure will be looked upon as his best work of horror fiction. This is supposed to be King's last story of "reality of children's beliefs in monsters," and if this is way of creating a entire summary of his books CARRIE, CHRISTINE, CUJO, PET CEMETERY, FIRESTARTER, THE STAND, THE SHINNING, and probably most of all, THE TALISMAN, King has definitely staged a climax to probably King's best era of his development

4-0 out of 5 stars You can never go back
"It" was the first lengthy book in which I fully engaged, and is still one of the most frightening and enthralling books I've read. More specifically, the first half of the book was absolutely terrifying. I was completely absorbed and found myself constantly peering over my shoulder into the darkness as I read. (Be warned: "Where The Wild Things Are" was the "scariest" book I read prior to "It.")

Unfortunately, the second half of the book seemed to "sing for the sake of the song" and in my opinion, was not on par with the former half. Part of this is most likely due to my strong feelings for the first part, but probably also due to the excessive length of the plot. I believe that if King could have left the ending more cryptic and not returned to "kill" the evil as an adult, he would have had a lengendary story with a cult-like following on his hands. After all, the horror to the reader is making the connection between the characters and the children within ourselves. I feel King loses this aspect by having the characters return as adults. Rarely do we ever "conquer" fears from childhood - we just learn to deal with issues. However, the second half is far from horrible - King just was so outstanding in the first half that it was just about impossible to write a closing to match.

As always, King is outstanding at verbalizing the obvious in ways most of us can only manage cerebrally.

4-0 out of 5 stars Muy bueno
As a horror novel "It" works well, to my mind, even better than "The Shining". Not that I was much scared. I was more touched by a deep sense of childhood, friendship, and the loss of innocense, which are the most important themes in the novel. "It" comprises all our chidhood fears, but most of all the fear of becoming an adult...

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic
This still stands as one of the greatest books I have ever read. There are essentially two books. One takes place when the characters are children and the other when they are adults. By far the sections dealing with the characters as children are the best, simply perfect. The second half, when they are adults, is not nearly as good, but that is only because the first half was so great.

I once used to think that this was Steven King at his best. Now that I am older and have read more, I can now say that this is truly fiction at its best.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Epic
I truly lack the ability to discribe this book in a way that will do it justice but here it goes. This book is not a should read if your a horror fan, it is an absolute must read. Some feel that this book is a bit long. Well, yes it is. I for one though did not mind. In fact I wish it was longer. When you read a book that pulls you in the way IT does, you don't want it to end. The characters are great, you truly care for them from the beginning, and the villian...well lets just say I never come across any better, anywhere. This is one book that will give you chills and make your hair stand up on end. ... Read more

54. Nightmares and Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time
by Serena Valentino, FSc
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0943151872
Catlog: Book (2004-03-31)
Publisher: SLG Publishing
Sales Rank: 12639
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This haunting first collection of Annabelle's memories are filled with frightening stories and dark fairy tales about her various owners . Featuring the first 6 issues, as well as some other spookirific surprises, including an introduction by Tommy Kovac (Skelebunnies, Stitch and Autumn) as well as a guest page by Jhonen Vasquez and other SLG creators. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Annabelle Speaks.....
Annabelle is a doll who seems to always be present when things go awry. Whether she is part of the cause or merely an unlucky bystander isn't quite known, but either way her luck seems to have run out long ago. "Nightmares & Fairytales" is a string of her memories, all of which seem to be morbid takes on various fairytales we all know and love. This particular collection includes the first six comics collected into one exquisitely done graphic novel at an unbeatable price.

The stories, though varied versions of well-known tales, manage nonetheless to be original and quite unique. No two tales are even remotely the same. With a cast of characters that includes lesbian vampires, evil-harboring nuns, and monsters in the closet/walls, Serena Valentino clearly puts her amazing imagination to work with an array of tales that never ceases to amaze, and never leaves the reader bored. I love the anime-style artwork tinged with a dark twist that can be, at times, rather graphic. Yet, the artist (FSC) accomplishes this without ever being too gruesome.

I definitely recommend this collection to fans of comics such as "Lenore," "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac," and "Squee." Though more morbid and certainly not as humorous as the aforementioned comics, Annabelle Speaks won't disappoint those with a taste for stories and artwork that dance on the darker side of life.

As Tommy Kovac says in the introduction: "Curl up in a big chair with this book, and if it's not raining outside, pretend that it is."

5-0 out of 5 stars dark fantasy at its best
People familiar with Slave Labor Graphics usually think of the authors that write for it: Jhonen Vasquez, Roman Dirge, Evan Dorkin, the list goes on. Some of them turn out incredible works like "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac", and others turn out rubbish like "Outlook: Grim". I didn't know about SLG's hitandmiss record when I went into my comic book store and bought a handful of different titles. Most of them were disappointing, with the exception of a couple. "Nightmares and Fairy Tales" was the best one I picked up that day.

The series is written by Serena Valentino, the writer of the rather prolific "Gloomcookie". I've never read her other work, so I can't pretend I'm an expert, but in "Nightmares" she's extremely competent. As the title suggests, she takes fairy tales (most of which are already pretty nightmarish in their origins) and adds a little bit more oomph.

The thing that keeps the series from just being a bunch of random stories is the constant presence of a doll, named Annabelle (hence, Annabelle Speaks for the trade title). The doll serves as the connection between all the stories, whether as a character or a narrator. At first glance, I was worried that the doll technique would get irritating, but its done with a light enough touch that it doesn't feel forced. Illustrations are done by FSc (Zeet), and they are one of the main reasons I continue to read. There's definitely a Japanese influence in the artwork, and sometimes it works better than others, but it always looks good.

As for the stories, they're all pretty bittersweet. Some end happily (kinda), and others end on a real down note (notably the first storyline in the series (ish 1 and 2). For me, the best story was from issue number 5. In it, little Gwen has just moved to her new house with her less than appreciative parents. She is convinced that something is lurking in the walls, but her mom and dad refuse to take her seriously. The only time she feels safe are when she meets her next door neighbor (a kindly witch) and is talking to her doll (Annabelle, in the only instance where a human can actually hear her). Its a storyline that begs to be made into something larger. This trade consists of the first six issues of the comic, and at a price under eleven dollars, that's quite a bargain. If you're someone who's into fantasy, but who loathes "happily ever after", this is the collection for you. ... Read more

55. The Vampire Armand : The Vampire Chronicles (Rice, Anne, Vampire Chronicles)
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679454470
Catlog: Book (1998-10-10)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 39145
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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In The Vampire Armand, Anne Rice returns to her indomitable Vampire Chronicles and recaptures the gothic horror and delight she first explored in her classic tale Interview with the Vampire (in which Armand, played by Antonio Banderas in the filmversion, made his first appearance as director of the Théâtre des Vampires).

The story begins in the aftermath of Memnoch the Devil. Vampires from all over the globe have gathered around Lestat, who lies prostrate on the floor of a cathedral. Dead? In a coma? As Armand reflects on Lestat's condition, he is drawn by David Talbot to tell the story of his own life. The narrative abruptly rushes back to 15th-century Constantinople, and the Armand of the present recounts the fragmented memories of his childhood abduction from Kiev. Eventually, he is sold to a Venetian artist (and vampire), Marius. Rice revels in descriptions of the sensual relationship between the young and still-mortal Armand and his vampiric mentor. But when Armand is finally transformed, the tone of the book dramatically shifts. Raw and sexually explicit scenes are displaced by Armand's introspective quest for a union of his Russian Orthodox childhood, his hedonistic life with Marius, and his newly acquired immortality. These final chapters remind one of the archetypal significance of Rice's vampires; at their best, Armand, Lestat, and Marius offer keen insights into the most human of concerns.

The Vampire Armand is richly intertextual; readers will relish the retelling of critical events from Lestat and Louis's narratives. Nevertheless, the novel is very much Armand's own tragic tale. Rice deftly integrates the necessary back-story for new readers to enter her epic series, and the introduction of a few new voices adds a fresh perspective--and the promise of provocative future installments. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (401)

3-0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Suprising....
compared to the work that Anne's done recently. Memnoch and Pandora were, I think we'll all agree, mistakes. Servent of the Bones was marginally better. Violin....Violin was so awful that I couldn't force myself to finish it. And I LOVE Rice. But Armand...Armand was probably the best thing she's published since Body Thief. Maybe not quite as good as Body Thief, but up there...Armand was a little self-indulgent for my tastes and I think Rice has gotten a little tied up in the "let's live out my fantasies" phase. Interview and Vampire Lestat seemed to have a real passionate fire to them, like she didn't want to write them but she was driven to...her more recent books have been lacking this. I don't know, we'll see what happens with her next book. I'd have to say that if you're just getting interested in Rice now, read Vamp. Lestat, Cry to Heaven, Feast of All Saints, or The Witching Hour.....or Interview, for that matter.

Someone in another review mentioned that Armand seemed to do things that were completely out of character for him....that was the problem I was trying to work out in my head while I read it. That was probably the most disappointing aspect of the book, the distinctly un-Armand behaviors. Still, like I said, it's better than the other recent books Rice has written. Maybe she's got her touch back.

4-0 out of 5 stars It was a well worth read
Another story in the Vampire Chronicles series, The Vampire Armand tells the story of the memorable and striking figure of Armand. The previous installment in the Vampire Chronicles, David Talbot, philosopher of the undead and vampire himself, persuades Armand to tell his epic story. Armand struggles with whether or not to tell. It spans Armand's early and incomplete childhood memories of Kiev to being kidnapped and sold in Istanbul as a slave to Marius to Venice, Paris, and North America. Marius, himself ancient, educates Armand and his other young slaves in philosophy, law, history, and arranges for their sexual education. Anne Rice writes these scenes well, very descriptive. By this time, Marius and Armand have become more than master and slave or teacher and pupil. Armand is now a vampire; Marius having made him after a powerful sword fight fatally wounds the young redheaded hero. Enter the bad guys, a group of vampires who destroy other vampires for God. They damn Marius and vampires like him that live among mortals and love mortals and pass themselves as mortals. One night they destroy Marius' paintings (he is an artist in Venice), burn him and take Armand prisoner. The irony in Armand's imprisonment comes from the tension of his Russian Orthodox beliefs (he is deeply religious, actually in love with God, and prone to visions). His captors are truly evil, converting him to their beliefs. After much torture and resistance, he finally concedes to their ways and is trained to become one of their leaders. (This is where he entered in Interview With the Vampire, as coven master to the bad vampires who lived in the Theater of the Vampires in Paris.) While this novel is about Armand's struggles to integrate the Orthodox beliefs of his mortal life with his new life as an immortal, the story goes back to review previous narratives of Lestat and Louis. It gives a brief run-down of the whereabouts and doings of the other living vampires, and takes up where things left off in Memnoch the Devil. And as always, Rice's historical descriptions are vivid, enticing, and grab the imagination. I have mixed feelings about this book, as it seems that with this story the Vampire Chronicles have taken a turn toward soap opera. What's next in the Chronicles? I don't know, but I would like to see less melodrama, and I would like to see the next tale written from the perspective of Marius or Gabrielle (Lestat's mother). All in all it is a very well written book and does move evenly with the other stories even though it can be rather over dramatic at times. Shaena H.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Utterly Gorgeous Novel..
I read this and this is one of the very few books that has ever made me cry. I have come to feel for Armand as much as I do any of the other characters in this series. I think out of all of them, he's had it the hardest.

Overall, this is a gorgeous book. The descriptions are amazing, as if you are right in the heart of Venice. The love affair between Armand and Marius was beautiful and hearttrending as well.

A beautiful read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Where Ego needs her editor
I have always been a huge Anne Rice fan, but The Vampire Armand has convinced me that she needs the guidance of an editor. It's no small coincidence that her finest book is the one that employed the additional eye of an editor. There has, at least in my opinion, been a gradual decline in the quality of the books since Interview with the Vampire. Her ego is impeeding her work. A writer is not an editor. Love of their work will not give them the impartial view necessary to remove or modify those parts that just don't work. That's the problem with The Vampire Armand. Large parts of it just don't work. There's also a nagging tendency for the book to repeat itself over and over again. A very poor outing in my opinion.

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring and I am not that open minded...

I loved Interview with a vampire, vampire Lestat, queen of the damned, the tale of the body thief and Memnoch the Devil. Some reviewers felt that after the tale of the body thief Anne Rice started to lose her touch. I disagree, I believe all those books I mentioned were excellent. However, I couldn't finish the disgusting crap of a book "Vampire Armand". It was soooo boring. I actually enjoyed when Anne Rice would get into her historical lessons in previous books, so its not because this book was over discriptive that I hated it.

Where do I start?
Well I was pleasantly suprised that Armand was actually Ukrainian and was stolen into slavery from somewhere around Kiev. (me being born in Ukraine and having one of the character's in great Anne Rice's books was very pleasant, plus this was true historically that kids and women were stolen into slavery from ukraine at some point)
I always kinda closed my eyes and didn't mind to the homosexuality or bisexuality in her previous books. I think I am an opened minded person and I felt that this is a woman writing perhaps thats why she admires a man as a sexual objext to that extent. I still felt that the story and the characters were amazing in her previous material. This book was not only boring (story), but also very gay. As dumb as I may sound saying that:(. It sounded like a gay man's fantasy, although I wouldn't know what a typical gay male feels, so I am sorry if I offend anyone by saying this(I would think though its a pretty bad fantasy for anyone, whether you are gay or not). Perhaps I am being shallow and stereotyping. I just couldn't read about the sexual relationship of a young thin fragile boy and an older man. Besides that I was ok with reading about Lestat's attraction to David in previous books. I thought it was extremely boring and not to mention disgusting at times.
Considering that Armand was one of my favorite characters to begin with, I was looking forward to this book. Unfortunately I couldn't finish it. Getting through the nasty parts would be ok if the story was good. Unfortunately the story was boring and Armand a disapoitment as a character.

I do not recommend this book at all. Although it seems that a lot of people liked, so I suggest reading some other reviews. I am giving it 2 stars only because it still resembles Anne Rice and I didn't care about the overuse of the word velvet lol ... Read more

56. Flowers In The Attic (Dollanganger)
by V.C. Andrews
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671729411
Catlog: Book (1990-11-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 17373
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the Extroardinary Novel That Has Captured Millions in Its Spell!

All across America and around the world, millions of readers have been captivated by this strange, dark, terriifying tale of passion and peril in the lives of four innoocent children, locked away from the world by a selfish mother.

Flowers in the Attic is the novel that launched the extraordinary career of V.C. Andrews®, winning her an immediate and fiercely devoted worldwide following; today there are more than 85 million copies of her books in print. ... Read more

Reviews (371)

4-0 out of 5 stars Flowers in the Attic
V.C. Andrews outdid herself in the book Flowers in the Attic. Cathy Dollanger one of the four Dollanger children narrates the story. Cathy a twelve-year-old must learn to grow up fast. Her father dies and Cathy and her brother Chris who is 14; must raise the children for their mother. They now live in with their grandparents in a huge mansion. In order for their mother to inherit her father's wealth he must not know about his grandchildren. The children must live there because their mother has no skills to obtain a job. The mother starts visiting the children less and less. The kids now rely on themselves. Although times are tough the kids find little things to amuse themselves. The four children go through many tough times. Andrews puts the characters through many different twists and turns. She keeps you wanting to know what happens next. This book was great and I suggest it for the young and old. This book shows how strong the bond can be with brothers and sisters. This is on of the best books I've ever read. It kept me guessing what was going to happen next. I am not much of a reader- and I read this book in less than a week. I strongly suggest this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Peerless.
I read Flowers in the Attic a number of years ago now and I still re-read all five in the series every so often. These books drew me in and kept me in until the very last moment. When Cathy's heart broke so did mine. When she cried, I cried. She is a character without compare, she's fragile, cruel, vulnerable, ironwilled, hard-hearted, emotional, defensive, disturbed, traumatized, beautiful, graceful and violent. There just aren't enough adjectives out there. She's so well-developed, with her mannerisms and her figures of speech...You hate what she hates. And you love what she loves and for just a few hours and a few hundred pages, you can get into the mind of a person you would have dismissed as bad and you can feel what she feels. This is the mark of a fabulous book: taking away a realization about the world and about the nature of human emotion. You find out that Cathy's sins are not only her fault her relationship with Chris is heartwrenching. The plot is well done, haunting and full. Characters, I think I've said how wonderful they are. This book is so powerful and anyone who can should read it. And the sequels. Especially Petals on the Wind and Garden of Shadows. You won't ever forget them. (I don't recommend the movie, though :-))

5-0 out of 5 stars A Truly Extraordinary Novel
I was absolutely mesmerized by this novel and the movie of the same name, and I've never forgotten it, never will. As far as really, really captivatingly weird storylines go, this one has to rank near the very top. This is the story of a brother and sister who were disowned by their very rich and strict parents because of their unnatural love for one another. They have four children together, but then he unexpectedly dies. As a result, she returns home and falls at her parents' feet, begging forgiveness. Her stern father beats her as punishment, which she submits to so that she will appease his wrath and get his love for her back, and get written back into the will. But the existence of her four children must be kept a secret, since her father would never accept them. This shameful incestuous secret is kept locked away up in the attic--that's where the children are kept hidden and out of sight. Their mother visits them and keeps promising that soon they'll be let out of the attic and everything will be just fine. In time, however, her love grows cold and she visits them less and less, selfishly preoccupied with her happy new lavish lifestyle and the new man in her life, while her children start to get sick. Two of them die. Their food is being poisoned. The two eldest surviving children begin to realize that their mother has been slowly, methodically, and calculatingly killing them off! Will they be her final victims, or will they escape Foxworth Hall? This immensely popular novel has sold 40 million copies! It's such an engrossing story!!

David Rehak
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes"

5-0 out of 5 stars An ugly story
I think this is the ugliest story that I ever read although I knew the story of the book before reading it, but just think to put my kids in an attic for more than three years all by them selves just because I will win one trillion dollars is insane (at least for me), but not only that, try to kill all of them is just lunatic.
The way the kids learned to live there changing the attic according to each season of the year is cute but at the same time very sad, indeed all the book is really sad but very well written I can tell you that this book will put you real down just to think what a mother can do to her children just for money, when she went to the attic and tell the kids that she went to Europe I really close the book for a while and think about an insane mother.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very disturbing book
This book is one of my favorites. It starts a little slow, but it takes off after the first couple of chapters. The story follows four siblings whose father dies in a tragic accident. Their greedy mother brings them to live with their abusive grandmother, who locks them in her attic and keeps them there for years. Eventually, the kids realize that they've become prisoners, and they devise a plan to escape.

This is a page-turner. Definitely not boring, but definitely not for overly-sensitive readers. Read at your own risk. ... Read more

57. Hellboy Volume 1 : Seed of Destruction - NEW EDITION! (Hellboy)
by Mike Mignola, John Byrne, Mark Chiarello, Dave Stewart, Matthew Hollingsworth, Robert Bloch, Barbara Kesel, Scott Allie, Kevin Nowlan, Gary Grazzini
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593070942
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 6216
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hellboy is one of the most celebrated comics series in recent years. The ultimate artists' artist and a great storyteller whose work is in turns haunting, hilarious, and spellbinding, Mike Mignola has won numerous awards in the comics industry and beyond. When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars GREAT concept and AMAZING art, not so great dialogue
I am not very familiar with Byrne so I don't know if this is typical for him but he writes a little too mundain and run-of-the-mill for such a fantastic story with great art like Hellboy. His dialogue and monologue for the villain in this book are horrible. It is completely boring and skippable. In fact that's the worst part, it is ENTIRELY skippable. This is even worse because at points there's PAGES of it. This villain just drones ON AND ON about a bunch of ..., and you can literally skip those whole sections and not lose ANYTHING. The stuff is just barely relevant and Byrne does nothing to it to make it interesting or write it with any originality. One could argue that Hellboy is a very "pulp" comic and that as such, the sort of writing and dialogue can be expected to be of a certain (read DULL AND TRITE) nature. But it's too much to be asked of the reader to settle on the writing when the story and art are so compelling.

Recap: Hellboy = original, Byrne's dialogue for it = horribly plain and done.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well done
Okay, I just read picked this up because the movie was coming out, and I'm one of those people who does that (as probably are many of you reading these reviews). But I found myself thoroughly enjoying Mike Mignola's HELLBOY.

This first HELLBOY book is a little on the short side, and at times, Mignola probably gives too much attention to the mythology rather than the characters, but all in all it's a fun read.

It's not my favorite comic I've read (definitely not in the Alan Moore category) but it's fun and well worth your time.

The artwork is definitely top notch. Even if the story were no good (but it is good) it would be worth getting to look at.

Now that the movie's out (which was also very entertaining and worthy of your time) I'm sure I'll keep reading the rest of the series.

Happy reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hell on earth with a snappy attitude
In 1944, a team of specialized German Nazis gathered together with a powerful sorcerer on a strange mission to raise seven demons, while at the same time a group of rangers led by Sgt. George Whitman gather in an old church in East Bromwich, England with a team of paranormals, determined to discover what it is the Nazis are up to.

The Sorcerer, wearing some odd apparatus on his arms, powered by an electrical generator, casts a spell from a rocky hilltop resembling Stonehenge. A bolt of lightening-type power issues from the rod he holds in his hand, and strikes the church where the rangers are gathered along with their special forces. When the smoke and debris clear, a small being is hunched down on the floors, looking as though he were part demon and part little boy. It is Trevor Bruttenholm who names him: Hellboy.

Skipping many years into the future, Hellboy comes to visit Trevor, now an old man. Trevor, who had been like a father to Hellboy all these years, tells Hellboy of the failed "Cavendish Expedition" he has just recently returned from, way up in the Artic Mountains. He and the Cavendish "Boys" had found some ruins high up in the frozen cliffs, older than old, and inside beneath a mammoth carved pillar is a statue of a sitting man so perfect it seemed to be alive.

But Trevor has no further memory of what happened, though the Cavendish brothers did not return with him. During Trevor's narration of the expedition, Hellboy notices that Trevor's house is infested with frogs. When Hellboy mentions the frogs, Trevor freaks out and backs away from the frogs, out onto his balcony, from where he is suddenly and unceremoniously tossed back into the room at Hellboy's feet; quite dead. His body seems to be covered in odd marks that were not there mere seconds ago.

Hellboy brings in his friends to help him investigate the death of Trevor; Elizabeth Sherman and Dr. Abraham Sapien. Liz has highly advanced pyrotechnic abilities, and Abe...well, Abe is a really cool fish-man. Beginning their investigation at the old Cavendish mansion, which is slowing sinking back into the lake it was built over, the three friends are quickly separated and all hell breaks loose; pun intended. The nameless Sorcerer who originally summoned Hellboy is back to claim what he believes is his, but by now we know that Hellboy can't be forced to do anything he doesn't want to do.

This first Hellboy book reveals Hellboy's origin, and shows us the loyalty between him and his friends, and the lengths they will go to for each other. This was actually a very difficult review for me to write because I liked it so much, it is hard to describe in a non-gushing way just how much I enjoyed this book. The storyline is very intense and fast-paced, even for a graphic novel; the illustrations are superb, the cells formed and drawn just right, so that the eye follows the flow of Mignola's inspired tale of this devilishly good guy without staggering or stopping to search for the correct sequence.

I have only recently become immersed in the world of graphic novels, and Hellboy is the absolute crme de la crme of the lot. A brand new type of hero; ultra powerful, intelligent, witty humor and saucy quips, demonic appearance, and as icing on the cake, from Hell itself.

As a bonus, there are some added chapters at the back of the book that illustrate the evolution of Hellboy as he was created and drawn to life, plus some enjoyable Hellboy artwork to examine and appreciate.

Hellboy is a perfect graphic novel, and I am greedily looking forward to pouring over the rest of the series. Not to mention I'm dying to go see the movie now. Enjoy!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Comic.
Hellboy is one of the most original and interesting characters created in the visual magic of comic books. Mike Mignola is simply a genius to create such a complex and unique protagonist that so easily returns for new episodes again and again (without becoming formulaic or falling for any of the usual clichs that many comic characters do). Here, in SEED OF DESTRUCTION, Hellboy's first adventure, the audience not only has some light shed upon his origins - this is also a great starting place for any Hellboy newbie (it was for me!).

Hellboy, as a character, is simply delightful. He's a big red devil (literally), with his horns sawed down to two lumps on his forehead. He has a giant stone hand (yes, it's stone, yet it moves like it's flesh) on his right arm, and more than often uses it to give the final blow to end a fight. He also carries a really big, really cool-looking revolver (with a rosary hanging on it), but surprisingly, he doesn't use it all that often. Hellboy struts around in a simply bada** way that is easily appealing to many "tough-guy" fans, and yet is often as goofy and sarcastic as a teenager. He has his own fears, and is definitely not unstoppable (he gets hurt - a lot). Oh, and his favorite curse phrase: "Ah, crap." Here he is, the spawn of evil forces (Satan?), absolutely tough and bada**, but he gets just as distressed and apprehensive as any person can. That's part of why he's so cool; he isn't 100% perfect, but he's likeable and tough enough to be considered a hero.

Now, for a little bit about his origins...

Hellboy's Origin:
On the night of December 23, 1944, the Nazi regime hired the work of a sort of mystic/sorcerer, named Rasputin, in order to summon up the forces of hell (in the abandoned ruins of an ancient castle in England). They titled this operation "Ragna-Rok" (after the Norse myth of the end of the world).

Meanwhile, that same night, a group of American scientists (protected by a U.S. army and led by a certain Professor Trevor Bruttenholm - pronounced "Broom") were conducting paranormal research amidst another set of ancient ruins, over in Scotland. A medium there started feeling strange and powerful forces at work, and realized something was going on.

Back in England, the Ragna-Rok experiment built up. Rasputin spoke ancient, archaic words, summoning ancient and cosmic forces onto earth. Suddenly, in the Scottish ruins, there was a terrific explosion, and amidst the fire and debris crouched a form...a small, red being with little horns and a tail, and a giant stone hand. The soldiers protecting the scientists were almost quick to kill the thing...but Bruttenholm stopped them, for this little creature almost looked like a guess as to what they called him.

And now for a little bit about this particular episode.

Fast forward to 1994. Hellboy is fifty years old, and has been a member of the government organization, the B.P.R.D. (the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), for quite some time. Professor Bruttenholm is troubled about something, and Hellboy is curious to find out what. Bruttenholm reminisces about a recent arctic expedition that he had been a part of earlier that year, and how they had run into some giant temple or shrine. Inside that shrine, they discovered a giant, immaculately carved statue of something straight out of H.P. Lovecraft...and crouching before it was a statue of a man that looked "almost...alive." Then Hellboy noticed that there were frogs hopping around inside the room, and Bruttenholm panicked and ran out the door, yelling for a very confused Hellboy to run for his dear life - and a heartbeat later, the Professor's dead, scarred body gets thrown back in through the doorway, and the adventure begins.

I've been reading the Hellboy/B.P.R.D series for almost a year now, after hearing about Guillermo del Toro's plans on directing a movie based on them. I finished reading the last official trade paperback collection of straight-out, Mike Mignola-penned Hellboy/B.P.R.D. comics about a week prior to the movie's release, and was more than excited to see it. However, I was a bit disappointed by the movie's straying from the original plots and characterizations in the comics (not to mention very anticlimactic battle/fight scenes), and so I will say it right now, plain and simple, THE COMICS ARE BETTER. You want to know how much better? Read this comic and find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cool book.
I'm not very big on comics, but this was a good book. In 1940 something, Raputin( evil wizard guy), tried to open the gates to hell. But only this little baby demon came out. The demon was adopeted by some guy and was tought to be a follower of Jesus and an F.B.I agent. But the evil wizard is now back and is trying to get Hellboy to aid him on having Satan take over the world during the apocoleps. He kills his step father with this evil demon that can turn into a frog. Hellboy fights the demon and the wizard in the book alot. This is a cool book. Fans of sci-fi sould buy this book. It's more sci-fi demonic that geeky super hero comic bookish. ... Read more

58. Hellboy Volume 2 : Wake the Devil - NEW EDITION! (Hellboy# 2)
by Mike Mignola, Alan Moore, James Sinclair
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593070950
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 9861
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A murder in a New York wax museum and a missing corpse lead Hellboy into ancient Romanian castles on the trail of a sleeping legend: the original nobleman vampire. Nazi scientists prepare for the return of their occult master and the end of the world, and Hellboy confronts his purpose on earth. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nazis and vampires and ghosts, oh my!
This is the second Hellboy graphic novel. It is an improvement over the first one, as we get to know the old characters better, and interesting new characters are introduced. Creator Mike Mignola's Kirbyesque artwork is terrific, and this time he handles the writing himself (the first graphic novel was scripted by John Byrne). I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I will explain that Hellboy is a paranormal investigator who appears to be a demon. This book is dedicated to Dracula, which should give you a clue as to what he encounters this time. This book should be especially appealing to people who like The X-Files or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I would encourage anyone who is a fan of sophisticated comic books to check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hellboy's hurly burly
With "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" Mignola again shows his strength in weaving together unconnected folklore and his own inventions, creating a seamless fantastic reality that grows with every story. Darker, more confident than "Seeds of Destruction," the mythology comes together.

Nazis, Imperial Prussians and Greek and Russian goddesses make for strange bedfellows, but here we have a Napoleonic vampire Commander, Vladimir Giurescu, the delightful Nazi scientists Ilsa Haupstein and the Ragna Rok Project, Rasputin the Mad Monk, the Baba Yaga, the Greek Goddess Hecate and of course a living Head in a Jar, all conspiring against our heroes. Fighting for the good guys are the usual cast of Abe Sapien, Hellboy and the BRPD. If that isn't enough to get your appetite wet, then you are reading the wrong customer review.

More than most series, "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" advances the overall plot of Hellboy's story, uncovering key points of his origin and destiny. The epilog, only available in this trade paperback, adds an interesting element to the story of the Baba Yaga and Rasputin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Homunculus + Horror, Adding To the Cast
Wake the Devil is a superb second take on the Hellboy saga and is just as good, if not better, than Seeds of Destruction (its hard to compare the two because both are so good). Its a bit more bleak/darker than its prior, introducing even odder concepts and distortions of myth to weave a story all its own. Yes, it seems there are Nazi plots galore for everyone's favorite paranormal investigator to deal with, not to mention the addition of Roger, B.P.R.D.'s first "contact" with a human-sized homunculus. Also included is a five-page epilogue dealing with Baba Yaga and The World Tree, a concept introduced in the comics but only added to the in this graphic novel forum. The graphic novels also clean up the coloration, giving you more crisp images than the comics could ever dream of.
A word of caution to those thinking that the numbered books can be taken out of sequential order without hurting the storyline. It can indeed be done, but Wake the Devil should be a second step taken in the reading "evolution" of the Hellboy saga because of some of the characters/events/plot lines started have either been groomed or are birthed here.

5-0 out of 5 stars The fabulous Hellboy series continues.
I found this book to be every bit as enjoyable as the first book (Seed of Destruction). I also found that this book had a couple of weak points to the plot, and in the pacing of the storyline, just like the first book.

However, those where the only weak points. The rest of the story was very enjoyable and well crafted. The art is simply stunning. I will continue to read more of "Hellboy" in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars praise mignola
yet another wonderful hellboy tale. great stuff if you're into sci-fi and old legends and things. a good mix of characters and the best darn visual storytelling in the industry today, care of mike mignola. ... Read more

59. The Talisman
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345444884
Catlog: Book (2001-07-31)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 6358
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America–and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest
. . . .
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Reviews (291)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just OK
I've been a King fan for years, but have recently become bored with his writing style (my over-exposure to it, I think), so I thought the co-authored Talisman would be a nice change of pace. Well, I have to tell you that at first I was not at all impressed. In fact, I put the book down twice, for a month each time! The first few chapters (until Jackie actually finds out about and goes to the Territories, an alternate dimension of our world) are SO overdone King. Shades of the Shining, as Jack and his mother flee to a basically abandoned and pretty creepy hotel, shades of Hearts of Atlantis in the oceanside amusement park. When Jack, the 12 year old hero, meets the magical older man who starts him on his journey, I was just about to throw the book out the window!! But (here's the helpful part of the review...) read on, because from that point on is where the book gets interesting.

Now, plot-wise, this one is your pretty basic good-versus-evil kind of story. Jack has to brave and surpass many tests during his quest cross-country to get the mystical Talisman that will save his mother (dying of Cancer) and the multiple dimensions of the world. Some of the better characters like Wolf are extremely well done, add a lot of interest to the story, and offer pretty blatent commentary on the state of the environment in our world, or at least in the US. Probably the best written section of the book is smack dab in the middle, when Jack and his friend Wolf are incarcerated in Sunlight Gardener's Home for Boys. The end is weak and underdeveloped...seems like the author's got tired of it and just wanted to finish it quickly!

I've never read Peter Straub before, but I would say it was pretty easy to tell King's voice from Straub's. I imagine it is quite a challenge, for the editors as much as the authors, to get through a collaborative project such as this successfully. All things considered, I did enjoy the story, and would say that if you like King, you will enjoy this book as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two masters of horror join forces on a fantasy novel!
Yes, it sounds wierd, but Stephen King and Peter Straub got together in the eighties and wrote this fantasy novel. If you're familiar with either's work, you know that this is going ot be a great book. So, I guess I'll let you read the summary, as written by myself.
Jack Sawyer is only twelve, but he's about to go on the journey of a lifetime. His mother is dying, and what she needs to survive resides in California...But Jack is on the east coast. He must get there alone, by himself,and quickly, for not only his mother's life hangs in the balance, but that of a woman Jack doesn't know, a woman who is the queen of a land Jack has never heard of...The Territories.
Jack's father could travel to this strange land, buy simply wishing it to happen. Jack soon learns that he, too, can do it, and finds that traveling in the Territories covers much more land than in the real world. For instance...Say he "travels" to the Territories from one point, and walks half a mile. When Jack "travels" back, he finds he's walked two miles! Getting to California should be easy, right?
Wrong. For Jack's evil Uncle Morgan does not want Jack to succeed. He wants Jack's mother--and the Queen of the Territories--to die, for then Morgan's "Twinner" (the copy of yourself in the Territories) could take control of the strange land and spread his harshness.
So Jack's journey is two-fold: Save his mother (and the Queen) and stop Uncle Morgan from taking over the Territories. Since he can't do this alone, Jack makes several friends that help him along the way, and the entire story comes together in a conclusion that'll leave you on the edge of your seat.
Did you understand any of this? I hope not, for it should make you want to buy the book even more. Trust me, "The Talisman" is worth every penny you sink into it, for it is an adventure of the ages, filled with excitement, suspense, humor, horror, and the struggles of one boy on a desperate quest. Also, check out Stephen King and Peter Straub's sequel to this wonderful book: "Black House."

5-0 out of 5 stars Who Plays these Changes?
Of all of King's books, including the Dark Tower series, this one is my favorite. Once I got through the first few chapters, I was captivated. Something about the mythic atmosphere of this book, and the beautiful eeriness of the Territories world, did something to me. Jack Sawyer is half Tom Sawyer and half Frodo Baggins, a boy traveling across America because he must, even though he's afraid. My favorite character in this story was Wolf, an innocent and simple-minded teenage werewolf who accompanies Jack on part of his journey, and who is symbolic of what our world is capable of doing to the good world that we have left behind.
This book is good for everyone. Even if you are not a big King (or Straub) fan, I am sure that many people will consider this to be the exception.

5-0 out of 5 stars An awsome book for all
I came across this book as I was looking for a good book for my English class, but all of the books that I had found were slow starting. I have nothing against these kinds of books but I am more into a book that catches my eye (this book really caught my eye). I really like this book and I think you would too. This book really twists and turns along the way (if you know what I mean). It's about a young child who is dragged across the world by his mother who seems to be running from something. As they settle down in a small town he hears news that his uncle has passed away. He begins to dream horrible things about his mother, as well as seeing horrifying things in broad daylight. He finds a friend in the town they moved to and he finally starts to feel like a human again. He eventually finds an item that takes him were he has never been before. Sorry, the rest is for you to read. This is one of the only books that I have been able to sit down and read without knowing how much time has passed by. One time I even forgot what day of the week it was. I was even so interested in this book I have begun to look into all of these authors' books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good. But Loses Steam halfway through
Jack Sawyer is a precocious 12 year old who, while visiting a Coney-Island like resort town, meets an elderly African American janitor named (Speedy) who tells him of a fictional country called the territories. Speedy informs him that if he drinks a magic wine he can 'flip' into the territories, a fictional world where his mother is Queen.

Jack believes Speedy, and goes on a quest to save his mother from his father's evil ex-partner and the ravages of cancer.

I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of the Talisman. I liked the character of Wolf. But after awhile I found the writing became repetitive. I felt Jack was too mature to be 12. I also found his friend: Richard to be very annoying. Richard whines more than any character ever created by Anne Rice. Plus he was useless. Also, the ending was too surreal for me to find very interesting. I think the threat of Sloat could've been resolved in a different way.

Peeves? What's with all Phallic imagery? It seems like every rock and tree is described as looking like an erect (you know what). This was done WAY too much. Surely the author could come up with some other less Freudian adjective?

Overall, while this book started off well, it quickly lost steam. Would recommend for diehard fans. ... Read more

60. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1)
by Stephen King, Michael Whelan
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452284694
Catlog: Book (2003-06-24)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 4345
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"An impressive work of mythic magnitude. May turn out to be Stephen King's greatest literary achievement." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Brilliant, fresh, and compelling...will leave you panting for more." (Booklist)
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Reviews (328)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best creation of King's imagination takes time ....
At under 300 pages, "The Gunslinger" -- the first book from Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series -- may seem oddly short, especially when compared to the latest volume from the epic, weighing in at around 700 pages. And still, Constant Reader, there are thousands more to go!

According to the afterword from this volume, it took King twelve years to complete the writings. He wrote the opening line "The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed" while an undergrad, the middle portions when "'Salem's Lot" was going bad, and was inspired with another concurrent writing: "The Stand." For King to have kept the Gunslinger, the Man in Black, Jake, the other characters -- and really the entire world of the Dark Tower -- alive for so long in his mind is a testament to not only the power that this held over the author, but holds over us -- his Constant Readers. Moreover, since the first publishing of "The Gunslinger," around twenty years have passed, a number of newer volumes in this series have come and gone -- yet with this first, partially inspired by Robert Browning's poem "Childe Roland," and partially inspired by reams of green paper (read the afterword to the book), you know that it was a very special creation indeed.

I am not a fan of King's horror fiction. But when he gets down to writing about "other worlds than these," such as "The Stand," "Insomnia," "The Green Mile," and "The Talisman" (co-authored with Peter Straub) -- there is no one better. His is an imagination to be jealous of. There is always a feeling that alternate universes exist, next to our own (or maybe, ours exists within a molecule in some other reality). King imbues his other worlds with just enough of our own so that we feel a tantalizing connection between our perceptions of reality, and those that he uses to entertain us with.

"The Gunslinger," at under 300 pages, is just right to introduce us to the world of The Dark Tower, and keep us on course, with a desire to continue (and to wait, ever so patiently for the next volumes in the series) the journey that the Gunslinger started many years ago.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new twist to Stephen King.
The Gunslinger is different from many of King's other works, but at the same time, it encompasses everything else he has written. It is best described as a western with a sci-fi twist. Roland is certainly one of the most complex characters King has written and he has many facets that are not discovered until later books in the series. Once you have read all 4 of the books in this series, you will find yourself re-reading other books just to pick up on the connection to the Dark Tower series. Insomnia, Hearts in Atlantis, The Talisman, The Black House, Salem's Lot, and The Eye of the Dragon as well as The Stand are all directly connected to the Dark Tower series in quite obvious ways, but everything else King has written is encompassed in the world we come to know in the series.
If you don't read anything else written by King, you should read this series. It doesn't contain the horror so obvious in most of his other works, but you won't be sorry to have spent time on these books.

1-0 out of 5 stars Way to weird
There have only been a few books that i never finished, but the Dunslinger was one of them. It was just so weird. King never told you what was happening. it's kinda like if you go into a movie halfway though it. Especially a fantasy one. I never got into it. i had no idea what was happening. read IT instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible, my favorte book of all time
This has to be my favorite book of all time. It is the beginning to an epic saga, in my opinion, much greater than Tolkins. The scenes and characters (however minor) stick with you long after you have put this remarkable book down. The righting is vivid and detailed, it feels as if you are right there with Roland pursuing the Man in Black and later his quest for the Tower. One of the remarkable things about this epic series is the world (or worlds) that are its settings. The imagination used to create the setting in these volumes is incredible. There is, in my mind, only one major flaw in The Dark Tower series, and that is that it has to end. The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower series is a must have for any reader. I urge you to by this book. I guarantee you will be engrossed in this amazing epic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible, a must read
This has to be my favorite book of all time. It is the beginning to an epic saga, in my opinion, much greater than Tolkins. The scenes and characters (however minor) stick with you long after you have put this remarkable book down. The righting is vivid and detailed, it feels as if you are right there with Roland pursuing the Man in Black and later his quest for the Tower. One of the remarkable things about this epic series is the world (or worlds) that are its settings. The imagination used to create the setting in these volumes is incredible. There is, in my mind, only one major flaw in The Dark Tower series, and that is that it has to end. The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower series is a must have for any reader. I urge you to by this book. I guarantee you will be engrossed in this amazing epic. ... Read more

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