Review: The Elementals by Michael McDowell (1981)


My Rating: 5 stars                                          Read: 4/2/2017

Release Date: 1981

Audiobook narrated by R.C. Bray released June 2016


After a bizarre and disturbing incident at the funeral of matriarch Marian Savage, the McCray and Savage families look forward to a restful and relaxing summer at Beldame, on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, where three Victorian houses loom over the shimmering beach. Two of the houses are habitable, while the third is slowly and mysteriously being buried beneath an enormous dune of blindingly white sand. But though long uninhabited, the third house is not empty. Inside, something deadly lies in wait. Something that has terrified Dauphin Savage and Luker McCray since they were boys and which still haunts their nightmares. Something horrific that may be responsible for several terrible and unexplained deaths years earlier – and is now ready to kill again . . .

A haunted house story unlike any other, Michael McDowell’s The Elementals (1981) was one of the finest novels to come out of the horror publishing explosion of the 1970s and ’80s. Though best known for his screenplays for Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, McDowell is now being rediscovered as one of the best modern horror writers and a master of Southern Gothic literature. This edition of McDowell’s masterpiece of terror features a new introduction by award-winning horror author Michael Rowe. McDowell’s first novel, the grisly and darkly comic The Amulet (1979), is also available from Valancourt Books. Continue reading “Review: The Elementals by Michael McDowell (1981)”


Review: The Wall of Winnepeg by Mariana Zapata (2016)


My Rating: 5 stars                                          Read: 3/29/2017



Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable. Continue reading “Review: The Wall of Winnepeg by Mariana Zapata (2016)”

Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)


My Rating: 4 stars                                          Read: 3/14/2017

Lists:  1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die 


  • Lifetime Challenge
  • 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge
  • The Milanof-Schock Library 2017 Challenge


Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor. Continue reading “Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)”

Review: Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (1978)


My Rating: 5 stars                                          Read: 3/12/2017

Lists:  Best Thriller List


  • Lifetime Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Challenge
  • The Milanof-Schock Library 2017 Challenge


One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies’ greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin — code name: “The Needle” — who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory.

Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is beginning to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

All will come to a terrifying conclusion in Ken Follett’s unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart. Continue reading “Review: Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (1978)”

Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas (2016)


My Rating: 3 stars                                          Read: 3/6/2017

Lists: Best Romance Novel List


  • My Romance Challenge


“We were perfect together. Until we met.”


I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

Continue reading “Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas (2016)”

Review: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice (1976)


My Rating: 5 stars                   Read: 3/5/2017


  • Lifetime Challenge (1976)
  • 1001 Books to Read Before You Die Challenge
  • My Horror Challenge  (Best Horror Novels list)


I read this book for my Lifetime challenge (1976). It’s also on the “1001 Books to Read Before You Die” list. I mostly listened to the audiobook narrated by Simon Vance.

I first read “Interview” back in the 70’s shortly after it came out. I was a college student then. I adored it completely at the time, and read all the sequels avidly. However, I feel the cheesiness of the movie negatively impacted my memories of it, because it was far better, in book form, than I remembered it being. Continue reading “Review: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice (1976)”