Do you remember that thing?

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Who Goes There? (The Thing) – 3.5 stars

Remember that weird bloody gory sci-fi movie that we all have watched once? Yes ‘The Thing’! Curt Russell using firebreather allover! Who Goes There is the book based on which The Thing was made. 

An alien dead-body is found by some research works of a station at Antarctica. But little do they know that it’s not dead. It is a shape-shifter – human or animal doesn’t matter! There begins a bloody gore-some paranoia in the station.

The story is pure hunt or be hunted type with fantastic voids to be filled with readers’ imaginations. Sometimes the amount of blood and gore in a science fiction feels unnecessary but for this it doesn’t. All the killings and violently described situations are very very fitting in the novel. There can be two types of reception of this book depending on whether you have or haven’t seen the movie. If the movie is seen before reading the novel, it does feel a bit bland because the movie actually created much more visually enjoyable paranoia than the book (which is very rare in the history of cinematizations)! But if the book is picked up first then it feels like an immensely enjoyable novel that has stapled horror and science-fiction in spectacular manner. The only thing that stumbles is the narration; feels a little discontinuous or sudden sometimes.

A bloody (pun intended) well written scary sci-fi to be read again from to time!

The Best Variety

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The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 2: Second Variety
4 stars

Recently I came up on a fact that many of renowned and beloved movies are actually based on stories/novels by the same person named Philip K Dick. So after visiting some thrift stores I got this wonderful 2nd Vol of Mr Dick’s Collected Short Stories. Needless to say he is as awesome as I had imagined him to be!

The book contains a few fantasy horror stories along with the mouthful of science-fiction. After going through some stories that I will remember for a long time I can clearly state somethings –

~ Mr Dick writes pure pure sci-fi wrapped around fantastic characterizations.
~ He induces bone chilling horror with heart stopping pauses.
~ Sometime there lies more in what he doesn’t say. He just gives such an empty space and let the horror fill the space on its own through realization. (This is my favorite!)
~ Fantasy is not his original element; Sci-fi it is!

The best of this volume for me are Second Variety, The Cosmic Poachers, The Impossible Planet, Breakfast at Twilight!

I am gonna read more Dick’s for sure because it feels like I have just opened a new Pandora’s box!

Cold is the new hot!

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Colder Vol 1 – 4 stars

Do you really think you are sane? But what if you just need a tiny little push or a tipsy bit of wrong in your righteous mind to prove that wrong!?! Do you think madness can’t be spread? What if madness is actually a feast for a soul eater? What if everyone mad are just trapped in another world but can not get back? Now tell me what would you do when these happen to you!!

Incredible! The story is so gripping that you can feel it slowly crawling up your spine! A nurse (Reece) keeps a mental patient (Decan) at her house under observation after the mad-house went on fire. Decan is growing colder and colder with each passing day for unknown reasons! But now it is her turn to feel the world going crazy. Now between the soul-eater (read Emo-Joker) and Reece, only Decan can save her by taking a stand against his creator of madness!!

Do you really need more push to read this book?! See the cover! Just that gorgeously horrifying cover is enough to get you interested. Paul Toban’s story is superb and Juan Ferreyra’s art is out of the world. Juan Ferreyra has drawn the mad world like nothing else! It is a creepy yet mesmerising tale of horror and fantasy mixed with scariest nightmares!!

Return of the silent horrors

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Parasyte Vol 1 – 3 stars

What if an alien invasion starts with parasites taking over human body? (Wait what? Is this 1940s again?) Little worm/snake like parasites take over human heads and start to control them. Then they eat others and become shape shifters (yes it is that much cliché). But a boy accidentally gets it in his right hand instead of his head and as the parasite fails to take control of his brain, they settle to a contract to co-exist. Now they must fight other cannibal parasites to survive together.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the simplicity, a few likeable characters and clean cut look of drawing. But the problem is nothing really grabbed the attention much and felt bland. At the peak most of the suspenseful situations, I felt Meh! I would have given 4 stars but the story is a too much systematic and predictable. I have heard that there in a kick-ass anime now based on this but this source manga material surely is weak.

You’re going to answer the last questions of your life!

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Akumetsu Vol.1 – 4stars

In a corrupted and economically ruined Japan where rich people are getting oiled with money sucked from the poor, just a regular girl Shiina tries to earn money through prostitution once she hears about her dad’s bankruptcy. On her first assignment of attending an orgy at a party full of rich bastards, a young man wearing a demon mask breaks in, gives a speech on rich people’s cruelty an savagely murders all of them except Shiina. When the man is gunned down by police, he attempts suicide by blasting off his own head with a bomb implanted inside the mask! Although this extraordinary incident is taken to be a single one, this act ignites a chain of savage murders performed by the same masked individual! A masked man comes back from death again an again to bring down the wrath of justice!

I loved it! On a whole Akumetsu is a bomb-blasting read! It touches all of realistic societies’ problem and also forms a unique type of philosophical ground where brutal killing seems pretty natural(wait, did I say that out loud?!)!
The artwork is smooth and crispy, awesomely detailed and nasty! I’m gonna read more volumes that is for sure!

Don’t tempt a mother!

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Mine – 4stars

Mine is a story of two mothers, Laura and Mary. Laura is a successful journalist whose last hope of happiness is her new born son David and Mary is a survivor of the radical 1960s who still haven’t let go of the hallucinatory world of memories, guns, and above all, murderous rage. But when Mary steals David from Laura, with almost no help by her side Laura sets out on a cross-country trip to reclaim her son. To win her son back, Laura might even have to become the monster that stole David from her. With one being a savage clinging on to a world of fantasy and hallucination and the other fighting for her own son – its a dirty savage race that can result anything!

Last year I read Robert McCammon’s Swan Song which left me with such an impact that even now whenever I’m reminded of it, I always drift in thoughts for a jiffy. Since then I’ve always wanted to try more of McCammon’s books. But almost all his books being big-ass in nature, I chose Mine as it is a bit short compared to the others. Needless to say, Mr McCammon did his magic again!

Although Stephen King’s books create bone chilling effects of horror, they mostly contain supernatural elements(I’m not saying that is a bad thing; just pointing out). Whereas Robert McCammon explores human nature and psychology to its limits in such dirty, filthy ways that even though I flinch while reading it, deep inside a little voice shamefully admits that in those situations I also might do quite the same. And there lies the magic of great writing! Mine showcases a different type of horror unlike anything I’ve read before. It clearly proves that good n’ bad are just relative words and human nature is just a result of the surroundings and situations.

Mine is pure horror, it is savage, raw, bloody and chilling. Read it at the risk of getting graphic nightmares that might make you uneasy. But if you are a thriller lover with a bit of blood n’ gore in it then this is just the book for you!

Books were safer than other people anyway

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane – 4 stars

In a nice and easy old-school lane full of houses, there is a pond named Ocean. And when a death disturbs the balance between worlds beyond our knowledge, something horrible made of nightmare, lust and fear comes in our world using a little boy as a door. But the only help he will get is from the mystic girl who named the pond- Ocean.

Do you remember how it was like when we were children? Neil Gaiman remembers (or maybe he knows or maybe he is). At this point I am ready to believe anything he writes.

“Adults follow paths. Children explore.”
“Adults should not weep, I knew. They did not have mothers who would comfort them.”

Every child has a superpower – imagination. The more we grow up the more it fades. ‘Age’ is the Kryptonite for Imagination. Remember the times when we saw something that we could not comprehend but somehow always managed to wrap it up with our stories by our imagination?
“I lay on the bed and lost myself in stories. I liked that. Books were safer than other people anyway.”
Let that last line settle and it will leave a scar.

This book brings tear in eyes when I think about how much we have forgotten about our childhood where everything was new and knowing nothing about those was just what made us happy. The explorations, little magic that gave our hero the strength and the chilling cryptic horror that gave him goosebumps affected the same way on me too when I was reading the book.

How did you manage to say so much with so little Mr. Gaiman? Finishing this tiny book felt like being shot with an emotional canon. Did you left the ending open for me to finish it by imagining another chapter with my own imagination Mr. Gaiman? Because I did and you made me imagine again like I used to when I was a kid. Thank you, Sir.

This book is an ‘Encyclopedia of Children’ for adults. I recommend this to all the readers who want to smile again remembering how precious our childhood were.