Book Addict's Guide. It's an opportunity to do mini-reviews of books that you read in your pre-blogging life. Which basically means I could be doing Deja Vu reviews for the next 10 years of Sundays, and I STILL wouldn't cover everything...but I'll give it a try.
Two mini-reviews today...I picked one book that I 5-starred on Goodreads, and one that I 1-starred, just to mix things up.
(*Apparently, I scheduled this post before I realized there was a specific topic for the week. Rookie mistake! Ah well, I'll be on top of it next time.) :)
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (5 stars on Goodreads)
This is a short-story collection published by King in 2010. My first ever SK read was The Shining, some 15 years ago, and after getting hooked on that, my next pick was Four Past Midnight, one of his earlier story collections. I've been in awe of his shorter works since then. Stephen King crafts masterful novels, with more detail than you could possibly imagine, and yet he still knows how put together a short tale that gets you in the gut (sometimes literally, given the genre).
This book includes 4 stories: 1992, Big Driver, Fair Extension, and A Good Marriage. In the afterword, King says he likes writing about "ordinary people in extraordinary situations", and that is what these four tales are all about. Yes, they're terrifically creepy, but as I read each one, at some point I couldn't help putting myself in the main character's shoes and wondering what I would do in their situation. He gets you emotionally involved...even as you're ready to jump out of your skin.
If you've never tried any SK short stories, start with these; you won't be disappointed!
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (1 star on Goodreads)
I wanted so badly to like this novel, which I read back in 2010. It came highly recommended by a friend, and I'd never read any Palahniuk, though I knew he was the mind behind Fight Club and Choke (both high on my TBR list). However, this was the wrong one for me to start with.
The plot centers around a group of people who have all answered an ad for a writer's retreat. But once they arrive, they are instead locked in a theater without food, water, or power. They are in a fight to be the last survivor. Each of the 23 chapters is told from a different POV as the characters reveal the stories that led them to this point.
While the premise does sound like something I'd be into, the content of this book is, in a word, disgusting. I know Palahniuk was trying to make a point here about human nature, but the gore and violence in this book just felt pointless and over-the-top. I'm all for blood and guts when it's called for (see above review, and basically every other King novel), but this was extreme for no reason. My stomach still turns recalling some of the stories...eck. So yeah...no recommendation from me on this one.
Have you read either of these books? Any recommendations for me so that I can see a better side of Palahniuk's work?