Three for the Shelf
Meant to write this last weekend, when these were actually the last three books I’d read, but . . . I don’t exactly recall: something went on to keep me from doing that. However, I already can’t remember whatever book I read this week, so, kind of technically, these are still the last three books I read, each of which I very highly recommend:
This is my favorite Paul Tremblay. Which—he’s got some good ones. The way this one ratchets the tension up then continually kicks your feet our from under you, it’s pretty riveting. The mark of a good novel for me is if I’m stealing time from the rest of my day in order to sneak a few more pages in. I stole a lot of time for this book. I want to give you a mashup—this book is book X via book Y, with some Z in there as well—but I’d rather you experience it pure, like I did. And then carry it with you into the rest of your life.
I’ve yet to read an Adam Cesare novel that didn’t A) immediately reach up from the page, grab me by the Dennis Rodman lapels, and pull me facefirst into the story, or B) get me to fall head over heels for this world before I’m even a quarter of the way through the book. Seriously, Cesare’s got good narrative instincts, and he knows the horror genre—both fiction and film—as intimately as anyone out there. Talking this one in particular, one thing I scribbled down while reading it was that if I ever write a videogame thing, I want it to be just like this. But then I remember I have a written a videogame thing. Which is to say, Zero Lives Remaining, it completely overwrote everything in my head. It probably will for you, too. Also, anybody remember me saying how, with Ready Player One, the only thing missing was some horror? Consider ZLR to be RPO’s chaser: it brings the blood, and it splashes it around everywhere. Gloriously.
Anybody out there know God Hates Astronauts? Mesmo Delivery? Axe Cop? Or, like me, did you grow up terrified of your uncles’ Grateful Dead posters on all the walls? This comic hotwires all of those into something pretty amazing. I mean, come for the colors, which blow you away, and have fun with the dialogue, which is never not fun, but stay for the persistently inventive, devil-may-care feel of the story. This is a book that completely loves being a comic book, and that could only ever, I suspect, be a comic book.