Category Reviews

John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids

This is only the second John Wyndham book I’ve ever read, the first being The Seeds of Time, which I read earlier this year. I enjoyed The Day of the Triffids a lot more than The Seeds of Time, and I was surprised at how subtly creepy I found certain sections of the text. One section, near the start of the novel, seemingly affected me so much that I had nightmares for three nights in a row about the same section (the first time Bill meets Josella).

John Wyndham – The Seeds of Time

A colleague left this book on my desk a few weeks ago. At the time I was just finishing off a couple of other books so I thought I’d give it a try. This was my first time reading any John Wyndham and I thought a selection of his short stories might be a good introduction, but now that I’ve finished it I think I’d hesitate to recommend this as a starting point. I think I will eventually get round to reading some of his more famous novels but I’ll probably steer clear of any more of his short fiction for the time being.

Phobic: Modern Horror Stories – ed. Andy Murray

A fairly unforgettable collection of “modern horror” stories from 2007, edited by UK writer Andy Murray. There are some interesting stories in here but by and large it appears to be just an average collection of half-baked concepts of what “modern horror” means to these authors. Many of the stories share similar themes, namely: the fear of losing one’s children or family unit; the fear of adult loneliness or isolation, and the fear of the modern world’s increasing reliance on technology.

Early January Reads 2017 (Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson)

I started this year by reading two relatively short psychological horror/suspense stories. So far, so good…

William Peter Blatty (1928 – 2017)

I was sad to read of William Peter Blatty’s death on January 12, 2017. His 1971 novel The Exorcist and the subsequent 1973 movie adaption are two of the most remarkable, effective and important works of art I’ve ever encountered. Seeing the film and reading the book in my mid-teens changed my life, and that’s no exaggeration.

Reading Challenge and Abandoned Books 2016

I started this year by setting myself a reading goal of 65 books for 2017 (over at my Goodreads account – check it out here). Last year my target was 60, which I found quite challenging. I only just scraped the achievement by finishing my 60th on the evening of December 31.

2016 in Review

2016 has not been a good year. The passing of several much-loved and respected artists and musicians (starting as early as December 2015 with the death of Lemmy) seems to have to engendered a general sense of gloom and sadness for many. Additionally, the stressful and ultimately depressing preparations and results of both the UK EU Referendum and the US Presidential Election has meant that many now feel as though they are being suffocated with a sense of alienation, paranoia and anxiety. Continued reports of racial hate crime in both the UK and US, as well as the seemingly increasing frequency of worldwide terror attacks and the tragedies involved in Aleppo’s very recent recapture has made for an extremely turbulent year for humanity.