Friday, August 1, 2014

The Graveyard Shift (a book review post)

Did you ever buy a CD for that one song you loved even though the rest of the CD pretty much sucked? Maybe you knew that ahead of time, maybe you didn't; I've done it both ways. Of course, you don't have to do it like that at all, anymore, but that's how it used to be back when you couldn't buy any individual song that you wanted to. Back in the day, not every thing got a single.

Well, you'll be glad to know that this book isn't like that at all. If you like... hmm... not exactly horror... suspenseful? They are certainly suspenseful. Stories with odd twists? Yeah, that's closer. Stories that will leave you feeling like you have bugs crawling on your skin. That's it exactly. That's not a genre, is it? Well, it ought to be. At any rate, if you like that kind of stuff, there's a good chance you'll like this whole collection.

An interesting thing they've done with this collection of tales is made the book a book within the book with a story of a guy reading the book as bookends to the book. Not that this is an original thing to do, but it's not done all that often, which makes it notable. That story will make bugs crawl on your skin, too. Especially since... Oh, you'll have to find that out on your own.

Since I generally talk about how well edited the Beer Guys' books are, I figure I should mention that. This is the least well edited I've seen of their books, meaning I had to go two hands instead of being able to count mistakes on just one. Mostly, there are some formatting quirks in various sections where the paragraphs indentations shift back and forth. Other than that, though, it means that this book is still has better editing than virtually all traditionally published books I pick up (including the one I'm reading right now).

I should mention that the very excellent "Like an Axe Through Bone," that Bryan Pedas wrote based on my world from The House on the Corner is included in this collection, although he seems to have shortened the title to just "An Axe Through Bone." If you haven't read that, you really should.

My favorite story is "These Walls." It's a different take on the typical haunted house story, and I really enjoyed it. I have to say, I would love to live in a house like that. I'll be nice; I promise.

"Bedridden Honeymoon" and "Life and Limb" are both quite disturbing, but I think Honeymoon wins by a corpse, considering it was inspired by a true story.

And, then, there's the story about a deal with a demon... And I haven't decided how I feel about that one, yet. I alternated between wanting  the guy to defeat the demon and wanting the guy to get "eaten" by the demon. Probably, one of those options happened, and I'm not sure if I approve of the ending or not because I'm still ambivalent about how I feel about the protagonist. But it's a good story.

There are more that I haven't mentioned. Seriously, if you like stories that are liable to make your skin crawl, you should give this one a look or three.


  1. I have it on my iPad. The couple books by them I've read have all been great, so didn't expect this one to be any different.

  2. You know, we've had a few people talk to us about this before, the whole genre thing, and I couldn't agree more. Horror seems to be such a vague term, and we always seem to have to explain this to people, because we'll get that whole, "Oh, I don't like scary books" or "I don't really like gore" kind of thing, and we have to say, "No, well, it's not really horror in that sense. It's not scary, it's not gory; it's just dark and suspenseful."

    As for the indent thing, I'll never understand that, because our e-copies look fine. It doesn't help that people don't tell us when they see that, so we don't know how many people are seeing it and why.

    Oh, and thanks again for the review! I'm just glad to hear this isn't a one-hit wonder. My mom is famous for doing that with CDs, and I always scorn her for dropping $12.99 for one freaking song.

  3. As a fan of Twilight Zone-ish, twist ending, tales, this interests me.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  4. I think the indent changes sometimes based on reader settings.

    Having just finished "Slim Dyson," I intend to pick this one up, eventually. These guys are great.

    As for horror vs. suspense vs. macabre? I think you have to break it down a bit more. I used "Gothic horror" for "Temporary Anne" because it has a different feel to it. There's slasher, etc.

    This one sounds more like Poe. I would call that "Macabre?" Does that fit?

  5. Alex: This one is not a comedy, though.

    ABftS: Yeah, it's like calling Hitchcock horror, which is where a lot of his stuff used to get placed. Horrific and horror are not the same thing.

    Mark: Well, go get it!

    Briane: Yeah, maybe. Well, no. Some of them?

  6. Nice review. Good to see some consistently great writing around.

  7. Rusty: There is some out there. Like the truth.

  8. I love that cover. I may have to get it just because of that. Plus skin-crawling. It doesn't get much better than that.

  9. *noting the title now*

    Yep. I like horror but not too ooshy. (yes, it's a MY dictionary)

  10. Huntress: You should also check out their book, Lost and Found.

  11. Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

  12. Jennifer: Also, what I said to Huntress.

  13. Honeymoon wins by a corpse. That's a string of words you don't see very often.

    This collection sounds like a lot of fun. I like both suspense and twists quite a lot.

  14. I read that book this past month, too, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Those guys know how to be both funny and creepy... a winning combo.

  15. TAS: Well, you should check it out, then. They have good stuff.

    Susan: That's cool. Did you pick up Brandon's new book?

  16. I hafta know my limits. If these stories are too creeptastic, I won't be able to finish. And, I hate not finishing...

    What do you think? I can't watch things like SAW etc but I can watch stuff like BONE COLLECTOR. Hmm? This a good fit for me?
    Either way, thanks for sharing.

  17. Veronica: I've never seen Saw, but I don't think it's anywhere near that. I don't know the Bone Collector so can't compare that.

  18. Hmm, I like a good hair raising, creepy story. Onto the list it goes. ;)

  19. Melissa: Awesome. I'm sure the beer boys will be pleased.