The Stand Vs Swan Song

It’s a question that has plagued horror fans for years. Which book is better? In one corner you have the classic Robert R. McCammon novel Swan Song

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In the other you have Stephen King’s beast The Stand.

 

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Both novels have the same themes, and for King marks the answer is simple. The Stand. It was more popular and it had a comic book and a mini-series based on it. Does that really make The Stand better? It’s been years since I’ve read Swan Song and as I looked at them both sitting there on my shelf I thought; Why not read them back to back? I then put them back on my shelf because these books are huge! Over a thousand pages each. I would be crazy to take on something like this. I’m an old school King fan, and it’s because of him that I’m a writer so length isn’t really the problem. I was worried about depression. These are some serious books. You would need alcohol for a challenge like this.

Then I threw the idea out on Facebook and people were actually interested in reading a blog based on both books. Which one is in fact better? As I write this I know that I have my work cut out for me. This can’t be done half ass like. There needs to be notes, and a clear winner. I can’t pussy out and say; “They’re both really good in their own way, so there really isn’t a winner.” There has to be a clear cut winner. This is where you come in. I want your opinions. Once I pick a winner I want your feedback. Share this blog and spread the word. Horror fans are loyal people so I want to hear what you have to say.

The rules here are simple. Read both books, take notes and pick a winner. Why is the other book better? Is it plot, characters? The way it makes me feel when I dance naked rubbing the book against my chest? Writing style here is also essential. If one book bores me I may have to tap out. If I’m bored at any time reading either book we are really fucked. What kind of bullshit would that be? To be completely fair to my childhood I am reading the ’78 version of The Stand. This is the one that I grew up with and originally it was all I had to pit against Swan Song. No comics or mini-series either. I didn’t have that shit as a kid so it doesn’t count.

That’s it. I am delving into these books over the next few weeks and we will have a clear cut winner or further debate on which book is actually better. Is Swan Song a rip-off of The Stand? Tune in and find out.

 

 

Google Is Your Friend

Hi, I know that there are a lot of writers out there looking for inside tips and how to make your story the best that it can be. I can tell you that Google is your best friend. The problem is that if you’re a horror writer it’s important to clean your history. If you thought that someone finding porn in your history is bad wait until they bring up shit like how to dispose of a body, or at what temperature does human flesh begin to melt? It’s shit like that that get people looking at you funny. You can’t giggle and say research because they’ve already labeled you as a serial killer. When I tell people that I write horror they have that look that everyone gets when you smell a fart.

Being a horror writer is hard work. I spent at least twenty minutes this evening looking up stab wounds. I wanted to make sure my shit was authentic, but Google thought that I wasn’t actually looking for butcher knife stab wounds in the back and just gave me random photos of black people. I’m not being racist. I was just annoyed that Google got my request wrong. Google is a writer’s best friend. It will add a ton more detail to your story. There’s a lot of stuff that I always kind of winged. I am extremely lazy, but I wanted to be as authentic as possible. Just because I write horror doesn’t mean I have to be lazy. I could but eventually the reviewers and even the readers are going to notice.

The best piece of advice that I received was using floor plans for whatever scene you’re working on. You can add so much detail to a story by incorporating an existing structure. You can use that space and fill it the way you want it, but you have something to work with. You have the exact specifications and readers are going to notice that. I also learned that by using Google street view you can look at different streets and neighborhoods to place in your work. Instead of trying to figure out what these places look like you have a visual. You just need to make your audience see it. It’s not cheating. It helps you create a realistic scene with a lot of detail. You can look at an alley and see that there are gray metal trash cans lined up next to a rusty blue dumpster. Right there you can go into the smells, and even what the road looked liked. You don’t have to use everything. Use your imagination to fill in even more detail.

By using Google I have found that research can be a lot of fun. I have watched a multitude of medical procedures and even watched an autopsy just to see if a character could  pull it off in his basement. I even have a random name generator bookmarked so I don’t have to figure out who my characters are. I have a list of first and last names that I can choose from. It makes my job a lot easier. There are a ton of resources for writers but you have to find them. In most cases you’ll spend maybe five or ten minutes looking for what you need and the best part is there’s pictures! Pictures are great because it gives you exactly what you need without reading unless you need a detailed description.

Another great piece of advice that I got is when you edit your own work kick your font up to about 16 so it tricks your brain into believing it’s seeing something new. All those things you missed will pop right out. The most important piece of advice though is to challenge yourself. You’ll never grow as a writer if you stay in one genre. Step out of your comfort zone once in awhile just to shake things up. I have written pieces that have gone outside of horror and they were challenging, but at the same time it was a lot fun because I had no idea what I was doing.

If it helps you do outlines, and keep chapter notes. I’m one of those people that tried and failed at notes and even outlines. Everyone’s brain works differently so there’s really no right or wrong way to write a story. Just do what comes naturally to you. You also have to write when it works for you. Writers are a strange bunch that all have their own rituals and goals If you follow someone else’s goals the odds of sticking with it are slim. You have to write when you’re comfortable and you may not even be able to write at the same time everyday. Life happens and you have to find a schedule that works for you.

Aside from that there’s no magic formula to creating a good story. You just have to find your own voice and rhythm. Once you find your style it’s yours. People are going to recognize it, and no matter what you do, you won’t be able to change it. Every writer has their own style. It’s just how things work. You are essentially working from what influences you and that will often creep into your work. We all have influences. That’s why we write. We’re influenced by someone or something. You just need to find your muse. If you write horror read horror. There are a ton of great writers that are keeping the genre alive. You should thank them too.

I also read outside of my usual horror genre. I read popular fiction and sometimes I use that to add balance to whatever I’m working on. My influences are so scattered I find that even when I’m doing a horror piece I’ll take a Lifetime movie approach to it just add a bit of depth. I love Lifetime movies because they’re so bad they’re good. I love a good stalker story and sometimes that shit is creepier than anything I’ve written. I remember this one movie in which a woman finds herself divorced and ends up stalking her ex-husband. She even drove her car into the poor guy’s house.

As a writer I have always wanted to help other writers. There is so much good advice out there that I felt as if I should write something too. We all are looking for something to help us improve. Google is your best friend as long as you remember to clean out your history. If you have any questions or advice you want to add feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

Pumpkin Up Your Ass

The fall will be arriving before you know it and with that comes the usual bullshit. What horror films will you be watching and how much pumpkin spice will you consume. There really isn’t a right answer for that because I never stop watching horror films and I am a big fan of pumpkin spice cappuccino so around this time I get a little excited. I have the Keurig coffee pot now which means when I piss it’ll smell like pumpkin spice. It’s not a bad smell and each time I piss I’ll be reminded of why I love fall so much.

I’m not a big fan of summer. It’s hot and nasty and I hate that my balls stick to my leg from sweating so damn much. I like the cooler weather and as Halloween approaches I am excited as fuck. Halloween is great because you always find great horror films at a discount. You never know what you’ll find and now that classic horror films are now being ushered onto Blu-ray I have a little spring in my step. As a horror writer it’s pretty obvious that I love me some horror but I also get a bit nervous.

I’m supposed to have a list prepared for horror films and novels. Problem is I don’t get scared watching horror films. I tend to watch the shit that gives people nightmares and I can really name one film that truly scared me and that was The Strangers. That movie really freaked me out. I watch a bit of Japanese horror and urge people to watch Let The Right One In which is actually a Swedish film. Yeah, I know it has subtitles but it helps me out because I don’t speak Swedish.

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I know that most people flock to the old stand-byes anyway. You know the classics like Evil Dead, and Friday 13th. A Nightmare On Elm Street and Scream are usually on there as well and they should be. The Blair Witch Project is another good Halloween flick, but you should also watch the sequel. Book Of Shadows got a lot of shit and it shouldn’t have. It’s a damn good film. It had the balls to be different and people shit all over that film

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As far as novels go you should really not ask me what I think you should read. All Hallow’s Eve by Richard Laymon. Hell any Richard Laymon should be read and not just on Halloween. You should also read Pet Sematary because it’s a damn fine horror novel. You also read this while sipping on a hot pumpkin spice cappuccino.

You should just enjoy the fall but be careful because you may run into this shit 

This is another film that just doesn’t get enough respect, but I will make sure that it does. This is one you should watch on your Halloween horror marathon.          220px-Jennifers_body_ver2

I think we should just enjoy the fall and hold the one we love a little tighter and for fuck’s sake rake some leaves. Would it kill you? I think if you really want me to give you a list of scary shit I have tons of it all over this blog in various posts. You should also be prepared for some gore. With the passing of Wes Craven I’m reminded of just how influential he was on not just film makers, but writers like me. If he hadn’t created The Last House On The Left and even The Hills Have Eyes there wouldn’t be a splatterpunk. I would be like a third rate James Patterson or Stephen King. I would be just another boring cappuccino without the pumpkin spice.

When you really go balls deep in your horror marathon you will see blogs devoted to horror films and novels. I like that people will be giving horror the respect it deserves. It’s an art form that I love and thrive in. All those years spent watching Jason and Freddy kick ass and take names showed me that I my ideas weren’t so fucked up. I’m able to share my love of the genre with other people and hopefully it influences a new legion of fans. Happy fall everyone.

The Influence Of Horror

I have to admit that when I said that I liked Happy and Shake It Off I knew that it would make me look weak. I write horror for God’s sake! What kind of horror writer am I if I’m listening to bouncy, sugar fluff? No one is going to take me seriously so I have to step it up a little. As a writer influences come from everywhere and I sometimes draw characters from people I see on a daily basis. If I see someone that looks a little fucked up or drunk I may actually use that. I saw an old lady walking one day and she had a hunch back. Normal people won’t use that for anything but if you’ve seen my Facebook or Goodreads page you’ll know that my reading habits and posts are sometimes full of sarcasm and irony. https://www.facebook.com/splatterpunkmonkey, and the books I’ve read really fuel the question of what is wrong with you? https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8289470.Michael_Noe

Back to the humback lady and how normal people would just walk on by. Me, I have this vision of this lady walking around looking for people to suck the life from. The more people she kills the younger she gets. Her eyes may look bank and expressionless but her soul is alive and vibrant. I think the reason that I have such a warped and twisted imagination is due to the era that I grew up in. In the eighties we weren’t all politically correct. We had this huge fear of the devil but no one really tried to tell you that what you thought or believed in was harmful to others. We grew up listening to heavy metal and watching Jason and even Freddy carve the fuck out of people.. People may have said that what we were watching was harmful but it was fun to watch.

If I trace my twisted imagination i guess it fed off of the vintage Stephen King and album covers from bands like Iron Maiden and Slayer. Heavy metal still plays a huge part of my writing. As I write this I’m listening to Cradle Of Filth.

Filth

I love this record and it shows that as a horror writer heavy metal just fits right into what I write about. You can listen to the most insane, satanic, blackened symphonic death metal and be inspired to write something that people will be repulsed by, The stuff I write would fit right in with stuff like Cannibal Corpse and even Morbid Angel. There truly is beauty in the dark. As a horror writer you need to embrace the dark a little and while other horror writers may not listen to this kind of stuff I do. It’s all a part of me and why I write the way I do. I am a horror junkie that truly loves the dark side of music. it just fits.

There are all sorts of sides to me that all make me who I am an even what kind of writer I’m evolving into. People may just see the dark, sarcastic side and assume that that’s who I am all the time. or that because I like to write stuff that is extremely dark and twisted I must be some kind of weirdo. Not true at all, but highly amusing.

We are all influenced by something. I think as a horror writer my influences are just a bit more scattered. It’s harder to hit a moving target isn’t it? You have to keep growing or else you begin to grow stale and boring.

How I Discovered Bizarro And Splatterpunk

      If anyone has seen me on Facebook you’ll notice that I read a lot of crazy shit. I promote a lot of authors, websites, and even t-shirt designers. I get absolutely dick in return and a lot of people are scratching their heads trying to figure out why I would do this. A lot of what I read and even wear are from indie companies. These guys put out high quality shit and do so because they, like me love a certain genre of fiction. I had no idea when I stumbled onto the bizarro genre that there were so many cool people involved. I don’t just mean the fans I mean the authors themselves.The writers that create these books are by far some of the coolest people I have ever encountered so it makes sense that I would read their books and promote them. If you like something why the fuck wouldn’t you support it? To answer the question I don’t do this to get free shit. I do it so more people will discover it and become fans.

      How did I discover bizarro anyway? It was actually by accident. Three years ago I had just gotten a tablet and loaded up the Kindle app but had nothing to read so I went searching for free books just to see if I would like the digital format. I found this website that threw out free titles and lo and behold I saw Bradley Sands’ Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy and figured it was free so why not check it out. As I began reading something just clicked. This was some really absurd shit and I loved it. I think at the time I was looking for something new anyway and this just fit somehow. From there I read They Had Goat Heads By D. Harlan Wilson and this was even more bizarre and absurd but at that point I was hooked and knew that I had found a genre that fit my personality. I was growing bored with a lot of what I was reading at that point and bizarro fiction made reading fun again. That was something that had been missing for a long time.

       I think everyone reaches that point where they grow tired of playing it safe, they grow tired of reading the same authors over and over. A lot of the mainstream writers I had once supported weren’t really doing anything interesting anymore. Horror had gone underground and Stephen King was no longer writing anything decent. I had no idea that Kurt Vonnegut wrote bizarro and who knows, maybe that was the beginning for me. When I read Breakfast Of Champions I can see the influence that Vonnegut had on the bizarro genre and it stands up pretty well next to The Traveling Dildo Salesman. I didn’t see the disconnect I was encountering with mainstream fiction and when it happened I was quite surprised by it. When I got my first tablet the Kindle opened up a variety of possibilities and I no longer had to play it safe. The e-books were much cheaper too so I was suddenly able to discover even more authors.

       Bizarro about breaking the rules and being different. When I first discovered bizarro my wife and I had just separated and I was totally lost. I didn’t know who I was and bizarro was a good release for all the confusion I was facing. When you’ve been married for thirteen years and find yourself single and living alone it really messes with your head. I had no idea who I was, and I was broken. It was a time of transition and I wasn’t even sure how I was going to make it on my own. I never had to but being a single guy wasn’t something I was adapting too as easily or as quickly as I had hoped. When a relationship breaks up does anyone ever recover quickly? I needed a distraction or at the very least something that I could call my own.

     The splatterpunk genre was a natural progression for me. I cut my teeth on classic horror so when I discovered that there was something harder and edgier out there I was in. I read The Light At The End when I was younger but I didn’t realize how important that book was. I have it on my Kindle because I can’t remember what it was about. Richard Laymon was the true intro to splatterpunk and The Stake is still a book I still have mad respect for because at that time I was still into traditional horror. When I discovered bizarro I also delved into the splatterpunk genre. I was able to buy more books and scour the net for clues on what splatterpunk was and to see what I had missed out on. Keep in mind that a lot of these books were out of print so I was clutching at straws and hoping that I could find some of these books. I also discovered new guys like Shane McKenzie and Wrath James White. These were writers that were in a class all their own. These books were all about pushing the envelope as far as it would go and sometimes it was totally destroyed.

     The thing I love about splatterpunk is that these are stories based on shit that could actually happen to you. The monsters weren’t made up, they were your neighbors or even your husband. You could be in the woods being hunted by some psycho crazed hillbillies. They made their monsters human and that changed the landscape of horror. Sure, it was violent and even graphic but these were the darker sides of human nature that I couldn’t explore on my own. I could but I would have to be a total whack job to do so. This past year has seen a massive influx of great titles as well as great publishers. I have finally gotten a collection that I’m quite proud of and thanks to Facebook and the internet I can find the titles I want without getting dressed.

     Lastly, I was thinking about this the other day and I realized that if I had still been married would I have rediscovered splatterpunk or even discovered bizarro fiction? The answer is probably not. Every marriage is a democracy and remember it was the tablet that got all this rolling so I doubt very much that she would have allowed me to get a tablet because I wasn’t working and she was. We had three kids and a tablet isn’t something that a wife would allow her husband to buy when you have all these other expenses. On top of that I have spent a lot of money on books. When my house caught fire I had always wanted to have a book collection I could be proud of and I have done exactly that. I have hit every Goodwill I can, every thrift store and have even supported a Kickstarter campaign just to beef up my collection. I work my ass off and buy books. It could be smack or heroin.

     So I guess to close this out I should throw out some links so you can explore these genres on your own. I can’t list all the publishers I support but hit up amazon and type in Bizarro fiction and that will get you started.

     Bizarro Authors

Jordan Krall, Jimmy Pudge, Danger Slater, Cameron Pierce, http://www.strangehousebooks.com, Rooster Republic Press, Eraserhead Press, Carlton Mellick III, CV Hunt, Anderson Prunty, Vincenzo Bilof, Dynatox Ministries which specializes in limited edition chapbooks, Grindhouse Press

     Splatterpunk Authors and publishers

Deadite Press, Dark Regions Press, Wrath James White, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee, Morbid Books, Charlee Jacob, Shane McKenzie, Brian Keene, and again for splatterpunk titles just go into Amazon and type in either splatterpunk or extreme horror, and you should also look up William Malmborg and Brian Smith.

     This is why people no longer ask what I’m reading. You never know but at least when you do ask I’ll have something interesting to talk about.

A short story

     Once upon a time I wanted to be a writer. I had a lot of fun with it but the complaint was always that my stories were too gross. My ex-wife once asked if I had to be so violent and I guess I didn’t but it was fun to nail people to floors or gut them like deer. I would never do that in real life but shit my characters could.

     I had a wife and young son and I started to have less and less time for my writing so I stopped. When I stopped writing my son was maybe seven? He’s know 19 and I’m no longer married so I figured why not try to write again?

     What you’re about to read is the first story I’ve written in twelve years? Holy fuck that’s a long time. Is it any good? That’s where you come in. You tell me.

     My Darling Elizabeth
     I have been in love many times in my life but none of them will ever compare to the love I felt for Elizabeth. I say love but it was more like an addiction. She was my heroine and I would lie, cheat and even steal just to be near her. A love like that is more like an addiction, an obsession but I didn’t know that then.

     I was never comfortable around people and had dated only a handful of women. My problem it seemed was my inability to commit to anyone for any length of time. I would grow bored, or feel too confined and would sabotage the relationship. When I did fall in love I was always afraid to admit it.

     I had been invited to an anniversary party thrown by my best friend and his wife of five years. They seemed happy enough but anytime I was invited to any party they were having it was always to set me up with someone. It seemed as if everyone knew someone who was single. Some of those woman were lonely and desperate while I was perfectly fine living without someone.

      It took me awhile to realize that they were afraid that I would get lonely and God forbid depressed. They failed to ask and just assumed. They were quite a few awkward dates and finally I just politely declined the offers to be pimped out to lonely women.

      Until I met Elizabeth I had never really knew what love was. I had read about it and saw it in millions of crappy movies but I had never really met anyone that I would die for. That’s what love is isn’t it? That feeling of bliss and neurosis.

     When  she walked into the house she seemed to ooze confidence which was something I always pretended to have. I was an overthinker and would weigh every decision as if it were a battle. I watched her as she worked the room and was mesmerized.

     She wore a black evening dress that ended just below her well  tanned legs. Her face lit up everytime she smiled and I knew instantly that I had to meet her. Why I had never met her before was a question I kept asking myself.

     I had waited for what seemed like hours until I was able to make my toward her. She was talking to an elderly gentleman and like me he seemed almost hypnotized by her beauty.
  
     “Hi, I’m Brian.” I offered lamely. There were a million pickup lines I could have used but they all felt wrong and I knew that they would never work on someone as beautiful as her.

     “Hi, I’m Elizabeth. How do you know Alex and Rachael?” She asked.

     “Alex and I have been friends since college. I’m glad be he found Rachael. She’s really good for him.

     “What about you?” She asked slowly,  “Are you married?

     “No, I’m surprised Rachael hasn’t mentioned me. She seems to think that my being single is like a curse or something.”

     “In a way it is isn’t it? Always looking for someone that totally understands you yet never finding them.” She frowned and looked at me and quickly looked away as of she were embarrassed by what she had said.

     “I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it that way. It makes sense though. The poets are always saying that love is elusive.”

     “Are you a poet?”
    
     “No,” I responded, “I don’t have the soul for it. When I think of poetry I imagine a guy who has a lot inner demons.”

       “And you don’t?” She asked smiling. I was smitten and knew before the night was over I had to see her again.

     “I don’t. If you have dinner with me some time I’ll show you how balanced I am.”

     “How do I know you’re not a stalker or a serial killer?”

     “You’ll just have to trust me.” The amazing thing was that she did and we had our first date. I asked her why she agreed to trust me and she said that Rachael had mentioned me and that I was a good guy who didn’t deserve to be alone.

     “I was set up!” I said faking anger. The truth was that in the weeks since we had met we had talked and tested each other constantly. My work schedule was insane but her was a bit more relaxed than mine. She was a librarian that loved classical music and literature and I was a lawyer that barely had time to read.

     “Not at all. I wanted to meet you. You seemed like a nice guy but if you hadn’t asked me out I would have been ok with it.”

    That was the moment I fell in love with her. She was honest and kind, and had a dark sense of humor. She was everything I had been looking for but was too stupid to realize it. From that moment on we had become inseparable.

     I would stay overnight at her apartment and then some weekends she would stay at mine. We never ran out of things to say to each other and for the first time ever I couldn’t imagine my life anyother way.
   
      I would sometimes just watch as she bathed or read and I would wonder what she was really thinking. Did she truly love me the same way I loved her? Did a life without me terrify her as much as it did me? We walked often but I often wondered if she was telling me everything.

     We talked about our future but never about marriage or children. Talking about those subjects scared me and she accepted my desire to just take it one day at a time. She assured me that just being with me was enough and I believed her. There was no reason not to.

     As spring turned to summer I noticed that Elizabeth was growing distant. We seemed to talk less and less and she became more moody and withdrawn. I sensed what was coming but didn’t want to believe it or even think it. After a year of being with someone you begin to imagine that you’ll be together forever.

     We were finally living together and my apartment felt more alive than it ever had. There were reminders of her everywhere and even when she wasn’t there I could still sense her presence.  Elizabeth was everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

     I remember our last night together and it still fills me with remorse. She was late coming home from work that night but she didn’t call to let me know like she usually did. For the last few weeks were like ghosts who only existed in a space yet never touched. How it became possible I’ll never know.

     She came in humming some old Pink Floyd song and seemed more distracted than usual. “Is everything ok?” I asked calmly.

     “I’m sorry I’m late. I got hung up at work but I do think we need to talk.” Her voice was flat and devoid of any real inflection. It was as if she were discussing the weather.

     My heart sped up in my chest as I imagined Elizabeth naked and fucking another man. There were a million thoughts going through my head and they all made no sense. Why was I imaging the worst? Possibly because I knew that things were different between us and had been for quite some time.

     “Is there something you want to tell me?” I asked as calmly as possible. I came out of the kitchen and didn’t even realize I was carrying a butcher knife. Maybe I did know and just didn’t care. Something was about to happen and there was nothing that could stop it.

     Time had slowed to a crawl and when she looked at me my entire world seemed on the verge of crashing down around me. When had I become so dependent on Elizabeth? Where did my life end and hers begin?

     “I think we need a break. Neither one of us is happy so maybe we should just separate for awhile.” I had never seen her cry before and as the tears began to fall from her eyes my legs felt as of they were th of pudding.

     “No,” I responded coldly. There were dots dancing in front of my eyes and I was finding it harder to breathe. “Is there someone else?”

       “Jesus, why would you even think that Brian? No there isn’t. I just feel as if we both have….”

     “We don’t have doubts. You do. I love you Elizabeth and can’t imagine my life without you. I can’t let you go. I won’t.”

     She turned to face me and saw the knife for the first time. Her face was full of confusion and there was fear there as well.  I walked closer and suddenly she ran but I was able to tackler her and without warning I began stabbing her.

     Blood splashed into my face as I gutted Elizabeth and began yanking at organs. I drank from a pool of blood on the floor and tasted her flesh. I closed her eyes and then opened them. I wanted her lifeless eyes to watch me as I fucked her battered corpse.

     I punched and kicked her and then started sobbing uncontrollably as the reality of what I did fully sank in. I was alone. Truly alone. I had destroyed the one thing I could never live without. I raised the knife and slit my own throat.

    
    

Dead Clown Barbecue: A Review

     I have to be honest and say that before picking up Dead Clown Barbecue I had heard about Jeff Strand but never read his work. I have a huge backlog of stuff to read so I figured at some point I’d get around to reading some thing he had written. Just didn’t know when.

     I saw the cover for Dead Clown Barbercue and was instantly intrigued. Hell, even the title made me giggle so I knew at some point I’d be checking this book out. I was loading up my Kindle app and there it was in my recommended list. To give you an idea of what kind of shit Amazon usually recommends there’s usually a lot of Bryan Smith  some Edward Lee and a few other splatterpunk writers.

     As soon as I saw it I clicked the buy button and settled down for some Barbecue.

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     This is a short story collection that can’t really be pinned down to just one genre. If you’re a fan of bizarro and horror you’ll feel right at home here but of you tend to shy away from the bizarro then you may not enjoy this book at all which is really unfortunate because Dead Clown Barbercue is an insane mix of both genres.

     Jeff Strand balances both very well and even throws in a bit of black humor just to keep you on your toes. What makes Dead Clown so enjoyable aside from the stories themselves is the fact that you never know what to expect. You have the down right Creepiness of Gramma’s Corpse and you see just how talented Strand is.

     When it comes to writers it seems as if the short story is their weakness and trying to read a book with twenty three of them can be a bit tedious and grueling but Barbecue is one of those anthologies you can actually make it through and if you’re like me and have never heard of Jeff Strand this is a good place to start. Highly recommended for fans of horror and bizarro.

http://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00E7VEC3Y/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1379377430&sr=8-2π=AC_SX110_SY165