Recent Reviews

The Principles of Aesthetics

by Dewitt H. Parker

The Principles of Aesthetics

Reviewed on 2014.07.24
by amoah augustine

The Big Fix

by George Oliver Smith

In a future world where everyone can read minds--somewhat--Wally Wilson (cardsharp, bookie) is better than most. Joe Barcelona wants the Kentucky Derby fixed, and leans hard on Wally to do it. But how?
If you can believe the fairytale premise of universal telepathy, light a cigarette or cigar and enjoy the story.

Reviewed on 2014.07.24
by Lisa Carr

'Murphy'

by Ernest Gambier-Parry

I love it

Reviewed on 2014.07.23
by Kelvin

The Dunwich Horror

by H. P. Lovecraft

(1929) Horror (Occult) / Thriller


R: * * * * *


Plot bullets


  • The town of Dunwich lies in the Miskatonic Valley, where legends of evil abide.

  • Dunwich's , Whateley family is mysterious and even feared. Wilbur is perhaps the strangest member of the family, as he was born under strange circumstances and grows to manhood very early. The Whateley farm is given wide berth due to ever increasing sounds, odors and unexplained events.

  • Wilbur and his Grandfather are believed to deal in the supernatural. Wilbur takes on a task to obtain access to the famous book of the occult, the Necronomicon. With the knowledge in the book he could bring back the 'Old Ones, An ancient race that wants to take back their world

  • Wilbur's efforts to obtain the book are brought to the attention of a college professor Dr. Armitage, who knows the true terror held within it's pages.

  • Wilbur dies in his attempt to get the book. Back on the Whateley farm, strange things are happening. There are strange sounds, odors, destruction and even death. And this all seems to be caused by a huge, yet invisible beast.

  • Dr. Armitage and two fellow professors, who have been convinced of the danger at Dunwich, set out to investigate and end the menace. Perhaps Wilbur and his Grandfather were not the last of the Whateley's.

  • Perhaps it is only now that the town must deal with the true terror of 'The Dunwich Horror'.


First published in 'Weird Tales' vol 13, April 1929 Vol. 13, no. 4.

There is a 1970 movie version that loosely adheres to the plot. It adds a girl and Wilbur is a handsome sophisticated man. It unfortunately turns the theme into a satanical sexual story. The movie as a horror picture is good, but it is not 'The Dunwich Horror'.

Reviewed on 2014.07.23
by Henry L. Ratliff

The Second Voice

by Mann Rubin

The U.S. Government is going to bounce a radio signal off of Mars, and scientists come to the conclusion that only the falsetto voice a ventriloquist uses for his dummy will work in their experiment.

A contrived, silly, story that is a little fascinating for its ineptness.

Reviewed on 2014.07.23
by Paulo Respighi

Dan Trex

by Michael E. Shea

The leader of a belligerent country wants to get his people in the mood for some slaughter, so he stages a show that allows him to demonstrate his own skills of violence.
For being as short as it is, the story develops a nice feel, but in the end it's hard to avoid saying, huh?

Reviewed on 2014.07.23
by Paulo Respighi

Chains

by Elizabeth Baker

I must be honest as a reviewer and say I did not care for this play at all. If I was given free front row seats and all I had to do was cross the street, I wouldn’t bother, but after extensive research it appears I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like the play. Therefore, I’ve given it three stars out of respect for what is clearly a majority opinion when personally I would only give it one.

Elizabeth Baker (1876 - 1962) was an English playwright and a proud member of the lower middle class intelligentsia. Her very first play was Chains and was produced in 1909 (not 1911 as is reported). It has been resurrected many times to rave reviews and has also been a TV production as well as performed multiple times on stage.

Charley and Lily Wilson are members of the lower middle class in Edwardian England. Charley works as a clerk six days a week and Lily is a homemaker. To make ends meet, they take in borders and as the play opens, their present tenant, Fred Tennant (Get it? Tenant? Tennant? Oh, never mind.) decides he has the itch to leave his boring life and go cast his luck in Australia.

Much angst ensues as Charley wrestles with going to Australia along with Fred and various members of the cast either encourage or castigate him for even thinking about it. At the end of the play, nothing is resolved and you had to wade through a lot to get to it.

There are several attempts at humor, one being the neighbor who doesn’t use the front door but repeatedly climbs over the garden wall (this all takes place off-stage) destroying the garden in the process. This was evidently a real knee-slapper in fin de siècle England.

Nonetheless, in spite of my own ambivalence about the production, people in England absolutely adore this play and treat it like Americans treat the National Anthem. If you think lower middle class ennui is your cup of tea, enjoy.

Alan Loewen
http://www.amazon.com/Alan-Loewen/e/B009LLMD9K

Reviewed on 2014.07.22
by C. Alan Loewen

Dead Men Tell No Tales

by E.W. Hornung

(1897) Mystery (Criminal) / Adventure (Survival) / Thriller (Conspiracy)


R: * * * *


Plot bullets


  • A ship catches fire and sinks. It appears that only one man survived.

  • The survivor lost everything, he lost the woman he loved.

  • That man soon finds that all is not as it seemed, and that his life may still be in danger. He is the only one who may give a different account of the tragedy.

  • As the situation unfolds, he discovers that the ship and it's passengers were sacrificed for criminal gains.

  • He finds his love alive and makes plans to save her, from what seems to be a strange captivity.

  • An evil plot was laid. The ship was sunk. The Innocent lives of men, women and children were taken. They unfortunately fit the classification of the old adage, 'Dead Men Tell No Tales'.


Reviewed on 2014.07.22
by Henry L. Ratliff

Watchbird

by Robert Sheckley

Great story about a solution to the U.S.'s murder problem: mechanical birds which can detect murderous brainwaves and pheromones, and dive down to prevent the murder. Of course, there's alway one stick-in-the-mud who has a vague intuition the project might not be a good idea.

First-rate extrapolation into the future by a good writer.

Reviewed on 2014.07.22
by Lisa Carr

Thus Spake Zarathustra

by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Brilliant! Totally worth reading.
surgical precision, sharp observations and brilliant narrative. Nietzsche's rhetoric enchants ones ears and captures imagination in this worldview proposition of the infamous Super-Human/Zarathustrian new and ancient philosophical concept and system.

I enjoyed this novel some long time ago, at 14 years old in another language. Now I am about to read again it in English.

Needless to say that I expect even more from it this time around.

Reviewed on 2014.07.21
by Jamir0n

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