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The Chapman Books [Kindle Edition]

Aaron J. French , Erik T. Johnson , Adam P. Lewis

Print List Price: £7.77
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Book Description

It's dangerous to be a doctor...

...Or a member of the Chapman family in this collection of three loosely tied together tales of the macabre by authors Aaron J. French, Erik T. Johnson, and Adam P. Lewis.

Aaron J. French starts this weird progression with "The Chapman Stain," a kind of horrorized version of the nature vs. nurture debate. Is it genetics or is it demonic possession? The story moves quickly, with hints of both A Christmas Carol and The Exorcist lending touchstones to the proceedings. The story's end is a heady blend of spiritualism and gore.

Erik T. Johnson's "The Chapman Delirium" is a euphoric, phantasmagoric trippy trip through the world of a patent medicine called Etcetracaine. Johnson's writing is, as always, mind-bendingly good, with passages you will read, stop, read again, then curse yourself for not having written.

And finally, the Chapman Family's bad luck runs its course in Adam P. Lewis' "The Chapman Remains," a horrific tale of revenant corpses and life-draining ghouls. Lewis manages a shivery Fall of the House of Usher feeling throughout, which gives this tale of grave disturbance and...well...grave disturbances a nice depth.

"Interesting to see what three talented authors can do with a shared-world theme, The tales are different enough to hold your interest completely, but tethered enough to each other that they lend some deeper, more twisted meaning to their companion pieces. Highly recommended!" --- John F.D. Taff, author of Little Deaths

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 687 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1628980044
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Uncanny Books; 1 edition (8 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #994,942 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, fascinating horror with a unique premise 1 April 2014
By Sue Johnson - Published on
I didn't know what to expect when I bought this book but I was intrigued with the idea of reading 3 short stories about the same character, loosely tied together. I think the experimental format really gave each author a chance to shine in his own way. The stories do not interconnect directly but the main character is the same in each. All 3 stories had something to offer a fan of horror. If that describes you, and you are looking for something new and different, I highly recommend you read this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Horror Stories 1 April 2014
By GDD0216 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Just read this book and glad I did. This is not your typical horror anthology, but 3 stories about the Chapman family written by 3 different authors. They are not your typical, run of the mill stories. If you like the unusual, if you find weirdness enjoyable, if you like to be greeted by the unexpected, than this is the book for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creepy, at times horrific, & weird ride 7 April 2014
By inner exile - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What if you stumble upon an old box in your auntie's attic, containing sepia-coloured photographs and ancient news clippings from the South with the recurring name of Chapman? If we are to believe the contributors, such a scenario (in a manner similar to found footage flicks) has served as a jumping board for the present literary project - see preface (pp. i-iv). In three steady-paced stories of novella morphology, the authors offer their different, not infrequently gory, takes on the common denominator as per the spooky goings-on afflicting Harold Chapman and his family, as well as certain doctors and other characters involved.

Aaron J. French's piece "The Stain" (pp. 1-64) takes place in post-WWI rural Massachusetts and South Carolina, with doctor Jasper Stetson confronting demonic possession and/or multiple personality disorder, nightmarish hallucinations - also featured in the other two installments - and the abominable pigman.

The ambitious, bizarre novella titled "The Delirium" (pp. 65-149) has been disgorged by the twisted and feverish imagination of Erik T. Johnson, whose irreverent, occasionally philosophical, style spiked with morbid humour and sexual connotations, and his truly impressive command of the language, including expansive, quaint vocabulary (a dictionary comes in handy, especially in case of the deluge of medical terms) remind me of Jesse Bullington - may warrant a second reading, albeit not for the prudish.

"He was struck by the doctor's average-looking appearance. It was the man's most distinguishing feature. He had the suspicious anonymity of mail-order dildo packaging" (p. 78).
"A butcher-blocky, rectangular table nearly bisected the chamber. It was an orderly accretion of surplus adult smallpox coffins; unmodified infant coffins served as seating for the WYMIN [orphans], and when they sat, their chins barely cleared the table's edge. Lunch and dinner, the boys on either side were able to watch a convincing illusion of decapitated heads slurping ooze opposite them, as they ate their own" (p. 87).

The reader is transported to 1860s Manhattan Island and Connecticut countryside, and to a lesser extent to Kentucky in 1888, accompanying the central character, quack Harold Chapman's adventures in touting and experimenting with his omni-curative nostrum, which has the unexpected side effect of monstrous metamorphosis no one would bargain for. Other oddballs include a clairvoyant street urchin grown to be a vagabond named Perceval Raptus, the ventriloquist Daztgarham quadruplets suffering of phossy jaw and indulging in the perversion of bestiality, et al.

"The Remains" (pp. 151-219) by Adam P. Lewis has Saratoga Springs (NY?) of 1888 as background for the ordeals of the Chapman family. Doctor Myerburg is to battle the "torturing pestilence" Jane, dead wife of the paterfamilias, has become due to a curse of some kind, and who is hell-bent on reclaiming her family members from beyond the grave.

Wrong word forms and misspellings: bearing [sic: baring] his teeth - French p. 4, I'm taking the doc into [sic] see Maggie p. 13; he was laying [lying] on a thin mattress - Johnson p. 114, he enjoyed their attention, the easy [ease] with which he thrilled them with a mere head-nod p. 98; I laid [lay] on bed thinking - Lewis p. 180, All I could do was lay [lie] and watch p. 191, each laying [lying] in a mass of deflated skin p. 204, I coughed and spit [spat] p. 201, broken-off braches [branches] p. 187, jagged braches [sic] p. 197, All the clothes in the closest [closet] and dresser p. 203.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange, Compelling and Hallucinatory 8 May 2014
By John F.D. Taff - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed this loosely tied-together series of novellas by Misters French, Johnson and Lewis. I blurbed the book and reiterate that if you want something phantasmagorically different, then read this. It's an enjoyable head spinner!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent combination 3 Jun. 2014
By Ian Welke - Published on
The Chapman Books is a series of three novellas, three separate stories that combine to tell the story of a cursed family in the second half of the nineteenth century and turn of the twentieth century.

The first part is the creepiest. The visions of the Pig Man nemesis got into my dreams after I read it. There’s an excellent mix here of the rational conflicting and overlapping with the supernatural. Stetson is a perfect character as our way into this story, having his view of the world challenged by his senses, and the events unfolding before him. The way in which he’s shocked and then rationalizes everything to fit into his understanding of the world around him paves the path for the reader to accept the story.

Usually when I read for pleasure I’m not happy if I have to reread or go over anything more than once. When I read for pleasure I’m not looking to be challenged. That said, I’m glad that I gave the second story another chance. The style at first was difficult for me to follow. My fault. Normally I read before I go to bed. This is something that’s meant to be read with a cup of coffee and the reader’s brain as addled and speedy as the prose, ready to make the fast jumps between the many ideas being presented on the page.

The back copy on the book says that the third story has a House of Usher feel, which I think is true (and also in a way true of the book as a whole). This story felt almost as dreamlike as the first, and was a nice way of wrapping up the combined work.

I think this is a great idea and I’d like to see more of these combinations: two or more novellas working together to tell a larger story. The individual parts are great. The sum of them is something greater still.
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