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Vibeke Semstad

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Dark Companions
Dark Companions
by Ramsey Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not at all his greatest, 30 July 2015
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This review is from: Dark Companions (Paperback)
My recent introduction to the fine works of Ramsey Campbell was Holes for Faces - an excellent short-story collection that invoked fear and terrifying atmospheres. I wanted to check out his early work so I decided on this one, as it was first published in 1982 and now republished on Samhain Publishing in 2012. Compared with the previously mentioned later collection, my first impression was - to put it gently - that the man has learned a lot since Dark Companions first saw light. Putting it less gently I would have to say that, had this collection been my first introduction to Ramsey Campbell, I probably wouldn't have investigated further. And that would have been a damn shame, because in the last half year it took me to finish reading this one, I have read a lot of his other works and been amazed.

To be fair, there are some great stories that invoked fear and terrifying atmospheres with me, namely: "Mackintosh Willy", "Down There", "The Proxy", "The Depths", "The Little Voice", and "The Companion".

Others in this collection that I found entertaining include: "The Show Goes On", "In the Bag", and "The Chimney"

But the rest of the stories simply did not do anything for me. Another thing that bugged me with this publication is the typesetting. It looks like shoddy type-writer print and to me comes off as amateurish. Also there are typos and errors in punctuation, and I know these are small things, but they made stories like "Heading Home", "Out of Copyright", and "Conversion" read like fan-fiction, and the same thing happened to the descriptions of the characters' relationship in "Napier Court" and "The Puppets". I know typesetting should not be such a serious issue, but it kind of made me wish I had second hand bought another publication than this from Samhain.

Another thing that drags down this collection is the repetitiveness of the themes. Every story ends with a supernatural "dark companion" that attacks the main character. Some elements reoccur in a lot of these stories, elements like spiders or spidery things, and babies. Too few of these stories even aim for something deeper than just a scare, and it left me disappointed.

Overall I would not advice you to buy this if you're not already a fan of Ramsey Campbell. If you are, then go ahead and read this, and you will find some great stories. But you will be expected to be patient, because a lot of these stories do not begin to compare with Campbell at his terrifying best.

Price: £4.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A drag, 9 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Pygmy (Kindle Edition)
Chuck Palahniuk has written some superbly fantastic books. Pygmy is not one of them.

It reads like a drag and not at all fluently. I know, it's Engrish, but reading the book is an ordeal and a lot of the time I had to guess what was going on, because dissecting every sentence is not what I associate with a nice reading experience. Furthermore, the story is unrealistic, especially when accounting the characters' reaction to what happens. For instance, when a school shooting is happening, a kid who is present films it and later sells it to media stations for money, rewinding and replaying the tape as if it was a home video. And believe me, I'm used to Chuck Palahniuk and his controversial themes and writing style, but this one is just stupid. Sure, there were moments that were funny, but overall this is not a good book, and I couldn't even finish it.

If you're new to Palahniuk, then read some of his other books. If you're a fan, then sure, have a go at this one, but I really don't recommend it.

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good., 22 April 2010
This book was in the beginning indeed promising, and rather exciting.
It is also quite interesting to get the story of Roland and Susannah.

For about five chapters.

I'm about halfway though this book, and I'm trying to find the courage to finish it. It is boring and repetitive, and could've easily been written in 400 pages instead of 800 or so.
The only reason for me to finish this, it to get to the next book in the series, because fellows, that book can't be worse than this. And don't get me wrong, the first three books were amazing and really great. This book just doesn't fit in.

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
by Chris Ware
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy the hardcover edition!, 29 Mar. 2010
Jimmy Corrigan is an above-average comic but please, for god's sake, do not buy the paperback edition! As I'm reading it the first time, the book is falling apart. This is not cool, since the comic itself it great. I wish I'd thrown in those extra bucks and bought the hardcover.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2012 7:35 PM GMT

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