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David S. Nicholls
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The Surgeon's Mate: A Dismemoir
The Surgeon's Mate: A Dismemoir
Price: £4.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Superb Read From Alan M. Clark, 13 May 2016
The Surgeon's Mate is a crazy, genre bending novel that doesn't disappoint. Clark takes the reader on a journey that's part autobiography, part historical fiction, part horror. Having read some of Clark's books before, one thing that stands out throughout them is the deep compassion that he has for his characters, and The Surgeon's Mate is no exception. There is no point in the novel that the reader doesn't understand the motives of the characters, and Clark's portrayal of family life, loss, and alcoholism are honest.
The story follows the lives of Aiden, a writer and illustrator, and Frederick, a nineteenth century Surgeon's mate and genuine psychopath, and how the lives of these two people become entwined.
I really enjoyed The Surgeon's Mate , and I can't recommend it highly enough, especially if you're a fan of horror, and/or historical fiction. This book is incredibly well written and the tension that builds between Frederick and Aiden as the story reaches a frantic climax makes the book impossible to put down.


Zero Saints
Zero Saints
by Gabino Iglesias
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 8 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Zero Saints (Paperback)
I loved this book!
From start to finish it is packed with awesome ingredients (gang life, the struggle of being an immigrant, the weird supernatural elements etc.) that would be great on their own, and Inglesias manages to take them and bake them into a freaking savage cake (you know, the kind of cake that you say to your friends, "This is a damn fine cake, I'll save you a slice," but you know deep down that they're not gonna see a damn crumb of it, because you're in this for the long-haul. And when you're done, you'll look down at an empty plate and feel no remorse at all. Well...Screw them! They can get their own damn cake!)

The protagonist, Fernando, is a great character, he can kick ass and yet is vulnerable and easy to relate to. The bad guys are really nasty. The supporting characters all work really well together, and at no point do you feel that you have seen too much of one or not enough of another.

Inglesias's prose flows really nicely throughout the book, the interspersed Spanish works brilliantly, I can't speak a word of Spanish and that didn't detract from the story at all (if anything it pulled me into the story more, feeling brilliantly involved when I managed to figure out the odd word and then notice it again later on in the book). There is a wonderful consistency with the flow of 'Zero Saints', it's paced really well and doesn't feel at all forced at any point. This makes the reader just want to keep reading until the end.

I really enjoyed the supernatural elements of the book, it manages to be subtle enough not to over-shadow the story (and make it less of a crime novel and more of a horror story) but prominent enough to be threatening and creepy. It has a similar kind of vibe to Todd Grimson's 'Brand New Cherry Flavor', but 'Zero Saints' is more subtle with it.

Inglesias has produced a solid and perfectly balanced book, that I would definitely recommend reading!


Dodgeball High
Dodgeball High
by Bradley Sands
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Bizarro Read!, 24 Oct. 2015
This review is from: Dodgeball High (Paperback)
A story about an ordinary high school... just kidding. Dodgeball high is a story about a high school where every lesson revolves around dodgeball.
Sands' writing is splendid, the characters are great, Justin Lucas is brilliantly funny, crazy egotistical, and really relatable. The story is playfully bizarro, filled with psychopaths and gory violence, but at its heart is about fitting in.
I would definitely recommend reading Dodgeball High (particularly if you were ever the awkward kid in class).


Skullcrack City
Skullcrack City
by Jeremy Robert Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for any fan of sci-fi or Bizarro, 6 July 2015
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This review is from: Skullcrack City (Paperback)
Jeremy Robert Johnson is something of a literary dominatrix, I kind of turn to his books whenever I want to receive a little bit of abuse for my own personal pleasure. And this is exactly the case for his latest book Skullcrack City.

It takes place in the same universe as the short story The League of Zeros (found in Angel Dust Apocalypse) and tells the tale of a paranoid and drug-addled banker caught in the midst of conspiracies and cults, body-modders and hippies, (oh… and there’s a turtle too).

This is a spectacular book, I cannot go into the story without giving too much away, but from the very first sentence Johnson grips the reader and doesn’t let them go. Johnson is a master of his craft and writes with an authority that can’t be matched.

The characters work incredibly well together and display a chemistry and a very real depth to their relationships.

The plot (as to be expected from Johnson) is mind-bending, hilarious, and heart-breaking.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for any fan of sci-fi or Bizarro!


Jack the Ripper Victims Series: The Double Event
Jack the Ripper Victims Series: The Double Event
Price: £5.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 25 Jan. 2015
Both of these stories are great! They are both tense and highly emotional stories about the lives of two the victims of Jack the Ripper.

To say that I enjoy reading these stories is strange, because they are heart-breaking (the fact that we know the ultimate fate of the protagonists makes it even more emotional). Clark has an eye for the oppressed, and can put across the struggles that these women faced in a very powerful, and very real way.

The work that Clark is doing with this series is awesome. His understanding of psychology is sound and there is no point during either of these stories that any decisions that the characters make seem to be forced, or seem unnatural. I wholeheartedly recommend reading this book. If you are not a fan of gory horror stories, rest assured, these stories don't belong in that camp. If you are a fan of gory horror stories, give this a read, and you will be surprised at how disturbing true horror is.


Kitten
Kitten
Price: £3.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Read Kitten Now!, 16 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Kitten (Kindle Edition)
First of all this is a brilliant book! It is this brilliance that makes this book difficult to review.
G. Arthur Brown paints a picture of a very real picture of a dysfunctional family at the same time as a wonderful bizarro world and a kittens quest to return home.
G. Arthur Brown’s prose begs to be read, as soon as you pick this book up you feel drawn in and don’t want to leave. While reading Kitten it doesn't seem as bizarro as it actually is, it’s bizarro-ness doesn't truly hit you until you have finished reading it and let sunk in for a while, I think that this is because in Kitten everything works so well, that it just feels right (it’s not bizarre if it’s perfectly natural being there). The characters are wonderful, they all feel genuine, they are perfectly developed and don’t feel forced upon the reader. I really enjoyed reading Kitten, and would definitely recommend it.


Say Anything But Your Prayers
Say Anything But Your Prayers
by Alan M. Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 27 Oct. 2014
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Say Anything But Your Prayers is the second novel in Alan M. Clark’s Jack the Ripper Victims Series (the first being ‘Of Thimble and Threat’). The first thing that needs to be said about these books is that they are not your usual hack-and-slash Jack-attack novel, they are far from it and much, much more. The focus of these novels is not on the crimes of Jack the Ripper, but rather on the lives and choices of his victims. In doing this Clark is producing books that are not only a heartfelt portrait of life in Victorian London, but also a challenge to the emphasis that modern culture has placed upon the Whitechapel Murderer instead if his victims.

‘Say Anything But Your Prayers’ is inspired by the life of Elizabeth Stride, the third victim of Jack the Ripper. Clark leads the reader through the life of this woman, and using her internal dialogue, allows the reader to understand the reasoning behind every choice that she makes. This use of internal dialogue makes the character of Elizabeth very easy to become invested in emotionally, I wasn't far into the book when I found myself cringing at the bad choices that Elizabeth was making while totally understanding why she was making them. The fact we know the ultimate fate of Elizabeth only adds to the grief that the reader feels for her every time she makes a bad choice. The illustrations are brilliant, adding to the story, while subtle enough to not force the reader to conform to a mental image that is outside their own imagination.

I think that the work that Clark is doing with this series is awesome. His understanding of psychology is sound and there is no point during ‘Say Anything But Your Prayers’ (or ‘Of Thimble and Threat’) that any of the decisions that the characters make seems to be forced, or seems unnatural. I wholeheartedly recommend reading this book. If you are not a fan of gory horror stories, rest assured, Say Anything But Your Prayers doesn't belong in that camp. If you are a fan of gory horror stories, give this a read, and you will be surprised at how disturbing true horror is.


Perfect Union
Perfect Union
Price: £3.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, Just Awesome!, 5 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Perfect Union (Kindle Edition)
Perfect Union is just further proof that Cody Goodfellow is a damn genius, read this book and you will totally understand what I mean. There are several aspects to this book; the themes of communism, family bonds, and body horror run deep within, and each of these themes are explored with the precision and sensitivity of an expert, and the way that Goodfellow has explored these themes deserves to be looked at while reading this book, but while doing this it is easy to overlook just how good this story is, and how great Goodfellow is at being a story teller. Perfect Union is a joy to just read, as well as being a great book to delve into and study for all its literary worth.
The characters in this book are very real and can be easily related to and have real life problems which instantly makes the reader able to empathise with them.
The book begins steadily and seems quite tame, then it smashes you in the face with all of the fast paced insanity that you would expect from a bizarro book.
I can't recommend this book (or author) enough!!
Read it, read it now!


Lick Your Neighbor
Lick Your Neighbor
Price: £2.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Turkey Ninjas!!, 5 Jun. 2014
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Chris Genoa was my introduction into the bizarro genre with his awesome novel about time travel Foop, since then I have thoroughly enjoyed any kind of bizarro I could get my grubby little mitts on. This is a peculiar tale about the true meaning of thanksgiving, being British I don't really have much to do with thanksgiving as a holiday, but that didn't detract from the enjoyment of the book. It is genuinely funny and filled with laugh-out-loud moments, and real characters that are easy to like.
This is a very enjoyable book, fast paced, quirky, and hilarious!
If you enjoy laughing then I strongly recommend reading this book!


Squid Pulp Blues
Squid Pulp Blues

5.0 out of 5 stars Squid, Crime, and Feet, 5 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Squid Pulp Blues (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the atmosphere that Jordan Krall creates in Squid Pulp Blues.
The stories all tie together nicely and give the town of Thompson a sincere weirdness (at no point while reading this book did I feel that any of the bizarre situations that where going on where out of the ordinary at all for the town). Beneath the peculiar podophiles (foot fetishists), bald dwarf prostitutes, and squid, lots and lots of squid, there is brilliant collection of noir crime writing that will have you on the edge of your seat. All of the characters in the stories seem genuine (even Peachy), and the way that Krall manages to get the reader to feel sorry for the 'longheads' while at the same time feeling uncomfortable with their very presence is superb.
I would definitely recommend reading this book if you enjoy crime writing, squid, feet, or anything a little on the weirder side.


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