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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 23 Oct. 2013
By 
Cathy Hudson (Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Funhouse (Paperback)
Michael Bray's newest offering is an eclectic mix of horror, suspense and the downright way-out-there weird. You wouldn't be able to pigeon-hole this collection. I was given this as a review copy in return for an honest review, but to be honest, I felt grateful to be allowed an advanced read of this long awaited book of shorts. It didn't disappoint me. The first night I opened it, I managed to cram three of the stories in before sleep won over. I couldn't wait to read the rest of the stories.

My favourite without a doubt was the story entitled 99.9AM, for the same reasons that Bray himself has written the story- I won't give anything away!! The Trial of Edwyn Greer was a very cleverly written tale which puts an original, futuristic spin on vampires. I would love to read a full length story based entirely on the main character in this story. However, each story was unique in its own way. Every story had a very creepy element to it and lingered in my mind long after reading.

I love reading the author's notes regarding the origins of each story but I did feel that a little paragraph after each story would have worked better, rather than the section at the end of the book. I'm not a great one for remembering the names of short stories and had to keep flicking back and forth to remind myself of each story. That is my only complaint, and not one that spoilt my enjoyment of the main product in any way.

I haven't read anything by Mr Bray since Meat was released although I have copies of Whisper and Dark Corners sitting on my Kindle. I am looking forward to getting stuck into these books for now, as this has certainly renewed my interest in this writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended., 15 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
I read Funhouse in-between full novels or when I was just in the mood for a quick short story to read. I have summarised my rating and which are my favourite at the very bottom of the review.

1: Mr Ghoul's Quaint Little Ghost Train - This was a great wee story, never again will I look at a ghost train the same. These are a whole different type of skeletons.

2: 99.9AM - A radio station with a difference. Not as good as the previous story for me but still enjoyed it. It didn't go where I was expecting which is always a plus.

3: The Eye - Ugh now I'm going to be paranoid about checking the toilet bowl when using the little girls room. Thanks for that Michael lol.

4: Scarecrows - Scarecrows have always creeped me out. I grew up spending a lot of time on my great grandparents farm, my pop would hide walkie talkies in the scarecrows when he knew we were playing in the fields, his idea of fun. It's funny to think back on now but even to this day they give me the heebie jeebies. This story is kind of like my worst nightmare.

5: Hangman - This is one game of hangman I wouldn't like to play. I kept trying to work out the answer, no fair!

6: The Boy Who Saw Spiders - Ugh spiders. I was half way through this story and stopped to make a cuppa, when filling the kettle a huge freaking spider fell from it into the sink, scared the life outta me. Now I keep imagining I'm seeing the little sods everywhere! Not too sure of the ending of this one though.

7: The Man in the Alley - I loved this one, my fav so far! The characters and the interaction between them just grabbed my attention. The mixture of curiosity and fear kept me totally intrigued.

8: Sick Day - Ugh that was just yucky. I hope that dinner wasn't what I think it was.

9: Jasper - Poor Jasper. I'm not a big fan of birds and have always disliked crows. Dislike them even more now.

10: Tilly - Ugh creepy dolls, enough said. Gave me the heebie jeebies that one.

11: Long Tall Coffin - Let this one be a lesson to you boys and girls. Never bully!

12: 50/50 - Darn it Michael, you can't leave me hanging like that! Poor choice of words considering the theme of the story but cmon, I wanna know what happened! I really liked this one, so simple yet so effective.

13: Cabin Fever - Cabin Fever is my favourite story in this collection so far. I loved the way it was written, the voice of James was excellent. There are a couple of great twists too. I Really enjoyed this one.

14: The Langton Effect - Hmm not too sure how I feel about this one. I can't say I didn't like it, it just didn't grip me like the others have.

15: The Trial of Edwyn Greer - What a great twist on vampirism. I really enjoyed this one, it was great to read a vampire story that was different from the norm.

16: Candyland - Small towns can be picturesque and welcoming but they can also be far from what you are expecting or what they seem. Candyland is not a place I fancy ever making a pit stop at.

So now that I have finished this great collection of shorts, I can honestly say that Funhouse is the first anthology I can easily give 5 stars to. My favourite in the collection has to be (#13) Cabin Fever, closely followed by (#1) Mr Ghoul's Quaint Little Ghost train, (#7) The Man in the Alley and (#15) The Trial of Edwyn Greer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just one more..., 18 Dec. 2013
By 
E Shaw (Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
This was the first of Michael Bray's books that I have read...I was not disappointed. Not my usual genre of book however I would definitely recommend it.

I will never again be able to look at scarecrows in the same light, and I'm pretty sure that doll of my daughters is looking at me!!

A real page turner from beginning to end- I kept thinking 'just one more then I'll put it down' Five stories later and I'd still be curled on the sofa reading!

Well done Mr Bray, thanks for a great read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well structured stories with 'real' characters and settings, 7 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
With due respect to the illustrator of the front cover I don't think it gives the right impression of the content. These are crisp, structured stories with ideas that horror fans might have come across before however --------------. The strength of these stories is that the settings and people are somehow believable and empathetic and it is this that elevates the stories beyond the usual horror fare. A satisfying read and I'll be looking for more books by this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 23 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Funhouse (Paperback)
I had the privilege of reading most of this collection of stories in pre-edit format. I have to say that the one that stands out for me is Man in The Alley, this could be a whole book of it's own, great story. Enjoyed all the stories I read and now cannot wait to see which ones made it to press. Looking forward to whatever comes next from Michael.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grisly horror stories, great read !!!, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
These short stories are well written and entertaining. As a lifelong fan of horror I am always looking for new authors. Michael Bray reminds me of someone who has a real handle on what people want.He reminds me of the 70s editions of pan horror stories edited by Herbert van thal !!!! terrific .
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
I'm a hard to please horror fan but have very much enjoyed this book, every story is entertaining and different from the last. Would recommend!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 8 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
I was given this book to review as I had previously read another of Michaels books and enjoyed it. This one was a little different however, as it is a series of short stories.
As I have a serious lack of imagination, I struggle massively with reading fiction, something which I used to enjoy immensely. This book was great however, as it didn't require a great deal of commitment as novels do. You can pick it up, read a story and then leave it til it takes your fancy again. Perfect for lunchbreak reading or those with kids who cant seem to find time for a whole story.

The writing style is as usual flawless, and the stories quickly envelop you into each new scenario almost seamlessly. The stories are each very unique, no repetition of ideas which keeps it fresh. I did skip a couple of stories which just weren't looking to be my thing, as I don't like stories with a lot of conversation and little action, similarly to movies. But I read most, and they have the potential to have been interesting as more fully detailed stories. From ghost trains with a deadly purpose, to scarecrows and demonic dolls, there are a series of horrifying beasties to keep you amused, and for the more sincere, psychological horrors are also involved.

As always Michael has come up trumps and I would recommend this book for a light hearted reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant, 6 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
What a fantastic collection of short stories. They are well paced, fun and thoroughly enjoyable. Each story leaves me thinking, well after I have finished it. There are a wide range of chilling, spooky and thought provoking reads from a small boy who sees a spooky eye in the toilet to a husband who returns home from work early and unexpectedly to find his wife up to some very strange things.

Funhouse 2? Hope so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars unique stories, 4 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Funhouse: Sixteen tales of madness,murder,terror & insanity (Kindle Edition)
Each story was a little gem. Carefully crafted and often unique in its approach. Definitely a 'just one more' collection that led to a couple of unintended late nights!
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