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Book Reviews

The Road – Cormac McCarthy * Book Review

The Road is the astonishing post-apocalyptic and Pulitzer Prize-winning modern classic by Cormac McCarthy.

A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.

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Stephen King

Stephen King – The Mist

Welcome to one of my favourite horror stories from Stephen King. Set in a very tight space (a supermarket in a small town), with a larger-than-life event going on outside (a mist spreading out and killing whoever dares to go outside), the story analyses human behaviour in crisis situations.

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Book Reviews

Last Stand: Patriots by William H. Weber (Book 2)

After just having finished Book 1 of the series, I jumped in the next chapter of the “Last Stand”, aptly called Patriots.

The story takes place only three months after an EMP strike left Americans to fend for themselves in a fight for survival of the best equipped. The first book dealt with one of the worst doomsday scenarios – envisioning a world where there are no more computers, electronics or any of the gadgets that make our lives so easy.

The second book tackles a wider story arc – where John Mack and his family find their peaceful new existence shattered when a tyrant seizes control of the nearby town of Oneida.

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Book Reviews

Last Stand: Surviving America’s Collapse by William H. Weber

I got all the Last Stand (audio)books by William H. Webber as a birthday present and I must say they were an amazing gift. If you’re into survival, zombie apocalypse, prepping for doomsday, weapons fanatic and interested in self-preservation – this book – these books – are amazing. They are a wealth of information and while they don’t deal just with survival in a case of a zombie apocalypse (like Max Brooks’s Zombie Survival Guide), they are interesting enough to keep you occupied for a few days.

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Book Reviews

Max Brooks – Zombie Survival Guide (Der Zombie Survival Guide – Überleben unter Untoten)

I thought it would be quite cool to change my listening preferences for a while and dab into the amazing German language on my way to work. And it was absolutely the right choice when I was presented with some amazing words – “selbsmord” (literally killing of self – suicide) and “hinterhältigen” (devious)

The Zombie Survival Guide is the key to successfully warding off the undead, a constant threat to humans. Through comprehensive information, this survival guide covers the full range of potential attack and defense techniques. He gives advice on zombie-safe living, explains the physiology and typical behavior patterns of zombies and describes the most important items in the fight against these devious opponents.

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Book Reviews

Thicker than Blood – Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley

If you are looking for a horror set in a zombie apocalypse scenario featuring two strong women who are not lesbian or bi but thoroughly friendly with each other, you have come to the right book.

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Book Reviews

Ghosts (Hell Divers, #2) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Ten years ago, Hell Diver Xavier Rodriguez (“X”) fell to Earth. Those he left behind went on without him aboard the airship he once called home.

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Stephen King

Cell * Stephen King

If you ever wondered whether Stephen King attempted to write another amazing epic since “The Stand” that features a virus outbreak and mass-destruction of human society, “Cell” is the answer.

Except the “Amazing” part. Cell fell short of the epic story involving Captain Trips and resembled more the first season of “The Walking Dead”. I kept on thinking as I was reading this novel – this is soley written with TV in mind. The scene already felt edited, the story already had the aura that you get from watching witty-forced dialogue you see on screen. It wasn’t a massive surprise when I saw that the rights to the movie were picked up and that John Cusack who played in the 1408 adaptation also got a star role in the movie. King stated that because fans didn’t like the ending of the book, he had changed it for the film.. it still sucked.

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Book Reviews Stephen King

Stephen King & Owen King * Sleeping Beauties

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I so wanted to love this novel. I sooo wanted it. Instead I felt ripped off. At least Joe Hill (Stephen King’s other son) found his feet and shone in Horns and The Fireman. I thought maybe Owen King is just finding his feet and he needed a bit of dad help into starting off on the writer’s path.

I was pretty wrong. This book is a mess! 702 pages and close to 4 weeks later, I am ready to tell my horror story.

If you want a story about what would happen in a world ruled by only one gender, I fully recommend Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s masterwork comics series “Y: The last man“.

 

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Book Reviews Stephen King

The End of the Whole Mess * Stephen King

The Story

In a little town there were two brothers. One was bright, one was a genius. Howard and Bobby got along like the house on fire and the older brother could feel only awe and amazement when looking at the stuff his little brother invented.

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When he was small he came up with an airplane design that had the wings backwards saying that’s how all airplanes should be as that’s how hawks take off after catching their prey. He blanked out the TV channels and put in his own show featuring the effects of beans on their father and other jokes.

As he grows older, he grows quieter – much like the younger sister in the Secret life of Bees. He realizes that the world is a scary place, filled with bad people and starts feeling the need to change it.
Much like Crake he has a solution for human violence.
While doing sociological research in Texas, Bobby used crime statistics to create a sort of topographic map which displayed a geographical pattern of violent crime. Examining the map, Robert noted diminishing levels of crime centered on the town of La Plata. When he arrives to investigate, he finds that this town has never had any violent crime. Bobby is ultimately able to determine that the cause of the non-aggression is the presence of a chemical unique to the town’s water supply, a phenomenon that is mentioned in (but had nothing to do with the causations of) King’s earlier novel It. Even minimal exposure to the chemical will calm down an angry person or animal, and Bobby has been able to isolate the chemical and reduce it to concentrated form.

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Several months later it is discovered that, to the Fornoys’ horror, there was another constant about La Plata that was not studied until after the substance was released. It does eliminate aggression, and increases calm, but it does the job too well. It builds up, out of control, in a subject’s system, ultimately giving them symptoms resembling dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and eventually resulting in death. Howard’s journal entries after this point begin to include increasing amounts of grammar, spelling, and other mistakes, eventually devolving into incoherence as Howard succumbs to the effects of the chemical. It is implied the human race will also eventually die out as adults start to forget how to care for newborn children.

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Connections

the-end-of-the-whole-mess.jpgThe premise of the story was also part of the plot of the 2005 film, Serenity. The colonists of the planet Miranda released a chemical into the atmosphere that suppressed all aggression, causing the population to become placid to the point of not performing any tasks at all and peacefully dying where they were. An additional twist came in that the chemical affected a portion of the population in the complete opposite way, driving them mad, and creating the Reavers.