Long Black Veil Review


Long Black Veil - Jennifer Finney Boylan

I suppose with the world heading in the direction that it’s headed, books like this will become the norm: overly PC books that try their damnedest not to piss anyone off. The problem I see with novels like Long Black Veil is author intrusion. When you move forward with a piece of art (music, film, literature, etc.) with the sole purpose of being progressive and inclusive, you better be damned sure your own hangups do not float to the surface. Because, in a book that struggles to always use the proper pronoun and goes out of its way to discuss gender and religion and race with the utmost respect, any deviation from your course will be painfully obvious.

Yes, the political-correctness within this book was strong but not a bad thing, but it is my opinion, founded solely on evidence written in this book, that Jennifer Finney Boylan has a problem with the morbidly obese, or as she calls them in this book “fat fucks”. Normally those two words wouldn’t bother me, because I am, and have always been, a fat fuck. But when every race, religion, gender, and so on gets treated fairly and equally and suffers no slurs, I find it odd that “fat fuck” would be left in. Which goes a long way in proving that, even in progressive-minded literature, it is still okay to pick on fat people. Poor goddamn Casey, man. He couldn’t catch a break. He was either a fat fuck or a walrus or the morbidly-obese friend, or my favorite, “worthless.” While everyone was accepting of the two trans characters, poor fut-fuck Casey bumbled around, bouncing off shit and just being all around too fat to be respected. For fuck’s sake, I think the only time Boylan described her character’s appearances were if they were fat. If they were otherwise normal, meaning not a fat fuck, we got no description of their appearance whatsoever.

Anyway, enough whiny bullshit about how offended I was or was not. I really wasn’t offended at all, but I mention it as much as I do to prove a point; everyone has their own prejudices, even Boylan, who makes a point of using as many acronyms as she can in her bio. I honestly couldn’t give a fuck what she thinks about chubby bastards like myself. I’m simply pointing out how it’s still completely acceptable to shame the fat character, be the author liberal, conservative, or any other asshole. The one thing we seemingly all agree on is, fat fucks are fair game. Moving on…

The writing in this book is fantastic. I can pick on the author for showing her prejudices all I want, but she truly can write her ass off. I enjoyed every bit of this read, aside from maybe the suspense-killing reveal toward the middle. If the characters hadn’t been so terrifically drawn, I probably would have quit reading as soon as the killer was revealed. Literary-minded types will scream, “The murder wasn’t the point! The book is about identity and WHINE WHINE BITCH BITCH!” I get that, Internet Rage Machine. I might sound like an illiterate fat fuck, but I do pay attention to theme. What I’m saying is, the writing and character-development was what kept me reading, not the pasted-on murder plot. Calm your moobs, dude.

There will be some people who have a fit over the soft-thriller aspects because, for all appearances, it looks like a literary thriller. There is nothing thrilling or suspenseful about this book. It’s a character drama. That being said, the final 50 pages were too much melodrama for even me and I found myself simply wanting the book to end. I feel Boylan’s points were made just fine without the silly-ass who-lived-and-who-didn’t bullshit and the I-died-twice nonsense. You can stuff all that shit right back up where it came from.

One final note, smarty pants. Frankenstein was the doctor, not the creature. So when you write that there were several Frankensteins walking around the party, I hope you meant people wearing lab coats and god complexes.

In summation: If you’re into PC-culture and fight on the SJW side of things, this is probably the book you’ve been waiting for. It is built on an offend-no-one chassis, but its tires are too fat to move too quickly, so expect some lulls. Expect mucho melodrama at the ass-end that no one asked for, and you should be just fine.

Final Judgment: If Nicole Arbour and Lacy Green wrote a book, this would be the eventual outcome.

Many thanks to Crown Publishing for the review copy, which I received for free in return for a review written by a fat fuck, aka me.

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All Things Lead to The End

What you can expect from the upcoming publication of All Things Lead to The End, a loose series of novels set in part or wholly inside Bay’s End’s city limits.
THE BEDDING OF BOYS is a loose sequel to THE SOUND OF BROKEN RIBS. I’ve never done anything quite like it. While not a direct sequel that picks up with the same characters, it does revisit side characters and their responses to the events of RIBS. I loved writing these two books, more than anything else before them. They are books I would want to read, and I think that’s all that really matters.
EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE NOW is where it all started, the prequel to the events of Bay’s End that moves through time from the founding of the town and through the years right up to the events of the Summer of ’92, in which Trey Franklin meets Eddy Treemont and Trey’s view of the world is forever changed.
And then we end with NO HOME FOR BOYS, wherein Trey Franklin finally returns home. This will be my most personal piece, and my goodbye to the fictionalized version of the town in which I was born and raised.
To recap, here’s a series order. All of these books are being built to standalone, but readers of all five should have a much deeper, rewarding experience.
Now for the surprise announcement. You will get to read all five novels before the end of 2018. No waiting years between books. This is happening, folks. I hope you’ll join me.
 See you later,

Sometimes I wonder why people read me…

I have a lot of fun with the stuff I write, and I believe that, most of the time, that fun transfers over to the reader. But I sometimes sit back and wonder why people read me. What is it about my stories that people enjoy? It’s a curious thing to me, a kid who once got his butt whupped often due to his proclivity for lying about the stupidest shit with the hopes of garnering reactions from people.

Today I wrote two contrasting sections in my current work-in-progress that highlight my style of writing. If you’ve never read my work, I think these two paragraphs, taken from different pages, sum up the tone of every Edward Lorn book on sale today:

Me: October fell like a curse upon the land. The trees of Bay’s End grew gray and skeletal. The bushes, bare of their green gloves, jutted from the dry earth like claws digging their owners from their graves. A stillness rested on its haunches, waiting to pounce on the unknowing community. For quiet breeds restlessness. Because mankind, for all its research into psychology, understands its aversion to silence as much as it understands its passion for drama. Which is to say, not at all.

Also me: She supposed she should have seen the escalation of his zealotry coming early on, but she’d ignored the signs because, as her girlfriends would have said, the dick was good.


See you guys later,


We Are Always Watching Review


We Are Always Watching - Hunter Shea

As much as I want to give this book five stars based on enjoyability alone, I’m not going to because it does have its problems. The middle of the book could use another proofread or two for typos and missing words. This seems to be a running issue with Sinister Grin Press and modern horror novels in general. I really wish authors and publishers would do better with their editing. Sinister Grin’s covers and formatting are great, and they pick great stories, but the quality of the editing is half-assed at best. This one was much cleaner than the first two SG books I read, but there were still more errors than I was comfortable with. And I have a feeling that it was cleaner because Shea’s been around a while and knows what he’s doing.

One thing’s for sure, the story is terrific. I had a lot of fun getting to know West and Matt and Debi and Grandpa Abraham. And, yes, even Faith. By the time the shit hit the fan, I knew each of them well enough that I cared what happened to them.

The last 60% of this book is adrenaline-fueled madness. I only put it down to eat and use the restroom, but I didn’t want to put it down even then. Were it not for the necessities of being human, I’d have easily finished the last 40% in a single setting.

It’s been a long time since I read a horror novel that cared this much about its cast. I’d forgotten how much fun it is being invested in the people I’m reading about. I can’t think of the last horror novel I read whose character’s names I can remember. Several times I found myself thinking, “Man, what’s gonna happen to West… or Debi… or Matt.” I loved that these characters were flawed but still likeable. Especially Matt. Even Grandpa Abraham’s curmudgeonly ass. Sure he was racist and crude and an all around dickhead to everyone, but I wanted to read about him. I wanted to know what was going to happen.

Not sure if Hunter Shea reads his reviews, but I have to apologize to him. I’d put off reading the guy for the longest time because I was told he was just another word mill, someone who cared more for quantity over quality. If this book is anything to go by, the person who told me that was wrong. I hate that I’ve missed out on reading Shea’s work. I plan on fixing that ASAP.

In summation: This book brought back a slice of my childhood; memories of reading under the covers with a flashlight, of chewing my nails in anxious anticipation of what was going to happen next, of rooting for the good guys to overcome the bad guys against all odds. This book is simply a lot of fun, which makes the lack of proofreading hurt that much more. But that seems to be the state of modern horror fiction, and horror fans don’t seem to care, either. I guess I’ll just have to learn how to ignore it. I’ll definitely be looking up more Hunter Shea in the near future.

Final Judgment: The most fun I’ve had with a horror novel in ages.

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