Tag Archives: book reviews

Dealey Plaza Review

Dealey Plaza by John Russo☆☆☆☆☆ A definitive masterpiece… arguably Mr. Russo’s best work yet!

John Russo is a living legend in the horror genre, with his penning of the screenplay NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with George Romero and novel by the same name. He has a written over twenty books, several screenplays, and is an accomplished actor and director. Though many attribute him as being the father of the zombie genre which we all have come to know and love, DEALEY PLAZA is a departure from Mr. Russo’s standard modus operandi.

In DEALEY PLAZA, you won’t find any brain eating zombies or undead ghouls coming for you in the shadows, but what you will find is a piece of cleverly crafted historical fiction that has its roots interwoven in true historical facts/events that defined the later part of the twentieth century.

DEALEY PLAZA is centered on a group of young adults who must grow up during some of the most turbulent times in recent history. It is a story that begins in the year following the John F. Kennedy assassination, in which some college friends and army buddies – all conspiracy buffs – decide to go to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas and film a documentary about the JFK event during a college break.  After the filming concludes, there are still a few days left of the break before the crew has to head home.  With this extra time, two of the friends decide to go to Mexico to party and the other members of the group decide to go to Mississippi to attend a civil rights rally that is happening around the same time.

The group that went to Mississippi is ambushed because part of the party is black and we get a firsthand glimpse at what it was like to be black and live in the 60’s in the south, during a time that segregation still existed and animosities were high. Two blacks and two whites were killed, and a young mother named Lori McCoy barely survives with her small child. The woman and child escape by hiding in the back seat of the car while the ambush takes place and then making a getaway as the attackers are preoccupied with the others.

This event triggers a chain reaction that starts a ‘cat and mouse’-type thriller where Lori is pursued by the radicals at different points in her life when they find out where she lives. One of the friends who went to Mexico – Frank Williams – begins a career in law enforcement and becomes an FBI agent who dedicates his life to hunting down the killers and protecting his friends.

DEALEY PLAZA is a coming of age story and one of the most intensely violent books I have ever read.  That being said, I think that every person should read it just to ground themselves on what hate really is and the effects of hate crime and violence on those whose lives it touches. It also provides the reader with a unique psychological insight into guns and violence, and the consequences of radicalism.

DEALEY PLAZA is, I believe, a definitive literary masterpiece. Much as Charles Dickens defined the pulse of what it was like living in the time of the French Revolution with his book, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, Mr. Russo skillfully captures the turbulence of America in the years following the Kennedy assassination.  DEALEY PLAZA teaches history in such an entertaining way, that a scholar (student) might get a better education reading this book than some of the American history textbooks that are out there… at least it wouldn’t be as boring.

Although Mr. Russo will undoubtedly always be known for fathering zombie fiction with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DEALEY PLAZA is arguably Mr. Russo’s best work yet. This one will make you think – and remember when – the world changed starting around what happened at Dealey Plaza.

Watch the trailer:


Tuesday Apocalypse Review

Tuesday Apocalypse by Vicy Cross

☆☆☆☆☆ Paranormal romance, gothic horror, and era-based fantasy, what more could you ask for?

I discovered Vicy Cross through recommendations from author friends of mine Rich Bottles Jr. (Lumberjacked) and Wol-vriey (Vegan Zombie Apocalypse) who made glowing reviews about the book and sparked my curiosity.

Tuesday Apocalypse was my first exposure to Vicy Cross and I can say that I really enjoyed her writing style.  It was written much the way a diary reads and one could draw similarities to Lovecraft, Poe, and Stoker – speculative fiction and dark fantasy. 

The key difference in Ms. Cross’ work is that her erotic scenes are fantastic and panted in a highly visual way, especially when told from the first person standpoint of a nun.

There is an interesting thread throughout the story of taboo, social norms, and crossing them.

Tuesday Apocalypse takes risks and I greatly look forward to future works put out by this author.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Author of Darkened Hills

Five Little Deaths Review

Five Little Deaths by Clare de Lune

☆☆☆☆☆Dark, erotic and fast paced!

I first discovered Clare de Lune’s work via her short story – CITY OF THE DEAD – which was featured in the horror section of The Big Book of Bizarro. Clare has a gift for depicting mysterious landscapes in a dark and fascinating way, thus when I saw this collection offered up on amazon, I went ahead and purchased a copy.

The trick to writing short story fiction is to get in, tell the story, and get out. The problem is that many writers have difficulty telling the tale in a smooth, enjoyable manner that is most importantly, memorable.

Short stories can be easily spoiled with in-depth reviews, so I will not go into an thorough analysis of each work, but rather talk about my impressions of the first story and hopefully, you can decide whether this collection is right for you.

The first story is called BLOODY KISSES and focuses on a primary character, Charlotte, a blonde-haired widow who lives in an old house by the sea.  Charlotte is plagued with memories of her dead husband, Bryan, who apparently drowned, but whose body was never discovered.

We get a glimpse of Charlotte’s emotional problems, possibly depression or insomnia, when she is described as taking Percocet before settling into bed with a book to read.

The interesting piece here is what happens next.  We learn of an affection that Charlotte had with her husband’s friend Vic and after her husband died, she was troubled.  Shortly after Bryan’s disappearance, Vic also disappeared, thus adding a layer of mystery to the overall story.

It is at this point that Charlotte is revisited by Bryan (is he a ghost, vampire, or figment of her imagination) and he leads her on a journey down by the sea, where they engage in highly-charged passion along with Vic. Bad things happen here and you will just have to read to find out what they are.

In the end, the reader is left to wonder if Charlotte became a vampire, was murdered, or was having a drug-influenced dream at bed.

Mysterious and good.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Co-editor of The Big Book of Bizarro

Boston Posh Review

Boston Posh by Wol-vriey

☆☆☆☆☆ Superbly executed, brilliantly written!

Very rarely does a book engage my imagination to the point where I enjoyed it so much that I want to experience it again. However, when reading Boston Posh, I can honestly say, it was a blast! Not only did I read it twice, I read it thrice – and back-to-back! It was just honestly so entertaining that I absolutely loved it.

Sometimes you can catch a great movie in the theaters and want to see it again just to catch the parts that you missed. Boston Posh is like that. It is sensory overload and an imagination trip, all wrapped up into one.

Boston Posh has the feel of a pulp fiction/detective novel, only bizarro style. The story takes place in a dystopian future that is overrun by dinosaurs and dragons. Set in Boston, it centers around two primary characters: a private detective named Bud Malone and a high class prostitute named Posh.

Early on, before the two meet, Malone is hired by a rich widow to locate the widow’s missing daughter and must brave the dangers of the monster-overrun town and the evil abductor “Frank” to put together the missing clues of the daughter’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, Posh is trying to escape from her pimp, a guy by the name “Herbie” and his thug-enforcer brother “Bulldog”. As Herbie arranges some very perverse sexual encounters that Posh must endure, she eventually gets fed up, and well, you’ll just have to read the book to see how this all goes down.

Let’s just say that as all hell is breaking loose, Posh and Malone finally get together and what takes place is something only the cleverest wordsmith can pull off, and well, Wol-vriey does it splendidly.

I give Boston Posh an enthusiastic two thumbs up. It is wonderful dark humor, horror, erotica, and transgressive fiction at its best. For adults only, this might be the best novel I have read all year!

– Gary Lee Vincent, author Darkened Hills

Guiltessa Dolores Review

Guiltessa Dolores by Wol-vriey☆☆☆☆☆ Guiltessa Dolores – a primer into Bizarro fiction Wol-vriey style!

If you have never experienced Bizarro-genre fiction and are a bit hesitant to try a full-length novel such as Wol-vriey’s Vegan Zombie Apocalypse, then Guiltessa Dolores novella might be what you are looking for.

As with any piece of transgressive fiction, you must start by suspending disbelief and allowing the words to simply take the mind on a fantasy. Failure to do this will leave you scratching your head and bewildered on stuff that just can’t happen in real life.

However, for those of you who are able to suspend disbelief and allow a Bizarro story to unfold, you will find adventure in Guiltessa Dolores.

This story revolves around a character known simply as “Malone”, although this should be noted that this is not the “Bud Malone” that appears in Wol-vriey’s epic-length Boston Posh novel. In Guiltessa, Malone wakes up to find his skin missing, having been sold by his wife “Tess” to the scorpions for money, since Malone – who once was rich – is now broke.

The story proceeds to take Malone (who is later known as “Mal-Scorpio” by the scorpions) on a journey of wackiness, with run-ins with a skeleton wishing to marry his bones, an alliance with the scorpions, and a grim task that the scorpion queen – Guiltess Dolores – needs his help with.

Here is an excerpt from the tale:

“Do not fear, Mal-Scorpio,” the scorpions clicked to him. “Our covering will protect you from the sewing-needle rain when it falls.”

If you can dig that, you’ll be able to dig this story.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Contributing Editor of The Big Book of Bizarro

Guiltessa Dolores can be downloaded in Kindle format from amazon here.

The Snooty School Girl Review

The Snooty School Girl (The Pleasures Of The Professor) by Melissa Craig

☆ Sometimes the best lectures are saved until AFTER class!

This is the very first piece of erotica that I have read from Ms. Craig and I can say that I really enjoyed her work and look forward to exploring more of her… literary universe.

“The Snooty Schoolgirl” is a short story that that gets to the point quickly and exquisitely builds the readers anticipation of things to come.

I can honestly say that Ms. Craig is a cunning linguist in the way she takes one scene, quickly gets to the point, and builds to a climatic oral finale when the good professor Rick finally gives himself over to his snooty schoolgirl student, Logan. My only regret was that it was a short story and the juiciest parts were left to the reader’s imagination at the very end.

Ms. Craig does very well in painting some wonderful imagery that makes one grin with ornery delight. “The Snooty Schoolgirl” is a very delicious short story that is arousing and fun to read, especially if you like teacher/student fantasies and seduction, which I am a fan of.

It’s well worth checking out.

Download your copy today on amazon here.

Demons, Dolls, & Milkshakes Review

Demons, Dolls, & Milkshakes by Nelson W. Pyles

☆☆☆☆☆ Not your Disney’s “Stitch” (but that’s a good thing)

When I heard that the nemesis of this book was an ugly doll named Stitch, I thought to myself, “Crap Nelson, I loved your shorter works in The Big Book of Bizarro and Westward Hoes, but please tell me you’re not doing Disney fan fiction?”

Just kidding, of course. Demons, Dolls, & Milkshakes is a far cry from Lilo & Stitch and definitely NOT a children’s story.

Pyles does not disappoint in blending several highly unlikely elements into a cohesive, shall I say “Milkshake” of pure literary entertainment. And, given that the demon is from New Jersey makes the story far more believable and almost realistic.

Nelson did a good job with this Bizarro-meets-horror-meets-comedy piece. It’s definitely worth checking out and a far cry from bland. Have yourself a good chuckle and pick it up.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Author Darkened Hills

Demons, Dolls, & Milkshakes can be purchased from amazon here.

Vanessa’s Video Book Review of The Big Book of Bizarro

On Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, video blogger Vanessa provided us with a quick review of The Big Book of Bizarro. You can check it out for yourself below:

In her words, The Big Book has “… more sex than an Amsterdam Brothel, more aliens than John Carpenter’s movies, and more violence than you can wave a butcher knife at!”

Well, I guess she has a point!

The Big Book of BizarroHey, we’d love to hear from you!  Have you read The Big Book of Bizarro yet?  If so, let us know!  Post your review on amazon.com or on our Facebook wall at www.TheBigBookofBizarro.com.