It's been too long since I've posted anything on here, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to give an update on some books/movies I've enjoyed recently and feel compelled enough to recommend. So, in the spirit of procrastination, let's begin.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The long (looooooong) awaited sequel to King's 2nd book ever and one of his most widely loved and f'in terrifying, The Shining, Doctor Sleep is nothing less than a page-turner. Many reviewers have pointed out that King is a different man now than the twenty-eight year-old guy who wrote The Shining all those years ago, and it definitely shows. While there are ghosts, and spirits and a some gore, the fear unlocked in Doctor Sleep is different than its predecessor; King's readers have grown up with him, and he plays on fears of human sacrifice, parents losing their children, alcoholics recovering from that demon The Drink, and other more embedded fears that differ from the shock value terrors of The Shining. Is it as scary as The Shining? Of course not. But it's a hell of a fun ride, and proves that Stephen King has done nothing but get better and better and better. He's a master storyteller, and Doctor Sleep reminds you why. Also: you'll never look at an RV the same again. I promise.
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
Summer of Night is a long book, but it's one of the most engrossing and detailed, and beautifully told horror stories I've ever read. The tale of a group of school-aged young boys in the summer of 1960, who instead of enjoying days filled with baseball and swimming holes, must confront death, in it's most horrific and startling form, all while trying to unravel a mystery of their small hometown that's been hidden for a hundred years.
But wait, it gets ever better!! After finishing Summer of Night, jump write into it's sequel A Winter Haunting . The sequel is shorter, much quicker paced and not as heavy on the reading as the first in the two-book series, telling the tale of one of the children who survives Summer of Night coming back to his hometown 40 years later, and finding that there's still evil lurking. This one is more fun that the first, and full of creepiness. Check it out.
Wayward by Blake Crouch
Wayward is the sequel to Pines and you HAVE to read the first before appreciating the latter. Pines (released last year) had me sneaking pages whenever I could, my brain trying so hard to figure out what the heck was going on. I'm not even going to begin to explain the plot for fear of spoiling anything for new readers. But, if you like small town mysteries, check out these two. Blake Crouch is talented, and has a pace that is nearly perfect.
There's not much to say. In my opinion, the most enjoyable, unbelievably stunning, engrossing and entertaining movie-going experience of my life. The visual effects are out of this world (cheesy pun, sorry), and won't even have a close competitor for the Visual Effects Oscar in 2014. I saw it in 3D (an absolute must!) and it's as close to being in space as I'll ever get. Intense and terrifying are just the beginning. And Sandra Bullock's performance -- wow. So much wow here. Just go see it on the largest screen you can and put on your 3D glasses and hold on.