Ive wanted to sample Brian Keene for a while now. This was my first book of his I read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ive wanted to read a story about a grave robbing Ghoul for a while now. Mark Ronson's feeble effort didn't do anything for me, but thankfully this book did. In fact it was great. It concerns three young boys. Timmy, Barry and Doug. All three have different life styles. One has good folks who look out for him. Doug lives alone with his drunken mother who has terrible incestuous tendencies. And poor Barry is constantly beaten by his abusive drunken gravedigger father. They escape all this by having adventures and time together in their hidden underground den. Nearby in the cemetery an ancient flesh eating creature has been awakened by Barry's fathers clumsyness. It has eaten corpses beneath the earth, but now wants to try the warmth and sweetness of living flesh.
: It looked nothing like the monsters depicted in Timmy's comic books. Naked its body was almost completely devoid of hair except for between its legs and a few long strands about its body. It was thin but its limbs were knotted with corded muscles and its stomach bulged considerably , as if it were pregnant. Its white skin was covered with filth yet still shone with an eerie incandescence . It had yellow baleful eyes , a pointed head, thick black lips that resembled two pieces of raw liver . Its mouth and face were slicked with fresh blood. The Ghouls gray tongue flicked out and licked some away. Then it grinned, revealing pointed teeth. They looked very sharp.:
The book was set in the 80s so that perhaps is another reason why I can relate with it ( no I didn't have a subterranean monster after me ) as I too was a mere eleven year old back in 1984. In fact the book has rather a strong feel and similarity to King's IT. The pace is frantic. The story never lets up nor becomes a bore and the sequences within depicting the Ghoul... as above.. are very well described. Ive got a few more Keene books here to get through. I'm also going to track down a few others of his. I enjoyed this Immensely and look very much foward to his other works. He's gained a new fan. Any other members here sampled this or any other Keene books ?
Ghoul is a pretty decent book, although it felt a wee bit Stephen kingish.Almost like Stand By Me but with a monster.The best Brian Keene book I have read is The Conqueror Worms, A.K.A Earthworm Gods.Which has the Earth being submerged with water whilst giant flesh eating worms harass the survivors,also much fun to be had if you are a fan of a certain Mr Lovecraft.
I have twelve of Keene's books. Conqueror Worms, along with Dead Sea and Terminal are the only three I've yet to read. I have heard many a good thing of Worms though. But I became somewhat discouraged by the writers other books. After a good experience with his novels Ghoul and The Rising, two superb reads, the ones I read afterwards became gradually more tedious and bad. City of the Dead was a good sequel to The Rising however. But his writing became kind of juvenile, beginning with Castaways and Urban Gothic, two books with appalling stereotypes. And Ghost Walk and Dark Hollow, although had decent promising storylines, failed big time due to poor characterisations and dumb writing. A Gathering of Crows is virtually the Same book as Darkness at the Edge of Town, which in itself is a crude rip off of King's The Mist without the monsters. The fact,also that his main characters, people we are supposed to root for always seem to be weed and pot smoking bag heads. Sadly I do not get gratification from smoking such junk, its obviously Keene does and believes we all do hence his characters constantly smoking the stuff. He has got some talent, and his ideas are certainly unique in someways. But he needs to mature a little more, shame because he is an obvious fan of the genre.
A quick note to Dem. I've put this thread in the wrong forum ( must have been a bad week ) my apologies, any chance of a move to its correct home ? Thank You.
Have never read anything by him, but all the paperbacks seem to be Leisure's so have shifted him here.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.