Silence by Shusuke Endo

” Silence ” by Shusuke Endo is a historical fiction story originally published in the 1960’s .

It’s 17th century Japan , Christianity is banned , and any caught worshipping are interrogated and tortured until they publicly renounce their faith . Two Portuguese Jesuit priests are sent to Japan to secretly help preserve the Japanese Christian faith and also to investigate the claim that one of their mentors has apostatized . Eventually both priests are captured and are forced to watch the Japanese torture believers unless they both abandon their faith publicly .

This story is told in the form of letters from one of the Jesuit’s which helps make it feel authentic … also there is the fact that in 17th century Japan Christians really were captured and tortured giving another layer of authenticity here . Intense is the word that comes to mind . The story deals with issues of cultural differences , pride , cowardice , persecution and faith . I should point out that the methods of torture are described in the story so this may prove too intense for some of you . This story was later turned into a movie by Martin Scorsese and it’s a good adaptation . Overall , I would recommend both the book and the movie .

Rate : Legacy read

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

” Rosemary’s Baby ” by Ira Levin is a horror story published in the late 1960’s .

Rosemary moves into an old New York apartment with her struggling actor husband named Guy . The apartment building has a terrible history though involving murder and witchcraft which makes Rosemary a little nervous . Add on to that , the nosy neighbors , ( Roman and Minnie Castavet ) are constantly bothering her , and the strange noises she hears at night … you can understand if she is having trouble adapting to the new place . Things begin to look up though , Guy gets a good role in a Broadway play and Rosemary gets pregnant . With the news of her pregnancy getting around , the neighbors begin to take an even bigger interest in her life , becoming almost possessive of her and her baby . As the pregnancy goes on , she starts getting cut off from her friends and family , gets really sick , and she becomes aware that the Castavets are not who they say they are .

This story is a classic . It’s a masterclass in paranoia based story telling with a hint of satire mixed in . You feel everything Rosemary experiences throughout the story and it keeps you sucked in throughout each twist and turn . The ending feels genuinely surprising and you should read the book at least twice to see all the signs . This was turned into a popular movie directed by Roman Polanski but I haven’t watched it myself as I don’t want to do anything that would give that dude money . So read the book , avoid the movie , that’s my two cents .

Rating : Legendary work

Just an update

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the blog and such . I have not been posting reviews as of late because I needed more time to think them through . I’ll be putting them up within the next few weeks and when you see what books I’ve been tackling you’ll understand the delay … or maybe not .

I’m looking to make longer reviews while avoiding spoilers and that as turned out to be complicated but it’ll be worth it in the end . Also looking to set up an actual rating system to put into the reviews and I think I’ve got a good , simple one , now that gets straight to the point .  As a disclaimer , I’ll add that these reviews are my opinion and they may not reflect on how you would feel reading said stories . But here is the rating system from worst to best .

Forget about it : A story that is so bad , you might as well just forget it . Will probably not be used that much as I tend to avoid reading books I don’t think will interest me .

Library read : A book  that has some interesting stuff in it but I would not spend money on it .

Discount bin : A good book that has some flaws here and there that can be ignored for a decent price .

Legendary work : A near perfect book and/or a book with a legacy that makes up for any of it’s flaws .

Think that is self-explanatory enough . Also , if things work out , I will actually set up a schedule on this website of when the reviews will be out . It almost sounds professional ! Anyways , I appreciate all who take the time to read this and hope to have the reviews up soon . Have a nice day .

Ratman’s Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert

” Ratman’s Notebooks ” by Stephen Gilbert is a horror novel published in the late 1960’s .

This novel opens up with notebooks being handed to the author . The notebooks writer is unknown but they detail the writers strange interactions with the local rat population . The writer first meets the rats when his overbearing mother tells him to kill them . He attempts to drown them at first but has a change of heart whenever he looks into the mama rats eyes . He then begins to train the rats to do basic tasks but most of them prove difficult to teach . One stands out though as intelligent which the writer calls Socrates . Soon the writer’s mother dies , leaving the writer alone with a house that is falling apart , a low paying job with a cruel boss , and no money . The writer soon finds a new rat which he names Ben who also displays intelligence . The writer then begins to train the rats under the command of Socrates to do various crimes such as tearing tires , robbery , and possibly murder .

This is a legendary book and it’s often credited along with Ira Levin’s ” Rosemary’s Baby ” and William Peter Blatty’s ” The Exorcist ” as the novels that rejuvenated the horror genre. It’s a great read , written from our nameless protagonist’s point of view , you really dig deep into this guys mindset and you follow him as he starts to turn more and more corrupt as the novel goes on . It was later turned into a movie called ” Willard ” that became a big enough hit to spawn a sequel entitled ” Ben ” and a remake later on . Out of all of these , I admit I’ve only seen the remake , but that was a good enough film . Overall , if you’re into the animal horror sub genre or if you’re just curious about horror story history , check it out .

Let’s talk about Star Wars ( briefly )

I know that I missed posting something on the ” Star Wars ” franchise on May 4th but better late than never , right guys ? I don’t think that there is another fictional franchise out there that has influenced my life more . My father had me watch the original trilogy at a very young age . How young ? Might have been still in diapers  . Those movies were awesome and started my interest in science fiction .

If I remember right , we watched all the prequel films when they came to theatres , and I was awestruck by them . The fight choreography , the music , the mythos , everything just combined together to make the perfect movie franchise for a young boy . Of course , the movies never came out fast enough and I needed my fix damn it ! So ” Star Wars” books and video games became a big part of my life . I’ll credit ” Star Wars ” ( alongside old horror stories ) for giving me an interest in reading in the first place . I’ll include a few book suggestions at the end of this for y’all .

” Star Wars ” also taught me something else . That people can watch the same thing but feel totally different about it . ” Revenge Of The Sith ” is my favorite ” Star Wars ” film , I used to try to explain it’s value to everyone on the internet before I learned that was a waste of time , and I’ll stick by it . Maybe another day I’ll make my case for that film on this site if their is any interest .

Overall , I’ve got a lot of good memories with this franchise . Haven’t cared much for the ” Disney ” version of the series to be honest but it doesn’t change what the George Lucas movies have accomplished . A series that combines the old pulp science fiction stories with elements from samurai films , westerns , fantasy , with cutting edge film techniques and special effects … it’s the ultimate combination . The only movie to come close to that was the first ” Matrix ” in my opinion . Let’s end this with a huge thank you to George Lucas and I guess I’ll give you that list now .

  1. ” Tales of the Bounty Hunters ” edited by Kevin J. Anderson
  2. ” The Jedi Academy trilogy ” by Kevin J. Anderson
  3. ” Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina ” edited by Kevin J. Anderson
  4. ” The Han Solo Adventures ” by Brian Daley
  5. ” Splinter of the Mind’s Eye ” by Alan Dean Foster

The Long Walk by Stephen King

” The Long Walk ” by Stephen King ( as Richard Bachman ) is a psychological horror story originally published in the late 1970’s .

In the future a contest is held every year called ” The Long Walk ” in which a bunch of young adults walk for as long as they can without losing pace . They sometimes cross whole states even and the person who walks the longest wins a prize , the prize being whatever they want for the rest of their lives . One small draw back though , if you drop below pace more than three times , you will be shot and killed . We follow this contest through the sixteen year old Ray Garraty as he struggles to survive a cruel pace , hardcore competitors , potential starvation , changing weather , and his damaged mental state .

Stephen King is a master story teller , you don’t need me to tell you that . This story , while definitely  dark , seems tame compared to a lot of his other stories and almost comes off as a young adult novel . This isn’t a bad thing , as I do enjoy this story , but if you want a full on , no holds barred traditional Stephen King novel … try another one . On the other hand , if you just looking for a well written dystopian future story with psychological horror elements , check it out . Seriously , if a story about walking can keep my interest for a full novel , you know it’s got to be good .

Valentine by Tom Savage

” Valentine ” by Tom Savage is a mystery novel originally published in the mid 1990’s .

Jillian Talbot is a bestselling suspense novelist living in New York with her artist boyfriend . She is living a comfortable life writing her books , hanging out with her actress friend , and she loves her boyfriend . Everything is going well up until a stalker appears into her life , sending her Valentine’s day cards with intimidating messages , always signing the card ” Valentine ” . The story becomes more and more suspenseful as she hires a private investigator to find out this stalker is and why they are sending her threatening letters , dead animals , and roses . Come find out in Tom Savage’s ” Valentine ” .

This book is a thrilling mystery . It switches point of view often between Jill and her stalker , giving the novel a voyeur type quality which I enjoy … don’t read too much into that statement . The only complaint I have about it is that I feel the themes of Valentine’s day could’ve been used more but admittedly its a minor thing and probably only bothers me . A movie based off of this book was made and I watched it as well . The movie is a very loose adaptation at best , actually the movie seems to be a ” I Know What You Did Last Summer ” knock off with the book being used as a superficial dressing . Overall , recommend the book to mystery and suspense fans , and recommend the movie to lovers of B-movie slashers .