Monday, December 16, 2013

Graham Masterton Community review

I have written here for a few years now but I haven’t really mentioned my favorite horror author yet, if this was Save The Best for Last and the end of the world was about to climb into the driver’s seat then I guess I would just have to mention Graham Masterton before the end of it all.

It’s 1996 and here I am, on a summer vacation back in Poland just living my life in sunshine when suddenly out of the blue Masterton crashes it. Long story short I’ve read the guy since I was fifteen and discovering his works in my dad’s library had to be one of the biggest and most profound literary renaissances of my life. Graham got me into horror with a single outstretched hand made out of words that climbed out of his books which btw had the most fabulous folklore turned into solid horror that was sharp without a sliver of cheesiness no matter how outlandish. I was hooked, this was gold and I gobbled him up as from then on and continue to do so until this day. Snagging his books in my native language which is Polish was a hunt which I did for years and now I have a nice stash which was always healthily re-supplied by my dad anytime I went back because all my life when asked what I wanted all I said was “a  book” and  that’s it, nothing else made as fine of a gift… 

I have only read thirty one of his works but simply due to my own resistance, reading too many would deplete me from the pool of his books to dip into at my leisure which usually borderlines on starvation for more so I really had to space myself all these years, this guy is so good that I could read him forever and ever. I almost miss the days when it was hard work to get a book out, now with all the hacks out there burping out ebooks nonstop it makes me feel that people who read and talk about books tend fall into this trap of reading with a chip on their shoulder; they become the constant critic by default which I’m myself admitting of anytime I don’t read enough Masterton. It’s easy to take on the challenge to see how good something claims to be, with Masterton I always feel like I get to sick back and let a skilled guy tell me a good story; you really get to hear what he has inside and it’s not a struggle but a real journey through something really special. Graham is always writing so he has a lot of new stuff coming out but I heartedly recommend all of his old works from the beginning, they are gems and gold, some of the best books I ever read were his 80’s horror, yum!

 Community  by Graham Masterton  

         *4 out of 5 gold skulls

Drive safe, better yet stay home 

This story is not exactly a punch to the gut but more of a kick to the mind. It’s more sinister than in your face scary and over a period of time it starts to sag on the sanity, it was a fun read and when I was away from it my mind would spiral back to it subconsciously wondering “what the heck is Michael up to now?” Michael of course being the main character, a regular guy on a drive with his girl Tasha to visit her sister who lives near Seattle, their little drive was interrupted by magnificent Mount Shasta, or rather something eerie that happened right near it. The story reminded me a bit of that intense movie, Breakdown with Kurt Russell; the road, the intensity, the unnerving feeling of something weird going on and then the separation and introduction of a whole new world to Michael and Natasha.  One minute they are driving admiring the view and the next a car crushes them off the road, after a fall down the side of the road and a flip Michael manages to get his seat belt off but the sight of his girl gives him chills, they are both in bad shape, luckily help is on the way.

That’s pretty much all I can say about the meat of the book and not spoil it, cruel I know, but no worries, Michael wakes up in at the Trinity clinic that has his best interest at heart. If anything they go out of their way to make sure he’s okay and working on his rehabilitation. His amnesia doesn’t help especially when they start calling him someone else’s name and his life suddenly turns into a living nightmare,  truth and fiction blend like the twilight sky where dark and light coagulate into murky uncertainty and it’s up to Michael to fight back to regain his life and identify back. Eerie residents of Trinity, the overly accommodating doctors and Isobel, his new vixen of a rehabilitation companion make Michael wonder who he is and what exactly is he’s still doing in Trinity months after his waking from a comma and then he discovers that something or rather someone is missing from the picture… his quest for answers was a blast to read, I had my theories but the story was well crafted and in true Masterton fashion it had more deliciously creepy layers than a Trinity get well cake.

- Kasia S.

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