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Full Blown Panic Attack

Casey Bartsch. Horror / Suspense writer. Reviews for what I read and notes on what I write.

Currently reading

The Institute
Stephen King
Progress: 285/485 pages

Cuts by Richard Laymon: A Bundle of Breasts

Cuts - Richard Laymon

It took me a long time to get around to writing this review, mostly because I didn't want to think about this book anymore. I had plans of writing something long and in depth, but instead I will keep this short and to the point. 


Cuts can be summed up in one word: Tits....or breasts, if that word makes you feel more comfortable. Richard Laymon is a boob man through and through, it's obvious as the day is long. Not a chapter in this book goes by without a reference to a woman's chest. Even if it isn't in a sexual way, the boobs are there no question, but let's be honest, it's usually sexual.


Now, I'm not a prude at all (which is why I made a point of using tits there at the beginning :P), but I've never read something written for adults with such a juvenile approach to sexuality. Most of Laymon's work covers these basis, but none of the others I've read scraped the bottom of the boob barrel so unapologetically. 


I hope Laymon's heaven is two massive chesticles pressed to either side of his face for all time, I truly do. But for you, dear reader, chose another book.


Reading progress update: I've read 43%.

Cuts - Richard Laymon

Decided on another Richard Laymon. This one starts out with a 17 yo boy with boobs in his face. By the end of the chapter, he's stabbing a dog to death. Laymon is back to his old tricks.

The Cellar by Richard Laymon, Yes and No

The Cellar - Richard Laymon

There is no filler in Laymon's writing. The sentences are short and very seldom is there any semblance of craft in the them. I don't say this as a bad thing, just a fact. Laymon gets right to the point, and that lends itself to a novel that I read in a blink.


I've read some previous books by Laymon that focused in on the sexual aspects of horror. He often describes woman in a way that almost makes me feel slimy for reading the words. Still, I am no PC social justice warrior. Everything has it's place. The issue is really just the one-sidedness of the characters. If a woman only exist on the page as sexual candy or rape fodder, then there isn't much to the character, is there? The Cellar has less chauvinism than some of the others I've read, and because of that, is a more rounded story.


I definitely enjoyed this one the most out of those I've read and am actually pretty excited to read the next in the series. I gather that he actually wrote four more-though I also gather that they aren't as good. Time will tell.

Soulstorm by Chet Williamson, Basically Garbage

— feeling beaten
Soulstorm - Chet Williamson

This story has been told before. Rich man hires people to stay in a haunted house for nefarious reasons. It's a story I enjoy, so was excited to find this on the shelf at my local used book shop.


My excitement didn't last beyond the first couple chapters. 


This story is appallingly bad. Everything happens inexplicably. The rich man only has a vague reason for bringing them to the house; no plan whatsoever. Everyone's attitude is off somehow. It just doesn't make any sense. By the time I finished, I was just happy to be done. Nothing was satisfying; nothing.


Perhaps worst of all is the writing. Occasionally, Williamson goes off on an unexpected diatribe, writing as if the hallucinogenics only just kicked in and he's lost in a slushy, technicolor wilderness that only he can see, describing his visuals to the rest of us who he failed to provide the same substance to. Each time, he returns to narrative at hand as if nothing was amiss while I clear my throat and happily turn the page.


Soulstorm is not a book to pick up on a rainy day. It isn't a book to pick up when you've got nothing better to read. It just isn't a book to pick up at all.