cover image of audiobookIn case you’ve missed me, I’m trying to recover from an unexpected blogging slump. I had actually hoped to post more audiobook reviews than usual during June to celebrate National Audiobook Month, but instead, June got away from me almost completely.

Put The Troop by Nick Cutter on your audiobook listening list if you’re looking for a good scare from a book that’s firmly in the traditional horror genre but has enough character development and Lord of the Flies overtones that fans of literary horror might like it too. Did you notice Stephen King’s blurb featured prominently on the cover?

The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us sick people. It’s the perfect gift for a winter night.” — Stephen King

The Troop came out in February, which is still deep winter up in Maine, but the story takes place over a long weekend in the summer, so it would be perfectly suitable for a summer vacation read, as well as in the winter. Unless, of course, you’re camping alone on an island off the coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada – in which case, The Troop might come a little too close for comfort.

OK, when Stephen King says it’s not for the faint-hearted, that’s saying something. The Troop really is a gross-out fest and pretty darn scary, so it would not make a good family road-trip audiobook choice. (I was listening to this on my way in to work one morning and was the first one in the building. A few minutes later, I jumped a mile when I heard the door open, and this was first thing in the morning and broad daylight.) Remember I mentioned Lord of the Flies (as has every other review and publicist’s notice, I’m sure). The Lord of the Flies isn’t a jolly camping story you want to read to the family around the campfire, and neither is The Troop!

Nick Cutter is actually a pseudonym for Canadian literary fiction author Craig Davidson, I found out while writing this review, so that explains the literary overtones that seep into this story of blood, gore, and other bodily fluids coming out instead of staying inside where they belong. The author says in an interview that he was a voracious consumer of horror fiction and movies, growing up, and that’s why he decided to write a horror novel himself.

The audiobook edition is narrated by actor Corey Brill, and is excellent! I highly recommend listening to The Troop if you have a strong stomach and are in the mood for some no-holds-barred horror.

The Troop
Cutter, Nick, author
Brill, Corey, narrator
Simon & Schuster Audio
February 2014


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Michelle Willms of Let’s Talk About Books is the lucky winner of a copy of The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis. For everyone who has to buy a copy because you didn’t win, here are some quick links for you (no benefit to me, BTW):

Barnes & Noble (The Nook Book is on sale at only $1.99, at least right now!)
Book Depository
Powell’s Books

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway contest and visited during the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop June 21-25 badge


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Literary Giveaway Blog Hop June 21-25 badge

Welcome to the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!

The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is hosted by Judith at Leeswammes Blog. Between now and Wednesday, June 25th, you can hop to over 30 different book blogs, all offering one or more giveaways of books or bookish items. All books on offer should be more literary than genre, under the terms of the hop. Follow the links at the bottom of this post to find the other participating blogs.

My Giveaway

For the blog hop I will be giving away my latest literary fiction favorite — The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis.

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I just loved this book! Set in Provincetown and New Bedford, Massachusetts, as well as a couple of other spots, it’s got a little of everything — friendship, love, passion, betrayal, faith, and family. Very readable with a strong story line and many conversations, but definitely literary in the complexity of the characters and the subtlety of the themes of darkness and light woven throughout. If you liked The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, this book gave me the same mixture of intense emotions while reading — sadness, happiness, and full engagement with the story and the characters. Read my review here!

 To enter to win a softcover copy of The Orphans of Race Point, please read the rules and leave a comment!

The rules:

  1. Anyone can enter. You do not need to have a blog!
  2. You need a post office-recognized address anywhere in the world, where you can receive packages.
  3. You do not have to be a follower or become a follower, although if you like my blog I hope you will! You can follow by email or other ways. (See buttons in the side bar on the left.)
  4. To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post or on the review post. Include email address if you’re not logged in with an email address I can contact you with if you win.
  5. You can enter the giveaway until the end of the day (EST) on Wednesday June 25th.
  6. I will notify the winner by email. The winner needs to answer my email within 3 days, or I’ll announce a new winner.
  7. The book will be sent out by mail.
  8. That’s it! Good luck and thanks for playing. Rules may vary on different blogs.

Participating Blogs:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. The Misfortune of Knowing
  3. Bibliosue
  4. Too Fond
  5. Under a Gray Sky
  6. Read Her Like an Open Book (US)
  7. My Devotional Thoughts
  8. WildmooBooks
  9. Guiltless Reading
  10. Fourth Street Review
  11. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  12. Word by Word
  13. Words And Peace (US)
  14. Ciska’s Book Chest
  15. Falling Letters
  16. Roof Beam Reader
  17. Readerbuzz
  18. The Relentless Reader (US)
  19. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  20. Daily Mayo (US)
  1. The Emerald City Book Review (US)
  2. A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
  3. Lost Generation Reader
  4. Booklover Book Reviews
  5. Bay State Reader’s Advisory
  6. River City Reading (US)
  7. Books Speak Volumes
  8. Words for Worms
  9. Wensend
  10. Bibliophile’s Retreat
  11. Readers’ Oasis
  12. The Book Musings
  13. My Book Retreat (N. Am.)
  14. Books on the Table (US)

cover imageI’m deep into a severe blogging slump right now, but have to tell you about The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis. It’s the book you’re going to want to read this summer – in case you haven’t heard.

I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of The Orphans of Race Point, the second novel by Patry Francis (after The Liar’s Diary), and have been raving about it to anyone who will listen ever since. If you recently finished reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and wondered what sprawling, Dickensian novel everyone would be reading next…this is it.

Instead of London, Las Vegas, or New York City, the tangled lives of two motherless children Gus and Hallie, and their friend Neil, unfold mostly on the beaches and narrow streets of Provincetown – on the outermost tip of Cape Cod – and in the seacoast city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where there is also a large Portuguese-American community. Tragedies, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities pile up for the three young friends, after a violent act by Gus’ father brings them together, setting them on their course for life. Fate lies heavily on the characters, as the book explores true love, fatherhood, human behavior, the human spirit, and what about ourselves can be changed.

I think the cover design makes it clear that The Orphans of Race Point isn’t a thriller (although some of the promotion seems to me to make it sound that way.) It’s literary fiction with a strong story line that touches on big ideas but focuses on the personal. In The Orphans of Race Point, the characters and the story share center stage, giving it the heft you want in a long novel (over 500 pages) and events and action that keep you turning pages. The perfect summer read for the beach or the cottage! (Or for wintertime. Or anytime, really. But why wait, and risk hearing spoilers?)

It would also make a great book club book, and has a reading group guide included.

For anyone in the area of the Brockton Public Library, the author is going to be speaking and reading from The Orphans of Race Point this Saturday, June 14, at 2 p.m. Hope to see you there!

The Orphans of Race Point
Francis, Patry
Harper Perennial
May 6, 2014
$15.99, softcover

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Library Journal for review and gave it a starred review. I also met the author at a book signing in Brockton after the publication of her first novel, The Liar’s Diary, which is pretty different from The Orphans of Race Point, but also excellent!

Other opinions (all very good to excellent):
Bookalicious Mama
The Book Wheel

Doing Dewey
TLC Tours (for other blog tour reviews)



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