Tag Archives: horror fiction

What Fall Means to Me: Readers Imbibing Peril #ripxii

Whenever I take on a reading challenge (e.g. read x number of books in y amount of time), I fail. Miserably.

This goes for Readers Imbibing Peril, too – the challenge to read a certain number of horror or suspense titles from Sept. 1st to Oct. 31st. So I wasn’t signing up this year.

Nope. Can’t.

Don’t have time, and never follow through, anyway. Just make a fool of myself saying I’m going to read this and that and then don’t.

Now that we’re into October, though, and it feels like fall, it couldn’t hurt to peek at Stainless Steel Droppings to see what’s happening with Readers Imbibing Peril…and what do I find out?

Yup. I’m in!








Scary and Horrifying: Big Driver by Stephen King (Audio) @SimonAudio

cover image of audio editionBig Driver by Stephen King is the kind of heart-pounding, adrenalin-filled horror story that will stay with you for a long time after listening. The reading by Jessica Hecht is excellent and the horrifying scenes drawn by the author are extremely vivid.

I requested Big Driver for review, not realizing that it was a story from Full Dark, No Stars, a collection of five stories by Stephen King that I had already listened to.

But this is one of the best stories from Full Dark, No Stars, and is definitely worth the $9.99 price, if you haven’t already bought Full Dark, No Stars, that is. Big Driver has already been made into a TV movie already, so you may have already encountered spoilers, but I’m not going to discuss the plot here more than to say the story is about an author of cozy crime fiction who makes a routine visit to a Massachusetts library to give a talk. (In lieu of a trigger warning, I’ll just say if there are certain types of violence that you can’t bear to read about, you should look up other reviews to find out more before choosing to read Big Driver.)

BTW, have others noticed how a lot of e-books and e-audiobooks are being re-released separately this way? A little bit misleading! I also recently bought the e-book edition of what I thought was the story collection 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, at what I thought was a fantastically low price, but it was only the title story, 20th Century Ghost (no s), I realized just after the final click.

Recommended for listeners who like ’em scary!

Big Driver
King, Stephen
Hecht, Jessica, narr.
SImon and Schuster Audio
October 2014
4 hrs, 20 min
$9.99, audio download

Disclosure: I received a free audio download from the publisher for review.

Other opinions on the audio edition of Big Driver from book bloggers who posted their reviews in a more timely fashion:
Book Chatter
Book Journey
Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Tales of Darkness and Dread: High Crime Area by Joyce Carol Oates (Audio) @audiobkjkbx @HighBridgeAudio

audiobook on CD coverSome tread cautiously, fearfully; some walk right in; but all of the characters in the stories by Joyce Carol Oates collected in High Crime Area explore the dark side of themselves and their relationships. Taken together, this collection of disturbing stories leaves readers with the feeling of unease or dread and only human nature to blame it on — no monsters or paranormal phenomena.

Read by an a variety of actors and well-known audiobook narrators and subtitled “Tales of Darkness and Dread,” the audio edition of High Crime Area was one I listened to for RIP IX but didn’t get reviewed in time for Halloween as intended.

The stories in High Crime Area focus on people in dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situations. In some the danger is present and immediate, but in most, it’s there in the sense of foreboding and dread, or growing panic, felt by the characters and the reader. In all of the stories, the characters have gotten themselves into the dangerous situations, but in completely believable ways. Their thoughts and emotions, as described by the author, make their actions understandable, though often regrettable.

Narrators Julia Whelan, Ray Chase, Donna Postel, Luci Christian, Tamara Marston, and Chris Patton are all excellent. Chris Patton is a new favorite narrator of mine. Julia Whelan has apparently narrated over a hundred audiobooks, but I think she may have been new to me here. I’ve heard Ray Chase read before, but I’m not sure where. He’s the narrator you hear in the audio excerpt here.

Without any overacting or dramatization, each narrator brings out the gradual, subtle horror of each of these stories. Recommended for readers of psychological suspense or literary fiction tinged with horror.

The stories in High Crime Area:

  • “The Home at Craigmillnar” read by Ray Chase
  • “High” read by Donna Postel
  • “Toad-Baby” read by Luci Christian
  • “Demon” read by Chris Patton
  • “Lorelei” read by Tamara Marston
  • “The Rescuer” read by Julia Whelan
  • “The Last Man of Letters” ready by Ray Chase
  • “High Crime Area” read by Julia Whelan

High Crime Area
Oates, Joyce Carol
HighBridge Audio, 2014
7 hours
$29.95 $20.97

Disclosure: I received a copy of this title on CD for the purposes of review through Audiobook Jukebox.

Other opinions on this audiobook:
Audiobook Jukebox