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Reviews Written by
J. Fercho RSS Feed (Calgary, AB. Canada)
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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
by Alvin Schwartz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $5.20
144 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrified, and not in a good way, December 12, 2012
To echo the sentiments of other reviewers, the orginal macabre illustrations were what made these books!, My highschool age son can't recall any of the stories but still talks about the "super creepy" pictures. Political correctness run amuck is the only explaination for the watering down of the imagery into something bland and banal. I truly hope the publisher reads these reviews if only to realize what a ridiculous decision changing the artwork was.


Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
by John Grogan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.90
1174 used & new from $0.01

35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Marley.....Lab lovers beware...., September 21, 2006
"So, lets see, we want to buy a dog do we? Both my wife and I work full time outside the home, have never owned dogs on our own and never did any research into the characteristics of the breed...I know lets buy a Lab puppy... oh and lets take the alpha male pup just for good measure!" Great idea, lets get a breed that to produce a happy, well adjusted dog requires copious amounts of daily exercise, mental stimulation, and human or canine companionship "No we won't run with it, hunt with it, do agility training with it, or get another dog to keep it company....we'll just lock it up in the garage for most of the day, and take it around the block when the urge strikes us." Anyone who has owned a Lab or any of the sporting breeds knows that as pups they are demanding, high energy dogs that require exercise, discipline, and love in that order. You are almost guarateed to have a destructive, neurotic, disobedient Lab on your hands by locking it up alone in a garage all day. Yes some of the author's doggie trials and tribulations were funny and touching...but Marley was by no means the world's worst dog...just a poor ole Lab who never got to do the things that breed was meant to do.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2006 6:16 AM PDT


Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival
Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival
by Anderson Cooper
Edition: Hardcover
487 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definately not a poor little rich boy, September 14, 2006
I'm not ashamed to say I'm a fan of Anderson Cooper. Rather than settling for the easy life of a trust fund "celebutante", he decides to become a war correspondent by throwing himself headfirst with reckless naivete into some of the most dangerous places in the world. In doing so he proves his worth as a journalist and as a keen observer of human suffering. Anderson shares his private pain relating to the untimely deaths of his father and brother with grace and insight. You can see and smell the death and devastation as he brings you along on his journeys, but you also come away with a sense of understanding in a world that often makes no sense at all.


The Keep
The Keep
by Jennifer Egan
Edition: Hardcover
174 used & new from $0.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was expecting....., September 2, 2006
This review is from: The Keep (Hardcover)
It seemed like every magazine I picked up this summer (People, Vogue, Vanity Fair), wrote a glowing review of this novel, so I figured all these esteemed scribes must be on to something....right? Wrong. This book has been marketed as rather offbeat and creepy...well offbeat is true, but if your looking for creepy or scary this is decidedly not your novel. I won't belabor the plot here, suffice to say that the multiple narratives and constantly changing points of view became downright annoying after awhile. That and the "novel" way the author writes dialogue. I'm all for originality, just not when the story that goes with it is weak. The premise of this story was rather promising but the execution was sorely lacking I'm afraid. Poor character development, rushed plot-lines, story-lines that go no where, secondary characters that add nothing...oh yeah, did I mention the lame ending?? 3 stars for a story that could have been interesting in the hands of another author perhaps.


Fears Unnamed
Fears Unnamed
by Tim Lebbon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
41 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Zombies, Snow Monsters and Some Very Nasty Angels, August 13, 2006
Tim Lebbon's "Fears Unnamed" is a creepy collection of four novellas, each rife with it's own type of terror. "White" and "Naming of Parts" are both well done takes on the "end of the world as we know it" theme. Filled with zombies and hungry snow creatures, both are gorey and well written. My least favorite of the four was "Remnants"; this one about the discovery of a long buried civilization just didn't quite work for me...which leads me to my favorite "The Unfortunate". While some readers chose this one as their least favorite, I was totally drawn in to this very unsympathetic look at death and potential afterlife. The story introduces us to some of the nastiest "angels" you hope never to meet, and really had me thinking. Overall a worthy choice for some good scares, highly recommended.


A Perfect Stranger: And Other Stories
A Perfect Stranger: And Other Stories
by Roxana Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
37 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully haunting, June 8, 2006
A typical collection of short stories often has a few duds thrown in with the gems; not so the case with this lovely collection of beautifully written, poignant glimpses into life. All of the stories center around some type of crisis or at least an uncomfortable scenario, but don't be off-put by what may seem to be a rather dour theme. These are some unforgettable little vignettes that showcase the author's ability to capture so much in so few pages. My personal favorites were "Family Christmas", "The Football Game", and the heartbreakingly raw "Assez". Lovers of fine short stories will have plenty to savour here. 4.5 stars.


Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir
Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir
by Franz Wisner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.57
243 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had me till Prague...., May 25, 2006
I was enjoying this story about finding oneself after bitter disappointment, till our intrepid brothers hit Prague. I guess it was important for Franz to let the readers know he was "gettin' some" on the road, but his retelling of his "romantic encounters" left me snickering. First he gets all "old fashioned" when he finds out the Russian girl performing certain favors is in fact a prostitute. Then he spends several days in Prague bedding a girl all the while mocking her English and pretending to sneak out of town rather than just saying goodbye. Didn't exactly make him out to be much of a catch afterall......


How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets
How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets
by Garth Stein
Edition: Hardcover
37 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Evan finally grows up, April 26, 2006
Imagine meeting your teenage son for the first time at the funeral of his mother who happened to be your highschool girlfriend. That's where our story begins and for the most part this novel is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Evan is a bit of a "lost soul". A thirtysomething guy whose world revolves around his hope to recreate his one-time success as a lead guitarist in a rock band. Evan also happens to be an epileptic and his life is constantly controlled by the inevitable "next seizure". The fact that Evan has now become an instant father to a grief struck teenager is definatly not in his long-term plan.

The author nails the characters of Evan and his son Dean perfectly. I was totally convinced by Evan's frustrations and Dean's adolescence angst. My only criticism would be that some of the secondary characters, especially Evan's "girlfriend" Mica just didn't work for me. Her words and actions seemed frankly laughable given that she and Evan had only just begun a relationship...the two of them together often felt strange and forced. That issue aside, this is an enjoyable novel about finding oneself in some unlikely ways. Check it out.


The Apple's Bruise: Stories
The Apple's Bruise: Stories
by Lisa Glatt
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.47
43 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, strange and worth a look, April 24, 2006
The Apple's Bruise is a unique collection of strangely disturbing vignettes;(stories usually have a beginning and an end, while these little gems only consist of "middles"). The subject matter ranges from benign to perverse and everything in between. It won't take you long to read this slim volume, but it will take you longer to forget the oddities within.


Send Me
Send Me
by Patrick Ryan
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $0.43

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readers liking a tidy ending won't find it here, April 12, 2006
This review is from: Send Me (Paperback)
Sometimes you look at people lives and think to yourself "I wonder what happened to you to make you turn out that way?" By that remark I am not refering to events that would be considered highly dysfunctional, just the random happenings of a somewhat messy upbringing that outwardly seem rather insignificant but inwardly wreak their own brand of havoc. This is such a story. One woman, two husbands, four children and the odd journey that makes up their lives through the 60's to present. The author has captured the feel of the time periods perfectly, any child of the "70's will instantly be transported. This is not a tidy story, in either subject matter or style. The author jumps around alot with both time periods and narratives and occasionally this style can be confusing. Nothing is wrapped up neatly, few problems are solved and the characters are by traditional standards anything but happy. In his own unapologetic way the author has simply shown a segment of the lives of these family members; he then ends the story as abruptly as he began it. 4.5 stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2007 11:22 PM PDT


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