- File Size: 5807 KB
- Print Length: 160 pages
- Publisher: Sinister Horror Company (June 12, 2015)
- Publication Date: June 12, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ZM10MUU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Upon Waking Kindle Edition
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What Mr. Park has created here with his new novel, Upon Waking, is very much a truth, as squeamish as some of his scenes are. Cassie, our villain in this story (and there's no spoiler there) isn't some mythical monster, she's real, horrifying so. She's a next door neighbor. The woman you pass on the street without so much as a second glance. You don't see her. She blends in the crowd. But she's watching. Perhaps you. And it that's the case, well...I'll pray for you. Cassie has a house. It is very much a house of horrors, but it is also decorated in the mundane, almost banal in its sterility. This isn't the house of H.H. Holmes, with all the mazes and hidden compartments and traps and such. This isn't a funhouse. There are rooms, most of which you'll find locked until Mr. Park is ready to show you the nightmare held within. Once he does open the door, everything is on full gruesome display.
When I first started reading Upon Waking, I was almost lulled by the style and chosen format of his book. Its almost like poetry, in form and prose. But its a trick. A fantastically disgusting trick. And when you're finished with this 160 or so pages read, you'll need to look back at some of the "chapters." Notice the quotations around chapters? Well...the author here didn't really use chapters per say, instead (with a stroke of genius, I must say) of chapters he gives us moments. Moments of characters that have or interact with Cassie and her horrible plain-Jane house.
And there's more. I think one of the more mesmerizing things in this book is the how J.R. Park was able to write some of these grizzly scenes in very candid detail whilst maintaining this sense of un-urgency. He takes his time. Slow. Methodical. So much so you almost miss the plot of the story. Walking, or tip-toeing more like, through the halls of Cassie's house, I nearly forgot about Gary and his search for his missing son. As one reviewer has already pointed out, Upon Waking deserves a re-read, despite as much as you probably don't want to, for fear of losing your lunch or spoiling dessert. You'll need too. Because there is a devilish twist at the end, leaving the reading pondering "was she...is she...?"
If you're looking for a short but gut punching read, you'll want to check out J.R. Park's Upon Waking. Its like a cross between Madame LaLaurie and The People Under the Stairs. You'll squirm. You may even gag. You might need to look away. But for those depraved enough, you'll take it, and you'll probably enjoy it too, you sick sick puppies.
a dangerous woman who could give Annie Wilkes of MISERY fame a run for her money. And
Park expertly plays with a non-linear narrative, in PULP FICTION style, to heighten and deepen
the surprises of the story. A shock ending that really shocks, in my opinion, and a work of surprising
emotional resonance. Downright haunting, in fact. About as extreme as it gets, but UPON WAKING
is an authentic masterpiece of the hardcore horror field.
I had already read a couple of write ups from some reviewers on this book, (reviews work you know) so followed their advice and prepared myself both mentally and physically.. (cup of tea at the ready) So was I sufficiently prepared? Kind of...
Although I knew that it was going to be an extreme piece of fiction, there are parts that I don't think anyone can really be fully prepared for. It took me just over an hour to read it, an enthralling, nail biting, adrenaline and terror filled hour.
When Gary Brown's son; Henry goes missing, he approaches a private investigator, Kathryn, an ex-police offer to try to locate him. Through her contacts, she manages to trace his last known mobile phone signal to a quiet street, where she stumbles upon the main character in this story - Cassandra Brown. A woman that is seemingly living a normal, quiet life in a middle class, suburban neighbourhood.
Cassie is an extremely large, powerful woman, with an immaculately clean house; it seems that she has quite an obsession for cleaning. The aspect of the story shifts, as other characters find themselves waking up in various rooms around her house. This is dealt with in the form of each of their aspects being played out as an independent chapter. A relatively simple concept in itself, until the story begins to unfold, and the madness really begins.
I'm going to leave it there with the description to save any spoilers. What I will add, is that this book really manages to catch the reader off guard. You get the first impression of Cassie as a normal woman living a normal life, you sense that something isn't quite as it seems, (its the horror genre) however you can't put your finger on what until things start to.. happen.
When they do begin to happen, expect absolutely horrific scenes, that even the most hardened of readers will find shocking. I mean really, its absolutely intense and handled in a way that you actually find yourself willing for these poor people. Yes its gratuitous, but its also befitting to the story. It kind of ambles along at a steady pace, but then we get hit with another brutal moment without any prior notification. However, it's all addressed and justified by the creation of Cassie. She is a truly despicable person, totally devoid of remorse or empathy. Her actions are totally self centred, sadistic and psychotic, she's not a person that you would like to meet, yet the truly terrifying part is that it's feasible that you actually could.
The book is well written, there are no confusing plot lines or unnecessary twists. Its a short, severe tale that may leave you like you have been hit around the head by a professional boxer. Yes, there are extreme scenes, two in particular will be enough to make a man's eyes water, but this is horror, and they're written well enough to shock without being gore porn.
I've gotta admit, I really enjoyed it. Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down. It was depraved, and in some people's eyes, wrong, but I love that in a book.
Again, a warning that this book isn't for everyone, please be aware that there are parts that can shock. If you are fine with that, prepare yourself for one hell of a powerful read.
My rating 5/5
I will be reading more work from this author.