HALLOWEEN by Curtis Richards, based on the screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill- Film vs. Novel

http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Curtis-Richards/dp/0553132261/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403307486&sr=8-1&keywords=halloween+curtis+richards
PUBLISHER: Bantam, 10/1979
GENRE: Fiction/Contemporary Horror
SETTING: Illinois, USA 1978
WIKIPEDIA: link
MOVIE TRAILER: link
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A++

FROM PUBLISHER: Based on the screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill.

Tricked by his cunning ... Treated to his savagery ... Annie, Linda and Laurie ... fresh, pretty, ready to be taken ... stalked by a sadistic power who has returned to claim new victims, on this ... the most frightening night of the year.





THINGS NOT IN THE FLIM: This book was actually released a year after the film. Not sure why. I love the film but the book's so much better! It's only 166 pages but boy is it packed with extras. It's more graphic sexually and the murders are more gory, especially the murder of his sister. The best part is that we get to learn a little about Michael Audrey Myers' life before and during the fifteen years he was away at Smith's Grove Sanitarium for the murder of his seventeen-year old sister, Judith, when he was six years old. We learn his thoughts before and during her murder and what he did immediately afterward, before his parents came home to find him standing outside.

We meet Michael's mother's mother at the beginning of chapter one. It's Halloween and he shows her his Halloween clown costume that he got from Woolworth. I love his granny. She's sassy. She was offended by his cheap store-bought non scary costume and even referred to Michael once as 'Mister Woolworth Clown Costume'. She began to reminisce to him and his mother Edith about what Halloween was like when she was a child. She said if it was a tame Halloween only your chickens would get beheaded, or as Michael said, unheaded.

We learn that Michael had started wetting the bed after not doing so for three years. He'd been getting into fights at school and with his sister. He'd been having violent dreams and scariest of all, he'd been hearing voices that were telling him to say he hates people. Later in the book Loomis and Sheriff Brackett were discussing how Michael's great-grandfather Nordstrom (his mother's father's father) had heard voices too and had even murdered two people at a harvest dance in the 1890's and was hanged for it.

Shortly before murdering his sister, he goes trick or treating at his own house on Peecher Street with other kids from the neighborhood. His sister jokingly asked the kids what they'd do if she didn't give them candy and Michael said he'd kill her. She said, 'Was that you Michael Myers?!' and he said, 'I'm not Michael Myers. I'm a clown'. Every time I've read that line its caused me to laugh out loud, for some reason.

Soon after that Judith's boyfriend Danny comes over. Michael is spying on them through the window. They're kissing downstairs then later upstairs in her bedroom. Michael can hear the sounds they're making through the open windows and 'the sounds filled him with a murderous hatred.' He doesn't understand why they're making those sounds. While he's standing outside listening to them we learn of a recurring dream he's been having. In the dream two people who look like Judy and Danny are dancing around a fire outside with other people. He's jealous as he watches them dance and voices are telling him to kill the lovers.

After Danny leaves he goes into Judy's room and stabs her over thirty times while she's sitting at her vanity, brushing her hair, naked except for bikini underwear that have red hearts on them. He stabs her in her wrist, hand, breasts, arms, legs, groin and throat. He goes into the kitchen, eats a cookie, drinks milk out of the bottle, then goes outside and that's when his parents show up and find him holding the knife.

Earlier that day he told his grandmother, in response to her suggesting he disguise is face with white clown makeup, that he wasn't going to play any pranks, and was just going to ask for candy and in response she told him to have an 'innocent, Woolworth kind of Halloween.' Oooh, it was anything but!

Loomis is remembering all the times at the sanitarium over the past fifteen years where Michael got revenge on other kids for some slight but was never seen doing it. One kid got food poisoning after playing a joke on Michael by loosening the salt shaker top so the salt would pour out when you went to use it, one boy was scalded in the shower after repeatedly turning the TV volume down when Michael kept turning it up, a nurse fell down the stairs and fractured her pelvis days after an argument with Michael, a boy who forgot to return a game to Michael got a mysterious rash and had to be hospitalized, and worst of all, Michael suggested one year that they be allowed to have a Halloween party, of all things. A girl was bobbing for apples when the lights went out. Soon after when the lights came back on the girl was laying there, almost dead, from someone, Michael, trying to drown her. Loomis looked over at Michael, who smiled at him, but his costume was dry and Loomis had no proof Michael did anything to the girl.

When Laurie's walking home from school with Annie and Lynda (it's spelled Linda in the book) and goes inside, her red-haired mother is there, making candied apples and they have a short conversation about evilness. This is right before Laurie goes into her room and sees Michael staring at her from the clothes line. In the film, she walks though the front door and is shown walking straight into her bedroom.

Laurie's father is Chester Strode. Film credits say his name is Morgan though it's never spoken in the film.

In the book, several people who see Michael are close enough to tell he may be wearing a mask, but they aren't sure. In the film, most aren't close enough to him to wonder if it's a mask until they're being murdered by him.

When Loomis and Sheriff Brackett (Annie's father) go into Michael's old house and find the dead dog, they say his intestines are hanging out.

Shortly before Annie's killed, she's at Lindsey's, brushing her own hair. Michael's watching through the window and is staring at her 'large' breasts and becomes sexually aroused. 'The sex between his legs throbbed in an unpleasant way.'

Annie asks Lindsey why their laundry room is in a separate building outside. Lindsey tells her that her mother wanted it outside because of the noise they both make. That's not mentioned at all in the movie.

Toward the end when Laurie goes to Lindsey's looking for Bob and Lynda and find Annie's dead body in bed with Judith's tombstone, her stomach had been cut open up to her throat and her intestines were out.

MY THOUGHTS: I've always been a fan of the film and got a copy of the book in May 2009 from a friend. The book is so great. Unfortunately it's so expensive that most fans of the film will probably never get to read it. I don't know if the added stuff that I've mentioned was in the original screenplay or not or if Curtis came up with it on his own. Either way, I'm glad it was in the book and not the film. It makes reading the book so much more exciting.

Below are the two covers. The last photo is the back cover of both versions. My copy has the middle cover. It was reissued in 1982 and had the cover in the middle.

Same review here.

http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Curtis-Richards/dp/0553132261/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403307486&sr=8-1&keywords=halloween+curtis+richards



THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER by Susanna Calkins

PUBLISHER: Minotaur, 3/2015
GENRE: Fiction/Historical Mystery
SETTING: England, 1667
SERIES: A Lucy Campion Mystery, #3
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: C

FROM PUBLISHER: In Susanna Calkins's next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies' maid in the local magistrate's household, has now found gainful employment as a printer's apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man's last utterances, but she's unprepared for what he reveals to her--that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate's son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man's background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.



MY THOUGHTS: This was pretty boring, a little slow, and could have been written in about sixty pages less. There weren't any interesting characters in this at all, not one. There were way too many characters to keep up with, at least thirteen, and I got a bit confused a few times. There should have been some backstory on Lucy but there wasn't.

The murderer is too over the top in what they've done. And they gave a full confession at the end which is very annoying and unbelievable and I wish writers would stop having their villains do that.

There were quite a few times in the story when Lucy made comments, not asked questions, and the author ended the sentences with question marks. A few examples: Surely there is something you can do?, I could talk to them again? See if I could learn anything more?, I could take some tracts to share? While I make some general inquiries?

See my reviews for books one and two in this series.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


HELL-O-WEEN by David Robbins

PUBLISHER: Leisure, 1992
GENRE: Fiction/Contemporary Horror
SETTING: Colorado, USA
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: D

FROM PUBLISHER: Halloween night, two buddies decided to play a cruel trick on the class brain...but the joke was on them.

They only wanted to scare their enemy to death...but their prank went awry and one of their friends ended up dead, her body ripped to pieces.

Soon seven teenagers were frantically fighting to save themselves from unthinkably gruesome ends...but something born in the pits of hell was after them-and they had no hope of escape.


CHARACTERS: Cory Fleming, Wesley Eagen, Leslie Vanderhorst, Jay Thorpe, Stacy Curvin, Scott Miklin, Ann Weatherby, Terri Sheehan, all are seventeen. Wesley and Leslie are dating, Jay and Stacy are dating, and Ann and Terri are best friends. Ann's very protective of Terri.

DEMONS: The two demons are 7' tall, muscular, nude, have three toes, red snake-like skin, red eyes, a forked tongue and tail, horrible breath, tapered teeth, 'fetid' breath like garlic, and walk upright like humans. They drink from a boiling pool of sulfur-smelling liquid.

MY THOUGHTS: On Halloween night, a group of seventeen-year-old friends go off to explore a cavern called Caverna del Diablo (Cavern of the Devil). They pair up and go off in separate directions and six of the eight get murdered by male and female demons. The synopsis would have you believe that a teen girl was accidentally killed by a classmate but that's not true nor does Wesley and Scott's prank have anything to do with anything.

This story was very boring. It was 366 pages of them wandering around in a dark cavern with just flashlights trying to hide from and outsmart two demons. I think the dialogue was both good and horrible at the same time. When they weren't saying terribly outdated things like going steady, def, bodacious, dork, dweeb, rad, out of sight, make it/do me (as in have sex), to the max, and plenty of other things that were outdated by the time this book was published in 1992, the dialogue was actually pretty good and descriptive. I think the story would have been better with some kind of four-legged creature instead of one not much bigger than a human.

My least favorite character was Stacy, who was very annoying and kept calling her boyfriend Jay 'honeybuns'. Second least favorite was Wesley, who thought he was above women and even punched his girlfriend Leslie in the jaw.

Favorite/goriest death scene was when a male demon ripped the breasts off one of the girls and ripped her throat open with his sharp teeth. Second favorite is when a girl got both arms ripped off. Third favorite is when the female demon bit off a male's genitals.

The ending is the worst. It needed a multipage epilogue but it only got not quite a whole page.


LOOSE GIRL: A NOVEL OF PROMISCUITY by Kerry Cohen with Book Trailer

PUBLISHER: Hyperion, 6/2008
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir
AUTHOR SITE: link
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A-

FROM PUBLISHER: Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen's captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction--not just to sex, but to male attention--Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. Never less than riveting, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment when a girl tries to control a boy by handing over her body, when the touch of that boy seems to offer proof of something but ultimately delivers little more than emptiness. The unforgettable story of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl will speak to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.

MY THOUGHTS: This was very sad and very honest. Kerry (born 1970), from a very early age, 11/12,  has been looking for love and attention from males and would have sex with just about any of them in hopes of becoming their girlfriend. She felt she was unlovable because she didn't often have a boyfriend but had plenty of males willing to have sex with her. She didn't use condoms much either and has gotten STD's.

She comes from a well-off dysfunctional family in New Jersey, felt like she didn't get attention from either parent, and was jealous of her sister's relationship with their mother. I'd have liked for her to have interviewed both parents to get their opinions of her feeling neglected. Oddly enough she never mentioned whether or not she was ever depressed, but I would imagine she was, at least back then.

Here's her speaking at The Mystery Box in 2013.








MIDNIGHT FIRES by Andrea Layton

PUBLISHER: Playboy Paperbacks, 1/1979
GENRE: Fiction/Historical Romance
SETTING: New York & Massachusetts, USA 1770's
BODICE RIPPER: Yes
RAPE: Multiple
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: D

FROM PUBLISHER: Ravished by a cruel, merciless stranger...loved by the passionate man she might never see again...Carolyn Salford flees the brutal wilderness for aristocratic Boston and the arms of her fiancé.

Stalked by danger, vulnerable to the turbulent desires tormenting her, she is haunted by the memory of a man she dare not love but cannot forget.






SPOILER SUMMARY: Carolyn is eighteen years old. She and her family are traveling from New York to Boston, but they're travelling separately. Along the way she runs into George Nelson, a man two years older than her, who's in love with her. He rapes her once then it turns consentual. She goes on her merry way and is kidnapped and raped several times by some random Frenchman named Jean Lemelle. He gets what he's had coming to him and she's once again on her way. Not much else happens until the last fifty pages, when she meets up with her fiancé, William. William only wants to marry her because of the fortune she's to inherit soon from her British mothers family. He rapes her several times, including once anally, and holds her prisoner in his home and verbally abuses her constantly. He's keeping her drugged with laudanum and they set sail on a ship bound for London. She thinks he plans to killer her once they're married. She escapes, meets back up with George, who she's now in love with, and they get married.

MY THOUGHTS: This is truly one of the most boring books I've ever read. Luckily it was barely over 300 pages. The first 150 pages or so was Carolyn traveling, mostly by herself via horseback, to Boston. The plot was mostly talk of war and I got so sick of it. The only interesting part was the last fifty-some pages or so, when William came on the scene. William's a character I'd have liked to have known more about. Not even his age was given.




ALLHALLOW'S EVE by Richard Laymon


PUBLISHER: Headline, 1994
Originally published in 1985
GENRE: Fiction/Contemporary Horror
SETTING: Wisconsin, USA, 1980's
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: D

FROM PUBLISHER: This sleepy town may never recover from this nightmare. Every town has as a past but the grizzly murder of the Sherwood family is one the small town of Ashburg barely recovered from. The Sherwood house has remained vacant for years so who is sending out invitations for a party there? The townspeople are intrigued and who can resist a party at the murder house on Allhallow's Eve?


MY THOUGHTS: This was so bad that I'm embarrassed for the author, who died in 2001, and I'm sad for myself for being so excited to read this. Very juvenile dialogue. Not one bit of this story was plausible. The mysterious invitations being sent out was the only interesting part of the entire story, which only spanned two days, and I lost interest in that as soon as it was revealed who was behind it. I'd have rather found that out at the end.

We weren't told how one of the teenage main characters, Eric, got in touch with his father, whom he couldn't have really known in the first place. We don't know how this invitation thing came about either. There were a few too many unnecessary characters to keep up with and not a one was interesting. The first Halloween party was completely pointless and so much time was spent on it, just like too much time was spent in the high school. Time spent writing the first party scene should have been spent on the final scene instead, which took place at the abandoned Sherwood family home. None of that was interesting since we already knew who was behind it. The gorilla costumes were very odd too. The ending was abrupt. This story seems like it was just thrown together and written hastily by someone who just wasn't into it.




THE COUNTERFEIT MARRIAGE by Joan Wolf

PUBLISHER: Signet, 2/1980
GENRE: Fiction/Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1800's
SERIES: Signet Regency Romance #16
AUTHOR SITE: link
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: C

FROM PUBLISHER: Enchantingly beautiful Catherine Renwick had good cause to despise darkly handsome, insufferably arrogant James Pembroke, Earl of Allandale.

It was this deplorable man who on a night of wild debauchery caused Catherine to be abducted and brought to him at a country inn. It was he who took her virtue by force, and left her threatened with disgrace.

True, he now was willing to make amends by giving her his name in marriage. And equally true, she had no choice but to accept. But Catherine was sure that nothing in the world could erase her hatred for him or her horror of his embrace.

Catherine was an innocent no longer--yet she had so much to learn about love and the maddening deceptions of the heart....



MY THOUGHTS: I had high hopes for this but the majority of the story was boring. The beginning and end were good but that's all. Once the incident at the beginning was over with, James and Catherine got along great for the duration of the story. No conflict, no disagreements, no nothing.

James is twenty-six and Catherine is seventeen. The story spans just over a year but I don't know what year it begins or ends. When James was sober we were told he was remorseful for what he'd done the night before but I didn't feel it. He's a rather bland character.

Catherine was put in a bad situation and dealt with it very well and seemed quite mature for just barely seventeen. We're told they're both in love with each other but I'm not feeling that either. I don't think they were around each other much.

Her cousin Ian, I did like, especially towards the end when his craziness came out to play. He seems to be around her age. He became really angry when he found out why James and Catherine married and couldn't understand why he wasn't asked to marry her instead when that was their plan in the first place. He hatched a plan that didn't work out in the end. That situation wasn't handled in a believable way by James.




AGNETHA FÄLTSKOG- The Girl With the Golden Hair by Daniel Ward

PUBLISHER: Fonthill Media, 7/2016
GENRE: Nonfiction/Biography
PURCHASE: link
BIO: link
MY GRADE: A

FROM PUBLISHER: Her iconic blonde looks, stunning voice and songs of loneliness and melancholy have endeared her to millions, yet Agnetha Fältskog remains an enigmatic and distant figure. From her success as a teenage singer and songwriter in Sweden in the late 1960's to her years of global superstardom with pop giants ABBA and beyond, Agnetha has fascinated generations of fans. Her beaming smile graced record sleeves, television screens and magazine covers around the world yet never quite managed to conceal her natural shyness and vulnerability.

Agnetha Fältskog- The Girl With The Golden Hair is the first full-length biography dedicated to the life and career of the one of the most beloved and successful performers in music history. Charting Agnetha's journey from her early days fronting a local dance band in the small industrial city of Jönköping, through her decade as one of the most famous and popular singers in the world, and the years of self-imposed exile that followed until her surprising and successful comeback in 2013, Agnetha Fältskog- The Girl With The Golden Hair will delight her many legions of fans and any readers with an interest in the history of popular music.



MY THOUGHTS: This biography is well written and I especially like the old quotes from Agnetha herself throughout. Though there were a lot, I wanted more. Not quite enough information about her mother's 1994 suicide was given and just the bare minimum was given about her relationship with her stalker-turned-boyfriend-turned-stalker which was a real shame since this is the only biography about her and that should have been expanded on. That part of her life (late 90's) was certainly worth going into detail for. I'd have liked to have known more too about her relationship with her sister and more about her thoughts on her daughters past (?) battle with bulimia.

See my ABBA page here. Hear her pronounce her name here.

A special thank you to Jason for giving this to me.


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