Reviews (Books, Movies, Music)

[Updated 11 Nov. 2019]

One of the horrors of the internet age is the unfathomable MASS of information at one’s fingertips. There exists such a sea of STUFF out there that no person could possible process it all in one lifetime. This necessitates the existence of GUIDES, persons who have dived deeply into the pop culture pool and found pearls—sometimes where others might see only sunken garbage.

I’m a writer and a critic, and I like to SHARE my favorite things with all the innocent folks out there through my reviews. Over the course of the last several years—nearly a decade—I’ve written hundreds of reviews, mostly for books and comics, but also for movies, t.v. shows, and music… In the ridiculously long list of links below I’m including many of the reviews that I’ve written, so that folks who might be interested can have a look at some of my favorite (good AND bad) projects and see if they might want to try something a little different.

I’m starting with the movie reviews because there are fewer of these and because folks tend to consume movies more frequently than they do books, and then I’m moving on to a couple of my music reviews (of both bands and songs), and then I conclude with the (rather extensive) READ A DAMN BOOK list, as well as my original mini-reviews (that are mostly just LISTS of books that I’ve read with some very short reviews and/or summaries.) This is a LONG post, so if you get bored, feel free to bail out at any time, but don’t forget that this thing EXISTS—in case you might be wondering what to watch as the season swings closer to Halloween, so you can look at my movie selections, which fans of spooky stuff will undoubtedly enjoy! (Although, I usually prefer to review BOOKS because I want people to READ MORE. Reading does something very specific in the brain and allows direct communication between an author and a reader in a way that no other medium allows. [See Stephen King’s On Writing for more information on this direct, brain-to-brain, contact!])

Anyway, enough pre-amble… Let’s get to the amble, already!

[Author’s note: There are a TON of links below, and I was starting to get a bit loopy inserting them all into this post. I hope I linked everything correctly, but if not, send me a note and I’ll fix whatever needs repair! Thanks!!! —RFY]

Halloween Movie Reviews! I had planned to write 31 reviews by October each year, so that people might have a new Halloween show to watch every day of the month, but I’ve only managed to finish 10 each season (so far!) My ambitions outstripped my time and ability!!! Ha! Maybe I’ll be able to get a full 31 reviews in 2020! (We’ll see…) Meanwhile, here are the DVDs I’ve reviewed to date:

SPOOK SHOW 2018

“Spook Show 2018 – 01: The Exorcist (1973)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 02: Curse of the Demon (1957)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 03: Frogs (1972)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 04: Child’s Play (1988)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 05: The Haunting (1963)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 06: Shaun of the Dead (2004)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 07: Fright Night (1985)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 08: Mr. Vampire (1985)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 09: The Devil Rides Out (1968)”
“Spook Show 2018 – 10: Ghoulies (1985)”

SPOOK SHOW 2019

“Spook Show 2019 – 01: The Shining (1980)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 02: Salem’s Lot (1979)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 03: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror (2003)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 04: House by the Cemetery (1981)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 05: Beetlejuice (1988)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 06: The Sentinel (1977)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 07: Halloween (1978)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 08: The Best of Ghost Hunters (2009)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 09: House on Haunted Hill (1959)”
“Spook Show 2019 – 10: Elvira – Mistress of the Dark (1988)”

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Then there’s the post I wrote called, “Almost Seven Thousand Words About a Stack of Movies,” in which I wrote 35 mini-reviews of a batch of DVDs that were sitting on top of my t.v. cabinet.

I’ve also written two reviews of television show box sets:

“Lancelot Link – Secret Chimp”
“The Young Ones”

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Selected music reviews:

I’ve written countless music reviews over the last twenty years for various zines and websites and college papers, but I’m only going to include five relatively recent links, here, which I think offer solid analysis of the materials reviewed AND a bit of variety…

“The 23 Most Influential Musical Performers (to Me)”
“Scary Goth”
“Ten Cuts – 01”
“Ten Cuts – 02”
“Ten Cuts – 03”

Last, here are my book reviews. A lot of people have already discovered these, but I’m not sure how many folks have seen the actual COMPLETE list of books that I’ve reviewed. Here it is…

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READ A DAMN BOOK LIST:

001 – Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink’ (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson
002 – Dada: The Revolt of Art by Marc Dachy
003 – This Ain’t No Disco by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz
004 – The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
005 – The Atomics: Spaced Out & Grounded in Snap City! by Michael Allred, Martin Ontiveros, J. Bone, Chynna Clugston Flores, and Lawrence Marvit
006 – Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
007 – Doctor No (James Bond) by Ian Fleming
008 – The Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky by Susan K. Putney and Berni Wrightson
009 – The Willows by Algernon Blackwood
010 – Snake ‘n’ Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret by Michael Kupperman
011 – The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
012 – All This and Snoopy, Too (Peanuts) by Charles M. Schulz
013 – Getting Even by Woody Allen
014 – Krazy & Ignatz (Krazy Kat) by George Herriman
015 – Martian-American War by Daniel T. Foster and Michael J. King
016 – Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
017 – Spy vs Spy: Casebook of Craziness by Antonio Prohias
018 – We Must Remain Focused When Waiting for Thunder by Jesse Reno
019 – Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
020 – Madman Volume 1 by Michael Allred
021 – The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
022 – The Far Side by Gary Larson
023 – Please Kill Me – The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil
024 – Krazy Kids’ Food! by Steve Roden and Dan Goodsell
025 – Duchamp by Janis Mink
026 – Unsolved Mysteries by Joel Levy
027 – Swag – Rock Posters of the ‘90s by Spencer Drate
028 – The Robot Who Looked Like Me by Robert Sheckley
029 – Flaming Carrot’s Greatest Hits by Bob Burden
030 – Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book by Shel Silverstein
031 – KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money by JMR Higgs
032 – Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
033 – Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
034 – Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka
035 – The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
036 – Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
037 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
037a – Fear and Loathing… (Revisited!) – [Guest Review by Shane Grove]
038 – The Dot and The Line by Norton Juster
039 – Principia Discordia by Malaclypse The Younger / Rev. Timothy Edward Bowen
040 – Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
041 – Octopus Girl by Toru Yamazaki
042 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
043 – Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
044 – Super Aces by Mark W. Counts and Michael J. King
045 – The Book of Hallowe’en by Ruth Edna Kelley
046 – Spiders (Little Fears) by Peter Edwards
047 – Cured by Lol Tolhurst
048 – Gregory by Marc Hempel
049 – Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
050 – Amphigorey by Edward Gorey
051 – The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley
052 – Ranma ½ Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
053 – Carnacki, The Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson
054 – Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
055 – The Crow by James O’Barr
056 – Monsters and Water Beasts by Karen Miller and Sergio Ruzzier
057 – Mad Night by Richard Sala
058 – An Occult Dictionary by Howard V. Chambers
059 – Zombies Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (reinterpreted by Jim McCann, David Baldeon, Jeremy Treece, etc.)
060 – The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
061 – The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
062 – Giant-Size X-Men (40th Anniversary Edition) by Mark D. Beazley (ed.) and various others
063 – Creepy Volume One by Shawna Gore (ed.) and numerous others
064 – Dada and Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction by David Hopkins
065 – Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
066 – The Inhumans – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, and others
067 – X-Force – New Beginnings by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred
068 – Ranma ½ Volume 2 by Rumiko Takahashi
069 – The King Who Saved Himself from Being Saved by John Ciardi and Edward Gorey
070 – The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
071 – The Defenders – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, Steve Englehart, and Sal Buscema
072 – Make a Zine! by Bill Brent, Joe Biel, and others
073 – Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
074 – Alice Roosevelt and the Tunguska Menace by Daniel T. Foster and Michael J. King
075 – The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
076 – iZombie – Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
077 – Sh*t My President Says by Shannon Wheeler
078 – iZombie: uVampire by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
079 – The Present Age by Soren Kierkegaard
080 – The Sandman – Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, and others
081 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty
082 – Something Under the Bed is Drooling (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson
083 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter) by J.K. Rowling
084 – Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [Translated by Bayard Taylor]
085 – Promethea – Book 1 by Alan Moore, J.H. Williams III, Mick Gray, and others
086 – Last of the Independents by Matt Fraction and Kieron Dwyer
087 – The Strange Case of Edward Gorey by Alexander Theroux
088 – Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom – Volume One by Paul S. Newman, Bob Fujitani, Frank Bolle, and others
089 – Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
090 – Shade, The Changing Man – The American Scream by Peter Milligan, Chris Bachalo, and Mark Pennington
091 – Aleister Crowley – The Biography by Tobias Churton
092 – Widdershins by Oliver Onions
093 – Wyatt Earp: A Marshal on Mars by Daniel T. Foster & Michael J. King
094 – Doom Patrol: Crawling from the Wreckage by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, and others
095 – Grey Moon (Little Fears) by Peter Edwards
096 – Star Brand by Jim Shooter, Roy Thomas, John Romita Jr., and others
097 – Star Brand Volume 2 by John Byrne, Mark Gruenwald, Sal Buscema, and others
098 – On Writing by Stephen King
099 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1 by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
100 – Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
101 – 1984 by George Orwell
102 – Play Ball, Snoopy (Peanuts) by Charles M. Schulz
103 – The Defenders – Marvel Masterworks Volume 2 by Steve Englehart, Len Wein, Sal Buscema, Bob Brown, and others
104 – Ranma 1/2 Volume 3 by Rumiko Takahashi
105 – Ranma 1/2 Volume 4 by Rumiko Takahashi
106 – Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, Wes Craig, Lee Loughridge, and others
107 – Edges of Science by Thom Powell
108 – Bleach Volume 1 by Tite Kubo
109 – Miracle Man by Jack Kirby, Mike Royer, and Vince Colletta
110 – Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris
111 – England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond by Jon Savage
112 – The Declaration of Independence & The Constitution of the United States by Pauline Maier and various old, dead dudes
113 – The Vampyre; A Tale by John William Polidori
114 – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley
115 – Role-Playing Mastery by Gary Gygax
116 – Daddy is so Far Away…We Must Find Him! by Wostok & Grabowski
117 – Needful Things by Stephen King
118 – From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
119 – Museum of Terror – Tomie 1 by Junji Ito
120 – Ghost Stories by Marilee Hord & Lynn Adair (eds.) and others
121 – The Fantastic Four – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
122 – 21st Century Tank Girl by Alan Martin and several others
123 – Fifty-One Tales by Lord Dunsany
124 – Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
125 – Bleach Volume 2 by Tite Kubo
126 – Adventure Time – Marceline and the Scream Queens by Meredith Gran and others
127 – Silver Surfer – New Dawn by Dan Slott & Michael Allred
128 – Jonah Hex and Other Western Tales by Ross Andru (ed.) and various others
129 – Ranma 1/2 Volume 5 by Rumiko Takahashi
130 – InuYasha Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
131 – The Eternals by Jack Kirby
132 – Skeptoid 5 – Massacres, Monsters, and Miracles by Brian Dunning
133 – Saga of the Swamp Thing – Book One by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben
134 – Bleach Volume 3 by Tite Kubo
135 – Mad Stew by Nick Meglin and various artists
136 – The Sandman – The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III
137 – The Defenders – Marvel Masterworks Volume 3 by Len Wein, Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema, and various others
138 – Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito
139 – Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye Vol. 1: Going Underground by Jon Rivera, Gerard Way, Michael Avon Oeming, and Nick Filardi
140 – Strange Angel by George Pendle
141 – Weirdos from Another Planet! (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson
142 – The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
143 – Godzilla – Rulers of Earth Volume 1 by Chris Mowry and Matt Frank
144 – Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978 – 1984 by Simon Reynolds
145 – The Avengers – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck, and various others
146 – Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
147 – Milk and Cheese by Evan Dorkin
148 – Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye Vol. 2: Every Me, Every You by Jon Rivera, Gerard Way, Michael Avon Oeming, and Nick Filardi
149 – Them – Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
150 – Billy and the Boingers Bootleg (Bloom County) by Berke Breathed
151 – The Avengers – Marvel Masterworks Volume 2 by Stan Lee & Don Heck
152 – Cinderalla by Junko Mizuno
153 – The Goon – Bunch of Old Crap by Eric Powell
154 – The Final Programme by Michael Moorcock
155 – Bleach Volume 4 by Tite Kubo
156 – The Amazing Spider-Man – Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
157 – Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1 – Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola
158 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter) by J.K. Rowling
159 – Supernatural Horror in Literature by H.P. Lovecraft
160 – Peculia by Richard Sala
161 – The Land of Nod Treasury by Jay Stephens

And then there’s the original “Book Lists” that I used to write, where I first started writing mini-reviews of what I’d been reading. Towards the end of the book lists, the reviews were getting much longer, and (when I accidentally ERASED an entire list in a reformatting error on my Kindle) I eventually decided to switch from book lists to specific, individual reviews. Hence, the READ A DAMN BOOK project was born!

READING LISTS:

#1 – 5 Mar. 2013 to 26 Aug. 2013
#2 – 6 Sept. 2013 to 6 Nov. 2013
#3 – 22 Nov. 2013 to 6 Jan. 2014
#4 – 12 Jan. 2014 to 2 Apr. 2014
#5 – 5 Apr. 2014 to 1 Jun. 2014
#6 – 4 Jun. 2014 to 22 Aug. 2014
#7 – 4 Sept. 2014 to 31 Dec. 2014
#8 – 2 Jan. 2015 to 28 Apr. 2015
#9 – 4 May 2015 to 2 Sept. 2015
#10 – 4 Sept. 2015 to 16 Nov. 2015
#11 – 20 Nov. 2015 to 5 Feb. 2016
#12 – 3 Mar. 2016 to 31 Jul. 2016

And that’s it! I doubt that ANYONE made it this far—even YOU! But, if you did, congratulations! Your patience is INFINITE! Hopefully, in all these words, if I’ve been a useful guide, you’ll be able to find a hidden gem or two that you didn’t know existed before venturing into this swampy morass of profuse alliteration and hyperbolic syntax! Either way, I say “Good day” to you… Good day…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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