Category: Horror

Stephen King Says: Stop Comparing Coronavirus To ‘The Stand’

The Stand is a post-apocalyptic novel by Stephen King. In this novel, a virus wipes out almost all of humanity, which is (thankfully) far from what we are dealing with at the moment.

King took to Twitter last Sunday to affirm that the coronavirus pandemic is NOT like The Stand. He states, “No, the coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.” From that tweet, you can tell that King has had ENOUGH.

In The Stand, the fictional virus is a strain of the flu that is weaponized for warfare. While coronavirus has killed over 8,000 people globally and has spread across 100+ countries, it still does not amount to this rapid and deadly fictional virus.

 

On a serious note, coronavirus is similar to the flu. If you are experiencing any symptoms, it is best to get a medical diagnosis before assuming the worst. Specialists believe that mortality rates will decrease over time as more cases are diagnosed. For loved ones with pre-existing medical conditions and those who are at higher risk, such as smokers and the elderly, it is best to take precaution. Practice social distancing, avoid touching your face, and most importantly, WASH YOUR HANDS!

Stay safe everyone!

Featured Image Via Pinterest

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5 Authors Who Were Also Murderers

Just because you wrote a good book doesn’t mean you haven’t killed someone. In fact, just because you haven’t written a good book doesn’t mean you haven’t killed someone. Heck, you could not write a book, not intend to write a book, and still kill someone. But that’s not what this site is about. This site is about books, and occasionally the worlds of literature and murder overlap. Here are five authors who murdered someone.

 

5. William S. Burroughs

 

As the story goes, he didn’t mean to kill her, but he did. A key member of the Beat Generation, William S. Burroughs appears in Jack Kerouac’s breakout 1957 novel On The Road. Written on one long scroll of paper so he didn’t have to change pages on his typewriter, Jack Kerouac wrote this iconic piece of literature in three weeks in April of 1951, fueled by coffee. William S. Burroughs was the inspiration behind On The Road‘s character of Old Bull Lee.

William S Burroughs sitting at his type writer, hands folded in lap, looking at camera.

IMAGE VIA FAMOUS AUTHORS

William S. Burroughs had his own writing career long before On The Road was published. In fact, his first novel, Junkie, was released in 1953, a first-person narrative about a man struggling with heroin addiction. This novel was published initially under the pseudonym William Lee.

 

Book cover for William Burrough's 'Junkie'

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

But let’s go back to 1951. While in Mexico City, Burroughs and his second wife, Joan Vollmer, were drunk while she was undergoing withdrawal from a heavy amphetamine habit. Drunk and a little high, they decided to play William Tell.

 

For those who don’t know, William Tell is a game in which one player shoots an apple off the top of another person’s head, usually with a crossbow. However, in this instance, Joan placed a highball glass on top of her head and William S. Burroughs used a pistol to attempt to shoot it off. Unfortunately, he missed.

 

William S. Borrough's wife, Joan

IMAGE VIA OPEN CULTURE

While awaiting trial, Burroughs wrote the novel Queer about a young man looking for Yage, a hallucinogen, in South America. At the end of his trial, Burroughs was given a two-year suspended sentence and in 1959 his magnum opus, Naked Lunch, was published.

 

William S. Burroughs holding a shot gun in a garden, looking at camera.

IMAGE VIA THE TOOLBOX

William Seward Burroughs II, post-modernist author and primary figure of the Beat Generation, died on August 2nd, 1997 at the age of eighty-three.

 

4. Anne Perry

 

Anne Perry with arms folded looks at camera, lightly smiling

IMAGE VIA PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE SPEAKERS BUREAU

Author of the Thomas Pitt detective series and the William Monk detective series, Anne Perry is an English author whose life story was the basis for Peter Jackson’s film Heavenly Creatures. Released in 1994, the film follows the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder case about two teenage friends, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, who eventually murdered Parker’s mother.

 

Parker was sixteen at the time, while Hulme was fifteen. According to The True Crime Library in Christchurch, New Zealand, the girls bludgeoned the woman to death with half a brick enclosed in an old stocking before running into town and claiming that Parker’s mother had fallen and hit her head.

 

Movie poster for Heavenly Creatures

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Their story fell apart upon closer inspection and the two were arrested. Too young for the death penalty, the girls each received five years in prison.

At the time of the film’s production and release, it was not known that upon her release from prison, Juliet Hulme had changed her name to Anne Perry.

After the film was released and Perry’s identity discovered, the New Zealand Herald claimed, “…Perry has told the London Times Saturday Magazine that although they were never lesbians the relationship was obsessive”.

On her website, Anne Perry writes, “I began the ‘Monk’ series in order to explore a different, darker character, and to raise questions about responsibility, particularly that of a person for acts he cannot remember. How much of a person’s identity is bound up in memory?”

 

3. Blake Leibel

Not everyone who authors graphic novels with shocking descriptions of murder is a murderer themselves, but this guy is.

Blake Leibel wearing glasses look at camera in black and white photograph

IMAGE VIA NATIONAL POST

In 2015 the graphic novel Syndrome was published, containing unsettling depictions of bloodletting and, straight from CBS Los Angeles, it transpires that Blake Leibel murdered his girlfriend and left her body “drained of all of her blood in a crime that a prosecutor said mirrored the script of a graphic novel he co-wrote.”

 

Blake Leibel and Iana Kasian

IMAGE VIA NATIONAL POST

The Los Angeles Times also notes that Leibel, “was expressionless. Dressed in a yellow jail shirt and blue scrubs, he uttered only one word, answering ‘yes’ when the judge asked if he would waive his appearance at an upcoming court hearing”.

He was convicted in June 2018.

 

Image Via Los Angeles Times

Before his graphic novel, he worked on 2008’s Spaceballs: The Animated Series, based on the 1987 film by Mel Brooks, as a creative consultant.

 

2. Liu Yongbiao

 

Liu Yongbiao standing next to statue with hand on his foot

IMAGE VIA FOR READING ADDICTS

Back in 2005, Chinese writer Liu Yongbiao broke onto the scene with his story collection, A Film, which won China’s highest provincial critical achievement: the Anhui Literature Prize. In 2010, his novel about a writer implicated in a wave of unsolved murders, The Guilty Secret, was published.

In 2013, he cemented his literary status when he was elected to the China Writers Association.

 

Image result for Liu Yongbiao crime author

Image Via All That’s Interesting

Backtrack to November 29th, 1995, when Liu and a friend, Wang Mouming, checked in a guesthouse. All That’s Interesting states that they had “the intention of robbing other guests” but “when the two were caught stealing by a guest, Wang and Liu are believed to have used clubs and hammers to kill the guest as well as the guesthouse’s two owners (an elderly couple) and their thirteen-year-old grandson in order to completely cover their tracks.”

Twenty-two years later, Shanghaiist reported that blood samples led investors to the fifty-three-year-old writer and the sixty-four-year-old legal consultant.

 

Liu Yongbiao in custody

IMAGE VIA SOCIAL NEWS DAILY

The NY Post states that Liu told the investigators who arrested him that, “I’ve been waiting for you all this time”.

 

1. Mark “Chopper” Read

Chopper with two guns crossed over his chest and two in his waistband

Image Via Pinterest

Have you read Mr. Read’s work? He wrote crime novels and several children’s books, one of which was called Hooky the Cripple: The Grim Tale of the Hunchback Who Triumphs, published in 2002 by Pluto Press and illustrated by Adam Cullen.

According to ABC News, Mark Read spent his early years robbing drug dealers before kidnapping and torturing members of the criminal underworld. Eventually, he was caught and charged with armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping. Perth Now reports that he spent only thirteen months outside of prison between the ages of thirty and thirty-eight. He also cut off his ears in prison.

Later in life, Mark Read found solace in writing.

 

Mark 'Chopper' Read with a cigar in his mouth and sunglasses on standing in front of a wall graffitied yellow and red

IMAGE VIA THE TELEGRAPH

In 1991 he wrote the story of his life Chopper, from the inside: The confessions of Mark Brandon Read and several other non-fiction books, but he has also dabbled in children’s literature.

 

Book cover for Hooky the Cripple featuring a hand holding a bloody knife

IMAGE VIA GOODREADS

There have been several attempts to ban Hooky the Cripple, but the movie based around his life, 2000’s Chopper starring Eric Bana, received critical praise upon its release.

Back in 2013, Read told the  New York Times, “Look, honestly, I haven’t killed that many people, probably about four or seven, depending on how you look at it.”

Featured Image Via kmuw.org

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‘Frankenstein’: More Than A 200 Year Old Classic

Celebrating a little over 200 years of life, Frankenstein is one of the classics that you can’t get enough of, and not just because it is required in the school system. As one of the most famous Gothic thrillers out there, Frankenstein has been adapted in seventy different ways through short films, short cartoons, and hitting the big screen.

 

 

Image Via The Vintage News

 

The first movie adaptation was a short film created by Thomas Edison in 1910. Although it was the first adaptation created, “it is one of the most striking.” The scenes do their best to stay true to what Mary Shelley intended in her book, but like all movies, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. There were more that followed, leaving only a few to be recognized as good. Syfy’s article, The Best Worst and Weirdest Adaptations of Frankenstein, suggests that the good representations of Frankenstein include; James Whale’s Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, The Curse of Frankenstein and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

 

 

Watching a movie is all well and good, but the true representation of Frankenstein is in the words.

 

Image Via Barnes and Nobles

 

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein tells a story of a science student, Victor Frankenstein, who has become obsessed with discovering how to create a life with lifeless body matter. Once Frankenstein assembles the body parts, he becomes terrified of the hideousness of the creature. Hurt by Frankenstein’s fear, the creature retreats to isolation where he “turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator.”

 

 

Frankenstein continues to be an important part of the horror and science fiction genres, as it raises questions on the nature of life and humankind’s place in the world.

 

Featured Image Via Nebraska Today

 


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Celebrating 18 Years of Coraline

“I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn’t mean anything? What then?” – Goodreads
Image Via Amazon

One of my childhood favorites, Coraline, is celebrating its 18th birthday. As a paranormal fiction, Coraline opened our eyes to escaping our dingy flats and entering a perfect world that was way more exciting than our own.

Moving into their new home, Coraline went exploring, finding that their new flat had “twenty-one windows and fourteen doors.” Thirteen of the doors can be opened, without the use of a key. But the fourteenth door is locked. One day Coraline unlocks the door and finds a passageway to a similar flat to her own. Everything seems marvelous until the other mother and father want to change Coraline and never let her go back home. Lost souls of other children have been trapped in the mirrors for many years. Their only hope is that Coraline can fight against her other family and save the children, her ordinary life and herself.

 

 

Although Neil Gaiman is well known for his adult literature, Coraline was the first children’s book that sparked the interests of children who enjoyed the mysterious and creepy stories. Critics enjoyed the book as much as children did, so much so, that Coraline was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers.

 

Image Via Syfy Wire

 

This wonderful childhood thriller was later adapted into a movie. The scenes were able to inhabit the storyline of the book through its contrast of colors and staying true to the emotions that outlay Coraline’s reality.

If you loved Coraline just as much as I did, check out Gaiman’s website for more of his wonderful tales.

 

Featured Image Via Den of Geek

 


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Sweeney Todd: The Stud of Fleet Street

I’ve been listening to the Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on repeat for a while now, and I thought this would be a perfect story to talk about during the month of love. Because seriously, what’s romance in literature with out some tragedy and murder, right? It was originally a story called The String of Pearls and there have many adaptions but none more famous than the 70’s musical with music done by the legend Stephen Sondheim.

My first introduction to the story was the 2007 film adaptation directed by Tim Burton which starred Johnny Depp, Helen Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman. I worshipped Tim Burton so I’ve seen everything he’s ever done and I’ve loved movie musicals so I was ready. I absolutely loved the movie and had no idea how much rich history the story had. Todd is basically an urban legend.

 

Image via Wikipedia

This is the best story to revisit this month, because Sweeney Todd is riddled with romance! Todd’s love for his wife, Lucy and his daughter Johanna, Anthony’s love for Johanna, Mrs. Lovett’s love for Todd, Toby’s love for Mrs. Lovett — but most importantly Todd’s love for his passion.

Before Sweeney Todd was born he was Benjamin Barker, a very gifted barber and had a set of beautiful silver straight razors. When he is wrongfully imprisoned and sent away for fifteen years, he vowed to get his revenge on Judge Turpin who assaulted his wife and took his daughter and raised her.

 

 

Todd loved his razors so much that he called them his friends and had a whole song dedicated to them! When one of his razors was in his hand, he would feel complete. Of course we are not excusing his behavior through out the narrative, because killing men and baking them into pie isn’t the greatest way to show one’s affections, but Mrs. Lovett doesn’t seem to complain.

 

Image via The Void

I always imagined what the story would have been like if Judge Turpin wasn’t horrible and if Todd wasn’t sent away and got to raise his daughter with his wife. He probably would have continued his work as a barber and might have even won an award if they gave awards for that sort of thing. Lucy and Johanna would probably garden and read, I suppose, as there wasn’t that much for women to do in those days, but they’d all have a sweet little life. And Johanna would probably meet Anthony in town and they’d eventually end up together.

Todd would be a great companion; not Todd as Todd but as Barker. He’d be dedicated, loyal and sweet, but unfortunately, if you are down with a mass murder, that is your prerogative. But let’s face it, there would be no story if Judge Turpin hadn’t been horrible, and Todd would have never gotten that cute white streak in his hair, and that would have been a shame.

In all seriousness, everyone has got to see or watch this story in whatever medium they can get their hands on, because it’s such a sad story but surprisingly enough, also filled with immense hope. Whether you are single or in a relationship, there is enjoyment to be had with the demon barber of fleet street.

 

Featured Image via Screen Rant

 


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