Have Cheetah,Will View #360 – “Don’t Open the Door” (Book Review)

Its 8:51 pm

So as of late,I have been struggling to find my film vibe…I mean its here but lately I have been in the mood to read more and so I have. I currently am reading a World War Two book describing the Battle of Berlin and have found it an incredible read.
But one can’t live reading war histories only and so when I was offered a chance to do a rare book review by J. A. Sullivan who a story printed in a brand new horror anthology,I said “Yes!!!” and then dragged my ass into reading it. Its not because the book is bad….its because its like reading a book on a Kindle and frankly,I hate reading novels like that,I’m 55 and I like reading a book I can feel in my hands and that I can pick up and read anywhere in my house or car.
So I want to explain that to Jennifer who has probably thought I decided to ignore her book….I haven’t and here is proof the cheetah (yes,he can read) and I haven’t forgotten.

By now you probably picked up on one of my favorite genres,the anthology. In fact Jennifer herself contributed to our Round Table discussion about anthologies in film and TV. So it makes perfect sense that we are going to take a look at a horror collection that Jennifer has contributed a story too.
“Don’t Open the Door” contains thirteen tales written by 8 different writers including the editor of the collection,Cory Mason.
Just like any anthology,some stories were stronger then others and I was pleased to see that a few stories,like Jennifer’s dark and haunting “Heart of Stone” didn’t fall on the old claasic horror trope of a ghastly ending,some stories like “Heart” actually ended with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and thank heaven it did because “Heart” is the stuff of pure nightmares.
While a cool shock ending is always welcomed (like Stephen King’s “Battle Ground”) I think forcing a dark ending simply because you’re writing a horror story can sort of undo many young writers and can interrupt the flow of the tale.
As I mentioned,some stories are better then others and the following were my three favorite stories from “Don’t Open the Door”.

1. “Heart of Stone”- J.A. Sullivan
This truly was the most frightening and disturbing of the stores. I found it intense simply because of who Sullivan uses to move her story. This also could be looked at as a pilot story for her Avril Montague character because I found myself wanting to know more of Avril’s backstory.

2. “Chalk” – T.H. Willoughby
A nice blend of dark fantasy/sci-fi and horror as a Hunter explains how his world works as he and his fellow Hunter battle Prey all over his homeworld and how a myterious drug called “Chalk” helps even a very narrow playing field,because without it,the Hunter becomes the Prey.

3. “Feed the Pigs”- Augie Peterson
A group of people find themselves as prisoners in a brutal setting where they are treated like animals and what they must do in order to make it out alive and keep their sanity.

There are a couple of stories that quite honestly shouldn’t have been included,they just weren’t very good and were very uneven. Now I know that happens in every anthology but when you are showcasing new unknown writers,as an editor you have to be brave enough to say “Not this time” instead of shoving subpar writing in to make your page count.

This being our first fictional book review,I would definitely recommend “Don’t Open the Door” as a vehicle to discover new writers like the three I mentioned above. And the cool thing about “Don’t Open the Door” is its free for Kindle users on Amazon.
If you like what you read,you have the option of buying the book for only 2.99 which is a fair price.

In the course of writing this review,I just got asked to review two more books.
But I’m going to leave the answer to you,the reader. Shall the cheetah and I do a few book reviews or shall we just stick to what we know……underground films and interviews? I really want and need your feedback on this one. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

7 thoughts on “Have Cheetah,Will View #360 – “Don’t Open the Door” (Book Review)

  1. Michael. I want more book reviews. I love this post. I love short stories. I love anthologies. “Chalk” sounds particularly intriguing. And I’m curious about J.A. Sullivan’s Heart of Stone too, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael, you drew my interest for these stories too. I’m already looking into the “free on Amazon for kindle” part…! So I say go for it. ‘Cause other people’s insight into these things is very helpful AND you come from the film background so already you know what to look for in images, themes, and presentation.


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