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Frank's Book Log

Literature is a relative term.

  1. Short Story

    Soft Construction of a Sunset

    by Philip Fracassi

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)
    A still from Soft Construction of a Sunset by Philip Fracassi (2017)

    Tom receives a frantic pre-dawn call from long-time friend Marcus. Arriving at Marcus’s apartment, Tom discovers a surreal horror. Fracassi’s Twilight Zone style take on Uri Geller’s spoon bending trick proves entertaining. His deft description of dreamscapes and the surreal echo Clive Barker, though he stops short of the big reveal, leaving it to our imagination.

    17 Apr 2022
  2. Novel

    The Dark Tunnel

    by Ross Macdonald (as Kenneth Millar)

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)
    A still from The Dark Tunnel by Ross Macdonald (1944)

    Ross MacDonald’s debut novel sees college professor Robert Branch thwarting a cadre of Nazi spies. Continue reading...

    17 Apr 2022
  3. Short Story

    Desert Pickup

    by Richard Laymon

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)
    A still from Desert Pickup by Richard Laymon (1970)

    Richard Laymon’s commercial debut. Published in the November 1970 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, this flash-fiction style story concerns an unnamed young man hitchhiking along a desert road. An unnamed young woman picks him up. To discuss more, I must spoil the story. Continue reading...

    03 Apr 2022
  4. Novel

    Less Than Zero

    by Bret Easton Ellis

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)
    A still from Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (1985)

    Bret Easton Ellis’s debut novel is a powerhouse of existential horror. Narrated by Clay, an affluent college freshman, who returns home to Los Angeles for winter break in the early 80s. Continue reading...

    02 Apr 2022
  5. Nonfiction

    On Writing

    by Stephen King

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)
    A still from On Writing by Stephen King (2000)

    When writing my review of The Cellar, I remembered something King had written in On Writing about reader-friendliness. Looking for the exact quote hooked me and I decided a reread might prove inspirational. Continue reading...

    21 Mar 2022
  6. Nonfiction

    The M.A.X. Muscle Plan

    by Brad Schoenfeld

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)
    A still from The M.A.X. Muscle Plan by Brad Schoenfeld (2012)

    Still laid up with a strained intercostal, I turned to another recommendation gleaned from various podcasts. Brad Schoenfeld turns up on all the evidence-based strength shows, as he publishes a considerable amount of research on muscular hypertrophy. Continue reading...

    18 Mar 2022
  7. Novel

    The Cellar

    by Richard Laymon

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)
    A still from The Cellar by Richard Laymon (1980)

    Richard Laymon’s debut novel. Single-mom Donna flees town with her daughter Sandy after her ex-husband Roy makes parole. A car accident strands Donna and Sandy in Malcasa Point, a small northern California town whose claim to fame is an aging mansion known as Beast House. Continue reading...

    16 Mar 2022
  8. Nonfiction

    Brother Iron, Sister Steel

    by Dave Draper

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)
    A still from Brother Iron, Sister Steel by Dave Draper (2001)

    A strained intercostal muscle has me laid up from training, and I wanted motivation. Eric Helms recommended this on his podcast, Iron Culture. Continue reading...

    06 Mar 2022

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