Arguably Laymon's most celebrated and most infamous novel, The Cellar is the first book in his Beast House Chronicles. Only the bravest tourists dare to venture inside the sealed-up Beast House, long rumored to be haunted. But the creature that lives in the cellar is no ghost, and its hungry!
©1980 Richard Laymon (P)2012 Dark Realms Audio / Audio Realms
There feels like there's some action missing. Laymon's Beast House series is a reasonably well-known, grim and gruesome set of stories, but this introductory story feels like it skips over some crucial parts. Of course, given the unreliable nature of the performance / production, it's not easy to say if this is an actual story criticism, or a result of the production.
The performer's voice work was good, but the pacing of the performance was very rushed, leaving no breathing room to let any suspense or tension build. But much worse than that, obvious editing errors. At a minimum, more than one instance of repeated lines, and there certainly FEELS like there are moments that were left out of this final product even though the story is unabridged. It's hard to tell if this is a result of the production or the story, but the fact that the production has enough known shortcomings to make this a question speaks to the overall lack of quality of the audio itself.
Within the 1st 1/2 hour a child is murdered...within the next half hour a child is graphically raped in a bathtub while watching her mother murdered.
The book should have a warning - for the life of me I cannot figure out why an author would have written that scene for entertainment value. I'm not a squeamish person - I love my Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Joe Hill, etc., but there is absolutely no justifiable reason to put a graphic rape scene of a child into anything and call it entertaining...it's repellent. Richard Laymon is a degenerate, no talent, low life, hack. Period.
Also, graphic shock value does not mask some of the worst prose I've ever read. There are ways to show the evil of a child murder....but it takes a better writer. Laymon should pick up a copy of Stephen King's 'It' and study, or try reading Bram Stoker's Dracula - there's a scene in which a baby is murdered, but the writing is so good you are heartbroken instead of completely and utterly disgusted by both the writer and the book.
Such unbelievably bad writing....terrible, terrible, terrible.
I just barfed in my mouth a little having to think of it again. ugh....
My performance complaints have nothing to do with Therese McLaughlin's reading; they have everything to do with the editing. This unabridged recording was compressed down to a shorter length by shortening the narrator's pauses. This made scene breaks hard to follow, particularly when the author picked up the pace in the final chapters. I had to rewind the last few scenes several times to fully understand the story, and by then the surprise ending was no longer a surprise. The story was still gruesome and morbidly entertaining, but I would have enjoyed it more had I read it rather than listened.
Yes, probably. His story ideas are interesting, but his novels always leave me flat somehow. He's kind of like a train wreck - you don't want to look but you know you will anyway and will come away disappointed that there was nothing to see.
The women need to be smarter in Laymon's stories. Mr. Laymon is a good writer, no doubt, but he seems to have absolutely no insight into the mind of women at all. This is the 3rd Laymon novel I've read and in all three the women characters were absolutely ridiculous. They always do things that no person in real life would ever do. While the men are smart and brave and quick-thinking, the women are simpering and weak and any smart or brave move they may be about to make is always derailed by their apparently uncontrollable libidos. For once, just once, I'd like to read a Laymon novel where the female protagonist tells the man hitting on her to go jump in the lake.
Meh. It was okay. Nothing to write home about.
Maybe, but they would have to almost completely re-write the story. Make the women smarter, the sex not so slimey, and the story more cohesive.
I really do like the way your twisted mind thinks, Mr. Laymon and I want to continue reading your books, but can we PLEASE have a smart female character in your next novel? Pretty please???
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