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Member: jseger9000

CollectionsYour library (2,735), Currently reading (1), Read but unowned (11), All collections (2,746)

Reviews174 reviews

TagsHorror (711), Science Fiction (679), Fantasy (362), 1st in series (314), Leisure (183), Thriller (155), Western (153), Pulp (119), Novelization (94), Mystery (84) — see all tags

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Recommendations161 recommendations

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Books first, since this is a book site after all: I love scary stories and have a real soft spot for first time authors. I buy way too many books to reasonably read (especially since I consider myself a slow reader). I only read one book at a time. Otherwise I feel like I'm short-changing the author.

I like to carry my books with me everywhere I go (and I'm a cheap bastard), so I prefer good old mass market paperbacks. I will pick up trade paperbacks if that is all that is available, but avoid hardbacks.

I am perhaps a little too verbose in my reviews. I write like I talk. Can't help it.

In order to support my obscene book buying habit, I maintained a seasonal position at Barnes & Noble. I don't do it any longer. Took too much time. But I kinda miss it. Please put books away if you aren't going to buy them!

Other stuff: Born and raised in California, but cheap real estate brought me to the suburban hell that is The Woodlands, TX (a few miles outside of Houston).

I'm kind of a boring person and at times think I could be happy as a hermit. I'm a left-leaning atheist, which makes me a pariah whenever politics or religion come up in public here in Dubya's home state.

Like everybody else, I enjoy books, movies and music (books most of all). In all three I've noticed that I can enjoy Great Works and crap. But I always have some sort of justification for the crap I enjoy.

As for movies, I love horror movies (especially John Carpenter's stuff) and anything by Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg or Sergio Leone. I'm also a big fan of Godzilla or any of the other Toho giant monster movies. For me it just doesn't get better than a man in a rubber suit knocking over buildings, unless it's two men in rubber suits fighting and knocking over buildings. Yeah, baby! That's the good stuff!

I won't bore you with my fav music.

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About my libraryA book with no rating means I haven't read it or it's been so long that I should re-read it. That's most of my books!

I try to feed my head with decent literature, but a quick scan of my library shows that really I'm a horror junky who loves a generous dose of hard sci-fi and some historical fiction on the side. My latest addiction is pulpy, schlocky westerns.

I really enjoy American lit from the first half of the twentieth century. Steinbeck is my very favorite author, but I also love Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I've tried some Faulkner and Sinclair Lewis and some others, but so far no one else has moved me the way those big three have.

My true love is horror stories. I think it stems from my interest in folk tales and urban legends. I really go for stories of the supernatural invading everyday life. I don't like endless series about weepy, erotic vampires in black lace. I like my horror stories to have strong characters. They seem to make the supernatural hi-jinks easier to swallow. My favorite writers are Stephen King (except the Dark Tower books. I tend to skip those), Peter Straub and Bentley Little.

I read a lot of fantasy as a kid, but I think I grew out of it once I discovered Arthur C. Clarke and hard sci-fi. I've tried picking up some fantasy since then, but it just doesn't have the magic it once did. (Except maybe for Michael Moorcock...) I do still like reading stuff from the pulp days. Fritz Leiber goes sadly unrecognized as a fantasy grand master. Love Robert E. Howard's stuff. He seems to be the antithesis of what fantasy is nowadays.

I love sci-fi in the 2001 mold. Near future stories set within the solar system about encounters with aliens or alien artifacts. Usually very technical descriptions of life in space with pretty flat characters. Steven Baxter is my favorite current writer. I also love Isaac Asimov and as mentioned Arthur C. Clarke.

Shogun introduced me to the wonder of historical fiction. I especially have a soft spot for ancient Greece and Rome. Some of my favorites are Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire, Colleen McCullough's The Song of Troy and Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa books.

I've only listed books here if I currently own them myself. (My better half has a slew of Dean Koontz books for instance, but I don't consider them 'mine' so they aren't listed.)

GroupsAtheism and humanism, Atheist Fiction, Atheists review books, Banned Books, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Bestsellers over the Years, Book Fiend, Book reviewers, Bookshelf of the Damned, Brightsshow all groups

Favorite authorsIsaac Asimov, Stephen Baxter, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Robert E. Howard, John Irving, Garrison Keillor, Stephen King, Bentley Little, Colleen McCullough, Michael Moorcock, Jean Shepherd, John Steinbeck, Peter Straub, Amy Tan, Tennessee Williams (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresBarnes & Noble Booksellers - The Woodlands, Half Price Books - North Oaks

Also onAmazon, Facebook, IMDB, LiveJournal, MySpace

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJames Seger

LocationThe Woodlands, Texas

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/jseger9000 (profile)
/catalog/jseger9000 (library)

Member sinceMay 11, 2007

Currently readingDragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance Chronicles, Book 1) by Margaret Weis

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good day jseger9000,
not sure if you'll check the topic thread about true crime and horror where you asked about Leopold and Loeb books. Here is what I posted there:

#16 jseger9000
Though this is not an entire book on the Leopold and Leob case, [Attorney for the Damned] by [[Arthur Weinberg]] is a book that has parts of the transcipts and final summations before the juries that Clarence Darrow's made in his defence trials. Darrow was the lawyer representing Leopold and Loeb and in this book is Darrow's plea against capital punishment for these two and to convict on insanity. I am not sure but something tells me this is one of the earliest, if not the first, insanity plea. Anyway, I read it a long time ago but remember it as a very interesting book.
FOR ONE WEEK ONLY received ok. I'll read it over Hallowe'en vacation.

I agree on AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE - it would have been much better suited to a multi-volume format. There is a lot of ground to cover, to say the least! Saw BLUE SUNSHINE so long ago I barely remember it, but it still gets positive reviews. This has all got me primed to go on a Something Weird Video kick. I'll be doing my annual watching of their MONSTERS CRASH THE PAJAMA PARTY next week, and I just saw THE HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND, but I need to compare new titles on the SWV website to what's currently available on Netflix.
Saw in your HB to SK that you are in Texas. I am passing through and am in Austin so I thought I'd wave howdy across the way.

Saw in your HB to SK that you are in Texas. I am passing through and am in Austin so I thought I'd wave howdy across the way.

Thanks for the info about the horror book club. I feel for the authors that now have no outlet for their writings.
> Where was the link?

It's on your profile, under Homepage. Scroll up a bit from here to see it.
Your link to doesn't work. It seems a strange link for Homepage anyway: what should it show?
Thanks for spotting my typo. Glad you appreciated the review anyway, even if the book "wasn't your bag."
Just finished Midnight Cowboy. Although I haven't seen the movie I still could not help but picture Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight and knew that somehow I would end up with the scene on the bus. Which is why I rarely read books once I've seen someone's vision of characters and story. Still, I really enjoyed the book. I love reading stories of people put in unfamiliar, difficult situations. And Herlihy created a couple of flawed characters and their relationship that was very moving. Tragic, but still a little uplifting in that at least they found each other and experienced companionship and support where there was otherwise none.
I just added a bunch of books for my nook and Midnight Cowboy was a free offering on B&N. I'll have to push it up on my reading list before I check out your review. It'll be more fun that way.
Hey James,

Regarding Sibby Dark's race, I didn't really care one way or the other at all, it was just the inconsistencies about it that bothered me. There was a line less than halfway into the book where Dark describes her "milky white skin," which totally threw me when I watched the videos. Then when he reads the paternity test results at the end, her race is listed clearly as "Caucasian." Oh well, not a big deal, it was just odd that such a basic element would be inconsistent between the text and the videos.

I did indeed have to register, which was annoying, but I figured, hey, I bought the book, gotta watch the videos too. The site is odd because it's as though they were trying to create a mini-Facebook kind of Level 26-related social network, with member profiles, discussion forums, etc. I just wanted to see the darn videos, not participate in a community. But having said all that, at least watch a few videos because seeing Sqweegel in action the first time he encounters Sibby really brought home how freakish this guy is. And I agree -- it's a weird/terrible choice for a name.

Be curious to hear your reaction if you ever get around to watching some of the videos.

Oh dear, 'Black Dawn' is an absolute stinker. I pride myself on trying to finish books once I crack the cover but after about a 100 turgid pages I just gave up.
Hey, Atomic Punch it's about time you got yourself into more horrific business again. :D How you doing pal? I'll be jumping back on the forums in a bit. Speak soon.
Yeah, I think I heard somewhere that it was never published here and never quite shook that notion. It must have had a pretty limited run in any case; I've never seen a single copy outside of my primary school library, and it's a fairly well known book (even if only for the movie).
j, no I haven't read John Dos Passos, although I am aware of him and his USA trilogy. He's never risen to the top of my TBR. Maybe I'll give him a look when I have the time.

I was a young man, just back from Vietnam when I read Macroscope, Cities in Flight, and Stand on Zanzibar. I thought they were all three excellent at the time (remember Star Trek was new on the small screen) and seemed more mature productions than the SF I had been reading earlier in my life, a lot of Heinlein juveniles, Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke. I liked the idea of Macroscope (so did the Ancients, apparently, if Stargate SG1 is to be believed). Cities in Flight was the first SF series I had read under one cover, and frankly, not knowing it was a series until the third book, I was mystified between the totally unrelated events of the first two books. Stand on Zanzibar is a forgotten mystery to me now, but I do remember it made a very distinct impression on me at the time I read it. The human population bomb was just beginning to be a topic of discussion in the seventies and this book seemed very prescient.

In my estimation SF went off the rails with the next two books I read, one by Robert Silverburg about a society in which everyone was hooked up to virtual reality machines and spent most of their time virtually engaged in the most despicable behaviors. Oh, and there was a lot of drug use just to get people through the day. I don't like books that portray most humans as slobs wishing and dreaming their lives away. After that I tried to read Stranger in a Strange Land. H's jaundiced view of religion and the unrelenting cynicism (or was it authoritarianism, or both) of the book really turned me off. It was filled with very disagreeable persons. H might not have liked the hippie culture, but then he should have spent some time nosing into why there was a hippie culture. Finally, I read Rendezvous with Rama which was okay, mostly because it was 250 or so pages of nothing happening. Shortly after, I read The Pickwick Papers and it was all over but the shouting. I had discovered real writing, real storytelling, and a joi d'vivre missing from SF. I realized that SF was in a way becoming a caricature of itself (IMHO). I realized also, I was growing up and my tastes and interests were changing and SF was not really headed anywhere I wanted to go. Why should I read such downers as dystopias, and worlds dying, when I could read uplifting stuff, or at least stuff that had relevence to people's lives. I tried again about ten years later with the Foundation Trilogies, but they were like pulling fingernails to read. I followed that up by what I think of as a pointless exercise in what-if by Harry Harrison called West of Eden. After that I think I read a PPAnthony book about interstellar spaceflight powered by solar winds. It featured a kind of catch-22 figure named Crazy Eddie, but that's all I remember about it. My conclusion was twofold. Entertainment was a perfectly ordinary target for the author to shoot for, but entertainment is not the be all and end all of the reading experience to me. I want something more and Crazy Eddie just wasn't cutting it for me. The other conclusion was that I could not afford time-wise nor monetarily to play the hit and miss game between something entertaining and something teeth grindingly bad which seemed to be the situation at that time (eighties-early nineties) in SF. I had, by that time read many of "The Classics", had developed a real taste for some authors (if you want a psychological thriller there's none better than Jack London's The Sea Wolf, for instance). I had also tried my hand at fantasy by then, I read LotR and a pair of trilogies about a guy with leprosy who saved some other world between stints as a carny or something. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, I think. I must be the only person alive who does not adore LotR and reread it every New Years or something. I realized most fantasy were massive tomes of so-so writing relating improbable adventures for the sake of writing massive tomes. I get more fast-paced entertainment when I want it from one Preston/Child thriller than anything else, so when I really want to take a break and read a mindless entertainment (as opposed to a mind-numbing entertainment) I reach for them. I'm afraid my love of the classics has put me off of SF, probably forever, especially given that most SF has turned dystopian, a genre I truly despise, or lost in the gigglywigs of speculation on all fronts, including fronts that are pointless to speculate about. The South didn't win the Civil War, the Nazi's didn't win the Battle of Britain, if a minute, laboratory constructed black hole swallows all existence and spits it out the other side, there's precious little we can do about it. Maybe the solution is to pull the plug, but that would ruin a perfectly good story, and besides it's a good opportunity for a hundred page data dump on why pulling the plug won't solve the problem.

I think what happened was that my tastes matured, began determining my world view, and mitigating against that which I thought was mostly pointless. I tried a couple of years ago to get back into SF with the SF group reads and by following the SF group on LT. I read about six books of SF at that time and feel that only The Day of the Triffids was not a waste of time. Yeah, I know who Gully Foyle is now, but it wasn't really worth it to me to find out. I somehow feel that Macroscope, Stand on Zanzibar, and especially Cities in Flight would stand the test of time, but I'm afraid to find out.
Hi James. I was glad to see your comment on Nature's End by Streiber and Kunetka. What did you think of that book? When did you read it? I'd welcome a wordy review!! The only people I know who've read it have been those I've forced!!
Yeah, I saw! Thanks a ton!
Yeah, I've looked at them before - brightcopy wrote a lot of them and posted them several months ago, which is why I was thinking that he might have it up there - or be willing to post it for us!
Hey James. I really want to read Al Sarrantonio's other books. My library has them listed in the online catalog, I think I'll save them for next Halloween. :)

Thank you very much for the note about Halloweenland and the Orangefield series! I will correct my review to reflect the contents of Horrorween (crediting you, of course) -- and yeah, that's a pretty bad title. Sorry about including the spoilers in the review, but, well, I felt I had to. Thanks for updating the Orangefield series page as well. I was basing that piece of my review largely on that page and Sarrantonio's page on Fantastic Fiction.

Let me include the last two paragraphs of the review because they don't include any spoilers:

My copy of Halloweenland also contains a copy of the novella “The Baby,” which is substantively identical to the first third of the novel, save that the ending chapter of “The Baby” was changed for the novel. While it’s nice to have a copy of “The Baby,” only the final few pages of it differ from what you’ve just read in Halloweenland, so there’s not all that much value added. For what it’s worth, I prefer the ending of “The Baby” to what happened in Halloweenland.

I give Halloweenland 3 stars out of 5. I wanted to like it more than the actual book warranted, but will probably still pick up Sarrantonio’s other Orangefield books when I see them.

Oh and BTW, this is actually one of the reviews I'll be including this month on my blog, where I'm doing one horror/Halloween-themed review every day. Because I decided to do this at the very end of September, many of the reviews are for horror graphic novels because those were quicker to re-read on short notice.

In any case, thanks again for the info!

Hi James

John Russo did write two entirely different books with the title Return of the living dead. The 1978 one was a serious horror novel about the recurrence of the plague. The 1985 was a novelization of the Horror comedy Film. Whats worse both versions I have have a cover of a partially fleshed skull against a black background.

Regards Peter
Well James I guess that explain why I can't find any more Pinnacel horror novels.
I have read where stores prefer to sell trade paperbacks because they make more money than mass market books.
What is sad is I remember how pissed off I was when I bought all the Edgar Rice Burroughs Ace paperbacks for 35 or 40 cents and Ballantine wanted 50 cents for the ones Ace didn't published.
nice talking to you James,
Thanks for the link. I don't know if I will cancel or not. I have always wonder why Zebra or Pinnacle hasn't started a horror club. I use to belong to delirum horror book club. Then they dropped the paperback and want to offer hardbacks. sixty bucks is just to much to spend, so I cancel.
I know it's not great literature, but horror sure is fun to read. Only books in horror at the chains are cute vampires and stephen king. Just one more thing to piss me off.
take care
I notice you added 'blood artist' and 'audrey door' to your collection. I was expecting a Richard Laymon from the horror book club. I read where leisure will be going to ebooks and maybe print book for club members. Do you have any information about our book club?
thanks, bob
I know what you mean about the whole Leisure mess. I don't think anyone truly knows what is going on, but whatever it is, it's bad.

The latest copies from Leisure that I just added are e-books purchased from Amazon. I have a Kindle, so the experience was not that bad other than they are charging just as much as if I was getting a physical book. I had been checking Amazon every other day, and to my knowledge, they just went up for sale today. These are the books that club members should have received in late August, and should have been on sale at bookstores in early September. My understanding is that the last books that Leisure mailed to their club members were the August's releases. There will be no more until they make another official announcement.

I heard that there are some talks where Leisure is trying to find another distributor for their books. If successful, they would adopt and handle mailing for club members. There is tons of speculation though, so it is hard to know what is official and what is not.

All that I know is that for now, we are basically on your own for purchasing the books from Amazon.
Hey James thanks for the reply, I noticed we have similar tastes in books. I enjoyed reading your profile and reviews. Thanks for the great recommendations I will check them out!
Hey, no problem. You're the only one who consistently helps me out with my reviews, and I appreciate it.
Yes, do check it out, THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. Stephen King wrote about it calling it the best Vampire Epic in along time. It is over 700 pages, but I am enthralled by it. It jsut hit the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list.
Have a great time on vacation.
Hey James, haven't heard from you in awhile. just wanted to say Hello. I am currently reading THE PASSAGE by James Cronin, loving it so far...into 200 pages, this one is an epic along the lines of THE STAND. Selling really well here in NYC.
Hope all is good,
Thanks! I'll have to check out the group -- I admit I haven't actually read King's last couple, but they're on my list (and will be in my library as soon as I move to the next shelf). And my collection is a direct result of spending most of the past 20 years in walking distance of Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore here in Minneapolis . . .
Somehow I saw your link on a knitting group (?) for the Borders in the Woodlands, but then saw that we share a lot of SF and King books in common. I cut my teeth on Clarke and Niven is one of my favs. And then I saw that you are a self described 'left leaning atheist' and saw your Hitchens, Dawkins, and Sagan books.
James, I read your review of 'The Totem'. It's certainly better and more elaborate than my own. I'm glad you liked the book... :)
Regarding The Totem. Do you really think the kid is contaminated with... rabies?... ;-)

Well, sometimes I don't know what to think about a book. But when I order other titles by the same author while I'm reading then I guess I'm on the right track. When I read The Totem I ordered Testament and First Blood as well (just to see how it reads compared to the movie). And I did the same with The Blue Rose Trilogy by Peter Straub even though I had mixed feelings about Koko. It was somewhat hard to read but I certainly wanted more...

I'm almost a third into The Omen right now. Seltzer is definitely not as good a writer as Morrell or Straub but he do knows how to bring the story forward. Until now it more or less reads like the screenplay for the movie (which I like, by the way). That's okay! After Koko I want something that doesn't require that much effort...

Hope Summer of Night is in the mail today. I've heard so many good things about that novel and I've never read a book by Dan Simmons before.

Hey James! How do you find The Totem? I guess by now you must be past the initial setting of the scene...

Came across your library. I am always looking for interesting library's for my threads. You may be interested in joining one or more. Choose a book from someone else's library that you would be interested in reading. Password - Choose a word from your book and give clues on what that word is and others guess. Hangman - Guess the letters to make up the title of a book. What does the last two books in common What are you reading now and other questions.

Looking forward to seeing you in one of my threads.
So, James, I have to bring up Robotech.

What a great series, no?! I posted in your Sci-Fi thread about it, as well. It's always been a favorite, and I am in the midst of a re-read as we speak (on the final volume). Did you read the entire series, or did you keep with a certain group? I must admit, I haven't read it all. I grew up reading the Macross Saga, and then the Sentinels. I just couldn't get into the other 'sagas', probably because of how I felt about the Macross crew.
On this one, you are likely to know better than me, as this is one I think I may have wrong, from memory, and haven't got around to checking. So do what you think is correct.
I saw we were both reading it as well. Your Gary Braunbeck thread piqued my interest in reading more of his books again. I think your review was spot on. The book was very well written (as was Mr Hands) and he has the ability to invoke a great deal of emotion for the plight of his characters. Although I rated it a bit higher, dark fantasy isn't my favorite genre either. For me, his books have the same effect that Tom Piccirilli books have in that they are very well written but a bit too lyrical. I'm not sure if that's the right term, but I sometimes feel I'm not grasping the symbolism although I'm enjoying the read.
Am I to understand that you are a stephen king fan but you have not *gasp* read the dark tower series??!!
Hey---glad you enjoyed the review. Gary's one of the best in the field.
Thanks for the welcome! I may very well join the Christine read in October. Just now I finished up the first Repairman Jack--very nice, I've been shelving them for a million years, but only recently thought to pick one up--and begun Under the Dome, which I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of. So far, awesome.

As to your comment about work crap leading to more reading crap--right there with you. I'm in the book business (Borders), and we are so up against it with our new corporate structure and [anti]philosophy that when I'm not at work I just want to read one thriller after another.

But it's better than drugs for the health, and a little more cost effective.

Talk to you in the group!

PS Just read a handful of your reviews, as well. Nice work!
Hi there!

Dropped by because I'm thinking of joining the 2010 Flavor of the Month group read, and you're the guy who posted the list.

Love your profile comments--I think we may be reading soulmates after a fashion, because I feel the same way about the Great Works/crap dichotomy, as well as the justification for the crap. Hey, it's all good in one way or another.

Anyway, hope to chat over at Constant Readers now and again.

Happy reading (and collecting!).

I understand completely. The book is available on for about $10, but since I’m hoping for a review, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to expect you to buy a copy :)
Noticed you liked Out by Natsuo Kirino, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here, as well as a few other book-related sites. Thought you might like my book since it's also gritty, a bit violent, and a bit dark :) I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like (I'm out of physical copies at the moment). Here's a link to a summary (and a sample chapter) in case you'd like to read more about the novel before you commit.


Thanks for commenting on my review, and picking up that typo - I've been making a hell of a lot of them since I was exiled to this wretched country and have to use a tiny netbook for all my writing.
> I just wanted to say that Reviews Reviewed is quickly becoming one of my favorite groups. Thanks for starting it.

Praise is always welcome, of course :) but I don't deserve all the credit, I wouldn't have done it without encouragement. I floated the idea for a group of this sort here in Go Review That Book and a few others made suggestions and gave the necessary encouragement. Until recently, after I'd been on LT for a while, I hadn't tried to write reviews, so I reckon I need some help and RR is where I get it.
Hi, jseger! Thanks for your note. I have a beautiful picture of one of my sons sitting (what looks to me to be) too close to the edge. And as he goes back to the Grand Canyon whenever he gets the chance, I'm afraid to ever look at that book. Right now, he is in Alaska, backpacking at Denali, swimming in the Arctic Ocean, and who knows what other mother-worrying activities. I just always breathe a sigh of relief when he's back at school!

Hope you're having a great vacation!


(For continuity) you said:

Hey, I'm on vacation and went to Sedona today. I saw a book very similar to the one you reviewed. It was called 'Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon'.

Not sure if you are really all that interested in a second book dealing with death at a national park, but it reminded me of your review.
The Longarms are, I gather, variable in quality. The ones by James Reasoner, though, are supposed to be very good.

(I usually only check this profile when I mirror a review from my LJ here -- sorry I haven't responded earlier!)
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