Near the end of September 2012, Tom Piccirilli went under the knife to have a tennis ball sized tumor removed from his brain (!), and SIXTY FIVE STIRRUP IRON ROAD is what happens when your friends include the Kings of Extreme!
All proceeds from 65SIR go to Tom Piccirilli and his family.
Tom has also been given a nod within the book, lending his name to a rather unhappy loan shark!
I read that Tom had a setback last month, suffering a stroke and another hospital stay. But, I’m happy to say that he is home now, and on the road to recovery!
I’m not entirely sure what happened to my review from the first time I read this. When I realized that it wasn’t on my blog, I pulled it out and started to skim for details – I looked up to see that two hours had passed – I had become another victim of the house! I reread it cover to cover, and I think I enjoyed it even more this time.
The house at Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road has a history stained by the blood and bodily fluids of every person who ever inhabited it. The house was built in the 1930s by Harold & Lucy Pearson. We’ll find out more about them later in the book. THIS story starts ten years ago… with siblings Nicci & Sam Forrestal.
Sam works as a guard at the county detention center, and Nicci… well, Nicci was just released from said detention center. She had spent 30 days inside for doing the same thing that got her fired from her job at Corn Dog Dee-Lites, (let’s just say that she was about to win the gold in the oral Olympics, but that last ‘judge’ whipped out his badge. The cuffs were NOT fun that time!) Her brother has graciously taken her in until she can get back on her feet.
She accuses him of having ulterior motives when she wakes up sticky, crusty, and has a bad, yet very familiar, taste in her mouth.
This leads to the most disgusting, and gag inducing (no pun intended) prologue ever written.
*Coprophilia, emetophilia, urolagnia, mysophilia, zoophilia, and mucophilia, are some of the highlights included, and these are just a prelude to the violent & bloody end of these appx. 30 pages.
If you made it through this, I think you’ll be ok.
But – don’t wuss out on me!
Now, after ten years, Chuck & Arrianne are moving in.
Almost immediately – it begins again. Slowly, at first. But when Arrianne crosses Chuck’s line in the sand, from what’s acceptable kink, to ‘that’s just disgusting’, his thoughts go to denial and blame, and hers go to realizing that it’s the house, and trying to make some sense of it all.
The Diary of Lucy Pearson makes an appearance, and I wish there was more of it. If one of these guys were to publish the entire diary… they’d make a lot of money! (HINT HINT, GUYS!!)
I have to tell you here – I’ve been slowly working on my Library Thing account, so I was paying close attention to places of interest. I made this note, and I’m adding it to show you how brilliant I think I get after not sleeping for extended periods –
Arrianne goes to the Cellar Door pub for a drink and two things stand out:
1 – The pub’s name – Cellar Door.
It may be a nod to Karen Pomeroy / Donnie Darko, it could be used because of it’s phonaesthetics, OR – it’s just a name and I’m looking WAAAAY to deep into things… whatever. I noticed & made a note of it. And, number
2 – The drink she orders is… a WHISKY SOUR 🙂 That has to be on purpose!
The other characters in the story all have their roll to play, and there is a damn good story here. You can feel that the authors had a good time writing this, and their friendship shows – mostly in an annoying sibling kind of way! They name characters and places after each other, and poke fun at each other. By the end, the novelty of lending their fellow author’s names to characters had turned into the names BEING their fellow authors.
By this point, I was about to pee my pants from the absurdities of the deaths, childish bickering between the surviving authors, and a comment to WJW about being the only black man in a horror story – ‘you might have super-powers!’ If that wasn’t hysterical enough, his reply brought tears to my eyes – “There ain’t any magical negroes in an Ed Lee novel”!!
I had to laugh at myself, too. During a particularly disgusting scene I had thrown my left hand up to cover my eyes, but kept reading by peeking through my fingers. Who covers their eyes while reading? I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, but if I had – I’m sure it was while reading the other book I’ve read from Ryan Harding. (I won’t say where in the story that this happened, but, I’ll tell you this – I learned that Ryan is an Eli Roth fan!)
The first time I read this, I had recently finished THE KILLING KIND. I was all warm & fuzzy thinking that Bryan Smith rode off into the bloody sunset with the crazy chick of his dreams. But then, by way of rotation, he wasn’t in the group that wrote the last chapter.
So, the Sixty-Five Million Dollar Question… Will you like it?
I can’t make that call! I did. More so the second time.
I gagged. I was grossed out. But, I also laughed, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.
Even seasoned fans may find certain scenes too disturbing, but will still want to own it for their collection.
But – there’s not one page, not one review, that doesn’t warn the reader about what’s inside Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road. Please, don’t read it, then leave a shitty review just because of the content. By all means – be honest about the story! Just remember, it’s all in good fun, and for a good cause. ❤
*While trying to find ‘proper names’ for the acts described, (so I didn't offend anyone too bad), I was stuck under an umbrella term that I found while trying to review THE HAUNTER OF THE THRESHOLD, (which was also written by Ed Lee). 'Paraphilia: sexual interests in objects, situations, or individuals that are highly atypical.'
That just doesn't cut it for this story.
I was able to find an expanded list! 547 listed forms of paraphilia! Go, me!
Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS. He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller…the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction…a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."
Update: 7/15/14 6:55am –
(I just bought a few of Tom Piccirilli’s titles, and have gotten a couple recommendations, so watch for future reviews & discussions!)
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We’ve all heard that there are no longer gatekeepers in traditional publishing. But that’s only partly true, and not the most interesting part of the story.
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