Category Archives: Joseph Garraty

Rabid Reads: "Voice" by Joseph Garraty

by Joseph Garraty
Ragman Press LLC (2011)
354 pages
ISBN 0983711704
If you could, would you strike a deal with the devil to achieve your greatest ambition? Sometimes when you look at a Hollywood A-lister, or a wheelin’ dealin’ politician, or one of those tycoons on Wall St., you have to wonder if maybe, just maybe, some signed their own names on the dotted line. In Joseph Garraty’s debut novel, Voice, is an aspiring rock star named John Tsiboukas who gets his wish … for a price.
Voice isn’t just about John, who after gaining his voice adopts the persona of Johnny Tango, but also looks at what happens through the eyes of his bandmates. In particular, his new lead guitarist, Stephanie Case, whom he lured into the ragtag band after hearing her play her heart out with an even less talented band than John’s. Along with their bass player, Quentin, and John’s brother Danny on drums, they are Ragman. And with Johnny Tango leading the charge, the derelict band soon gains fans, paying gigs, and a rocketship to stardom. All the while, a sinister, seedy looking man named Douglas watches on, and Johnny’s voice starts to do more than just belt out the hits.
Voice is a strong debut that offers an authenticity with its rock-and-roll backdrop, as Garraty is a musician himself. And his characters really jump off the page at times, especially Case with her brassy onstage demeanor and take-no-bullshit attitude offstage. In fact, the book really felt like it was her story more than it did Johnny’s while reading it, thanks to her budding friendship with a coworker to whom Case becomes an informal self-defense instructor, plus the simmering sexual tension between her and John’s brother–John’s married brother. Through some of this subplot though, the pace and direction of the novel loses is lost at times, or at least diverted on tangents from time to time.
The behind the scenes view of a struggling rock band was pulled off quite well by Garraty, but I’ve never immersed myself in music culture, so a lot of the lingo and scenarios were foreign to me. The jargon can be a bit of a stumbling block, but without it, there’d be a lot less to give this story its tangibility.
It’s a good book, and a genuine surprise when I was expecting something more conventional with the timeworn premise of “selling your soul.”

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Filed under book review, horror, Joseph Garraty, Rabid Reads, rock music, Voice

Chasing Tale in June (Digital Edition): Joseph Garraty, Tom Piccirilli, Paul G. Tremblay …

The ol’ to-be-read pile exploded in the last couple months with review requests from various authors, agents, and the like. With the amount of reading on my plate through this summer, I was unable to offer everyone an actual time line on when to expect a review, but I will be working my way through each book.
The majority of them are e-books, since it’s such a relief on the purse strings when an author doesn’t have to pay shipping on one more physical book through the mail. I still prefer an actual book in my hands over the digital editions, but I am becoming more accustomed to reading e-books on my laptop. And, maybe one of these days I’ll actually get an e-reader, but that’s only likely if I either win a giveaway or one of them drops down to the $75 mark or so.
In any event, here are the latest e-books to get added to my reading list: Gift of Illusion by Richard Brown – This is a paranormal thriller with a detective as the protagonist. Now, I’m still trying to warm up to novels that have detectives as their main characters. Years of police procedural TV shows have dulled my enjoyment of the genre. Still, the plot summary for this one shows potential.

The Rift by R.J. Clark – “The Rift reads like a Tarantino script on steroids.” That’s a blurb from artist, Jeroen Ten Berge, who did the artwork for this book’s cover too. That’s worth giving it a chance, I think. Set in New Orleans with an inter-dimensional gateway to Hell? As if they didn’t have enough bulls— to deal with.

The Dogs of War by Bradley Convissar – I couldn’t resist giving this potentially brutal ghost story a chance. Why? Because it involves a dachshund. Yeah, you read that right. If an author can work a wiener dog into a scary story, I’m in.

Voice by Joseph Garraty – Stories about selling your soul are pretty common, and among them the rock star as the one doing the selling is fairly common in and of itself. Still, there’s always room for a new twist, so that’s what I’ll be looking for from this book.

The Dead Woman (Dead Man #4) by David McAfee – I have the latest iteration in the Dead Man novella series, which I’ll be reading and reviewing fairly soon. Actually, by the time I have this out, the fifth book in the series will probably set for release. It’s been a really good series thus far, and I have a sneaking suspicion this book will be no expection.

The Bad Wolf by Tim McGregor – Another detective novel, but it sounds like it’s straight up horror as two disparate detectives go after a serial killer and his pack of feral dogs. The killer thinks he’s a werewolf–and he’s probably right. This could be quite good.

Nightjack by Tom Piccirilli – It’s Piccirilli, so I do I really need to explain myself? I’ve got Every Shallow Cut sitting on my bookshelf, but when I grabbed this one from Crossroad Press, I figured I had to read it first.
Hallowed Ground by Steven Savile and David N. Wilson – This is another book I downloaded via Crossroad Press’ Online Store. After reading Gemma File’s A Book of Tongues, I got put in the mood for another weird western, and this might fit the bill. If you visit the store, there’s also a new hardbound edition on sale.

Arcane: Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century – My appetite for short fiction is insatiable. Despite not reviewing as much of it on this blog as the longer works, I still read a lot of it, and I thought I’d do up a review for this one this summer.

In the Mean Time by Paul G. Tremblay – As we approached the Apocalypse on May 21st, Chizine had a little Twitter contest asking folks to offer their predictions on how the world might really end. I wound up winning with a satirical little theory, and received a digital copy of Tremblay’s short story collection as the prize.

Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre I’ve been seeing this one promoted on Twitter for a while now. And since the table of contents has an impressive list of authors, and the thing was only gonna cost me 99 cents, I snagged myself a copy.

Well, these are the e-books that are going to be taking up the better part of my summer. Man, if I had the coin I’d splurge on one of those fandangled Kindles, but until they drop the price some more, I’ll settle for reading these on my jalopy of a laptop.

Have you hopped on the digital bandwagon yet? If not, what’s holding you back?

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Filed under Arcane, Bradley Convissar, Chasing Tale, David McAfee, David Niall Wilson, e-books, Harry Shannon, Joseph Garraty, Paul G. Tremblay, Richard Brown, RJ Clark, Steve Savile, Tim McGregor, Tom Piccirilli