Serious Moonlight (How to be Dead) by Dave Turner

CORRECTION: I said in an earlier version of this review that this book was last in the series. I am overjoyed to learn that it’s not.

 

Publication Date: December 31, 2018

 

Dave Marwood and his girlfriend, Melanie, are due for a bit of a break in the country after saving the City of London from destruction. It’s a bit of a worry that Death, the last standing Horseman of the Apocalypse and Dave’s employer, is having a bit of an existential crisis and Dave has been acting as his flip-flopped toy scythed stand-in, but a relationship needs tending. The break, however; is not the peaceful time away the couple anticipates when they find themselves beset by ghosts and the people seeking them.

Serious Moonlight by Dave Turner is the fifth book in the How to be Dead series.

 

Part of my life’s work is finding books that give me the feeling I got when I first read the works of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Jasper Fforde. The beautiful humor and massive creativity of the aforementioned authors are qualities shared by the great Dave Turner. The wealth of imagination is staggering and the experience of the reader is one of fun and time truly well spent. 

Once again in Serious Moonlight world collide with Dave and Melanie heading off for a weekend break in the country at an inn that touts itself as being haunted. Dave and Melanie are bonding on the drive up when they come across a ravaged animal that spooks them both a bit. There’s always a logical explanation, right? Readers get a lot of relationship-building in Serious Moonlight. We see the playfulness of the characters and a depth to their connection. There’s an intimacy and a natural awkwardness so fitting for both of the people we’ve come to know.

Serious Moonlight takes place in the English countryside with all of the characters that readers of Stella Gibbons novels (Cold Comfort Farm) would expect to see but they all have a surprising edge. The book is cognizant of its Dad humor and is riddled with it. One of my favorite things is the frequent callback to the sinkhole opening in London in the previous Dave book. Very smoothly presented, people offer platitudes while expressing their opinions on how it might have happened. From the start of the book when we join Dave in ferrying a jogger who died of a heart attack, it comes up and it’ss almost seems a relief to Dave to be upfront with someone. He later fights back and urges just to be the one who cracks the world and the reality of their strange life. He’s living and in that moment, and readers will just feel his pain bonded by this journey we’ve all been on together.

The How to be Dead novels are technically novellas but there are no shortcuts in Turner’s work. The stories are whole, realized and as resolved as installments in a series will be. The flow is beautiful and I can’t speak for anyone else, I am entranced. I recently re-read Four Horseman and it was just as brilliant the first time. More brilliant than the first time as I’m convinced Esuries needs to be a Dr. Who villain.

Serious Moonlight is fifth in the series but can easily stand alone, but you are missing most of the story if you start with this final installment. Start with How to be Dead and read as languidly as you can. Relish them. Cherish them. When you’ve finished the fifth book join us in aching for more.

The sixth book in the How to be Dead series, Near Life Experience will be out soon.

If you’re looking for the perfect Halloween read, pick up the How to be Dead series. If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the Jasper Fforde lover in your life. If you just want to be entertained, pick this series up today.

 

Read an excerpt and buy Serious Moonlight by Dave Turner on

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Publication Date: May 1, 2009

 

In The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, it’s 1985 in the fictional world that is parallel to our own. Someone is kidnapping literary characters. It’s the job of Thursday Next, the occupant of our world but the detective in the Literary Detective Division, to find the culprit and stop them before it’s too late.

 

Every book claims to be like the work of a bestselling author. They’ll up the ante saying that the work is by an author who is the modern version of the author to whom they’re likened. Usually, they could not be less like the author whose name they use to promote themselves. In the case of Fforde, it would be in no way inaccurate to liken him to Douglas Adams. It would also not be inaccurate to say that they are nothing alike. Fforde and Adams share a well-defined imagination with a lightness of being. Their worlds are intricate. Fforde is extremely well-read. The characters created by others in his story are wholly within character. The description of the fictional world is beautiful and complete. Continue reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Publication Date: May 27, 2010

 

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill BrysonAt Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson is a collection of stories that deal with everyday historical aspects. Bill Bryson, who lives in a historic parish in Norfolk, tours his house with his readers and talks about the life of the previous owner. Let At Home: A Short History of Private Life take you on a journey into the past

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The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Movie Released: 1960 in b/w | DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008

 

The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)The Little Shop of Horrors was produced in 1960 on $28,000 budget (according to my research the budget ranged between $24,000 and $30,000 — so your guess is as good as mine.) Directed by the legendary Roger Corman, this movie was produced within two days. Corman decided to use an earlier film setting that was due to be torn down in the next two days.

Continue reading The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

The Martian (2016)

DVD Release Date: January 12, 2016

 

DVD_MartianThe crew of the Ares III is forced by a dust storm to evacuate from Mars. In the rush to leave, Astronaut Mark Watley is hit by debris and his suit isn’t showing signs of life, so his fellow astronauts presume him dead and leave him stranded on Mars. Watley must do what he can to survive until the next mission arrives. Earth Control receives satellite photos showing that Watley has survived which they decide to suppress. Will Watley make his way home against the odds?

 

 

 

 

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Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)

Released: April 1, 1983 | DVD Release Date: December 24, 2002

 

DVD_The_Meaning_of_LifeThe Meaning of Life is a 1983 musical sketch comedy that chronicles phases of life in seven parts. There is a bonus “middle of the film” segment in which viewers are invited to play “find the fish.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Prostitute in the Family Tree by Douglas Adams

Publication Date: August 1, 1997

 

DA_The_Prostitute_Family_Tree

Douglas Adams (not THAT Douglas Adams) believes most readers of the Bible miss the humor and irony. If you’re missing the humor are you also missing the meaning behind Biblical stories?

 

 

 

 

Continue reading The Prostitute in the Family Tree by Douglas Adams

Spooky Reads for Halloween 2014

Rabid Reader’s Reviews presents a selection Spooky Reads for Halloween 2014

 

 

IA_BeholderBeholder by Ivan Amberlake

Genre: paranormal, new adult, serial fiction, mystery

Seemingly disconnected deaths and abductions around the world are connected with a symbol branded on them or in their living environment. Jason, an average New Yorker, has been having strange dreams of a beautiful woman warning him of a power lurking within him that is the only thing to stop coming evil. Will Jason embrace his power in time to stop the ultimate destruction? Read more about Beholder.

Continue reading Spooky Reads for Halloween 2014