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Mister Lullaby: A Novel av J. H. Markert
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Mister Lullaby: A Novel (utgåvan 2023)

av J. H. Markert (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
345718,386 (3.9)Ingen/inga
From J. H. Markert, the author Peter Farris calls the clear heir to Stephen King, Mister Lullaby brings our darkest dreams and nightmares to life. In the vein of T. Kingfisher and Christopher Golden, the boundary protecting our world from the monsters on the other side is weakening-and Mister Lullaby is about to break through. The small town of Harrod's Reach has seen its fair share of the macabre, especially inside the decrepit old train tunnel around which the town was built. After a young boy, Sully Dupree, is injured in the abandoned tunnel and left in a coma, the townspeople are determined to wall it up. Deputy sheriff Beth Gardner is reluctant to buy into the superstitions until she finds two corpses at the tunnel's entrance, each left with strange calling cards inscribed with old lullabies. Soon after, Sully Dupree briefly awakens from his coma. Before falling back into his slumber, Sully manages to give his older brother a message. Sully's mind, since the accident, has been imprisoned on the other side of the tunnel in Lalaland, a grotesque and unfamiliar world inhabited by evil mythical creatures of sleep. Sully is trapped there with hundreds of other coma patients, all desperately fighting to keep the evils of the dream world from escaping into the waking world. Elsewhere, a man troubled by his painful youth has for years been hearing a voice in his head he calls Mr. Lullaby, and he has finally started to act on what that voice is telling him-to kill any coma patient he can find, quickly. Something is waking up in the tunnel-something is trying to get through. And Mr. Lullaby is coming.… (mer)
Medlem:SpaceandSorcery
Titel:Mister Lullaby: A Novel
Författare:J. H. Markert (Författare)
Info:Crooked Lane Books (2023), 309 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:read 2024

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Mister Lullaby: A Novel av J. H. Markert

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Visar 5 av 5
If the author and/or the publisher wanted to stress this novel’s “Stephen King vibes” by choosing a cover where a child in a yellow raincoat faces a dark opening into the unknown, reminiscent of the inciting incident in King’s IT, they managed to do so quite well. Mister Lullaby does indeed possess many of the qualities of King’s older narrative, while being at the same time its own story with an intriguing horror background.

In the small town of Harrod’s Reach there is an abandoned railway tunnel where mysterious, often deadly events have been happening for over a century, and in more recent times the escapade of a group of children on a dare ended with one of them, Sully Dupree, being hurt and falling into a coma. Sully’s older brother, Gideon, never overcame the guilt for the incident - a guilt that’s been stressed by the whole community - and shortly after he enrolled in the Army to put some distance between himself and his regrets. Three years later, as the story starts, Gideon is back home, recovering from an injury and decorated with a Purple Heart, and the town is ready to welcome him back when the party is interrupted by the news that Sully woke up briefly, shouting “Run!”.

It’s only the latest in the weird, sometimes horrific occurrences that have been cropping up lately, like the discovery of two horribly mutilated bodies near the tunnel’s mouth, or the maiming of the town’s doctor, but these events are all connected and the tunnel’s nature is going to be revealed in all its terrible danger, jeopardizing the survival of Harrod Reach’s inhabitants and probably of the world beyond…

I quite enjoyed reading Mister Lullaby, it possesses the same narrative quality I appreciated in the older Stephen King novels, a quality that lately seems to be somewhat missing: the dynamics of a small town are portrayed quite well and work perfectly in the depiction of the sinister climate that progressively takes hold of the small community as the evil coming from the tunnel becomes more apparent and encroaches on the peaceful life of Harrod’s Reach. The story is told through a series of different POVs that allow the reader to get the “pulse” of the town and to envision the story’s background without need for lengthy exposition. The other side of the narrative is instead carried by the figure of Teddy Lomax, a man marked from childhood as different because of the parallel growths on his scalp that are now growing into horns, a manifestation of his allegiance with the dreamworld of Lalaland, a landscape where everything is twisted in a nightmarish way.

Dreams - and of course nightmares - are front and center in Mister Lullaby, where the power of dreams is seen as the possible doorway for something sinister that refuses to be confined to its own twisted realm and obeys a driving need to expand and conquer. And dreams are not the only aspect of everyday life to be shown in a distorted perception - after all dreams are our way to process daily experiences as our bodies gets their necessary rest - because something as innocent as lullabies, with which we used to be accompanied into sleep in childhood, is here turned into a dreadful tool, somehow weaponized for the use of the other side’s goals. This novel stresses the concept that there is often an element of evil in those apparently innocent songs, something we blithely ignore until made aware of the hidden meanings - and that’s hardly a new notion, because fairy tales as well can hide in plain sight ghastly details barely concealed by the overlaying story….

However much I appreciated Mister Lullaby, nevertheless it turned out to be somehow lacking in some departments: the pacing is at times uneven, and there is a massive buildup of the dangers inherent in Lalaland to which corresponds a far-too-short time spent there, which left me a bit disappointed because I found the concept awfully fascinating. Moreover, that same buildup leads toward an abrupt ending: it might mean that there will be a sequel, which I will certainly welcome, but I felt almost cheated by the way the story closed, leaving several narrative threads still hanging.

And despite the terrifying events that the evil of Lalaland visits on the town of Harrod’s Reach - a veritable sequence of apocalyptic destructions - I hardly felt a real sense of danger, or of urgency, hanging over the characters. An example? There is a scene in which a group of people tries to make a stand in a house, and the forces of evil set fire to the basement, with the flames rapidly advancing: as the group prepares the leave the house, braving the deadly dangers that wait for them outside, two of them find the time to start the record player and dance, reconnecting with each other after a time of emotional distance. It seemed to me so out of context that for a moment it broke my immersion in the story - which is not something I appreciate…

Despite these small distractions, however, I never regretted the time spent on this book and look forward to sampling Mr. Markert’s other works: a new voice in this genre is quite welcome indeed. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Mar 14, 2024 |
Terrifying and Bone Chilling.......................

Mister Lullaby by J. H. Markert brings to you a terrifying tale of Harrod's Reach town. I had it as an audiobook on Netgalley. The narrator's voice was so chilling that it created an atmosphere of pure terror while listening. Ted's character was absolutely terrifying. I loved the concept of tunnel and other worldly beings. The story goes back and forth in time so that the readers feel relatable to the events. Past secrets revealed, action, and a little bit of romance make it perfect for a movie plot. I would love to see the characters come alive in a movie. Lalaland's concept was so unique that it is still fresh in my mind.

With every page, the terror gains momentum. And after Ted's arrival in Harrod's Reach, it was pure insanity. The book is so absorbing, and I would suggest everyone listen to the audiobook, especially at night. The voice of the narrator is definitely going to chicken you out. If you are looking for real terror, then this book is not to be missed at any cost. Also, the author has spelled out some hints about his previous book, which came as a shock to me. I would not be a spoiler by revealing that twist. Definitely, the book deserves 5 stars. ( )
  Sucharita1986 | Jan 9, 2024 |
Mister Lullaby by J.H. Markert

Parents sing lullabies to their children hoping they will sleep. They rock or walk their little babies while whispering, shushing, and singing to them. This book puts a dark spin on dreamtime, comas, and might have you questioning what really happens when you dream while sleeping.

What I liked:
* The plotting, pacing, writing, setting, and story
* The characters, good and bad, and how they made the book come alive
* That the shift between past and present when telling the story worked seamlessly
* The link between lullabies and dreams/dreamland
* The historical aspect of the story
* Thinking about the ‘what ifs’
* Thinking about people I have known in comas and discussions I have had about “where they are”
* Growing to care about some of the characters and hoping that perhaps I will see them in a future book
* The hope at the end of the book…at least for some
* That the book ties in a bit with the previous book, The Nightmare Man
* Wondering what book will come next from this author

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* Thinking about whether or not believing in something can make it real

Did I like this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Dec 9, 2023 |
If you enjoyed The Nightmare Man then you are going to absolutely love Mister Lullaby!

Murders, serial killers, monsters and the terrifying nightmares come to life, all combined in one small town, this is every horror fans dreams come true!

Things have been happening in the small town of Harrod’s Reach for years, terrible, unexplainable things, all centred around an old abandoned tunnel, and as with any old, scary tunnel surrounded by folklore the children are drawn towards it like moths to a flame.

One of those children was Sully Dupree whose obsession led him to try running through the tunnel landing him halfway through resulting to him being in a coma ever since.
On the arrival of his older brother, Gideon back home, Sully suddenly wakes up and starts reciting names, names that have no meaning to anyone before slipping back into his coma. These names, they are names of other coma patients from all over the world.

One of these coma patients, Maddy Boyle, much to the surprise to everyone comes out of her coma with memories of being in a strange place, and a name, Sully. As she recovers from what put her in the coma in the first place she sets off to find Sully, unsure why, just that that’s what she needs to do.
What she, or anyone else knows is that these coma patients are all in danger. They are all being targets by one Mr Theodore ‘Teddy’ Lomax.

Teddy has been hearing a voice from a strange blue seashell he found and this voice is sending him on a trip with a mission. To kill all the coma patients, or ‘dead heads’ along the way.
As good and evil come together in Harrod’s Reach the tunnel comes to life, letting through some of the nightmare creatures from Lalaland into the town with horrific consequences……

This book is packed to the brim with so much imagination, clever plot lines and unforgettable characters that reading it time just flys by and the rest of the world disappears as it transports you to Harrod’s Reach.
As I’ve already said, this is definitely the best book I have read this year, if not longer.

Mister Lullaby won’t be published until the 21 November 2023 but is available to preorder now and I can’t stress to you enough to get your copy preordered now so you can start reading straightaway on publication day. The book really is that good!
( )
  DebTat2 | Oct 13, 2023 |
This is the second book I have read by this author. The first book, The Nightmare Man, is connected loosely to Mister Lullaby. However, the books can be read as standalone novels. The characters and setting are all different.
However, this book also revolves around a police sheriff and a sinister crime. A young boy lays in a coma and wakes briefly to warn others of an evil coming. There is an old train tunnel that somehow forms the boundary between the world of the living and a world of nightmares. The book is creepy and introduces us to a host of disturbing characters all being pulled towards this small town where this old train tunnel is.
The ending is very abrupt. It makes me think and hope there is a sequel? It left a lot of unanswered questions and pretty much just stopped in the middle of the climax of the story. Yet this author is very good, and I hope we can get more of a conclusion in the future. I received an eBook from the publisher in exchange for a review on Netgalley.com ( )
  melaniehope | Sep 19, 2023 |
Visar 5 av 5
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From J. H. Markert, the author Peter Farris calls the clear heir to Stephen King, Mister Lullaby brings our darkest dreams and nightmares to life. In the vein of T. Kingfisher and Christopher Golden, the boundary protecting our world from the monsters on the other side is weakening-and Mister Lullaby is about to break through. The small town of Harrod's Reach has seen its fair share of the macabre, especially inside the decrepit old train tunnel around which the town was built. After a young boy, Sully Dupree, is injured in the abandoned tunnel and left in a coma, the townspeople are determined to wall it up. Deputy sheriff Beth Gardner is reluctant to buy into the superstitions until she finds two corpses at the tunnel's entrance, each left with strange calling cards inscribed with old lullabies. Soon after, Sully Dupree briefly awakens from his coma. Before falling back into his slumber, Sully manages to give his older brother a message. Sully's mind, since the accident, has been imprisoned on the other side of the tunnel in Lalaland, a grotesque and unfamiliar world inhabited by evil mythical creatures of sleep. Sully is trapped there with hundreds of other coma patients, all desperately fighting to keep the evils of the dream world from escaping into the waking world. Elsewhere, a man troubled by his painful youth has for years been hearing a voice in his head he calls Mr. Lullaby, and he has finally started to act on what that voice is telling him-to kill any coma patient he can find, quickly. Something is waking up in the tunnel-something is trying to get through. And Mr. Lullaby is coming.

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