Unbury Carol
Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself.

Unbury Carol Details

TitleUnbury Carol
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherDel Rey
ISBN-139780399180163
Rating
GenreHorror, Fantasy, Fiction, Westerns

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Unbury Carol Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    "I'm a thing old enough to know that old was once young and that because young becomes old there is not love of life, only a fear of decay."Unbury Carol is sort of a mash up between a spaghetti western, the Brother's Grimm's Sleeping Beauty and do I dare say it, a Quentin Tarantino movie? I could seriously see Tarantino doing a movie with this book. Some of the characters are almost cartoonish such as Smoke - and I do mean that in a good way. He is a nasty piece of work.I am not a fan of western "I'm a thing old enough to know that old was once young and that because young becomes old there is not love of life, only a fear of decay."Unbury Carol is sort of a mash up between a spaghetti western, the Brother's Grimm's Sleeping Beauty and do I dare say it, a Quentin Tarantino movie? I could seriously see Tarantino doing a movie with this book. Some of the characters are almost cartoonish such as Smoke - and I do mean that in a good way. He is a nasty piece of work.I am not a fan of westerns, True Grit and a couple of others are the exception to this. I'll be honest. I requested this book because I LOVED Bird Box. I was hoping that this book would be in the same vain - it's not. It's unique and as I stated it feels like a mash up of the various interests of the Author. Having said that, this book started slow for me then my interest grew and I was intrigued.Carol Evers has a secret that very few know - she slips into coma's. She appears to be dead but has a slight very hard to feel pulse. While in her comas she literally falls into a place she has named Howltown. After the funeral of her close friend, she slips into one of her comas, and her devious husband, Dwight, decides to make his move. He has married Carol for her money and now that she appears to be dead, he decides to Cash in. He plans to bury her alive and feels no one in town will be the wiser. But being devious makes a man paranoid, so he hires another man, by the name of Smoke to kill the only other person who knows about Carol's condition - her former boyfriend, the famous outlaw, James Moxie. Moxie is famous for killing a man in a duel without even pulling the trigger. No one knows how he pulled this off and for this reason he is feared."Can a man set right his past?"Dwight has a right to be afraid because James Moxie has received word of Carol's "death" and he has sent a telegram stating that she is "not dead". James takes to the infamous and dangerous "Trail" in hopes of arriving in time to save Carol. He has tremendous guilt over leaving her upon learning her secret and wants to set things right. Along the way, James encounters those who idolized him and want to help such as Rinaldo and Moxie's former partner, Jefferson."A hero is always recognizable to those who adore him."Along the way, the reader learns about Moxie's past and his feat of "magic" during a dual. Moxie is also haunted by Rot who does not want Moxie to arrive to save Carol. Rot, I akin to a demon or a devil. Moxie is, in a way, also wrestling his own demons as he makes his way along the trail in hopes of rescuing Carol. "I am present when things fall apart."Then there is Smoke, hired by Dwight to catch James Moxie on the trial and prevent him from saving Carol's life. Smoke has his nickname for the obvious reason that he likes to burn things, he is also crippled and walks on fakes legs. Legs he uses to hide the oil he needs to start his fires. He is a scary man and is feared by all who he encounters. Smoke is scary and dangerous. He enjoys what he does and has no problem taking life. He gets off on watching things burn."Hell, I let you live. You wanna live, doncha?"I'll be honest, when I started this I thought "WTF am I reading?" I also felt like Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's novel Misery.. I wanted to say "What is this Cock-a-doodie book about, Mr. Man?" But I kept with it, because I loved Bird Box, and this book grew on me. Honestly, at first I didn't know if I liked this book or not. It is one that I thought about a lot as I read and after...but that is what I kinda love...when a book has me scratching my head trying to figure out if I like it or not. One that stays with you and you are not sure why. This is one of those books. It's very clever and as I mentioned Quentin Tarantino earlier, this book felt very much like a Tarantino movie to me, not in way in the story or plot but in the feel of it. I will say that I wanted more excitement at the end. More of a BOOM, if you will. Things got tidied up pretty fast and I would have liked a little more action. But there were a couple of surprises as the end. One that I did not see coming. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was great storytelling. This book is very clever, strange, entertaining, and fun.I received a copy of this book from Random House publishing - Ballantine and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to them.See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Outrageously Far-Out Stars.......UNBURY CAROL is a bizarre story of good vs. evil with a strange mix of....magical realism....old time west...tricks and tricksters....and even a bit of paranormal when monster ROT enters the dreaded world Carol calls Howltown. Carol's frightening (secretive) health condition makes her appear dead as a doornail when she literally falls into a coma and almost no one knows about it, so....after confidant and best buddy John Bowie dies; Who should she tell?....Wh 3.5 Outrageously Far-Out Stars.......UNBURY CAROL is a bizarre story of good vs. evil with a strange mix of....magical realism....old time west...tricks and tricksters....and even a bit of paranormal when monster ROT enters the dreaded world Carol calls Howltown. Carol's frightening (secretive) health condition makes her appear dead as a doornail when she literally falls into a coma and almost no one knows about it, so....after confidant and best buddy John Bowie dies; Who should she tell?....Who can she trust?....Her husband?Get ready for the weirdest of weird as you meet up with a whole slew of oddball characters and progress along the ole trail, including the dangerous and creepy bad guy Smoke, (who loves a good fire) AND the trail's most legendary trickster of an outlaw, John Moxie, who rushes in hopefully to save the day (and an old flame) from a fate worse than death....being buried alive. (no spoiler here)UNBURY CAROL - Just a plain old fun read albeit with an ending that could have packed a more powerful punch! That being said, bring on more Josh Malerman. I'll gladly read them all!Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for the ARC coming April 10, 2018 in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A HOT MESS.You ready???? Okay . . . . . Carol is “dead” – her evil husband (who was TOTALLY Justin LaMonte in my brain). Sidenote (yes already a sidenote): Do y’all know who Justin Lamonte is? Probably not because you’re not ancient, but if you too are old you might remember him as a super douchebag from North and South . . . . Anyway, Justin Lamonte Dwight wants to get Carol in the dirt stat so he can ha Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A HOT MESS.You ready???? Okay . . . . . Carol is “dead” – her evil husband (who was TOTALLY Justin LaMonte in my brain). Sidenote (yes already a sidenote): Do y’all know who Justin Lamonte is? Probably not because you’re not ancient, but if you too are old you might remember him as a super douchebag from North and South . . . . Anyway, Justin Lamonte Dwight wants to get Carol in the dirt stat so he can have all of her dollah dollah bills yo. Buuuuuuuuut he’s in a race against time as Carol’s former beau was sent a telegram regarding her “death” and is coming to save the day – which again made my brain take a trip on the wayback machine and James Moxie was all Jessie from Kathleen Turner’s novels in Romancing the Stone . . . . . But should have probably been more like this . . . . Because you kind of get beaten over the head with the fact that he’s an outlaw Josey Wales.I have to admit I had to give a little bit of the side-eye to that very necessary plot point because . . . . . Would the maid really notify this long-lost love that Carol told her about for like two seconds before eating the dirt and falling into one of her spells/comas/narcoleptic limbos that Carol was dead???? Probably not, but she has to here or there’s zero book.And that’s my problem with most of the book. Ideas that weren’t fully thought out, characters who REALLY weren’t fully fleshed out and a synopsis that was way more interesting than the end result turned out to be left me feeling seriously meh throughout my entire reading experience. I should have known this might be a miss for me after not only having a bit of a rough go of it with Black Mad Wheel, or as I like to call it . . . . But doubly so when it was pretty clear this story would take place in the Old West which makes me all . . . . However, all I can ever think about when I see Malerman’s name is Bird Box which pretty much results in me being like . . . . . Unbury Carol did not end up being the book for me, but Josh Malerman definitely knows how to words good so as soon as I see his name again I’m sure my reaction will be . . . . Head’s up for any of you who are thinking this is going to be a horror: Prepare yourself because it sure as pig shit isn’t. And speaking of all the talk about pig shit, Mitchell has this to say about that . . . . I say don’t turn it into a drinking game or you will quickly discover the following is a huge lie . . . . ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
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  • Dan Schwent
    January 1, 1970
    Carol Evers suffers from a bizarre condition: at times of stress, she lapses into a coma that closely resembles death, only she can hear what's going on around her. Now she's in one of her comas and her husband is planning on burying alive. The only man that can save her is a notorious outlaw that ran from her and her condition years ago, James Moxie...Josh Malerman is all the rage these days. What better way to give him a shot than a Netgalley ARC of his upcoming book!Unbury Carol takes place i Carol Evers suffers from a bizarre condition: at times of stress, she lapses into a coma that closely resembles death, only she can hear what's going on around her. Now she's in one of her comas and her husband is planning on burying alive. The only man that can save her is a notorious outlaw that ran from her and her condition years ago, James Moxie...Josh Malerman is all the rage these days. What better way to give him a shot than a Netgalley ARC of his upcoming book!Unbury Carol takes place in a period not unlike the 1890s. It has a distinctively western feel but I don't think any of the places are real. Carol suffers from a weird condition that makes me think that if he doesn't suffer from sleep paralysis, Josh Malerman has at least read up on it. As someone who suffers the occasional bout of sleep paralysis, that's sure what it reminded me of. Carol calls the dark place she goes to Howltown, since she can only hear the hoarse sound of her own breathing. Creepy, huh?The story is a race against time, with James Moxie hauling ass from Mackatoon to save his long lost love from being buried alive in Harrows, all the while with a hitman on his trail. It started a little slow but things got pretty hectic. The writing was good but nothing earth-shattering. I'd say the ever-building suspense was the star of the Wild West show.Dwight Evers was a worm and Smoke was a psychotic arsonist, making for a pair of villains whose hash I couldn't wait to see settled. Moxie was a driven man seeking to put things right before it was too late. Still, Carol was the most interesting character, even though she just laid there, comatose but listening, for most of the book. Carol being helpless but aware made me feel claustrophobic at times. The ending was extremely satisfying. I would have done a "Yes!" with a fist pump but I had a couple sleeping cats to consider.Unbury Carol was one hell of a gripping read. I'll be reading more Josh Malerman in the future. Four out of five stars.
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  • Zoeytron
    January 1, 1970
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.How dead can you be, and still be alive? Carol Evers can tell you all about it the next time she wakes up.  She can listen with her mind's ear, no one else can hear.  The Trail, where legends are made, where you can expect tricky lighting, and space that is "off".  Now, throw in Smoke and a mirror.  A sour memory and a lost love.   I'd advise steering clear of Smoke.  He has a penchant for oil (only the good stuff will do!), and he talks in Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.How dead can you be, and still be alive? Carol Evers can tell you all about it the next time she wakes up.  She can listen with her mind's ear, no one else can hear.  The Trail, where legends are made, where you can expect tricky lighting, and space that is "off".  Now, throw in Smoke and a mirror.  A sour memory and a lost love.   I'd advise steering clear of Smoke.  He has a penchant for oil (only the good stuff will do!), and he talks in sing-song rhyme-ish whispers.  A horrifying pair of prosthetics and some weird ass pants, and he's good to go.  If you are looking for something different, this would fall into that category.  
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    To be fair I only made it 10? 15? 20%? into this one. I don't even know and don't care enough to look it up. Whatever percent it was, it was too much and I couldn't go on.I hated everything about this one except for the "idea". Too bad, I was looking forward to it and it sounds good on paper...but not on the page.Edited 3-23-18After recently watching a video on beta readers by my friend Edward, I felt bad that I just gave this one a single star without any explanation other than I really didn't To be fair I only made it 10? 15? 20%? into this one. I don't even know and don't care enough to look it up. Whatever percent it was, it was too much and I couldn't go on.I hated everything about this one except for the "idea". Too bad, I was looking forward to it and it sounds good on paper...but not on the page.Edited 3-23-18After recently watching a video on beta readers by my friend Edward, I felt bad that I just gave this one a single star without any explanation other than I really didn't like it. The reason I didn't like it was that it was clunky writing with choppy dialog in an over the top fairy-taley, hot western mess. I didn't care about anything going on and I was bored to tears. It was becoming painfully obvious how it was going to end and I just didn't care about any of the characters and couldn't bring myself to read one more page.Whew. I feel better now.
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  • Cody | codysbookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    Being an active Goodreads user, I put great importance on writing and, especially, reading reviews. I will admit reviews definitely impact what I choose to read: my TBR is long and I want to read the best books possible. Unbury Carol, the upcoming release from Josh Malerman, has not been getting good reviews — especially from my friends, people I trust in the GR community. Since his book was chosen as the second Nightworms read, however, I had no choice but to jump in and hope for the best.And w Being an active Goodreads user, I put great importance on writing and, especially, reading reviews. I will admit reviews definitely impact what I choose to read: my TBR is long and I want to read the best books possible. Unbury Carol, the upcoming release from Josh Malerman, has not been getting good reviews — especially from my friends, people I trust in the GR community. Since his book was chosen as the second Nightworms read, however, I had no choice but to jump in and hope for the best.And wasn’t I shocked! Wow. I feel a little weird giving this five stars because I expected to hate it . . . but no, I could not put this down. It hits the ground running and doesn’t let up. This author is well known for his bestselling horror novel Bird Box. I feel it is prudent to warn that this is not exclusively a horror novel: the narrative combines horror elements with suspense, western, fantasy, romance, a hint of gothic flavoring . . . and it is done well, always keeping a firm grip on its strange, amalgamated identity. The titular character, Carol, has long been prey to an oddity: at random times she falls into death-like comas that last for days, comas in which she is totally aware of all that is going on around her — albeit the goings-on seem strange, manipulated, and the comas are accompanied by a continuous falling sensation. Her greedy husband, Dwight, has concocted a scheme and decides to use his wife’s illness to rob her of her money. From there the story unspools: throughout, the reader is introduced to an eclectic cast of outlaws and magic beings, demons and gilded lovers. Malerman did an excellent job of bringing each of the characters to life, in this version of the Wild West that is so totally his — where time seems endless and strange; where trickster spirits walk with men. Unbury Carol scared the hell out of me, and I had fun with it, too. What more can you ask for? Check it out when it releases next month.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    No one likes to be one of the pioneering negative reviews for a book, especially when you're already invested in the author, so let me start out by saying: some readers are going to love this. Unbury Carol is not a bad book by any means - it was just not the book for me.I recently read and adored Bird Box, and even though the summary for Unbury Carol seemed about as different from Bird Box as anything could be, I had enough faith in Malerman's storytelling to confidently dive in. What I found wa No one likes to be one of the pioneering negative reviews for a book, especially when you're already invested in the author, so let me start out by saying: some readers are going to love this. Unbury Carol is not a bad book by any means - it was just not the book for me.I recently read and adored Bird Box, and even though the summary for Unbury Carol seemed about as different from Bird Box as anything could be, I had enough faith in Malerman's storytelling to confidently dive in. What I found was a very bizarre story, sort of a spaghetti western-horror-fantasy-fairytale hybrid. Basically, Carol Evers has this condition where she goes into a coma for days at a time, and while she's unconscious, she appears dead - you have to wait for a full minute to feel a pulse. When she slips into a coma at the beginning of the novel, this time her husband Dwight is conniving to bury her alive and steal her fortune. When he gets wind of what's going on, a notorious outlaw - and Carol's ex-lover - James Moxie, has to ride the Trail to Carol's town, racing against time to save her.Here's my main problem with Unbury Carol: it relies on and perpetuates one of the most tired tropes of all time - the damsel in distress. That's essentially what Carol is for the duration of the book. Whether Malerman eventually subverts this trope by having Carol save herself (which is hinted at early on as a possibility), I can't say without getting into spoiler territory, but the fact is, rather than focusing on Carol herself, the majority of this novel is told from the point of view of male characters who have a vested interest in Carol's fate: her husband Dwight, her former lover James, and a criminal called Smoke who's hired to prevent James from reaching Carol in time. As an avid reader, it feels stale, and as a feminist, it feels insulting, to have Carol's story stripped from her and framed around so many male characters. To clarify - Carol does have POV chapters. I don't think everyone is going to agree with my assessment about her lack of agency - you could even argue that that's the point, to illustrate the injustice of male characters having to fight for Carol's sake. It just didn't quite sit right with me, especially from a male author. I think any good intentions Malerman may have had with this book got swallowed up by a sort of unwieldy execution.The good news is that Malerman still has a great way with words, and I flew through this pretty quickly. I liked several of his characters, too, especially Carol's young and intelligent housekeeper, Farrah. Fans of westerns will probably be especially riveted by this story, which does well to evoke an old-timey western atmosphere, even though there are more fantastical elements than you'd traditionally expect. But the fact that I couldn't even make it through Westworld probably should have clued me in that this wasn't going to be for me.Thank you to Del Rey and Josh Malerman for the ARC received in exchange for an honest review. Unbury Carol will be published in April 2018.
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  • Sadie | sadie_reads_them_all
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher for an Advanced Reader's Copy for all seven of the Night Worms review group in exchange for honest reviews. This book is out on April 10th.Of course, after reading Bird Box, I put Josh Malerman in the group of "authors that write books I want to read." Malerman's female protagonist in Bird Box exists in an apocalyptic state of events with a major physical handicap. In this book, Unbury Carol, our protagonist Carol is in a "wild, wild west" setting and also suffers from Thank you to the publisher for an Advanced Reader's Copy for all seven of the Night Worms review group in exchange for honest reviews. This book is out on April 10th.Of course, after reading Bird Box, I put Josh Malerman in the group of "authors that write books I want to read." Malerman's female protagonist in Bird Box exists in an apocalyptic state of events with a major physical handicap. In this book, Unbury Carol, our protagonist Carol is in a "wild, wild west" setting and also suffers from a major, physical handicap.But the emphasis really isn't on Carol--it's on the cast of male characters introduced to us through their involvement with her and her strange condition.I feel like the first 25% of this book was a very slow burn. I figured early on that this wasn't going to be a scary story--this is not horror. So my push here is to make sure horror fans and Bird Box fans, know that.In the beginning, there is lots of build-up and stage setting, traveling, planning, character building but very little actually happening. There were some phrases or words planted so many times that I actually wondered if there was a hidden treasure map or message of some sort tugging for attention (I don't need to highlight those words, you'll see for yourself).But hang in there!The last 75% of the book makes it all worth while.The tension begins to build, you start becoming very invested in the villains of the story rather than our damsel in distress. The beauty of this tale is that it is so unique and strange it almost feels like it could have come from the mind of Neil Gaiman--like a dark, whimsical fantasy and I kept reminding myself that this came from the same author of Bird Box, so I was pretty impressed with Malerman's versatility. Not to mention, he treats this plot with an attention to detail and a seriousness that makes the book stand by itself, outside any genre-normative stereotypes. This isn't horror, it's not a fantasy, it's not a Western, it's just it's own style and it deserves to be read by fans of just about anything. I also want to say that during the dialog I had with fellow Night Worms and also having read some early reviews (I didn't want to read them but I kind of had to-long story) I kept seeing people talk about how Carol's situation is just another misogynistic plot trope but my argument to that is: Carol's housekeeper, Farrah, evens out the scales and the two women, Farrah and Carol can almost be considered as one--Carol's mind and Farrah's physical execution-to which, she (the two characters) make one, complete and pretty bad ass character. (without getting too spoilery)My final thoughts: If you are a fan of Malerman, this is one for the collection. It shows his range and his knack for out of the box, imaginative stories. He's writes great characters and brilliant dialog. I'm looking forward to reading Black Mad Wheel and Goblin next. I want a full Malerman collection at the end of the day.
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  • Michael Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 15%. This one is just not clicking with me at all, and Malerman's latched onto certain words he repeats ad naseum. Every single character, apparently, must utter the phrase "Hell's heaven" in every conversation they have (word search shows 45 instances of this throughout the book). And if I have to be told one more time that John Moxie is an outlaw, I'm going to break my Kindle. Word search shows 150 instances of the word "outlaw" cropping up, and I just don't think I can take it. One sec DNF at 15%. This one is just not clicking with me at all, and Malerman's latched onto certain words he repeats ad naseum. Every single character, apparently, must utter the phrase "Hell's heaven" in every conversation they have (word search shows 45 instances of this throughout the book). And if I have to be told one more time that John Moxie is an outlaw, I'm going to break my Kindle. Word search shows 150 instances of the word "outlaw" cropping up, and I just don't think I can take it. One section, at the 29% marker, even includes the following bit of dialogue:"Hell's heaven, Carol... He's on his way here! An outlaw! Hell's heaven, Carol." I just... I can't. Not anymore. I'm freaking bored to tears with this one, and it's giving me more aggravation than its worth. I'm also feeling like, at only 15%, a hell of a lot of words have been expended to tell very, very little story. It's frustrating. I give up.
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  • Mindi
    January 1, 1970
    I have literally just finished this book, and it completely exceeded my expectations. I will often take a peek at spoiler-free reviews before I pick up a book, and I was a bit disappointed when I noticed that quite a few of the reviews on Goodreads were negative. People that I respect were calling this one a DNF, and others just flat out didn't like it. I was worried going in, especially since this book was selected as the second book for a review group I'm in called NightWorms, and I don't want I have literally just finished this book, and it completely exceeded my expectations. I will often take a peek at spoiler-free reviews before I pick up a book, and I was a bit disappointed when I noticed that quite a few of the reviews on Goodreads were negative. People that I respect were calling this one a DNF, and others just flat out didn't like it. I was worried going in, especially since this book was selected as the second book for a review group I'm in called NightWorms, and I don't want to give up on any book that we choose as a group. I feel that the group owes each writer we choose at least the courtesy of finishing their book before weighing in, and so no matter what, I was going to force myself to finish. Carol Evers has a condition. She never knows when or for how long her condition will occur, but since she was a child Carol suddenly falls into comas that she cannot escape and that make her appear to everyone as if she has died. But Carol is very much still alive in the coma, a place she calls Howltown, and even though she appears dead and is unable to move or speak, she can hear everything that happens while she is under.Unfortunately for Carol, her husband Dwight decides to take advantage of her condition, and declares her dead in order to claim her vast inheritance. Dwight has a number of nasty folks working to help him get Carol in the ground before she wakes, but what he doesn't know is that Carol is beloved, and she too has friends and an old outlaw lover who are racing to beat the clock to keep her from being buried alive.Once Carol's funeral day arrives the tension mounts and doesn't let up until the very end. (view spoiler)[And in this story, Carol, and her very industrious and clever mother, end up saving her from an early grave. I love that even though Carol's old lover James Moxie is riding to save her, in the end Carol saves herself and is already free by the time James makes it to her. Both Carol and James pull off magic tricks to save their lives, and James becomes a celebrity with his clever trick during a duel. Carol and James trick death or "Rot" with cleverness and skill, and I love how Malerman mixes the paranormal with simple human illusion. (hide spoiler)]Thank Hell's Heaven that not only did I not have to force myself to read this one, but after a point I could barely put it down. Malerman creates a world that is filled with so many interesting characters. Love them or hate them, all of them are richly created and make the story engaging. Unbury Carol is a western with a paranormal flair and a touch of magic, even if the magic exists only because we want to believe in it. I was so invested in Carol's story, and I loved the backstories that Malerman gives to the outlaws Moxie and Smoke. Smoke especially is a complicated character, immediately despised by the reader, and yet forced to become a hated man. I loved the complex and intriguing characters, the pace of the story, and how it builds to a nail-biting conclusion. This book is the reason every reader should take reviews with a grain of salt. Not everyone is going to love the same books, and that's what makes the book community exciting. If we all loved the same stories, it would be a very boring world with no debate or discussion, and I love the discussions. I know I'm really going to enjoy discussing Unbury Carol with my fellow NightWorms and other readers everywhere.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    "Fear was no stranger to Howltown, no traveler from the Trail, but the fear she felt now was shattering." I read Unbury Carol as the second book for the Night Worms review team. This was a rollercoaster for me - I really enjoyed some parts, and struggled with others. I want to say up front that I am not particularly fond of books with a lot of traveling, so keep that in mind when reading my review. I think I would classify this as a paranormal western. Don't go into this expecting a horror novel "Fear was no stranger to Howltown, no traveler from the Trail, but the fear she felt now was shattering." I read Unbury Carol as the second book for the Night Worms review team. This was a rollercoaster for me - I really enjoyed some parts, and struggled with others. I want to say up front that I am not particularly fond of books with a lot of traveling, so keep that in mind when reading my review. I think I would classify this as a paranormal western. Don't go into this expecting a horror novel. I was expecting some creepiness, and I may have set myself up for disappointment with that. This book is a slow burn. There's a lot of planning/plotting & waiting. I thought there would be more happening in Carol's coma world, but she was just stuck in there, and that was it. There are a lot of words, and not a ton of action, and the lovers of slow burns are going to appreciate that. For me, this book was very long for the story that was being told, and I felt like I was waiting for something throughout most of the book.It seemed like this book was going to focus on Carol, but she is more of a secondary character to the men in her life. At some points, she seems to be relegated to the status of an object because of the absolute lack of control over her own life (the sickness part is not her fault). Men move her around, men want to save her, men try to figure out what other men are up to regarding her situation. The women in the novel are either dead, appear to be dead, or are drinking & crying. I had hoped for more in this area.In all honesty, I think I would have felt differently about this book if it was more focused on Carol & her mother Hattie's relationship instead of Carol's relationships to the men around her. Hattie's actions do play a large role in the way Carol's life plays out, but only has a minor storyline. I found her to be far more interesting than some of the characters who received more attention. As you may have seen in other reviews, "hell's heaven" and "pig-shit" are used quite frequently throughout the book. I appreciate the effort to create a western vernacular in the story, but these two phrases were overused to the point of distraction. I wish they would have been broken up with some other phrases.I liked the resolution of the story, and I thought it was a creative way to tie up the ending. I was always uncertain about how it was going to end, and that curiosity held me throughout the whole book. I thought it was a fun way to handle solving everything. Bird Box is the only other Josh Malerman book I've read, and he has versatility and creativity as a writer. Bird Box & Unbury Carol are incredibly different stories, and I admire the range of his imagination. I have Black Mad Wheel on my shelf, and hope to read it soon. I will continue to pick up whatever he writes next. Also, I want to say that whoever does the cover designs for his books is amazing. They are always stunning. Thank you so much to Del Rey for sending early copies to the Night Worms. Unbury Carol will be out on 4/10!
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  • J.D. Barker
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastically clever. A breakneck ride to save a life already lost, proving sometimes death is only the beginning.
  • Marvin
    January 1, 1970
    Anyone who reads my review knows that I am heads over heels in love with the novels of Josh Malerman. You must believe me when I say I am not being paid to say that. He is that good. His first novel was Bird Box which is the type of horror novel veteran writers would give their non-dominant arm for. The second novel, Mad Black Wheel, is just as good. Now we have his third novel, Unbury Carol and, for reasons to be related soon, it is the most unusual of the three and the most exciting in many wa Anyone who reads my review knows that I am heads over heels in love with the novels of Josh Malerman. You must believe me when I say I am not being paid to say that. He is that good. His first novel was Bird Box which is the type of horror novel veteran writers would give their non-dominant arm for. The second novel, Mad Black Wheel, is just as good. Now we have his third novel, Unbury Carol and, for reasons to be related soon, it is the most unusual of the three and the most exciting in many ways.Carol Evers has a very rare condition. She can elapse into a coma at any time which can persist from 2 days to a week. it is so deep that even doctors mistake it for death. The only people alive who know about the condition is her ex-lover outlaw James Moxie and her husband Dwight Evers. When Carol falls into her coma this time, Dwight is prepared to tell all that Carol is dead. He intends to bury her alive in what he sees as the perfect murder. it is up to James to ride to her rescue, a task that will not be made easy since an arson loving hit man is also on his trail. Unbury Carol is a departure for the author in several ways. Like his last two books, it has clear aspects of horror especially in the segments that depicts Carol's dream-like coma and some vague supernatural aspects. What is perceived as magic and what isn't is a regular theme in the book. But it also threads finely between horror, western, and suspense. The world depicted in the novel is very much that of a Wild West environment and the era of the late 19th century. Yet it isn't really stated as such. The region is essentially a closed system independent of any known references, consisting of two main towns, Carol's Harrows and James' Mackatoon, connected by a route simply known as the Trail. The rest of the towns on the Trail are little more than watering holes and traps of temptations for the traveler. There is a Pilgrim's Progress sense of allegory here. James Moxie is a lost soul haunted by his decision to leave Carol due to her illness. The Trail is his pilgrimage to save Carol and redeem himself. James find both villains and allies on this path but it is Smoke, one of the most evil bad guys I've read about in ages, that dominates the horror of the chase. While James races to get to Carol in time her husband, who is pretty despicable in his own way, attempts to fulfill his "perfect murder" plot despite a mortician and a lawman who senses something isn't right.On top of all this, we also get an account of Carol's residence in her coma which she calls Howltown. These are the most horrific segments in the novel and probably the segments that will scare most people. Being caught in a coma is terrifying enough but to know you have full conscience and helplessly waiting to wake up six feet under is the stuff most people would rather not think about. Carol's Howltown though, has its own dreads to pile on top of Carol's very real fear of premature burial.Under a less skillful writer, and presuming it was written as a straight Western genre novel, it still would have been an intriguing idea. But there is something about Malerman's setting and how he employs it that sends it into pure wonder. The author's Wild West world is a fantasy world of his own. There is no real life references to where it is or even to the actual time frame. Most of the action in the novel could be explained by our real world environment but there are hints and actions that tip us off to that not being the case. This hedging of realities gives this novel an uniqueness that I believe most writers would have trouble pulling off. Malerman doesn't just pull it off but shoots it with all barrels out of the park. The other great strength of the book is its characters. The four main character, being Carol, Dwight, James, and Smoke are also incredibly strong and three dimensional. But even the more minor players such as Sheriff Opal, The mortician Manders and an especially hyper but marginally moral Rinaldo becomes essential in this impossible to put down fable.I use "allegory" and "fable" intentionally for this is what really stays with me. It's about correcting past mistakes and redeeming ones' self and the consequences of ignoring both. It is based on a vaguely familiar world but filled with the type of actions similar to those we have made, regretted and wish to amend. it is also filled with those less admirable character who made evil decisions and are unable or unwilling to recognize them or correct them. Unbury Carol works on so many levels it's almost ridiculous. it can be scary as hell, It is a story of love and redemption, and it is a vastly entertaining western action saga. And this is where those "reasons to be related soon" comes into account. Where Bird Box and Mad Black Wheel were superb horror novels by a creative writer, Unbury Carol shows that he can be unlimited in where his imagination takes him and he can turn what would be a good but conventional idea into something that aggressively gnaws at your imagination.. The idea of Josh Malerman let loose in the literature world is most exhilarating and pleasantly terrifying by itself.
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  • Bandit
    January 1, 1970
    It’s never a good idea to go into a book with high expectations. In this case not so much about the book per se, but the author, who seems to have made a name for himself already with two well received literary terrorfests. So it is partly due to preconceived notions, partly due to the book’s western theme (which almost never works for me) and partly due to the story itself that this turned out to be such an underwhelming read. The premise is interesting enough, a woman, Carol obviously, who die It’s never a good idea to go into a book with high expectations. In this case not so much about the book per se, but the author, who seems to have made a name for himself already with two well received literary terrorfests. So it is partly due to preconceived notions, partly due to the book’s western theme (which almost never works for me) and partly due to the story itself that this turned out to be such an underwhelming read. The premise is interesting enough, a woman, Carol obviously, who dies, often. Of course, it isn’t really dying, it’s just a very thorough brief sort of a coma, but given the standards for science back in the day, the two states are practically indistinguishable. Finally her pathetic spouse tired of living in her shadow (both socially and financially) decides to take advantage of the situation and actually bury her (alive) , which sets in motion a local investigation, and sets a former outlaw/ former beau(of course there’s an outlaw) to…yes, Unbury Carol. This all takes place practically real time (and paced accordingly) so in a matter of about two days it takes to go from crying Dead to the actual burial. There are all these peripheral characters that get involved, one notably striking one being the arson happy cripple outlaw assassin who cuts a positively cinematic deranged figure. Very memorable psychopath. The cast is actually variegated and interesting and Moxie, the romantic outlaw, is quite a knight in shining something, willing to do whatever it takes for a chance at redeeming himself to the woman he left behind as a young man, frightened of her condition. But the thing is…this would make a great long short story or a novella, dragged out for close to 400 pages, stretched by means of exhaustive details, dream sequences and formatting (the way dialogue works here is great for beefing up page count), this takes away a lot of excitement and dynamic a story might have needed. You kind of have a pretty good idea of how it’ll all play out, standard western rules, and it’s all so very anticlimactic and obvious. After finishing the book, you’re left both tired and wanting more. So maybe not the greatest introduction to Malerman? The talent is obvious, but this wasn’t the right framing for it, maybe. Fans of western genre might enjoy it, personally I can't understand the appeal, even the vernacular is mostly unattractive, although I'm quite fond of the word rapscallion...can't you just picture a rhyme spitting small onion. Thanks Netgalley.
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  • Ashley (bookishmommy) Saywers
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 ⭐ First of all, this is a genre bending book. It can't really be contained in one category. It's horror/fantasy/paranormal/western all rolled into one. With that said, I'm sure if you are a fan of Westerns, you'll LOVE this book even more. That's the part I had a hard time getting into; the backstory of the outlaws on The Trail.I LOVED Carol's point of view as well as the other people in Harrows. I wanted more Howltown, more Carol, I even wanted a little more of the jerk, Dwight. Malerman di 3.5 ⭐ First of all, this is a genre bending book. It can't really be contained in one category. It's horror/fantasy/paranormal/western all rolled into one. With that said, I'm sure if you are a fan of Westerns, you'll LOVE this book even more. That's the part I had a hard time getting into; the backstory of the outlaws on The Trail.I LOVED Carol's point of view as well as the other people in Harrows. I wanted more Howltown, more Carol, I even wanted a little more of the jerk, Dwight. Malerman did write an excellent cast of characters though. Carol was the star to me but there are great supporting characters throughout. I really appreciated that the small town sheriff, funeral director and Carol's employee Farrah were proactive and SMART.If you loved Bird Box, try Unbury Carol. Even though they're very different, they offer a unique twist on what a lot of people fear.
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  • Dez Nemec
    January 1, 1970
    I requested to review this book because I just adored Bird Box, but it also sounded unique (just like Bird Box). I was not disappointed. Apparently, I am a Josh Malerman fan.The book begins with Carol and her husband, Dwight, at the funeral of Carol's friend, John Bowie. John is the only person outside of the couple who knew about Carol's "condition," and Carol is concerned that should she go under and something happens to Dwight, she might be in trouble. Carol's "condition" is unique - she goes I requested to review this book because I just adored Bird Box, but it also sounded unique (just like Bird Box). I was not disappointed. Apparently, I am a Josh Malerman fan.The book begins with Carol and her husband, Dwight, at the funeral of Carol's friend, John Bowie. John is the only person outside of the couple who knew about Carol's "condition," and Carol is concerned that should she go under and something happens to Dwight, she might be in trouble. Carol's "condition" is unique - she goes into a coma for a short period of time, whereupon her heart and breathing slow to the point where a less-than-observant doctor could very well declare her dead. She can hear everything going on around her, but can't move although she feels as though she is falling the entire time. How terrifying! She refers to it as Howltown, as she hears a "wind" blowing. After returning from John's funeral, she is arguing with Dwight about telling the maid, Farrah, about it. Before telling Farrah about her condition but after mentioning a youthful liason with the outlaw James Moxie, Carol falls into the coma. But things are different this time - Dwight pretends that this time, she is dead.Dwight, and his confidant Lafayette, put into work a plan to keep Carol "dead." But the plan has lots of holes. To start with, Carol only stays in the state for 2-4 days so she must be buried quickly. Then Farrah notifies James Moxie of her "death." When Moxie returns the telegram stating that she is not dead, Dwight intercepts it. So an assassin is dispatched to stop him from reaching town. But not just any assassin. Smoke is a mentally unstable crippled killer, both legs having been severed by his previous outlaw accomplices. The undertaker becomes suspicious and visits the sheriff as the doctor stating Carol's cause of death seems to not exist. The sheriff can't see where anything is wrong, but just knows something is. Then Dwight is worried about the assassin and has someone follow the crazy Smoke. Also working for Dwight is an entity known only as Rot, who appears at the most inopportune times. Not quite sure what or who he is, except he is not good.Dwight is a horrible, despicable man. He talks to Carol like she's still alive and listening (because she is), all the while pretending to be the grieving widow and pushing to get her funeral done as soon as possible so she won't get up before she's buried. I just really wanted something bad to happen to him. Something very, very bad. I liked James Moxie very much. Not just a former outlaw, he is something of a legend because of a trick pulled years ago that established his name. He has since retired, but as soon as he gets the telegram, he flees to the Trail to set Carol free. I also really liked Farrah. Much of what she did took courage, as she was just a simple housegirl. But she had no problem contacting Moxie, nor speaking about her suspicions of Dwight to the sheriff. And what she did near the end...Unbury Carol is almost a western, almost a fantasy, almost horror. All I can tell for sure is that it's an enjoyable ride through another time and place, and well worth it. An incredibly entertaining read.
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  • Philip Haagensen
    January 1, 1970
    Josh Malerman IS Buckaroo Banzai. He's a rock star with a writing side gig and likely performs brain surgery in his spare time. And from what I can see he's a boss at all of them.The ideas coming from this guy are so fresh they easily translate into must read stories. Unbury Carol continues a winning streak of solid novels which include Bird Box, Black Mad Wheel, and the recently published Goblin. I received an ARC copy of Unbury Carol after Malerman made an appearance at the recent NYCC earlier Josh Malerman IS Buckaroo Banzai. He's a rock star with a writing side gig and likely performs brain surgery in his spare time. And from what I can see he's a boss at all of them.The ideas coming from this guy are so fresh they easily translate into must read stories. Unbury Carol continues a winning streak of solid novels which include Bird Box, Black Mad Wheel, and the recently published Goblin. I received an ARC copy of Unbury Carol after Malerman made an appearance at the recent NYCC earlier in October. Now I'm not a western lit fan by any stretch, though McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" is one of my favorite books of all time. But once I heard this novel was a mash up of Blood Meridian by way of Sleeping Beauty, well...that's all it took. Carol Evers slips into death like comas for several days at a time and, given the level of sophistication of the medical profession in the Wild West, that's enough to fool even the best doctors. She's dead by all appearances. It's during one of these death sleeps when her husband decides he'd be better off on his own with a different wife, one who maybe isn't quite the "fills the room with her smile and relegates him to fetching the punch for them both" type of wife. Carol is loved by everyone she meets and, well, good old Dwight prefers a more demure personality.But here's where it gets interesting. Carol's old flame also happens to be the most notorious outlaw on the Trail, the road connecting all the towns and where all the really good stories only grow larger with time. Seems James Moxie is something of a legend, known for winning a duel without ever drawing his weapon. He's also one of the only people alive who knows of Carol's condition. Feeling guilt over abandoning her years ago due to said condition, he traverses the Trail in an effort to reach Carol before she's put in the ground for good. But Dwight hears of Moxie coming to town and takes matters into his own hands, hiring a triggerman to take care of Moxie before he can reach Carol and ruin his plan. Smoke, the gun for hire, is flat out one of the most psychotic characters I've ever read. With a unique physical handicap, you'll have difficulty forgetting this guy long after you put the book down. So the story is set---can Moxie make it in time to save Carol and stay ahead of Smoke on the Trail? With a full cast of characters, all written intuitively by Malerman, the story shifts from points of view propelling the story forward. Did I mention the metaphorical manifestation of Rot also makes an appearance to shake things up a bit and try to lay claim to Carol? Solid story with exceptional execution, Malerman seems to infuse this novel with a voice different than his other books I've read. Full of metaphors to make even the great Ray Bradbury proud, this book lingers with you after the final page has been read. The characters jump off the page into your mind and Malerman can certainly build the tension with the short chapters and jump cuts in point of view. And if he can hit a curveball like he knocked this one out of the park, maybe the Tigers are looking for a cleanup hitter. I mean, what CAN'T he do???
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to receive an ARC of Unbury Carol from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. It's no secret that Josh Malerman is one of my favorite authors, and this novel was another 5-star read for me. One of the things I love most about Malerman's writing is that it's difficult to box him into one genre; each of his stories is unique. Unbury Carol is no exception to this fact. Yes, it's a western, but it is so much more. This is a story that deals with love, loss, fear, and guilt I was fortunate to receive an ARC of Unbury Carol from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. It's no secret that Josh Malerman is one of my favorite authors, and this novel was another 5-star read for me. One of the things I love most about Malerman's writing is that it's difficult to box him into one genre; each of his stories is unique. Unbury Carol is no exception to this fact. Yes, it's a western, but it is so much more. This is a story that deals with love, loss, fear, and guilt, all wrapped up with a supernatural element. The writing flows easily, and had I not wanted to savor the story, I would've finished it much faster than I did. The characters are well-developed. I loved Carol, but also many of the others, such as James Moxie, Sheriff Opal, and Smoke, one of the nastiest outlaws along the trail. I enjoyed the entire story, including the end, which was clever and satisfying. I look forward to purchasing my hardcover edition come publication day, and as always, I eagerly anticipate Josh Malerman's next piece of writing!
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  • Hope Sloper
    January 1, 1970
    With notorious outlaws, explosions, guns, and death (and something like it), this book is an all-out must read. While I do love Moxie and rooted for him throughout the novel, Smoke caught more of my attention than any other. Smoke (another Trail outlaw) was meant to be one of the foes. However, I kinda fell in love with his songs, rhymes, and ruthlessness. This is a solid, interesting story, from start to finish. This novel gives you many reasons to keep reading once you've started, but the au With notorious outlaws, explosions, guns, and death (and something like it), this book is an all-out must read. While I do love Moxie and rooted for him throughout the novel, Smoke caught more of my attention than any other. Smoke (another Trail outlaw) was meant to be one of the foes. However, I kinda fell in love with his songs, rhymes, and ruthlessness. This is a solid, interesting story, from start to finish. This novel gives you many reasons to keep reading once you've started, but the author's voice was what really did it for me. It seems to fit the story perfectly, even added a bit more character to an already lively tale.
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  • Bracken
    January 1, 1970
    [review coming]
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes the beauty of a good story is to be found in how the story is told as much as in the story itself – this could not be truer of Josh Malerman’s Unbury Carol.Unbury Carol is a raucous mash-up of mythical Western crossed with Gaslight and seasoned with a hint of pathos all delivered by a cast of characters who would be right at home on a season of Westworld directed by del Torro. Malerman takes archetypical characters and imbues them with qualities that give each a unique claim on their r Sometimes the beauty of a good story is to be found in how the story is told as much as in the story itself – this could not be truer of Josh Malerman’s Unbury Carol.Unbury Carol is a raucous mash-up of mythical Western crossed with Gaslight and seasoned with a hint of pathos all delivered by a cast of characters who would be right at home on a season of Westworld directed by del Torro. Malerman takes archetypical characters and imbues them with qualities that give each a unique claim on their role. If you think you’ve seen these people before, keep reading because each will surprise you with their perspective. Malerman is nimble in how he turns a phrase and is especially gifted at writing dialogue. “You’re just a walking question machine, ain’t you? You dispense questions like they’re sugar treats. How about we reverse that lever and you start answering instead.”Unbury Carol is the kind of book that will stay with me for some time to come. The characters and their voices echo through my brain as I consider the race to rescue Carol and all of forms of good versus evil. It’s the kind of book I will find myself recalling for days, weeks and months to come.“There’s a difference between bad and evil, John Bowie once told her, his voice slurred with brandy. Bad is when you ignore the one you love. But evil when you know exactly what that person wants, what means the most to them, and you figure out how to take it away.”ARC provided by NetGalley and Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the more bizarre books I have read recently. It is set in an alternate past similar to the American Old West. Carol Evers suffers from a rare disease that puts her into a coma deep enough that it mimics death. Unfortunately for her, the only people who know of this condition are either dead (her close friend), far away (her former lover, the outlaw James Moxie) and her husband Dwight, who wants her buried before she awakens so he can get her fortune. Early in the story, Carol fall This is one of the more bizarre books I have read recently. It is set in an alternate past similar to the American Old West. Carol Evers suffers from a rare disease that puts her into a coma deep enough that it mimics death. Unfortunately for her, the only people who know of this condition are either dead (her close friend), far away (her former lover, the outlaw James Moxie) and her husband Dwight, who wants her buried before she awakens so he can get her fortune. Early in the story, Carol falls into the coma and the rest of the book revolves around Dwight's attempts to get her buried and keep her condition a secret along with Moxie's long trip from his home to where Carol is sleeping. Moxie is riding along the Trail, a mysterious route populated mostly by outlaws and neer-do-wells, while being trailed by a particularly nasty triggerman who goes by the name of "Smoke." Smoke lost his lower legs in a fight and now wears a set of mechanical appendages that use oil. Smoke also uses the oil to burn things, and people, his killing method of choice.This book grew on me big time as I read. The villains are so deliciously evil that you can't help but want to know more about them, and there are a lot of them. The villain who starts out as the worst of them all, James Moxie, turns out to be not as bad as I originally thought. I wound up rooting for him through his journey.Does Carol survive or does she wind up buried alive? I won't tell. You need to read the book to find out.. It is well worth your time.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    I believe this is the first western horror story I have ever read and it was quite an entertaining experience. With a bit of romance, dark humor and a touch of the psychological thriller, Josh Malerman has given readers an engrossing second novel.What got my attention about the story was the concept of being buried alive. I remember watching The Alfred Hitchcock Hour as a child and on one episode a man in prison planned his escape via casket. Unfortunately, things did not end well for him.Luckil I believe this is the first western horror story I have ever read and it was quite an entertaining experience. With a bit of romance, dark humor and a touch of the psychological thriller, Josh Malerman has given readers an engrossing second novel.What got my attention about the story was the concept of being buried alive. I remember watching The Alfred Hitchcock Hour as a child and on one episode a man in prison planned his escape via casket. Unfortunately, things did not end well for him.Luckily, Unbury Carol was not quite so dark--at least not at the crucial moment. The story did have some horrifying events, but I thought the tone had more of a dark humor feel.Full of wonderful characters, supernatural beings and adventures on the western trail, this will make a great reading choice for any reader loving mystery, horror, westerns or just quirky mixed genres. There are some violent acts committed in the book and there is one sinister character named Smoke, who is a force of evil to be reckoned with.Many thanks to NetGally and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for providing me with an advance copy.
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  • Colby
    January 1, 1970
    Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman is a strange, macabre novel that combines horror, fantasy and western in a completely satisfying way.Unbury Carol is Josh Malerman’s third novel and so far he is three out of three when it comes to writing fantastic horror with great emotional depth. Following Bird Box (2014) and Black Mad Wheel (2017), Unbury Carol might be his best so far. Carol Evers is a woman who suffers from a mysterious illness that causes her to fall into comas so deep that she appears dead. Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman is a strange, macabre novel that combines horror, fantasy and western in a completely satisfying way.Unbury Carol is Josh Malerman’s third novel and so far he is three out of three when it comes to writing fantastic horror with great emotional depth. Following Bird Box (2014) and Black Mad Wheel (2017), Unbury Carol might be his best so far. Carol Evers is a woman who suffers from a mysterious illness that causes her to fall into comas so deep that she appears dead. During one such coma, Carol’s husband decides that it’s a perfect opportunity to get rid of her for good. Carol’s former lover, and current outlaw, James Moxie learns that Carol is to be interred and he must race to stop her from being buried alive. The novel is set in the fictional Ucatanani and Miskaloosa counties along what is known as The Trail, a wild route through dangerous forest and raucous towns. The world resembles in many ways a traditional western setting, but with some frightening differences. This novel is really about guilt and fear. About how fear can make you do things you’ll regret. About how guilt can be both motivating and destructive. Many of the characters in this novel are fighting against their emotions, whether it’s guilt or fear, as much as they’re fighting against each other. This novel also has some great villains including a man with tin legs and a penchant for burning things, though many people are most disturbed by his lack of hat.Overall, Unbury Carol is a fantastic twist on a classic western and I can’t wait to see what Malerman does next.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway!Carol Evers has a condition: sometimes she slips into a coma that looks very much like she's dead. Normally she doesn't fear being buried alive, because her husband Dwight and her best friend John both know of her condition. When John dies, however, Carol doesn't have time to confide in anyone else before she slips back off to Howltown (what she calls the in-between place of her coma), and Dwight is thrilled to have the opportunity to get rid of h I received this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway!Carol Evers has a condition: sometimes she slips into a coma that looks very much like she's dead. Normally she doesn't fear being buried alive, because her husband Dwight and her best friend John both know of her condition. When John dies, however, Carol doesn't have time to confide in anyone else before she slips back off to Howltown (what she calls the in-between place of her coma), and Dwight is thrilled to have the opportunity to get rid of his wife once and for all, without the messy complication of having to actually kill her.Unfortunately for Dwight, there is someone else Carol confided in, and he's the outlaw known as James Moxie. Moxie is legendary for a little magic trick he performed years ago. He'd better have a few more tricks up his sleeve, because Dwight has hired an outlaw named Smoke to hunt Moxie down before he can prevent Dwight from burying Carol alive.I was super excited to have won this, because Bird Box left such an impression on me. I wasn't expecting the Wild West feel of this story, nor was I expecting such an original outlaw as Smoke - even though Smoke reminded me a lot of Trash Can Man from Stephen King's The Stand. Moxie's cleverness was great, and despite Carol being motionless for the most part of the story, her interactions with the mysterious being called Rot and her struggles to escape Howltown gave her sections a lot more action. This story had lots of twists and just a hint of something paranormal afoot, with plenty of gory bits. The thrilling pace had me racing to the end.
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  • Carol Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Heaven’s hell this is a rollicking good read. Bravo Josh Malerman! I had a blast. Highly recommended.
  • Jonathan Lees
    January 1, 1970
    Hell’s Heaven! UNBURY CAROL is an Old West Cinemascope nightmare filled with sweat and savagery, galloping at the pace of a horse pushed to its limits. Highly recommended.
  • Ali (the bandar blog)
    January 1, 1970
    Unbury Carol is a bizarre book. Period. In the copy of the novel I received, there was a letter from the editorial director of Del Rey Books discussing how Josh Malerman's originality is rewriting the rules of the genre, and that this particular novel is entirely unique. I don't think I could have said it better. This book doesn't really fit into any one genre, other than fiction, and that's just where the weirdness begins.I loved Josh Malerman's The Bird Box, so when I saw that he had another n Unbury Carol is a bizarre book. Period. In the copy of the novel I received, there was a letter from the editorial director of Del Rey Books discussing how Josh Malerman's originality is rewriting the rules of the genre, and that this particular novel is entirely unique. I don't think I could have said it better. This book doesn't really fit into any one genre, other than fiction, and that's just where the weirdness begins.I loved Josh Malerman's The Bird Box, so when I saw that he had another novel coming out that was Western-themed, I was super excited to get my hands on it. Despite this story being completely different, there are a few traits the two novels share. For one, this book has the excellent lack-of-information similar to The Bird Box. I love having little information when weird things or people are involved, because it makes everything that much creepier. This novel also has a very sinister character that is lurking behind the scenes throughout most of the story that leaves you feeling a tad-bit unsettled. Other things I liked about Unbury Carol:1. The story is told through many of the character's perspectives, and as such, a lot happens in the span of two days. This also aids in the creepy feeling you get when reading this book, as you will be privy to the deepest thoughts of some vile characters.2. The novel follows the timeline of an outlaw traveling on the Trail. Each stop he takes is another chapter, and is another pause with his story that we can check on the other characters along the Trail to see how their plot line is resolving. I particularly enjoyed that there is almost a picaresque style to the story of James Moxie, one of our main characters and the "hero" of the story. Each time he stops at one of the Trails there is a micro-story. 3. I adore the plot overall. I mean, this is a book that I picked up purely because of the synopsis, and it did not disappoint in that regard. Some things I wasn't a fan of:1. I wish there had been a bit more character development for our main couple, Dwight and Carol. There is a lot alluded to about Carol's popularity and likability, but we never get to see that. I also had a hard time believing in their marriage, as they seemed so incompatible when viewed from the perspective of the reader. This made the buy-in of a few things a little bit more challenging.2. There is a lot of weird stuff that happens. Many sequences are dream-like and it is unclear if they were actually happening or not. This little mix of magical realism hindered my comprehension a bit. 3. Frankly the story is a bit slow-paced for me. I think we lingered on other characters a little longer than necessary, but I suppose in that way it was very literary (which isn't my favorite). As mentioned before, the story itself only covers about 2 days of time, so 350 pages was a bit much for me. Final thoughts:Overall, I enjoyed this book! It's pacing and sometimes confusing bizarre occurrences prevented this one from a higher rating. I would definitely recommend if the synopsis appeals to you, and you don't mind a little literary fiction/magical realism in your books.
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Penguin Random House for the ARCI was instantly intrigued by the back cover blurb and the book did not disappoint.Carol Evers suffers from a condition in which she falls into a death-like coma at times of stress. After her best friend dies, only her husband Dwight, and her long lost love, the outlaw James Moxie, knows of her ailment. Before she can tell anyone else, she succumbs to her condition once again. While unable to move or see, she can still hear while in the coma and she Many thanks to Penguin Random House for the ARCI was instantly intrigued by the back cover blurb and the book did not disappoint.Carol Evers suffers from a condition in which she falls into a death-like coma at times of stress. After her best friend dies, only her husband Dwight, and her long lost love, the outlaw James Moxie, knows of her ailment. Before she can tell anyone else, she succumbs to her condition once again. While unable to move or see, she can still hear while in the coma and she realizes that her husband is going to bury her alive in order to gain control of her fortune. Moxie hears of Carol’s “death” and races to save her. Desperate to bury his wife before she regains consciousness, Dwight hurries the funeral proceedings along. Deep in the Wild West, there are all manner of outlaws and worse lurking along The Trail, feeding on guilt and greed, working to assist Dwight in his dark endeavour and stop Moxie before he can save the girl. And throughout, the girl is working to save herself.I was hooked from the beginning: I loved the wild west vibe, the creepy details, the merciless villains, and the constant tension.
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