2nd place finish in the JS 2011 horror writing contest.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Geoffrey returns to his hometown for a reunion of the Jokers Club (his childhood gang) with the hopes of unearthing the imagination he held in his youth. Upon arriving, he discovers the creative juices that drove his writing many years ago surround him: the tombstone salesman who chisels out names of the dead, the far-sighted barber with the bloodstained smock and the reclusive Tin Man, just to name a few.
Unfortunately Geoffrey’s tumor quickly worsens, bringing on blackouts and hallucinations where he encounters the spectral figure of a court jester who had been his muse as a child. The jester inspires Geoffrey’s work on his manuscript, fueling his writing at a ferocious pace. The dead and the living co-exist in the pages of Geoffrey’s story, in a town where time seems to be frozen in a past that still haunts the present.
When one of the gang is found dead it rattles not only his group of friends, but everyone begins to look at each other as possible suspects. Will the pounding growth in Geoffrey’s head be held at bay long enough for him to discover who is targeting his friends, or will the pages in his unfinished novel rewrite history?
“Bastianelli does an excellent job of creating distinct identities for the former members of the Jokers Club. However, some of the book’s ominous details (e.g., Shadow Drive; a funeral director named Mr. Under) are merely corny. Overall, the work is as tidy as the town and as pat as a familiar horror film.” – Publishers Weekly
“It isn’t often I read a book that I have trouble putting down, but the Jokers Club grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. Gregory Bastianelli is a master at creating rich and fully-developed worlds and then inviting us to explore them.” – Brett J. Talley, Author of the Award winning Novel, That Which Should Not Be.
“Imagistically, it echoes such equally successful horror tales as King’s “Gramma,” with its bloated, bed-ridden, monstrous mother; and the famously ambiguous scene in Golding’s Lord of the Flies, in which boys cluster almost reverently around a severed animal’s head…. Highly recommended” – Dr. Michael Collings, literary critic
Bastianelli’s tale is brilliantly crafted. Jokers Club is an excellent read to rejuvenate the passion for all that goes bump in the night. Ladies and Gentlemen there is a new messiah of macabre and his name is Gregory Bastianelli. – Dave Gammon, HorrorNews.net
“Gregory Bastianelli creates an engrossing tale of a childhood that is forever changed and a mystery that does actually keep you guessing. Jokers Club is a good read that will keep you guessing, even to the very last pages.”, Pzomb – PissedOffGeek.com
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Author: Gregory Bastianelli
Publication Date: November 4, 2011
Hard Cover: $26.95 plus $3.00 shipping, handling and sales tax. Total Price $29.95
Paperback: $11.95 plus $3.00 shipping, handling and sales tax. Total Price $14.95
Print Length: 202 Pages