Cover Image: Unbury Carol

Unbury Carol

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Member Reviews

I actually own Bird Box and am still interested in reading it. I've really been looking forward to Unbury Carol because it seemed very much like the sort of strange book I enjoy. I am, however, not finishing at 7%. It feels like the author expects I'll want to keep reading based solely on the concept. But there wasn't anything, before her coma, to make me care a whit about Carol, thus I didn't really care whether she was buried alive or not. Writing and plot seemed scattered and barely coherent. Just did not work for me. I'm not rating on GR or writing a review for my site because 7% isn't a fair enough read to write a negative review.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Unfortunately this was not a book I would highly recommend. It seems to be set in America in the early days of our country. It had  a somewhat Western Fiction feel to it. I just could not be engaged by any of these characters. I found the pace slow, the characters flat and the story line just couldn't keep my interest. I'm sure there is an audience for these types of stories but I'm just not one of them.
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This book was just "all right" for me.  The story was very unusual and I really think that several readers are going to absolutely love this story.

My thanks to Netgalley and Del Rey Publishing for this advanced readers copy.
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3.5 stars, I rounded up.

I received an ARC from NetGalley.

Westerns aren't normally my thing, but the idea of a person kinda-sorta dying (Carol enters a coma-like state for a few days before waking back up) repeatedly got me interested. Thankfully, Malerman has a fine way with words, or else I would've given up. Most of the book is not about Carol. Rather, the focus is on her husband Dwight, who is trying to bury her, her ex-lover and famed outlaw James, who is riding his old horse as fast as possible to save Carol, and Smoke, the nasty assassin hired to take out James.

All of those men, and Carol as well, exhibit some mental instability, ranging from mild to wow-you've-totally-lost-touch-with-reality. I didn't expect that, nor did I expect this to be used as a plot device to stall the character's progress.

Despite all the weirdness and my expectations being thrown, I enjoyed the book. Reading the same old fluff gets tiresome, and this was certainly different. I'll recommend my library to purchase it.
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Very different.  Unique and intriguing.  Wow, that was different.
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I normally LOVE Josh Malerman, but this book just didn't do it for me.  I couldn't get myself invested into the characters at all.  Maybe it reminded me too much of an old Western movie and I loathe those types of movies.  It won't stop me from reading anything else Malerman puts out, but in the meantime, I don't recommend this.
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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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Carol Evers suffers from a condition which causes her to appear dead, a condition she has kept secret most of her life. After losing her best friend and confidant, Carol suddenly feels the need to tell someone else. Just before she is able to tell her maid Farrah, she is lost to the coma once again. Her husband, Dwight, has been waiting for this moment. He is the sole beneficiary to her fortune and has been secretly plotting to have her buried alive. Only one person can save Carol and that her ex-lover and infamous outlaw, John Moxie...but will he make it in time.

I really wanted to LOVE this novel because I was such a fan of his novel Bird Box (Yes, I know I should not compare novels) but this one just did not do it for me. It felt as if I was reading and advanced script for an upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie, which is not a bad thing, especially if you love those types of movies and this description piques your curiosity. It's a unique combination of classic horror in the form of a Spaghetti Western type setting. This novel is definitely unique in its genre combo so if you are looking for something a bit different to add to your reading list then this one is for you.
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A very atmospheric book, but I found it very dark with many disturbing characters. I never connected to the characters, even with Carol who is arguably the most likeable. However, I can see this book appealing to others, so I'll encourage others to give it a try.
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This a very good interesting read . Full of outlaws guns and science fiction fantasy it is very different read . I guess the best way to describe this is a cross between Deadwood and sleeping Beauty ..Carol Evers slips into comas and appears to be dead and falls into a void she calls Howltown . Her husband Dwight decides he wants to keep her in the coma and tells everyone she is dead . Throw in a villain called Smoke and hero James Moxie Determined to save Carol,and you are in for a fun extremely unusual ride
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My rating (***) -- The book keeps you guessing from the start, first about what kind of world the story takes place in, then about the mystery central to the book. There is an otherworldliness about it that progresses to horror. I have to say that I did not like being inside one character's head. I also thought the book ended with unanswered questions.
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I felt the world-building/timeline was far too jarring/abrupt to really get into.  While Carol's 'condition' was interesting, I don't think it was explained well enough to make any connection to.  Thus, when she goes under the first time, I had no investment in the character and stopped reading.  I'd love to see more done with more detail and development at the start.
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Josh Malerman's last 2 novels have been absolutely outstanding. Black Mad Wheel and Unbury Carol were both riveting. Kept me entertained from the start. And I love the period change in Unbury Carol. A nice old-school western vibe to it, while still being fresh and creative. Malerman is a heck of a talent who continues to churn out amazing stories. He's a must read.
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For a thriller, the novel seemed to be stuck in first gear.  I made it to 18% of the novel and decide to put it down.  The storyline seem like a good one for the description, reading seemed to be very slow paced.
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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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"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 quilt 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 ways 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
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My gosh, what an extraordinary story!  The tale takes place, I think (because it's not mentioned... or I didn't find it) in the late 1800's.  Carol is inflicted with a most unusual and aggravating condition:  She frequently falls into a strange death-like state, one where she is so deep in this "coma" that doctors can't even detect a breath or a heart beat.  This is, of course, devastating for those who love her... not so much for those who wish her harm, like her husband.  But don't despair, because an old and dangerous friend of Carol's is on his way to protect her.  Loved this book, and would like to see a sequel...??
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