THE BLACK PHONE -- SPOILERS

Joe's first collection.

THE BLACK PHONE -- SPOILERS

Postby Dana_Jean on Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:06 pm

Whenever anyone is ready?
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Re: THE BLACK PHONE -- SPOILERS

Postby meridith on Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:07 pm

I liked it-supernatural version of Gacy!!!!!!!

felt so sad for the boy.

the added alternative ending Joe posted in the blog-you'd think his coach would have given him a break, I mean, come on, he did just get away from a serial killer!

also.....did it imply that the killer was killed by the boy, or went to jail? I assume he was killed....

Dana Jean wrote:Whenever anyone is ready?
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Postby jodi on Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:47 am

This was the the creepiest story imo in the collection. Basements give me the creeps. I too assumed the kid killed the perv. I liked the added ending better myself. I like knowing what happened to the characters after the fact of the trauma. How they coped and try to continue on. I need closure.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:15 am

This was one of my favorite stories in the book. The tension was nearly unbearable. I really liked the psychic connection he seemed to have with his sister. And I honestly like both endings...I lean a little more toward the added one purely because I love the way it ended. Who's on the other end of that call? Plus, the added ending is probably a more realistic view of what would've happened to him after going through such a traumatic experience.
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Postby meridith on Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:16 am

I liked the added ending too. I liked both, really....I wonder who was on the other end? or was it just a hallucination? or other boys trying to talk to him? hmmmm.....

I'm still mad at that coach!! LOL

jodi wrote:This was the the creepiest story imo in the collection. Basements give me the creeps. I too assumed the kid killed the perv. I liked the added ending better myself. I like knowing what happened to the characters after the fact of the trauma. How they coped and try to continue on. I need closure.
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Postby jodi on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:14 pm

I know!!! That coach was such an ass. I thought maybe it was the spirits of the kids the perv killed on the other end of the line...?
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Postby LauraK on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:57 pm

More balloons........I'm seeing a pattern here..... ;)

I loved it- very tension-filled. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of his sister's feelings explored. She'd obviously seen those black balloons somewhere, too.

I'm another who liked the book ending a bit more than the original. It had a more diabolical bent with Finney strangling him and calmly telling Albert that the phone was ringing for him..... :twisted: And you know Al knew who was on the other end (side) waiting for him.....
(I also think Finney succeeded in killing him.) Had a little Tales of the Crypt feel right at the end, nice payback on Finney's part.

Thanks, Joe-

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Postby Dana_Jean on Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:27 pm

I need to read the story again, but I just wanted to say that I was one of them that was glad Joe left off the additional ending material.

I felt it would have weakened the story by throwing that in there. The way he decided to end it was perfect.

I'll be back with more....
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Postby Dana_Jean on Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:39 am

This was a terrifying story for me. One of my deepest fears when my children were little was the stranger stealing my babies. I get almost nauseous when the news reports about children abductions.

John Walsh, father of murdered son Adam Walsh, once said in an interview I saw that, of course they wanted to hope that Adam was still alive, but as time ticked away, he knew he was dead and just wanted to find him dead because it was better that way than never knowing what happened to his son. The constant digging, gnawing anxiety was overwhelming while Adam was missing. The false hope and all the "I wonder what's happening to him now"--it would eat him alive. Me too.

Once they found his body, he could take that energy and focus it on positive things. And look what John Walsh has accomplished! Kudos to him that he could take such a devastating experience and make a difference for so many other families who are victims of various crimes.

And yes, the Gacy connection was hard to miss. Again, Joe is so atuned to sensory things and descriptions, it does make me wonder how many things in all of his stories he personally tried to experience so he could write about them with such sharp clarity. Did he sit in a cold basement for a few hours? The thing about Joe's stories, and I stated this before, but I BELIEVE what he writes. I invest myself in their reality wholeheartedly.

Please tell us Joe that you are writing more short stories. And I say short stories because they are my favorite. The ability to write them successfully definitely separates the men from the boys. Joe has mad skills.
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Postby Samoa_Girl on Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:20 pm

I agree with Dana, I get nauseous whenever I read a story similar to this. I loved the original ending, although, a little closure is nice every now and again. I was on the edge of my seat hoping Finney would take out Al. Joe had me fooled when Al's brother came down and discovered what was going on in the basement. A great story as usual.
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Postby Michael_D on Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:44 am

It was good and creepy. I liked the ending that's in the book better though.
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Postby Mr._Hex on Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:36 am

The Black Phone seemed... amateurish, not in writing, but in story structure and pacing. I don't think it flowed very well, and it was sort of... well, clunky. I have a feeling it was one of Joe's earlier stories.
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Postby supreme on Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:29 pm

the whole time i was reading this story i was thinking that the
boy should use the phone as a weapon lol and then thats what
happens....i love it when im on the right track....sort of.
Wasnt sure who was calling but i wasnt surprised when it was one of
the other victims.....great story!!
Pretty freaky story tho!
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Postby supreme on Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:31 pm

i too wanted to find out more about his sister and the black balloons
but oh well....it was creepy never the less!!
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Postby KingoftheHill on Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:27 am

I really liked this story.

The link to the alternate ending is dead now. I don't know if Shane or anyone else can hook me up, but I'd love to read it.

The ending, as it was, satisfied me. I was convinced that Al would be dead soon...and he deserved it. Even though they never really showed him hurting any of the kids, the dead kid on the phone pretty much painted a frightening picture. I loved the phone part! How creepy! :)

Joe mentions that he had to cut and cut at this story. I wonder if the development of the sister/brother relationship wound up on the floor. I actually hope that we get some uncut editions of these stories one day.

As for child abductions, it's scary--both in fiction and in real life. It's the hardest thing to read about and yes, John Walsh is a modern day hero.

Good job, Joe. Great story.
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