Right, then. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus left me feeling gypped. That is, the trailer promised one story, and the movie delivered something else entirely. And to make matters worse, the movie pretended otherwise until the last fifteen minutes or so, at which point it yanked the tablecloth out from underneath everything and everything went smash. Actually, it didn't leave me feeling gypped, it left me feeling sucker-punched. A movie that's just badly done all around is annoying but tolerable; a movie that is well done and contains the possibility of a beautiful story but turns that into something tarnished and even tawdry, almost entirely devoid of grace or charity--that hurts.
And I wrote up a huge long rant about this, with lots of details, but it was kind of . . . well, ranty and disjointed and incoherent. So it wound up in the 85% bin with the rest of the deleted stuff, so you don't have to read it. La.
The Face, on the other hand, contains one of the most beautiful endings I have ever read, despite the sheer awfulness and creep factor that comes before it--or perhaps because of all that. Dean Koontz is very good at writing evil characters that make you want to scrub out the inside of your head, while somehow conveying that yes, they are a serious threat, but if the hero grits his teeth and doesn't quit (and maybe says a few prayers on his way into the final confrontation), things will turn out okay. Maybe better than okay, once the wounds are done healing. And this is the kind of story that needs to be told and told often, because it's true. In the short term, evil may seem to win, but only in the short term. "And the gates of Hell shall not prevail."
Finally, Dreambeasts and Snarks, which I picked up only because it had "snarks" in the title. This is all scifi short stories about hunting, with references to The Hunting of the Snark, Tarzan of the Apes, Moby Dick, and I'm sure there are others I've either forgotten or missed. Great fun, especially if you're familiar with the works being referenced.
Oh, and I almost forgot: book 7 of imaginarybeasts: magic/science
p. d. yadkin and the adventure on big rock candy mountain - in which there is a meditation on the nature of truth and lies
lab rats - in which the story being told wasn't the one i thought it was
the tale of colonel blackheart and the voodoo zombie tigers - which is pretty much what might be expected from the title
ghost story - which isn't, technically, a ghost story