Author Topic: Annual Appeal for Horror Books  (Read 1512 times)

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Sebastienne

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2013, 02:17:45 AM »
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It's not horror per se, but it's hella creepy. Very brief summary premise: a guy finds a manuscript about a documentary featuring a family who buys a house whose measurements are... off. And everyone involved goes insane. It's a hard premise to describe, but a really engrossing read. Note, though, that it's about 1,000 pages long.

Petticoats

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2013, 09:41:25 AM »
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It's not horror per se, but it's hella creepy. Very brief summary premise: a guy finds a manuscript about a documentary featuring a family who buys a house whose measurements are... off. And everyone involved goes insane. It's a hard premise to describe, but a really engrossing read. Note, though, that it's about 1,000 pages long.

I've been contemplating reading that for several years. I'm a big fan of the music of Danielewski's sister, who records as Poe. Her album Haunted has references to House of Leaves.

I actually wouldn't necessarily recommend Lovecraft or Shelley unless your husband is comfortable with the writing style of a more flowery age. (Technically two ages, but still.) Anthologies are good for discovering new writers.

Joe R. Lansdale writes some of the funniest and also some of the creepiest stuff I've read. His short story "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" will skeeve you out mightily. Most of his novels are suspense/thriller/mysteries as opposed to horror; most of his horror work seems to be in short stories. If short stories are okay for your DH, I'd recommend the collection High Cotton.

British author F.G. Cottam has a slightly dry style but has done some wonderfully scary stuff: House of Lost Souls, The Magdalena Curse, Dark Echo, The Waiting Room.

Firecat

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2013, 11:24:05 AM »
If he likes Neil Gaiman and hasn't yet read it, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House is a wonderful, creepy read.

I'm familiar with Lovecraft, but tend to like his ideas better than his writing, if that makes sense. But Neil Gaiman's short story "A Study in Emerald" is a very fun read and is sort of set in the Cthulu mythos.

Melde

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2013, 01:06:35 AM »
 One of my favorite thriller type novels is The Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. There is a mix of science and horror to it. I love the characters and the stories. They have written a number of novel that I would recommend. John Saul and Graham Masterton are also good horror writers. Masterton has some lovecraftian references in his novels, though some turn out waaay out there.  The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul were quite engrossing.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2013, 02:43:02 PM »
How about, "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" ?

CuriousParty

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2013, 07:24:25 PM »
Huh, you know, I've read Dorian Gray and wouldn't have thought of that...I thought it was a bit creepy, though. Thanks to all! We have an expanding list on Amazon :)
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 10:52:59 PM by CuriousParty »

Softly Spoken

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2013, 09:00:29 PM »
Podding all suggestions so far, esp. Joe R. Lansdale! I also agree that Ray Bradbury's October Country is a fantastic collection!

Now to send you scampering back to Amazon.  ;D...

If short story collections are acceptable, I highly recommend Dark Delicacies (I-III) all edited by Del Howison & Jeff Gelb

As a Gaiman fan I will weigh in and say that American Gods is more supernatural fantasy than outright horror (though there is one very graphic scene involving a goddess that will stay with you and not in a good way - anyone who read it knows what I'm talking about :o). The most chilling Gaiman story I remember is his short story "We Can Get Them For You Wholesale," which IIRC he said he tried to write in the vein of Stephen King. It is funny but disturbing - would make a good "Twilight Zone" episode. It can be found in his short story collection "Smoke and Mirrors."

If you are looking for cream of the crop horror, you can't really go wrong with anthologies - they are designed to be the best of the best and many well known and talented authors have become very adept at telling weird tales in fewer pages. Mammoth books and Year's Best are always a good bet.

Ellen Datlow, one of my literary heroes, has helmed many many impressive horror anthologies. I will personally vouch for Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror, Inferno, Poe: 19 New Tales..., and Haunted Legends. Her other collections The Dark: New Ghost Stories as well as Hauntings sound very promising (I'm going to reserve them at the library myself after I post this ;)). *It is worth noting that Joe R. Lansdale is one of the authors that appears in multiple anthologies. If a particular short story appeals, it is always fun to look up the author's other works. :)*

Joe Hill is making a name for himself. His short story collection "20th Century Ghosts" sounds awesome, he made waves with "Heart Shaped Box," and if you aren't adverse to some blasphemy you may enjoy his novel "Horns."

Famed horror writer Ramsey Campbell has a collection called Fine Frights: Stories That Scared Me... and I think just about any of his books would be sufficiently creepy.


...I now have far too many books on hold at the library and am definitely looking forward to fall.  >:D
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JennJenn68

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2013, 09:06:41 PM »
If the reader has a warped sense of humour to go along with love of zombies...

I'd have to recommend "John Dies At The End" by David Wong, and the sequel, titled "This Book Is Full of Spiders".

I've heard them described as "Stephen King meets Douglas Adams", and I'd have to agree.  Bits of them both had me cowering under the covers, bits of them had me laughing out loud, and bits of them hit me between the eyes.  Both well-written and quite entertaining.

mechtilde

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2013, 12:08:23 PM »
A few authors:

Robert E Howard- in addition to the Conan books he wrote some excellent short horror stories. Pigeons from Hell is my favourite.

M R James- he's known as a ghost author, but they are very scary and are more like horror stories.

Guy de Maupasson- not all his stories are horror but all are good.

Sabine Baring-Gould- wrote some excellent ghost/horror stories. A recent discovery for me

Bram Stoker- Dracula. A cracking good Victorian adventure story as well as a great horror story.

I'll probably think of more later.

NE England

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2013, 12:54:30 PM »
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It's not horror per se, but it's hella creepy. Very brief summary premise: a guy finds a manuscript about a documentary featuring a family who buys a house whose measurements are... off. And everyone involved goes insane. It's a hard premise to describe, but a really engrossing read. Note, though, that it's about 1,000 pages long.

Yeah, this is an amazing book. I've read it three times.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2013, 12:55:32 PM »
If the reader has a warped sense of humour to go along with love of zombies...

I'd have to recommend "John Dies At The End" by David Wong, and the sequel, titled "This Book Is Full of Spiders".

I've heard them described as "Stephen King meets Douglas Adams", and I'd have to agree.  Bits of them both had me cowering under the covers, bits of them had me laughing out loud, and bits of them hit me between the eyes.  Both well-written and quite entertaining.

Agreed! I accidentally read the sequel first and it didn't much matter. SO quirky.

PeterM

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2013, 01:07:03 AM »
I was reminded of another horror story that I recommend to people - The Monstrumologist, by Rick Yancey. It's a series, but I've only read the first because the first one is so gruesome and creepy. It takes place in Victorian-era New England and the main character is a young lad who's essentially been apprenticed to a scientist who specializes in monsters. The action begins when someone delivers the corpse of an Anthropophage to them. It's a "real" mythical creature that was believed to exist back in classical times and has since been (apparently mistakenly) described as humanoid but with no head. Its facial features are in its chest. Yancey's take on them goes with this depiction, but they're very large and extremely dangerous. They tend to feast on corpses and have set up a nest in a nearby cemetery, but they're becoming numerous enough to be a danger to the living as well. It's a hellaciously good read but it does have a lot of truly gruesome scenes. It never went so far I wanted to put it down, but it surely went right up to the line and dared me to keep reading. I'm glad I finished it, but I'm going to have to be in the right mood to tackle the first sequel, which deals with the Wendigo. That's one of the things I really liked about the book, that it deals with not just real world legends but some of the more obscure ones, rather than being Yet Another Vampire/Werewolf Story (tm). And also, wonder of wonders, not a single person anywhere in the book is romantically attracted to the homicidal monsters. You have no idea how refreshing I found that.

Another author who goes right up to the edge of my personal "Nuh-uh, no more" line is Richard Laymon. I'm reliably informed that some of his books cross the line, but none of the ones I read are overly gruesome or explicit. They are gruesome and explicit, very much so, but in ways that serve the genuinely creepy plots and are only gratuitous enough to make sure you're paying attention. If that makes any sense, which I know it doesn't. Laymon does have a tendency towards the written equivalent of what's called torture or gore porn in movies, but for me at least it's much easier to take in literary form because he doesn't dwell on it. He gives you a very disturbing visual and then moves on to the next one, and the next. He also tends to explore the darker sides of the human psyche. Even many of his protagonists have really creepy thoughts and actions, though the books I particularly liked had normal, more or less decent people in bad situations rather than deliberately causing said situations. The books I would recommend are

A Night In The Lonesome October - a college student starts wandering his town late at night and encounters some truly, truly strange people. Some good strange, some sad strange, some very bad strange. The people he knows in his daytime life turn out to be not so normal themselves.

One Rainy Night - a black rain starts falling and everyone touched by it is turned into a homicidally insane killer. Boom, instant plot token, let's get straight to the action. Laymon's good at those.

In The Dark - a librarian finds an envelope with a clue and a fifty dollar bill inside a book. She follows the clue and finds another clue, and more money. She keeps going and does more and more extreme things for more and more money, until she realizes it's far past the time she should have stopped, but she doesn't want to stop. And the Master Of Games won't let her, anyway.

Midnight's Lair - A large cavern system has been turned into a tourist attraction. Half of the system has been walled off for a century because it was deemed unsafe. When the power goes out while a tour group is right there at the end wall, though, the guides decide that breaking through the wall and heading out that way will be shorter and safer than trying to make it back through the winding path they've already taken using only portable lights. This seems logical enough, but let's just say it turns out to be a mistake. This isn't Laymon's best, by any means, but I like it because of the truly, truly creepy premise that could conceivably work in the real world. I'll happily PM it to anyone who doesn't want to track down the book but does want to be creeped out.

The Traveling Vampire Show - Three teens in the sixties, two boys and one girl, sneak into a traveling carny show that claims to have a female vampire that is willing to fight anyone dumb enough to volunteer. That's the basic plot, but there's so much else going on in and around the characters, both supernatural and not. It's very much a coming of age story, with the main male character trying very hard to understand his female friend but clearly missing a lot of what makes her tick. I'm going to have to read it again, because I can't even remember most of the details. It's not nearly as thin a book as the simplistic plot description would suggest, and it's the other stuff that makes me recommend it.

daen

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Re: Annual Appeal for Horror Books
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2013, 10:26:59 PM »
For psychological-thriller-verging-on-horror: Watch me by A.J. Holt. The computer tech is somewhat dated, but the story is gripping.

In the same genre, Will Lavender has two that were quite impressive: Obedience and Dominance.

Sorry, I know I'm veering from the parameters of the original request.