Tell Me What to Read — Horror Edition

15 Feb

Well, sure, my to-be-read pile is twice my height, but there’s no such thing as too many books in my, um.  Book.

The majority of the books in the stack are fantasy and science fiction of all flavors.  There’s YA in there, but those mostly have a fantasy bent as well.  Steampunk, dystopias, epic fantasy, space opera, funny stuff, heavy stuff, books by bestselling authors and debut fiction.

What I don’t have a lot of — and haven’t for a long time — is horror.  Back in the day, it was my favorite genre.  Now, I’m feeling kind of out of touch.

You already know I’m a big ol’ Stephen King fan.  One of these days, we’ll have a chat about Robert R. McCammon and how supremely wonderful he is.  I fell out of love with Dean Koontz somewhere around Dragon Tears, but before that I loved Lightning, Twilight Eyes, and Watchers. I reread John Saul’s Darkness until the cover fell off.

On the YA side, I burned through the Christopher Pike novels.  (Sometimes I wonder how those would hold up to a revisit.)  There are still plotlines from Witch and The Season of Passage that I remember, even though the reviews I’m finding for the latter are mediocre at best.

I’m guessing that what I like in a story is consistent no matter what the genre:  give me a story that makes me think, characters I can root for, and a plot I can’t predict.  I suppose I should ask for a book that gives me a good scare, but I’m not sure I can even name one that’s truly ever done that.  So, scares are a bonus.

Also, if people are going in the basement when there’s clearly something evil lurking beneath the stairs, they’d better have a damned good reason for heading down there.

So you tell me — what’s your favorite horror novel that’s been published in the last ten years or so?  Has anything made you sleep with the lights on?  Make my pile o’books even taller!


3 Responses to “Tell Me What to Read — Horror Edition”

  1. Bika February 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I remember reading The Shining a long time ago and thinking “you know, the movie freaked me out a lot more than this ever could”. I think it’s because a movie has the ability to surprise your senses with sound, music, and visual tricks you don’t expect, where a book requires you to conjure up the imagery yourownself. Scary movies also rely on the audience having an automatic sympathetic response to the emotions of the people you see on the screen, which is more of a visceral response than a cerebral one. It’s not to say that there isn’t horror in the horror genre, it’s just only as scary as you can imagine.

    As for your reading list… I haven’t read much horror since high school, so I can’t recommend anything other than the Stephen King stuff you’ve already read. Sorry! ::sniffle::

  2. Aggrokitty February 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Being a King fan, you probably already know this, but JOE HILL. I adore “Heart-Shaped Box” beyond reason, and he’s got a book of short stories out as well. “Heart-Shaped Box” has a lot of the King feel, though I’m hard-pressed to put my finger on it…showing the depths of ordinary protagonists, I guess. (This despite the fact that the protagonists are a rock star and his groupie.) But it gave me that perfect Kingish balance of “warm fuzzy” on the one hand and “oooh creepy” on the other.

    Beyond that, I rarely read horror. I like McCammon and sometimes like Koontz (for someone who shares many of my opinions, I wish like hell he’d stop beating his readers over the head with them). Tried Douglas Clegg once and had nightmares, and not the good kind. Nihilism just doesn’t do it for me.


  1. Tweets that mention Tell Me What to Read — Horror Edition « Seven Deadly Divas -- - February 15, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Jones and Lauren Roy, Hillary Monahan. Hillary Monahan said: RT @falconesse: I'm so out of touch with good horror. Tell me what's awesome over @7DeadlyDivas! […]

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