Staff Musings

October 22, 2007

Horror-ish

Filed under: Horror — carricee @ 10:37 pm

I know it seems odd, but though Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I’m not much of a horror reader. I think I’d rather pretend to be something scary than read about it most of the time. Though I know I do occasionally miss out on some good literature, there are distinct advantages to not reading horror – such as not being afraid of clowns or ventriloquist dummies.

However, I have occasionally picked up a novel from the horror section, some of which I enjoyed, and some I did not. Here’s a few to getyou started:

Imajica, by Clive Barker – Very creepy, and very difficult for me to finish, but also very, very well done. I can’t really remember the plot though – I think I’ve blocked it. Weaveworld is another by him, however I don’t believe I was able to finish that one.

The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice – Anne Rice does live in the horror aisle, but to me her books aren’t classic horror, they’re much more gothic. I guess that means that they are just dark and romantic (though not romances) instead of full of horrors. I like the Mayfair witches series much more than the Vampire one, but I’ve only read up to Lasher in it, then I kind of lost touch.

And, speaking of gothic, how can we forget the classic writers of gothic horror when we talk about spooky books? Poe is the penultimate of course, with too many stories in the gothic tradition to list – the most famous being ones such as The Fall of the House of Usher, in which madness leads to destruction, and The Tell-Tale Heart, in which guilt leads to madness which leads to destruction. Of course there’s also Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, Stoker’s classic Dracula, and even George Eliot gave us one of my favorite gothic tales, a short story called The Lifted Veil. Edith Wharton gave us many gothic tales, including Ethan Frome. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s got several gothic tales, but my favorite is Young Goodman Browne, since you are never really sure what happens. That feeling of uncertainty is creepier than any bloody axe or ventriloquist dummy, probably.

More modern authors have tackled the gothic genre as well; perhaps the most well known being Joyce Carol Oates. Poppy Z. Brite is also well worth looking into if you enjoy this type of fiction – though she is VERY creepy and disturbing! In a well-written way, of course.

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