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What's the scariest book you've ever read? / Recommend a scary book

Old 09-13-05, 07:48 PM
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What's the scariest book you've ever read? / Recommend a scary book

I started getting into horror films lately and being a some what avid reader I was curious to see how a horror book would work. If it would in fact work.

So what is the scairest book you've ever read?

Thanks-
Old 09-14-05, 12:48 AM
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House Of Leaves.
Old 09-14-05, 02:59 AM
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So far "The Rising" by Brian Keene was the scariest book I've read. It just had me on edge the whole time I read it.
Old 09-14-05, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Premise
House Of Leaves.
I don't know if I'd say it's the scariest book, but it gets in your head if you let it. It's one of my top 5 books ever, but can be a challenge for some to get through and isn't for everyone. But if you look into that book and think at all 'That sounds like it could be for me' for gods sake give it a shot- but keep in mind the dedication page:
Spoiler:
"This is not for you"
Old 09-14-05, 11:46 AM
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What is The Rising & House of Leaves about?

Sorry to be cliche but The Shining & Pet Sematary scared the piss out of me as a teenager. Haven't really read any scary books as an adult that I can remember.
Old 09-14-05, 12:25 PM
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When I was a kid, it was The Amityville Horror.
Old 09-14-05, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by brianluvdvd
What is The Rising & House of Leaves about?
House of Leaves can be a bit difficult to explain. It's about 1) someone who finds some notes of a film critique and tries to assemble them and what the process does to him, 2) the blind man who critiqued the film and recently passed away, 3) the family of a documentary film maker who discovered that the house he owned is bigger on the inside than the outside, and 4) er, maybe there's only 3 things...

The book is structured to fit with what is happening in the story- in a maze, a mess of collums and footnotes appear making it hard for the reader to find his way, when someone is chased only a few words appear on a page as you flip the book's pages quickly and so on. There's footnotes, codes, hidden messages, etc. to be found by the attentive reader and of course the word house appears in blue everywhere it appears. The multi levels of its storytelling conflict and cause the reader to question which is real and what's been filtered by the various narrators.

Recommended for those to like to puzzle things out, but if you like to turn your brain off when you read this wouldn't be the book for you.

Sorry to be cliche but The Shining & Pet Sematary scared the piss out of me as a teenager. Haven't really read any scary books as an adult that I can remember.
Pet Sematary scared the hell out of me as a teen too.
Old 09-14-05, 01:52 PM
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I haven't read many scary books, but the best I read was the extended version of The Stand.
Old 09-14-05, 02:13 PM
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The Rising is about a bunch of demons that take over dead bodies. So you go smart zombies running around killing people. The demons seem to be mad at god for locking them up for a long time. Its a hopeless book.

The best scary book I read was IT by Stephen King. They all float down there you know. Also The books of blood by Clive Baker or Barker. There is a story in there about evil music stars that is just scary and then he has this story about people making a giant person out of people.

The damnation game is also good in a dark way. It is more evil than scary.
Old 09-14-05, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by brianluvdvd

Sorry to be cliche but The Shining & Pet Sematary scared the piss out of me as a teenager. Haven't really read any scary books as an adult that I can remember.

For me it was Salems Lot and Cujo cause my best friend had a St. Bernard.

Intensity by Dean Koontz is kind of scary
Old 09-14-05, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscott
House of Leaves can be a bit difficult to explain. It's about 1) someone who finds some notes of a film critique and tries to assemble them and what the process does to him, 2) the blind man who critiqued the film and recently passed away, 3) the family of a documentary film maker who discovered that the house he owned is bigger on the inside than the outside, and 4) er, maybe there's only 3 things...

The book is structured to fit with what is happening in the story- in a maze, a mess of collums and footnotes appear making it hard for the reader to find his way, when someone is chased only a few words appear on a page as you flip the book's pages quickly and so on. There's footnotes, codes, hidden messages, etc. to be found by the attentive reader and of course the word house appears in blue everywhere it appears. The multi levels of its storytelling conflict and cause the reader to question which is real and what's been filtered by the various narrators.

Recommended for those to like to puzzle things out, but if you like to turn your brain off when you read this wouldn't be the book for you.
I got confused reading your summary...so I guess it would not be the book for me.

What makes it scary?

As far as Cujo goes...the whole subplot of the boy's closet scared me far worse than the main plot with the dog...but that was one I read as a pre-teen.
Old 09-15-05, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by brianluvdvd
Sorry to be cliche but The Shining & Pet Sematary scared the piss out of me as a teenager.
Did you put them in the freezer?

Mirror or Death Trance by Graham Masterton are two good ones. Now that you've got me thinking about it, I really should read catch up on my Masterton, I haven't read anything by him in at least ten years.
Old 09-15-05, 05:46 AM
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I find anything by Dean Koontz to be as scary as See Spot Run.
Old 09-15-05, 07:18 AM
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My all-time champ is still Stephen King's - Pet Semetary. It was many years ago, but I will never forget how gripping and terrifying that ride was.
Old 09-15-05, 02:57 PM
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Your probably looking for blood and guts but I found koontz christopher snow series to be really creepy. Its one of few novels that remained me of when I use to sneak out of house at night, trying not to get caught by anyone and seeing alot of weird things.
Old 09-15-05, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscott
House of Leaves can be a bit difficult to explain. It's about 1) someone who finds some notes of a film critique and tries to assemble them and what the process does to him, 2) the blind man who critiqued the film and recently passed away, 3) the family of a documentary film maker who discovered that the house he owned is bigger on the inside than the outside, and 4) er, maybe there's only 3 things...

The book is structured to fit with what is happening in the story- in a maze, a mess of collums and footnotes appear making it hard for the reader to find his way, when someone is chased only a few words appear on a page as you flip the book's pages quickly and so on. There's footnotes, codes, hidden messages, etc. to be found by the attentive reader and of course the word house appears in blue everywhere it appears. The multi levels of its storytelling conflict and cause the reader to question which is real and what's been filtered by the various narrators.

Recommended for those to like to puzzle things out, but if you like to turn your brain off when you read this wouldn't be the book for you.
Thanks for the info. My wife asked a clerk at 1/2 price books what his favorite book was he replied House of Leaves. He tried to explain a bit, but my wife doesn't like scary books so she asked a different question. I looked it up later and it sounded right up my alley, but the reviews were conflicting. Your description bumped this one up to my next read. Thanks.
Old 09-15-05, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Baron Of Hell
The Rising is about a bunch of demons that take over dead bodies. So you go smart zombies running around killing people. The demons seem to be mad at god for locking them up for a long time. Its a hopeless book.


The Rising is not hopeless and from your descriptions it's pretty obvious you didn't read it. The Rising is story a divorced fathers quest to rescue his young son after the dead have come back to life. As stated these are not the usual slow shambling zombies. They are demon possessed corpses that retain all the skills of the host body they enter. It's an edge of your seat gory ride.
Old 09-15-05, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JAA
My all-time champ is still Stephen King's - Pet Semetary. It was many years ago, but I will never forget how gripping and terrifying that ride was.
I 2nd.

I finished the book around 3am, couldn't go to sleep................
Old 09-16-05, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by travlr


The Rising is not hopeless and from your descriptions it's pretty obvious you didn't read it. The Rising is story a divorced fathers quest to rescue his young son after the dead have come back to life. As stated these are not the usual slow shambling zombies. They are demon possessed corpses that retain all the skills of the host body they enter. It's an edge of your seat gory ride.
I think what maybe BoH means by "hopeless" is not that its hopelessly bad, but it has an extremely pessimistic outlook for the survival of the heroes (and the human race in general). The way the zombie/demon "rules" are in the book, there's absolutely no hope of humanity avoiding being obliterated from the face of the earth, short of divine intervention. I agree with this criticism of "The Rising" (and its follow-up "City of the Dead") -- a story loses a great deal of its power to keep me in suspense when I think I'm certain of the ending. Overall I liked "The Rising": the writing was generally good, it had an interesting take on a zombie apocalpse, and it was a fast read for me. I just don't rank it as high as some people. Warnings to potential readers: first, its out of print and going for really prices used -- but HOLD OFF! The author has confirmed it should come back into print for PB soon. Second, you might want to secure a copy of the sequel as well. "The Rising" leaves the story off at a point that angered/frustrated many readers.

I'm waiting for a chance to go through my book collection and put my own list together -- maybe by tonight? It's too easy for me to blow away hours typing up internet posts It's a bit tricky talking about favorite horror books. Some of my favorites horror books are because I like the stories, characters, and they happen to have supernatural elements -- but I really wouldn't call them "scary" (at least for me). Books that tend to scare me now are things that work on more complex psychological levels. Also, I find different things are scary when looking at horror movies and books. Movies are more visceral, and can use the "Boo!!" trick. But violence and sudden events don't work for me in books. For example, the movie "Alien" -- scary. But the novelization of the same story -- not scary. But books can do other things that movies can't. They can go into much greater detail in characters (which make them more rounded than movie characters, which can make something scarier if they're threatened) and storyline. And books can describe things that movies might not be able to capture well -- for example, Lovecraftian horror.

Anyway, certainly I'd recommend a newbie horror reader to check out King. Like many readers, he's someone I grew up reading, and many stories have stuck with me. Maybe its cool to put him down because he's so popular, but he's written same damn good stuff over many years. He has a very reader-friendly writing style, and for the most part tells a variety of different stories without falling into a cliche pattern like many other best-selling horror writers. The negative of King is that almost everything has been adapted for movies and tv, so a new reader might already be spoiled for enjoyed the books on their own level. Personally, I've found King's scariest books to be "Pet Semetary", "It", and "The Shining".

Clive Barker is also a really good call of the "popular" writers. I remember when he burst on the scene in the mid 80s. Horror felt like it was in a rut with everyone trying to be the next Stephen King. Then Barker came along with "The Books of Blood", and horror got a huge kick in the ass. "The Books of Blood" didn't read like another author trying to get on the bestseller lists by appealing to people who usually aren't into horror. It was vicious, nasty, original, unforgettable, offensive -- and I loved it. Since then Barker has been more into fantasy, or has toned the horror down (I love "Weaveworld" and "The Great and Secret Show", but I consider them more fantasy). But if you're only exposure to Clive Barker has been watching Hellraiser and Candyman, "The Books of Blood" goes way beyond those.
Old 09-16-05, 02:43 PM
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a read a short story collection from Stephen King that really gave me the scares, but I cant recall the title of the book
Old 09-17-05, 07:52 AM
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I don't read a lot of horror, but IT was the only book that ever scared me ... or at least creeped me out.
Old 09-17-05, 09:09 AM
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For short stories that give you the creeps, try almost anything by H. P. Lovecraft, but particuarly "The Walls of Eryx" and "The Colour From Space"

For a novel, try "The Anubis Gates" by Tim Powers. It's really an adventure story, but it has some serious creep factor to it. Don't start reading it at bedtime.
Old 09-17-05, 10:13 AM
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Scariest book I've read would probably be The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.
Old 09-17-05, 08:23 PM
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Favorite scary book: CHRISTINE
Scariest scary book: THE SHINING
Scariest non-Stephen King book: THE EXORCIST
Old 09-18-05, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Filmmaker
Scariest non-Stephen King book: THE EXORCIST
I read that book and it's so good and I'll never forget this scary experience when I read it. I was working a job were there was plenty of time to read and the shift was late at night so I brought The Exorcist with me. Well one night I was walking down the hall past some offices and some of the doors had small windows on them and the lights were off. I just about fainted when I passed by one office where some guy had Linda Blair in full Exorcist makeup as his desktop photo. So as I looked into this dark office all I saw was her face smiling at me from the far side of the dark room. SHIT!! I didn't need that at 2 in the morning all by myself

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