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Scary Book Recommendations

Old 03-20-14, 11:09 AM
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Scary Book Recommendations

All -

I want some good scary/horror novel recommendations. I'm not looking for anything gory or gruesome, but something more psychological that gets under your skin and haunts you. Good examples of this would be The Haunting of Hill House, The Exorcist, or The Woman in Black. Anyone have any good suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 03-20-14, 12:16 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

I remember a similar thread here in Book Talk, but don't remember any examples. I'm sure King was mentioned.
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Old 03-20-14, 12:18 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Same thing that always comes to mind: Peter Straub's Ghost Story.
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Old 03-20-14, 12:43 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Check out M.R. James!!!! Or Lovecraft even.
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Old 03-20-14, 01:55 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

House of Leaves
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Old 03-20-14, 02:03 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
House of Leaves
I have tried repeatedly to get into this book but end up quitting in frustration. Is there a way to approach this book without getting lost?
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Old 03-20-14, 06:00 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Originally Posted by Mr. Flix View Post
I have tried repeatedly to get into this book but end up quitting in frustration. Is there a way to approach this book without getting lost?
Absolutely, see Appendix B II for more on this.(DaveyJoe post #7)
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Old 03-20-14, 07:04 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I remember a similar thread here in Book Talk, but don't remember any examples. I'm sure King was mentioned.
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/book-talk/4...cary-book.html
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Old 03-21-14, 09:14 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

That's an outstanding thread that the OP should look through. In fact, it might be nice to have a mod append this thread to that one. Having a big DVDTalk thread of horror book recommendations is something that I think would be appealing.

About HoL, my suggestion would be this: don't get hung up on the parts that seem to veer from the central horror story (like Zampanos dry writing). You don't lose anything skimming by them. After reading it once, then you might want to go back and look at things more carefully (and a few hidden surprises are there to be found). The Navidson Report section is the meat of the book, and I think it's relatively accessible. Don't bail on the book until you at least get into that section.

Some new books/authors (at least to me) that I can add to the earlier thread:

I mentioned Dan Simmons, but I think "The Terror" is his best horror book. It's huge but it wraps you in its atmosphere.

If you want to get into something literary, Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" is unforgettable. Nominally a western, it's scarier and more disturbing than most books claiming to be horror.

Mo Hayder is a writer I've gotten into in the last few years. I've only read 3 of her books so far ("Birdman", "Pig Island", "Devil of Nanking") and I liked them all. "Birdman" was well-written, though it came across like a "Silence of the Lambs" wannabe (another one of loads of serial-killer police-investigation thriller books that have flooded the market in the last couple of decades). But the other books seemed to be going into new territory, with unusual settings, stories, and creepy surprises.
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Old 03-23-14, 01:06 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Originally Posted by brainee View Post
That's an outstanding thread that the OP should look through. In fact, it might be nice to have a mod append this thread to that one. Having a big DVDTalk thread of horror book recommendations is something that I think would be appealing.
Thread merging is something that I've done quite a lot in the past and I did consider it this time.

I seem to recall, though, that not everyone likes it where old threads are involved so held back this time.

It is certainly something that we can reconsider.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:19 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Originally Posted by benedict View Post
Thread merging is something that I've done quite a lot in the past and I did consider it this time.

I seem to recall, though, that not everyone likes it where old threads are involved so held back this time.

It is certainly something that we can reconsider.
Oh well ... it's not like anyone reads the "Book Talk" section anyway The OP of this thread is a little more specific in what they want than the older thread (even though there's a lot of overlap).

Joe Hill is another recent author I think fits the bill. I have yet to read his latest, but "Heart Shaped Box" and "Horns" are both creepy and psychological horror stories. Despite working in the same genre, his writing has a different style from his father (Stephen King).
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Old 03-23-14, 09:42 PM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

In middle school, our Scoutmaster used to play us a scary story audio book over the week of Scout Camp (which, looking back, was cool but probably not the greatest idea). I don't remember a lot of details, but the one that I thought was the creepiest was by Peter Straub, I think, and at one point a kid was walking down the street surrounded by a gigantic swarm of bees / insects that he was controlling or maybe they were controlling him. Dunno how it would hold up for me today, but as a young teen, in the middle of the dark woods, by the campfire, it was nice and scary.

Ring a bell for anyone?

Otherwise, there were some scenes in World War Z (the book) that really scared me, particularly the parts on water.
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Old 03-24-14, 12:51 AM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

I know you were looking for novels, but I can't pass a scary book recommendation thread without mentioning two amazing short story collection authors:

Nathan Ballingrud's North American Lake Monsters
And Laird Barron's The Imago Sequence, or Occultation

Both authors write literary horror and each story packs a major psychological punch that would take many authors a whole novel to muster up. Again, these are short story collections, not novels, but they're perfect for entertainment when you have less time to devote to reading. Think TV episode versus a movie.
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Old 03-24-14, 01:31 AM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

izatright's post reminded me: Dave Eggers wrote a fun little scary story for This American Life a few years back. You can listen to it or read the story / transcript here.
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Old 03-24-14, 11:27 AM
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Re: Scary Book Recommendations

Come Closer by Sara Gran

It's a short, fast read and doesn't end as strongly as it starts, but the first half was about as creeped out as a book has made me since I was a kid.
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