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  1. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    Books of Horror

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Snoopingaround, Oct 26, 2011.

    Pretty much the only good horror author that I know of is Stephen King. And this is not because I have actually read any of his books, but I assume so because he is so popular and famous and many movies have been greenlighted based on his works. I must say that I do not really remember the last good horror book that I have read, aside from a few short stories in anthology collections. Reading a full novel in that genre would kind of be like a new experience for me. I guess I prefer to watch movies when it comes to horror generally, but I have included the subject of good horror books to read because I have often heard that great novels can be much better than watching the movies based on those novels (that seems to be a common feeling regarding any genre of book-to-movie translations). So if you could heartily recommend some good authors and good reads I might check those out...
     
  2. urban_rae
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    urban_rae Senior Member

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    My other favorite Horror novelist, aside from Stephen King, is Clive Barker. He did Candyman, Books of Blood, Lord of Illusions... But I would recommend you read Weaveworld, I love this book!
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Stephen King's son, Joe Hill, is a fantastically talented horror writer. Better than his dad, I'd say, as he doesn't have the same unrelenting need to waffle.

    Beyond him, I'd recommend Gary McMahon and Joseph D'Lacey, for very good, atmospheric, psychological horror. Meat by D'Lacey in particular. Probably the most disturbing book I've ever read.

    Adam Nevill's Apartment 16 is another good one. He sets a wonderfully tangible atmosphere. I can't comment on his other books, but he's certainly a good writer.

    If you like short fiction, then I'd heartily recommend British horror mag Black Static. I've been subscribed to it for almost three years, and it publishes the very best new horror. I also would have recommended Murky Depths, but yesterday it announced that it was closing down.
     
  4. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    I agree.. I enjoy some of King's work as well, but much prefer Barker.

    Mister B. Gone is one of my favorites -- it's extremely unique and rather disturbing at times.

    Also look into The Hellbound Heart -- it's the novella that the Hellraiser movie series was based upon.
     
  5. urban_rae
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    urban_rae Senior Member

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    Cool Nicholas, I'll have to check those out. It's been a while since I've read any Barker, last thing was Damnation Game, but it wasn't sinister enough for me.

    I've got to read The Hellbound Heart... I grew up with the Hellraiser movies, I love the concept, I love Barker, and I've never read it! How can this be? Shame on me :) And I will definitely check out Mister B. Gone, I love disturbing!
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Dan Simmons has done some very good Horror. Joe Hill is good. There have been some very good works by Simon Clark, Peter Straub, Bentley Little, Ramsey Campbell, Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, Richard Laymon, Caitlin Kiernan, and others. King isn't very good any more, and succeeds mostly on his reputation for his early work and his name recognition. There are a number of better horror writers.
     
  7. urban_rae
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    urban_rae Senior Member

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    Yeah, I like Joe Hill as well. I think he is definitely up and coming.

    The first thing of his I read was Heart Shaped Box. I was given the book as a gift and started reading it without looking at any reviews on the story or author. I didn't know he was Stephen King's son. As I read it, however, the style struck me as very familiar, so resemblant of King. I looked at his picture on the back cover, and thought, wow, this guy even looks like King! Then, on pure coincidence, I was thumbing through, The Shinning, not reading it, just as a study on creating suspense and sentence structure (I had read it years ago). That's when I noticed the dedication in the front, 'This is for Joe Hill King, who shines on.' I obviously put it together then that this was his son. It was a fun discovery, and rather strange coincidence! I don't know why I was compelled to share that :)

    I just finished Horns by Joe Hill. It was pretty fun.
     
  8. Devrokon
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    Devrokon Senior Member

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    How about some Edgar Allen Poe or H.P Lovecraft?
     
  9. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Always good to read the classics, the old sources of inspiration.

    But I strongly believe that this should be tempered by reading the newer stuff, forging new paths, particularly if you're a writer. This avoids the kind of stagnation which is common in fantasy (i.e. everyone writing their own "version" of the Lord of the Rings).
     
  10. mummymunt
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    I agree, Joe Hill is one to keep an eye on - I really enjoyed Heart Shaped Box.
    Bentley Little is a favourite of mine, I just finished reading The Vanishing, which was a little more subtle than the other stuff of his that I've read, and it was good.
    Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry was fabulous. It reminded me a little of Stephen King's writing in its scope, but without the waffling. It's the first in a trilogy, and as soon as I can get my hands on the next two books I'll be reading them.
    Some things by Graham Masterton are worth looking at - Sleepless, The Devils of D-Day, etc. In a lot of his books I'll find at least one part extremely disturbing. I didn't finish one (Fire Spirit) because it was just too nasty.
    I used to like Richard Laymon, but I made the mistake of reading a few in a row and found far too many things in each book that were the same and it put me off.
    I liked Ghoul by Brian Keene, although the ending was depressing!
    House of Reckoning by John Saul was great - I listened to that on my iPod (downloaded through Audible) and the narrator just made the story that much better.
    If you go for Stephen King be aware that a lot of his stuff (the more modern stuff, at least) is not what I would call horror. Incidentally, due for release next year is a sequal to The Shining :)
    There are different kinds of horror, so you need to figure out what you like and then find the authors who write it.
     
  11. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    I think I am kind of more into survivalist horror right now. I have seen far more movies in the horror genre than have read books in the genre. I am not sure why this is, I guess sometimes I would just prefer to watch a horror movie than read a horror book, but now have come to realize that each media form has its own upsides and downsides. It's funny because I tend to read fantasy novels but avoid watching fantasy movies for some reason, which is the opposite for the horror genre. Kinda weird, or maybe it has something to do with the nature of each genre, like watching horror and reading fantasy is fundamentally more fun than watching fantasy and reading horror, for me anyways.
     

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