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Simon Steele

Autumn, scary books

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So I'm trying to get back into reading fiction. All I read anymore is...well, not fiction. Anyway, here's what I've done in September:

Slash of the Titans: Freddy vs Jason--not really fiction, but not really non-fiction. I love Jason movies, so this was fun.

Hex. What the fuck. This book reminds me why I quit reading genre fiction. I guess it was translated, but man. Horror fiction especially, I want it to be good, but there are no characters, there is no sense of...I don't know...sense? This book is misogynistic. I hate to use that term to describe fiction. But it's fucking awful.

I'm about halfway through Adam Nevill's No One Gets Out Alive. I like this one actually. He's a good writer. He doesn't overdo it. He uses restrain in tone and voice. I remember being disappointed, ultimately, in the Ritual, but that was plot related. I think he's a good writer. I should say, I'm listening to this one. The voice acting is top notch. Her name is Colleen Prendergast, and she's allowed me to get lost the story. One thing I hate about audio fiction is when the voice actor reads in the opposite gender. A guy doing a girl's voice or vice versa--it's so silly sounding. Pulls me out of the book. She doesn't do it. And I love it. I never realize it until later. Love it. Great work.

What about you guys? What are you reading?

Edited by Simon Steele

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Oh dear how did you end up reading Hex, there has to a story there. I have to ask what are your feelings on King before I can give horror recs.

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I keep meaning to bump my annual thread on this same topic.

Taking a quick peek at it makes me think I definitely need to read When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord.  Still want to read The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.

Some I found the other day with a quick search were: Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts was amazing), Stranded by Bracken MacLeod, and Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones.  

I really need to sit down and get a proper reading plan going though.

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I'm reading Complicity by Iain Banks. It's a crime thriller with an alternating 1st/2nd person PoV (which I never thought I'd like), seems interesting so far a couple of chapters in.

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I see you didn't like The Ritual, which I adored, personally. I also loved Nevill's Lost Girl. A nice set of MG/YA ghost stories is Jeremy de Quidt's The Wrong Train Excellently creepy and mostly gore-free.

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8 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

I keep meaning to bump my annual thread on this same topic.

 

I was wondering when you would start your annual thread.

I don't read horror much at all, but the two I did manage in the past year, I enjoyed: Christopher Buehlman's The Lesser Dead about vampires in 1978 NYC and Daniel Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time.

There is a very creepy aspect to Buelhlman's novels that I love. I've had his Suicide Motor Club on my TBR list after enjoying his Those Across the River and Between Two Fires. Maybe I'll pick that up shortly.

Pollock's novel isn't necessarily horror, but the characters in it are mostly horrific. It's more of a road trip with serial killers. However, it is quite graphic and I wouldn't recommend it to the squeamish.

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Inspired by REG, I've tried to do this the last few years.

Really liked The Ritual by Adam Nevill

Bird Box by Josh Malerman was very creepy but ultimately just ok.

Last year, I stretched my creepy reading from September through November and had a lot of fun:

The Call by that Peadar guy upthread.  Very good, looking forward to the sequel.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt.  I enjoyed this one.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.  Hated the main character most of the way through, and yet wound up really liking this book for the way it was constructed.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.  This one was just fantastic, and one I still think about a year after reading it.

Wasn't sure if I was going to consciously choose good, creepy horror reading now that we're heading into autumn, mostly because I didn't have anything on my radar, but this thread is getting me inspired again.

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My reads last year were:

  1. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  2. Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman
  3. No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill
  4. Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliot

 

8 hours ago, Peadar said:

I see you didn't like The Ritual, which I adored, personally. I also loved Nevill's Lost Girl. A nice set of MG/YA ghost stories is Jeremy de Quidt's The Wrong Train Excellently creepy and mostly gore-free.

Interesting.  Is the framing conceit of the train and station more than just a frame?  Or is it just there to make it seem like that is not a collection of short stories?

 

4 hours ago, Astromech said:

I was wondering when you would start your annual thread.

I don't read horror much at all, but the two I did manage in the past year, I enjoyed: Christopher Buehlman's The Lesser Dead about vampires in 1978 NYC and Daniel Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time.

There is a very creepy aspect to Buelhlman's novels that I love. I've had his Suicide Motor Club on my TBR list after enjoying his Those Across the River and Between Two Fires. Maybe I'll pick that up shortly.

Pollock's novel isn't necessarily horror, but the characters in it are mostly horrific. It's more of a road trip with serial killers. However, it is quite graphic and I wouldn't recommend it to the squeamish.

I think I preferred Those Across the River to Suicide Motor Club, but I really enjoyed both of them - and I still do think about SMC when I see somebody driving with their lights off.  The Lesser Dead is on my short list for this year.

 

2 hours ago, Winterfella said:

Inspired by REG, I've tried to do this the last few years.

Really liked The Ritual by Adam Nevill

Bird Box by Josh Malerman was very creepy but ultimately just ok.

Last year, I stretched my creepy reading from September through November and had a lot of fun:

The Call by that Peadar guy upthread.  Very good, looking forward to the sequel.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt.  I enjoyed this one.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.  Hated the main character most of the way through, and yet wound up really liking this book for the way it was constructed.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.  This one was just fantastic, and one I still think about a year after reading it.

Wasn't sure if I was going to consciously choose good, creepy horror reading now that we're heading into autumn, mostly because I didn't have anything on my radar, but this thread is getting me inspired again.

I really had a great selection for my reading last year, and A Head Full of Ghosts was definitely the highlight.  That's pushed Disappearance at Devil's Rock to the top of my list this year.

I like your idea of September through November (mine was well into November last year), especially because I really don't have anything planned out to get me through to October after I finish the last 20% in my current book.

 

I just saw that Peter Straub's Ghost Story is $1.99 on kindle.  I've been wanting to read that for each of the past four years, but that price has always been extreme (and it only became available as an ebook two years ago).

Looking around today I found a few more interesting possibilities:

Anybody read any of these and have thoughts on them?

Another one near the top of my list for this year is The Troop by Nick Cutter, I bought it last year for a very nice price near the end of October.

I usually like to do one each of a monster book, a haunted house book, a ghost book (although those can certainly overlap with the haunted house books), and a circusy book.  

The circus/carnival book is the most difficult to find each year, but thanks to a list on Goodreads, I've found lots of options:

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There are a few people besides Stephen King writing horror atm, but most of them are named Joe Hill.

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I did hear a rumor that his original birth certificate had "Bachman Mark II" as his name.

Make of that what you will...

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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21 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Oh dear how did you end up reading Hex, there has to a story there. I have to ask what are your feelings on King before I can give horror recs.

Hey Darth Richard--you know, Hex just came across a Goodreads list when I was browsing for Dark/Urban Fantasy. I've been looking for a way to classify my own writing as I try to query it because it's not quite horror, but Hex is a horror story. Poorly written, gory, and no characters!

I have read A LOT of King. I'm pretty much: he's good pre accident, can't stand his writing post-accident. For example, Salem's Lot? Loved it. Gunslinger? Amazing book. Dreamcatcher? Made me rethink King's entire library.

 

And we usually start an autumn thread--I should have let RedEyedGhost bump the old thread. I would be fine with a merge if the mods are up for it. I didn't really think of it.

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20 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

I keep meaning to bump my annual thread on this same topic.

Taking a quick peek at it makes me think I definitely need to read When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord.  Still want to read The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.

Some I found the other day with a quick search were: Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts was amazing), Stranded by Bracken MacLeod, and Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones.  

I really need to sit down and get a proper reading plan going though.

Oh, I forgot, I have Disappearance at Devil's Rock in my audible library from last year!

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16 hours ago, Peadar said:

I see you didn't like The Ritual, which I adored, personally. I also loved Nevill's Lost Girl. A nice set of MG/YA ghost stories is Jeremy de Quidt's The Wrong Train Excellently creepy and mostly gore-free.

I really think I need to go back to the Ritual. He's a really great writer--in terms of craft certainly. And No One Gets Out Alive I find to be really good.

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I disliked most of Kings post accident stuff til the JFK one, which was I thought was fantastic and a return to form, and everything since(that I've read) has been pretty good.

I fucking HATE Dreamcatcher though, so I'm with you there.

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49 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

And we usually start an autumn thread--I should have let RedEyedGhost bump the old thread. I would be fine with a merge if the mods are up for it. I didn't really think of it.

I don't mind a new thread on this topic.  It means I'm not the only one thinking about it ;) 

 

46 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

I really think I need to go back to the Ritual. He's a really great writer--in terms of craft certainly. And No One Gets Out Alive I find to be really good.

You should give Banquet for the Damned a look too.  Excellent book.

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You should all read or reread King's It. In fact, that's your assignment. Papers due on the 1st.

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