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RedEyedGhost

Horror - As the days get shorter

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Well it's that time of year again, each of the past five years I've dedicated the month of October to reading horror novels.  This year, because I seem to have very little time to read, I'll be starting in mid-September and going through mid-November.  My last two threads on the subject have been archived, but if you're looking for some past recommendations you can find them here:

 

 

Last year I read:


Of the books that are already on my kindle, this year I'm finally going to get to The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp, and I'll most likely be reading Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley JacksonThe Boy on the Bridge and Fellside by MR Carey, The Changeling by Victor LaVelle and The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Penn and Simon Bruni are also possibilities.

 

Books I don't yet own but am interested in:

 

Anybody have anything positive or negative to say about my possible choices?

 

Are you planning on reading any horror as we roll through autumn?  

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I have liked everything I have read by the following authors on your list.  I trust these authors enough to recommend them blind.

Paul Tremblay

Shirley Jackson

Christopher Buehlman...although The Lesser Dead is easily my least favorite of his books.

Ania Ahlborn

I have been looking at Ronald Malfi lately but haven't actually read anything because I am still obsessed with my WoT re-read.  I will get to some good horror/suspense at some point this fall and winter.  Maybe I'll choose some books from your list.

I try and recommend The Descent by Jeff Long in every horror thread where it isn't already mentioned.  Long is another author I trust but The Descent is his best book.

I also recommend the work of Sarah Langan.

I am big Marisha Pessl fan so with clear bias I recommend Night Film.  While not a horror novel, I think it can be enjoyed in the same way.  If that makes sense at all.

Lastly, I will suggest John Connolly's Charlie Parker series for some really great horror/suspense/crime novels. 

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The only thing I've read from the initial post is The Changeling, which I liked. 

I"m not much of a horror reader in general, but I recently finished The Fisherman by John Langan and enjoyed it.

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Quote

 

I enjoyed MR Carey's Girl with All the Gifts and the Boy on the Bridge, so Fellside has been on my radar for a while.     Twilight Eyes is one of my favorite Dean Koontz books.  

If you want some lighter horror, can try Charles Stross's Laundry Files books.

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On 9/10/2018 at 2:39 AM, Inkdaub said:

I have liked everything I have read by the following authors on your list.  I trust these authors enough to recommend them blind.

Paul Tremblay

Shirley Jackson

Christopher Buehlman...although The Lesser Dead is easily my least favorite of his books.

Ania Ahlborn

Nice.  Do any of Ahlborn's books that you've read fit better for this time of year than others?

On 9/10/2018 at 2:39 AM, Inkdaub said:

I have been looking at Ronald Malfi lately but haven't actually read anything because I am still obsessed with my WoT re-read.  I will get to some good horror/suspense at some point this fall and winter.  Maybe I'll choose some books from your list.

The two of his I'm looking at do sound very good (and seem to have good reviews).

On 9/10/2018 at 2:39 AM, Inkdaub said:

I try and recommend The Descent by Jeff Long in every horror thread where it isn't already mentioned.  Long is another author I trust but The Descent is his best book.

That does look interesting.  Other than the first and last lines of the blurb, it sounds more sci-fi than horror.

On 9/10/2018 at 2:39 AM, Inkdaub said:

I am big Marisha Pessl fan so with clear bias I recommend Night Film.  While not a horror novel, I think it can be enjoyed in the same way.  If that makes sense at all.

That sounds like a pretty good fit for me, and I've added it to my list for this year or next.

On 9/10/2018 at 2:39 AM, Inkdaub said:

I also recommend the work of Sarah Langan.

Do any of hers fit with Autumn?

On 9/10/2018 at 2:39 AM, Inkdaub said:

Lastly, I will suggest John Connolly's Charlie Parker series for some really great horror/suspense/crime novels. 

I've had the first book of that series on my shelf for around a decade now, and also had it recommended on a sports message board where I cross-posted this.

 

20 hours ago, stonebender said:

An Evil Guest by Wolfe is the only horror(ish) book I have sitting around unread.  I guess I'll go with that.   

That's another one I've purchased because of the past threads.  I haven't ever gotten around to reading it because the vast majority of reviews are so middling.  Have you read his The Sorcerer's House?  I read that a couple of years back and enjoyed it quite a bit.  I'm interested on hearing your thoughts on An Evil Guest when you have had the chance to read it.

 

18 hours ago, Mr. X said:

I'm not much of a horror reader in general, but I recently finished The Fisherman by John Langan and enjoyed it.

I gave that one a look when I was putting my list together.  It sounds pretty good, but just missed the cut.

 

 

The past several years I've tried to do at least one of each of the following categories: haunted house, monster, ghost, and circus/carnival.  I'm having a hard time finding circus/carnival books, so I might end up scrapping that category this year.

1 hour ago, Leofric said:

Twilight Eyes is one of my favorite Dean Koontz books. 

I was very glad to find this one last year for that category, as it fit perfectly and was very good to boot.

Looking back through Simon's thread from last year, I did find a list from then.  Might have to give a few of these a second look:

Quote

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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On 9/10/2018 at 6:17 AM, RedEyedGhost said:

Anybody have anything positive or negative to say about my possible choices?

Last Days of Jack Sparks is really good. Gonzo horror that's both hilarious and terrifying. I loved it.

Of those not yet acquired, I can strongly recommend Bird Box and Seed. But Last Days by Adam Nevill is, imo, the best book in both your lists. I re-read it recently and it was even more terrifying the second time round. Such a good book.

 

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I enjoyed Christopher Buehlman's The Lesser Dead and The Necromancer's House. I found the former to be a bit creepier than the latter, but probably enjoyed The Necromancer's House more due to how imaginative and bat-shit crazy it was in parts.

Another Peter Straub work I read last year was his Shadowland. Recommended but felt slightly disjointed in parts due to a split in settings.

Washington Irving is a fantastic author for October/Halloween. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the perfect October read.

I wanted to read Roger Zelazny's A Night in Lonesome October last year but couldn't get my hands on a copy. If you're short on reading time, it may be a good option. Just follow the calendar and read the story for that date in October.

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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:44 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

That's another one I've purchased because of the past threads.  I haven't ever gotten around to reading it because the vast majority of reviews are so middling.  Have you read his The Sorcerer's House?  I read that a couple of years back and enjoyed it quite a bit.  I'm interested on hearing your thoughts on An Evil Guest when you have had the chance to read it.

 

I read The Sorcerer's House upon release.  Honestly I don't recall much about it, which is a very rare thing for me as far as Wolfe novels go.  I haven't heard the greatest things about An Evil Guest either, but its "Blade Runner meets Lovecraft" marketing tag would've probably sold me on the book even if it wasn't Wolfe.  

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I enjoy these threads. 

I recently read Hex. I have mixed feelings about it. (I don't post in the monthly threads here anymore as it's one thing too many on top of GR. Guess I could cut and paste?)

I've also read, I think, all of the Tremblay, which is a good idea. 

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On 9/9/2018 at 10:17 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

Well it's that time of year again, each of the past five years I've dedicated the month of October to reading horror novels.  This year, because I seem to have very little time to read, I'll be starting in mid-September and going through mid-November.  My last two threads on the subject have been archived, but if you're looking for some past recommendations you can find them here:

 

 

Last year I read:


Of the books that are already on my kindle, this year I'm finally going to get to The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp, and I'll most likely be reading Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley JacksonThe Boy on the Bridge and Fellside by MR Carey, The Changeling by Victor LaVelle and The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Penn and Simon Bruni are also possibilities.

 

Books I don't yet own but am interested in:

 

Anybody have anything positive or negative to say about my possible choices?

 

Are you planning on reading any horror as we roll through autumn?  

Hex has a fantastic premise but for my money didn't pay off in the last half.  I won't recommend it.

I am just about to read Last Days and Seed so will let you know if I read them first.

 

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On 9/10/2018 at 5:46 PM, Mr. X said:

The only thing I've read from the initial post is The Changeling, which I liked. 

I"m not much of a horror reader in general, but I recently finished The Fisherman by John Langan and enjoyed it.

I liked The Fisherman too but the pace is very, very slow.  He's a great wordsmith so makes up for the pace, but not quite, I thought.  I'd give this one a five star if it had been edited down; as is, likely 3 1/2.  

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I need a break from my WoT reread so I started Fall of Never by Ronald Malfi.  We'll see how it goes.

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On 9/18/2018 at 1:35 AM, Isis said:

I enjoy these threads. 

I recently read Hex. I have mixed feelings about it. (I don't post in the monthly threads here anymore as it's one thing too many on top of GR. Guess I could cut and paste?)

I've also read, I think, all of the Tremblay, which is a good idea. 

I read it last year, and I hated it. It reminded me why I hate horror writing (whereas horror movies, they're okay!). Hex was just so bad, and of course had the obligitory 

Spoiler

Woman getting nipples sliced off/breast mutilation trope of modern shitty horror.

 

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On 9/11/2018 at 12:44 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

Nice.  Do any of Ahlborn's books that you've read fit better for this time of year than others?

Seed would work and it's the first one.  I'm sortof neurotic about pub order.

That does look interesting.  Other than the first and last lines of the blurb, it sounds more sci-fi than horror.

The Descent is a sci-fi with horror elements.  It's almost completely underground also and isn't very Autumnal.  I always recommend it, though.

Do any of hers fit with Autumn?

Langan works for fall/winter time of year.  The Keeper and The Missing should be read in that order.  Audrey's Door stands alone.

I've had the first book of that series on my shelf for around a decade now, and also had it recommended on a sports message board where I cross-posted this.

Every Dead Thing is good but is an outlier in a way.  I'm not sure Connolly knew where he was going with that series quite yet.  It takes a few books for the more supernatural elements to really take root.

 

I don't know how to break up the quotes.

Doesn't Blatty's The Exorcist take place in the Fall?

Maberry's Pine Deep trilogy, starting with Ghost Road Blues, takes place as Halloween is approaching. 

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I don't think that The Library at Mount Char is horror. It's fantasy. Weird that it's on that list really.

I read Night Film and I would recommend it as in interesting and absorbing story, which creates an unsettling atmosphere. However, I can't help thinking that it could have been a better book with a few minor improvements. 

But I just read Bird Box by Josh Malerman and I thought it was REALLY well written. The pacing is well done. I don't think the book had any bum notes at all. Not very often a book manages to keep me focused on the story the entire time without distracting me by some unconvincing moment or factual error or bit of clunky prose... It's a scary book! You want to know what will happen but at the same time you don't and you just can't stop reading it to find out. I was impressed.

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