Thursday, May 24, 2012

Horror Novels to Chill Your Soul - or Make You Feel Queasy

Sometimes, you just want to read a good scary book.  You know, one that keeps you up at night.  Or one that you have to keep in the freezer because it's just too scary to leave out.  Your faithful blogger's favorite scary novel is, hands down, The Shining by Stephen King (Check Our Catalog).  Revisit one of your favorite classics or try one of these newer award-winning horror offerings.

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates
2011 Bram Stoker Award Winner for Fiction Collection
An incomparable master storyteller in all forms, in The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares Joyce Carol Oates spins six imaginative tales of suspense. “The Corn Maiden” is the gut-wrenching story of Marissa, a beautiful and sweet eleven-year-old girl with hair the color of corn silk. Taken by an older girl from her school who has told two friends in her thrall of the Indian legend of the Corn Maiden, in which a girl is sacrificed to ensure a good crop, Marissa is kept in a secluded basement and convinced that the world has ended. Marissa’s seemingly inevitable fate becomes ever more terrifying as the older girl relishes her power, giving the tale unbearable tension with a shocking conclusion. In “Helping Hands,” published here for the first time, a lonely woman meets a man in the unlikely clutter of a dingy charity shop and extends friendship. She has no idea what kinds of doors she may be opening. The powerful stories in this extraordinary collection further enhance Joyce Carol Oates’s standing as one of the world’s greatest writers of suspense. Check Our Catalog

I am Legend by Richard Matheson
2011 Bram Stoker Award Winner for Vampire Novel of the Century
Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone.
An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.
By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn....  Check Our Catalog

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub
2010 Bram Stoker Award Winner for Novel
On a Midwestern campus in the 1960s, a charismatic guru and his young acolytes perform a secret ritual in a local meadow.  What happens is a mystery—all that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body and the shattered souls of all who were present.  Forty years later, one man seeks to learn about that horrifying night, and to do so he’ll have to force those involved to examine the unspeakable events that have haunted them ever since. Unfolding through their individual stories, A Dark Matter is an electric, chilling, and unpredictable novel that proves Peter Straub to be the master of modern horror.  Check Our Catalog

Festival of Fear by Graham Masterton
Award-winning horror writer and master of the macabre, Graham Masterton presents a blood-curdling array of treats: twelve stories of terror celebrating the bizarre and grotesque, guaranteed to quicken the pulse. Marvel at the mirror dug up in secret and better off buried . . . Thrill at a pair of lovers, whose promises to each other lead them down a disturbing path. Observe the haunted house . . . Come closer, dear reader – the hour of the festival is upon us . . .  Check Our Catalog

John Dies at the End by David Wong
In this reissue of an Internet phenomenon originally slapped between two covers in 2007 by indie Permutus Press, Wong— editor Jason Pargin's alter ego—adroitly spoofs the horror genre while simultaneously offering up a genuinely horrifying story. The terror is rooted in a substance known as soy sauce, a paranormal psychoactive that opens video store clerk Wong's—and his penis-obsessed friend John's—minds to higher levels of consciousness. Or is it just hell seeping into the unnamed Midwestern town where Wong and the others live? Meat monsters, wig-wearing scorpion aberrations and wingless white flies that burrow into human skin threaten to kill Wong and his crew before infesting the rest of the world. A multidimensional plot unfolds as the unlikely heroes drink lots of beer and battle the paradoxes of time and space, as well as the clichés of first-person-shooter video games and fantasy gore films. Sure to please the Fangoria set while appealing to a wider audience, the book's smart take on fear manages to tap into readers' existential dread on one page, then have them laughing the next. [Publishers Weekly review]  Check Our Catalog

Anything by these Lifetime Achievement Award winners - these people know horror!
Joe R. Lansdale
F. Paul Wilson
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Thomas Harris
Peter Straub
Michael Moorcock
Anne Rice
Stephen King
Ramsey Campbell
William Peter Blatty
Robert Bloch
Ray Bradbury
Brian Lumley

And a few more...
Clive Barker
H.P. Lovecraft
Shirley Jackson
Richard Laymon
Robert McCammon
Dan Simmons

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