Saturday, October 15, 2011
Neil Gaiman has proposed a new tradition: give a scary book to someone at Halloween.
I like the idea of giving books, although I'm not really into being scared. I've avoided "It" and "Silence of the Lambs" and "The Amytiville Horror". I prefer my fiction light and even fluffy. But there are a few scary books I'd be willing to give.
The Graveyard Book by Neil himself starts rather scarily: "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." It's a great book and not too scary for adults seeing that it's aimed at children. Suited me fine!
Various other websites have suggested books but no one has mentioned Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr. I found that book haunting; a magic pencil brings to life whatever is drawn with it. The drawings only come to life in dreams but there's a growing and sustained air of menace. Once again, it's written for children so it's about what I can handle as far as horror goes!
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen got a mention. I enjoyed the beginning of the book when it looks like it's going to be a Gothic horror tale, although I found it disappointing when it morphed into a standard romance tale.
Dracula by Bram Stoker is another classic. I don't think the later parts of the book stand up as well as the beginning, but I recommend it if only to see where the vampire genre started.
And finally, I'd recommend Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen if you like your horror funny. If you liked Sean of the Dead, this is the one for you. I found it too gory for my taste but I still enjoyed it.
So, what are your recommendations for scary books for this Halloween?