TOP TEN HORROR NOVELS
This weekend I'm sharing all my favorite things in honor of my birthday because I'm an egotistical maniac. Today's list is my top ten favorite horror novels! Again, these are in no particular order, just ten incredible horror novels that mean a lot to me. Let's take a look! (there will be spoilers for these books)
I've read this book twice now and seen the movie countless times because it's just got everything I love in a horror novel - outdoor, adventure, unique characters, man eating plants etc. I found this book by accident at the library years ago, read the back and thought it looked interesting and read it on a whim. I was shockingly surprised how incredibly terrifying and gory this story was. Then a year later I realized it was made into a movie which actually does a pretty great job. Since then I've re-read the book, purchased my own copy, and watch the movie a lot when I want something on in the background. Written by Scott B. Smith in 2006. Why is it so great? IT JUST IS! It's so dark and creepy and mysterious. And as the story opens up it becomes terrifying and violent and gory. You get attached to the characters pretty quick and lose your mind as they slowly get destroyed by these bizarre vines. Also this book confirms to me that you should never go trekking through the jungle or trespass on small villages in the middle of nowhere. Just don't leave your house.
Silence of the Lambs
I love the Hannibal series, the only one I haven't finished yet is Hannibal Rising but I will absolutely pick that up and finish it one day. I saw the movie, Silence of the Lambs, when I was very young and didn't even know it had been a book first. The book was published in 1988 and written by Thomas Harris. I read it for the first time when I was in my late teens and picked it up again to reread it a few years ago. I will absolutely read again and again. In my last post you saw my love for Clarice Starling and this book is the reason - Clarice is such a beautiful, well thought out character that means a lot to me and the way she's written is perfect. Of course, there are many paths taken from the book and the movie, but to be fair, it's a pretty close match. So if you love the Silence of the Lambs film I highly recommend picking up the book and reading it ASAP. Hannibal Lector in writing is so much more delicious and evil than the film (if that's even possible).
Another book in the Hannibal series (it's actually the first) written by Thomas Harris in 1981. I actually love this book more than Silence of the Lambs, but they're both very close to my heart. But Red Dragon is just everything I love - a tortured, murdering man, a semi-retired wounded detective, gory crime scenes, and HANNIBAL LECTOR. Red Dragon is an incredible murder mystery and Will Graham is such a great lead to follow along with. It was first made into a film in 1986 called Manhunter which did not bode well with fans or critics. In 1991 they tried again, titled after the book, and this film is really great, I loved the casting of Ralph Fiennes. Hannibal, the TV show, also followed along with the Red Dragon story line in its' final season and cast Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde which was phenomenal. And getting to see the book spread out over some very exciting episodes made my heart very happy.
An incredible movie and an incredible book! Written by the magnificent Ira Levin in 1967, it quickly became the bestelling horror novel in the 60's. What I love about this book is how much is packed into such a small story. Rosemary is even more complex in writing and while you do find yourself getting very irritated at her inner dialogue and screaming at her to avoid the neighbors, it's realistic and keeps you entranced in the story. The movie sticks closely to the original novel but I still recommend reading it because Levin is a master of creating this dread that hangs with you long after you've finished reading it.
Another Ira Levin book, this one written in 1972. While technically it's written as a satirical thriller, I'm counting it as horror because the more time that goes on, the more freakier this novel gets that maybe it could actually happen. Joanna is a young mother who is convinced by her husband to move to a small, idyllic town. The wives around her are terrifyingly perfect with no personality and the husbands are absolutely up to something. It's an incredible think piece on the roles of women and men in society and expectations laid upon both.
Summer of Night
This was my first venture into Dan Simmons and I instantly fell in love. It's the first in a series of books but I've only read this one, I look forward to reading the rest one day. It was published in 1991. While I don't want to compare him to Stephen King because Simmons has his own distinct style and personality, there are deffinately some comforting similiarities between the two. Summer of Night is set in 1960 in Illinois and follows 5 young kids dealing with some terrifying shit going on which include, but are not limited to, a giant worm, lots of bullies, and a dead solider. Simmons nails that nostalgic feel for being young and free to bike around in the summer with your friends where the days are endless and everything seems much brighter and more real. It's scary, it's one giant adventure, and it's very hard to put down.
Joe Hill is Stephen King's son, and therefore he is part of my family. But take his father away and Joe Hill is an incredible horror author in his own rights. He has a fantastical element to his horror that I find refreshing. His short story collections are incredible and his novels are just as good. My favorite though is NOS4A2 which was published in 2013 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. I highly recommend checking out Joe Hill, and if you're not much of a reader, he has a great graphic novel series as well. I honestly don't even know how to describe this story other than bat shit crazy! So go read it for yourself!
This was another one where I saw the film when I was young and had no idea it was a book. I finally picked up the book when I was in my early 20's but didn't actually read it until a few years ago. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? I don't know, I'm an idiot. Written in 1971 by the amazing William Peter Blatty, the book follows the same story as the film. It's inspired by a 1949 demonic possession that Blatty learned about while in school. It's deffinately got some dry parts where there's a lot of religious dialogue but the complex relationships and character studies along with the horrific demonic possession moments more than make up for it. This book is not for everyone as it's certainly not a classic page turner, but there is something hypnotic about the tale.
Technically this book is young adult but I have no idea how. It's the most morbid book I've ever read with some very terrifyingly real and gory adult situations. I picked this up on a total whim and instantly fell in love with this insane story. Written in 2011 by Daniel Kraus it follows a high school kid who is sent to live with his father who robs graves for a living. It talks about abuse, about bullying, about complex family relationships, about dead bodies, about history - it's INSANE. There's so many fascinating things going on this book and it's heartbreaking and terrifying and I couldn't stop reading it.
I am Not a Serial Killer
HOLY CRAP I LOOOVVEEEE THIS SERRRIIIEES! Written in 2009 by Dan Wells, it's the first in a series that I've read about half way through. It follows John Wayne Cleaver who is a diagnosed sociopath who is terrified of becoming a serial killer. It's technically a young adult novel but is VERY adult and violent and gory and wow I just love this book so much. It was made into a film recently which did a great job, but the book itself just really latches itself to your brain and there's nothing like it. I don't want to explain anything about it because it's best to go in having no idea what it's really about!
And if you're asking yourself, why is there no Stephen King books in this list? Considering Charlotte worships at the feet of King and has her own extensive collection of his books....that's because he will get his own list this weekend. I just can't compare them to others, it's too hard!
So that's it for today! I hope you find some new books to read, or see some you love, or if you want to share with me some recommendations of your own...put them in the comments below!