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Author Topic: Horror Checklist  (Read 27676 times)
Caz
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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2009, 02:19:21 PM »

I finished reading Frankenstein today, I picked it up along with Dracula and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for £5. Bargain.

Try 'Dracula'.
That's the one I intend to try next. Got a couple of more modern novels to read first though. Also got a copy of Ghost Pirates, my one's 156 pages long, so I win, mines the biggest.  bleh
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2009, 04:51:17 PM »

Dunno if I mentioned it before, but I bought Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray, thinking they might be what we needed to get our eldest interested in reading, but once I had them in my hand and began reading them out to him, I realised they were impenetrable for an 11 year old - all of them. They hadn't struck me as being heavy going when I read them a few years ago, but then as an adult we appreciate more without thinking than an 11 yr old could possibly dream of.

I enjoyed Dracula a lot. There was a few places where it became slow and repetitive, but they were relatively few.
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« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2009, 03:44:47 PM »

Certainly only one person's list and as always they are subjective, but many good ones to check out if you never have. Dracula and Frankenstein of course are required reading for any fan of the genre. I personally think Stephen King's best novel is still THE SHINING (with SALEM'S LOT a close second) and also would have to put things like Peter Straub's GHOST STORY, Ramsey Campbell's DEMONS BY DAYLIGHT, Thomas Ligotti's SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER and Dennis Etchison's THE DARK COUNTRY on the list. Anything by Arthur Machen, Hodgson, Wakefield, and M.R. James should be there too. I'd pick McCammon's SWAN SONG over King's THE STAND as the better of the two myself.

You can learn quite a bit from the California "Group" (Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, John Tomerlin, Frank Robinson, Robert Bloch, Charles Fritch, and Chad Oliver. And Harlan Ellison & Dennis Etchison as fringe members). With Fritz Leiber, these guys pretty much defined the modern fantasy/horror writing and brought it out of the dungeon into the suburbs.

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Ed
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« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2009, 03:56:31 PM »

Hi, James - good to see you dropping in. Welcome aboard smiley
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« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2009, 03:45:51 PM »

I just finished Hell House not too long ago. I have to say that is one of the best horror books Ive read in a very long time.
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« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2009, 02:23:00 PM »

I've read all the King on the list and every Lovecraft story ever, but I'm pitifully far behind on all the others--I still haven't sat down with Frankenstein, and I haven't even heard of several of the other writers. My reading list has just grown much longer...
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« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2009, 04:51:42 AM »

I would add "The Brood of the Witch Queen" by Sax Rohmer and "The Red Laugh" by Leonid Andreyev . If youve read either, you  know why .
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« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2009, 12:15:39 AM »

Alas, I have only read Frankenstein and the Stand, though several sound familiar, like I may have read them, but god knows.
That said, I loved both of them, The Stand in particular. Has anyone read the unabridged version? I would have been hard pressed to remove anything from it.
It really is bizarre that Poe isn't included; you'd be hard pressed to pick only a few of his, I'd think.
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« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2009, 06:35:11 PM »


These are the only ones I haven't read:

3 - The Ghost Pirates - William Hope Hodgson
4 - The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
5 - Burn Witch, Burn! - A Merritt
6 - To Walk The Night - William Sloane


Wow - you've done well, Scott. I'm going to make an effort to work my way through them all. I think I'll start with The Ghost Pirates - William Hope Hodgson, because I really like the sound of that one in the description.

Weinberg writes: "Hodgson was a sailor before he became a writer. His promising career was cut short when he was killed in a major battle during WW1. Much of his reputation rests on his short stories of the sea, which are atmospheric and filled with menace. He wrote four novels, three of which are more fantasy than horror (The House on the Bodreland, The Night Land, and The Boats of Glen Carrig) - all of them are worth reading. Hodgson had a gift for describing ominous, gruesome monsters that few writers today can match. However, his novel The Ghost Pirates is not about monsters but about ghosts. It tells in a straightforward, almost journalistic manner how a ship is overwhelmed by ghostly invaders. Hodgson makes no effort to identify the menacing figures - they could be the ghosts of pirates or beings from another dimension. All that counts is their gradual capture of the boat. It is one of the finest examples of the 'tightly written' novel ever published."

Sounds good, doesn't it?
I haven't tried Hodgson yet myself, but I recently added him to my list when I found a Pub through  Ralan who looks only for Hodgson-like stories for an anthology. I thought to myself that if someone out there loved his work that much, he's definitely a must-read.
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« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2010, 09:35:34 PM »

The problem with a list of "must reads" is that once a list has been created and shared with enough people it does indeed become a must read list.  If someone says that all horror writers should read the books listed then we must.  Why?  Because now it is expected that if we call ourselves "horror writers" then someone somewhere will expect that we are familar with those books since someone said they are a "must read."  Wow.  In a way I think I just depressed myself.  But, I have read a few of those books and I do enjoy them:  Frakenstein, Dracula, Lovecraft (all of them), lots of Matheson, King, and Bradbury, Blatty, and Levin.

Are they required?  Of course they are.  But everything you get your hands on should be required.  Good writing, regardless of the genre, is something we can learn from.  So is bad writing really.  The more we read, the better we write.  But if I were to add titles that we really should be familar with:  definitely Poe (any and all of it), The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Great God Pan, The Other, and anything by Shirley Jackson...Clive Barker, Caleb Carr, etc., etc.,...see it just keeps getting bigger and bigger of a list...oh well.
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« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2010, 10:02:19 AM »

Last year I had great fun reading M. R. James and writing 3 ghost stories based on his style (though a little less verbose).

Another book, one I read this year for the umpteenth time, 'Lord of the Flies', would also count in my opinion as a horror book. Well worth a look to see the progression of the characters from 'civilised' to savage, and to see how Golding makes the island a character in its own right.

DW Cheesy
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Caz
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« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2010, 01:40:33 PM »

I started reading 'The Great God Pan' just before the Cafe Doom competition kicked off, and so it had to go on the back burner for a while. It's an intriguing story and I'm looking forward to reading the remaining two thirds of it. Going to give 'Lord Of The Flies' a go as well as I haven't read it.
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« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2010, 02:08:20 PM »

It struck me yesterday, in the horror section of Waterstones, that the main players haven't changed for about 25 years. The horror section is full of Kings and Koontzs, a few Straubs, plenty of Barkers, and a bunch of anthologies and ancient tomes. There may have even been some Herberts in there too, but I was too scared to look. Any time in those last 25 years it has been much the same. The Paranormal Fantasy section (next shelf along) has exploded, but the horror genre seems to have stayed the same. I know a few cracking authors have come, put in a short stay in that section, an t hen gone - Poppy Brite, for example - and I know there's a massive amount of other authors available in the specialist shops, but surely it's time for a new main player to emerge? Perhaps one of you guys...confused!!! afro

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