Another vampire book If you're looking for Twilight, move on. Vampires is an anthology of the classic vampire tales wherein Vampires are Vampires -- thAnother vampire book If you're looking for Twilight, move on. Vampires is an anthology of the classic vampire tales wherein Vampires are Vampires -- think ghoulish shadows in the dark, fangs tainted with fresh blood; The Undead. None of those glitters in sun stuff, thank you very much Still I have to thank Twilight for thise resurgence in vampire stories. I actually bought my copy for the sole purpose of owning a hardbound copy of Sheridan LeFanu's "Carmilla". Hence, all the other stories is just bonus for me.
Since they are "Classics", most of the stories are actually pre-Dracula or are Dracula's contemporary. The writing style is definitely old and most plots are predictable.
My favorite so far (besides Carmilla) has been EF Benson's "The Room in Tower". It is the most "modern" story in the bunch, although it still suffers from being predictable and anticlimatic at the end. Nevertheless, the recurring imagery of Mrs Stone's party ending in that room in the tower read like frightening version of Groundhog Day. The repeated party scene. The toast, the invitation to go to the room in the tower. Everytime he stands at the threshold of the room, I hold my breath expecting something. Unfortunately, the ending does not satisfy, so...
This is my introduction to Lovecraft. As a lover of horror stories, I am not sure how Lovecraft has stayed out of my radar for so long. But that's watThis is my introduction to Lovecraft. As a lover of horror stories, I am not sure how Lovecraft has stayed out of my radar for so long. But that's water under the bridge. One story and I am a disciple
"The Shunned House" is a typical haunted house story. An old house, quite specific in its location, where strange deaths happen, and a family plagued by the haunting. The narrator and his uncle eventually decide to investigate the haunting with dire consequences.
Fairly run-of-the-mill, but this is Lovecraft. I love his kind of macabre, the weirdness, the unorthodox endings. Reading his work gives one a sense of taking this journey alone. Nobody can help you. Nobody can save you except yourself. It is like opening the door between reality and the unnatural, and once the threshold is crossed, one can never go back again. It reminds me a lot of an old horror movie that freaked me out as a child "Phantasm" where you feel like at the edge of the world and nobody can help you.
**spoiler alert** I actually listened to the audio version first but enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the story.
"The Spider" chronicles the**spoiler alert** I actually listened to the audio version first but enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the story.
"The Spider" chronicles the last days of a medical student living in a haunted room. From the beginning, we are already privy as to how the story will end. The room is notorious for killing its occupants as its last 3 tenants were found hanging on the a bar in the window. Despite that, the protagonist accepts the cheap room, horror and all.
There is one point in the story that I can point out as being truly horrific. When the student ultimately realizes that Clarimonde isn't following him, but rather HE is following Clarimonde, that he has been reduced to a puppet. It is the spider weaving her web, wheeling him into her world where only death awaits him. Will you walk into my parlor? said the spider to the fly
Considering that this was written in 1915, I do not expect much surprises in terms of story line. Instead, it's more an atmospheric horror. Ewers' journal style writing hypnotizes the reader to the ending in the same way that Clarimonde entrances the writer to his death. There is little psychological-wise to ponder about as the hero is the victim, a mere pawn to Clarimonde's whim. And like the protagonist, the reader is rendered helpless in watching the tragedy unfold. ...more
Yeah, finally found a copy at Booksale. WooHooo :)
I adore King. I love how he twists what is completely natural into something unbelievably supernaturYeah, finally found a copy at Booksale. WooHooo :)
I adore King. I love how he twists what is completely natural into something unbelievably supernatural. And, of the (few) short stories anthologies I've read, I think I love this volume best. King seems to reached his stride in terms of short story writing with this volume, with "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French" -- a story about deja vu -- being my current favorite (to the point that scenes and voices still echo in my head days after I had read it). Here, King is past the usual things that scare us: ghosts, supernatural, and what not. Instead, he presents horror as something within us, an unexplained darkness, lingering under the surface, waiting for that apt moment for it to surface and claim us. There really is no escape, because how can we escape ourselves?
The blurb at the flap says Suzuki is Japan's version of Stephen King.
I don't think so
Not to say that he isn't a good writer, or a good horror story wrThe blurb at the flap says Suzuki is Japan's version of Stephen King.
I don't think so
Not to say that he isn't a good writer, or a good horror story writer for that matter. Both just have very different styles and different notions of what scares a person. In "Floating Water" (which movie buffs would recognize as the movie "Dark Water"), recounts the tale of a mother and daughter living in a new apartment haunted by something in their drinking water. The entire feel of his story is that of a creepy silence -- very Japanese, very Zen, in essence. The horror is straight up, and by that I mean, it's very simple. Horror for him is ghosts, the supernatural, with only a hint of that dark human psyche (although I still feel that it plays a big part in gluing his stories). His endings are neat, almost as if that Zen neatness prohibits him from having an open ending, which is quite different from King.
I did, however, enjoy reading his works. Suzuki's voice is bordering on lyrical, and his stories are quite original, perhaps reflecting more Asian sentiments than what I'm used to. Even the Prologue is a story itself, and I somehow I feel a surprise coming at the end. I can't wait...more
It was ok. Some stories were good; others were more of the slippery-slope type (i.e. someone's half-sister claims to have broken her arm because the gIt was ok. Some stories were good; others were more of the slippery-slope type (i.e. someone's half-sister claims to have broken her arm because the ghost tripped her. Their neighbor falls off the boat and dies. Since he must have tripped to fall off, the ghost tripped him. Ergo, the ghost killed him). Read it when you've exhausted all other ghost story collections. ...more
This may have been the sexiest book I've read, considering I don't usually read romances. I saw the movie first but, as usual, I prefer the book. It'sThis may have been the sexiest book I've read, considering I don't usually read romances. I saw the movie first but, as usual, I prefer the book. It's one of my guilty pleasure reads
I read this a few years ago so the details are blurry. Still, I remember thinking, Vivian is certainly one of the most confident teenager I've read. I suppose that's because she's a werewolf. For some reason, writers like to associate Werewolves with women's sexuality (i.e Ginger Snaps). But I digress. What I'm saying is that in a book-world populated by generally spine-less, shy, clumsy teen-age protagonist, its refreshing to see someone who knows that she's beautiful and powerful and isn't afraid to use it. Vivian has her flaws, none withstanding is that she has a tendency to be mean. But I still found her sympathetic for some reason
Judging from the reviews, most readers did not like the ending. (They certainly fixed that in the movie, which has a different ending from the book.) It's not the traditional "happy ending" although I think it was better for the story and more in keeping with Vivian's character. I appreciate that Klause did not sugar-coat it, considering this is a YA book. She writes it, sex stuff, gross stuff and all. She keeps the integrity of the werewolf folk-lore and then adding current issues, thus modernizing and re-interpreting the werewolf folk-lore without necessarily destroying it. A step up from Twilight, in my opinion.
The idea of plants, so harmless and ordinary, thinking and planning much less, murdering people, is intriguing, although I can only imagine how good tThe idea of plants, so harmless and ordinary, thinking and planning much less, murdering people, is intriguing, although I can only imagine how good this would have been in Stephen King's hands. Not that Smith isn't a good writer. The directness of his style, the real-ness of his characters all add to the horror of the story. I loved how he played the characters' weaknesses against themselves. But somehow that doomed feeling isn't hitting as hard as I thought it would. I guess it lacked that claustrophoic feel that is usual integral in these sort of stories. Du Maurier played it to perfection in "The Birds" and King had it in "The Raft", but there isn't much of it in "The Ruins". It's still a good book though......more
My cousin sent me this book as a birthday present. I saw the movie and did not really enjoy it but I thought, what the heck? My brain needed defragginMy cousin sent me this book as a birthday present. I saw the movie and did not really enjoy it but I thought, what the heck? My brain needed defragging after cramming for the exams anyway.
Initial impressions: it's almost the same as the movie save for some minute differences, which naturally comes with the book-to-movie transitions. I enjoyed reading the book though. Apparently my imagination has better special effects that Hollywood and succeeded in turning King's dull, white mist into something constricting and frightening, rather than just a mist (as in the movie).
I still think King has the tendency to loose his characters as the story progresses. The protagonist, David, for instance, goes from a loving husband at the start of the story to a cheater by the 2nd half. It was hard to reconcile this image of a good guy, a loving dad, worried sick about his wife that he would brave the mist, but at the same time kept thinking about f**king the new girl. The character needed more fleshing out for this action to make sense, otherwise it's just annoying and senseless.
I liked the ending in the book better. I like Hitchcock-style endings, although the movie ending had more to say. ...more
I remember seeing this sitting on the Booksale shelf with its prominent one-word title, and feeling my mouth water when I saw how thick it is. I was nI remember seeing this sitting on the Booksale shelf with its prominent one-word title, and feeling my mouth water when I saw how thick it is. I was not familiar with Hans Holzer before I bought this, but the book is clearly a testament to his life's work in dealing with the unknown. It's practically an encyclopedia of his experiences and ghostly encounters -- some of them credible, others a tad too out there for me. What is interesting, though, is the patience he takes to be as scientific as possible. In most of pieces, he details his protocol and he claims to do his research after the psychic/medium has finished her reading. Still, there's no way one can prove that he followed a strict scientific method or not, and in the end it all depends on whether or not the reader wants to believe him.
It's still an entertaining read, if you don't take Holzer seriously. Some of the stories are relatively new to me (like the Mayerling ghost, The Octagon ghosts, etc) and a number of them have truly scared me out of sleeping alone in my bedroom at night. My cousin, who also loves supernatural stories, has made a habit of reading it every time she visits me. Worth every penny in my book ...more
Just finished it and I'm still a little confused (hence, the 4 stars). I'm still think this has the makings of an excellent horror if only I understooJust finished it and I'm still a little confused (hence, the 4 stars). I'm still think this has the makings of an excellent horror if only I understood it more. The Haunting of Hill House , despite being a haunted house story, does not read like a typical horror story. It does not feel like it has to go out of its way to scare you; there is no terrifying description of ghosts to haunt you in your sleep. The manifestations themselves, which plaque the characters throughout their stay in Hill House are generally mild and mostly confined to door shaking and rattling. This is not to say, though, that the book isn't scary. It is, although more "chilling" (as the blurb at the back says) than outright frightening. It creeps like a shadow from behind, scaring you for a moment until you realize that it was just nothing. Or so you tell yourself. And that pretty much is how the story reads (and why I am confused). All the characters that arrive at Hill House have brought with them their respective psychological baggage that it is hard to tell if there was even a haunting or was it all just in their heads. Was there really something in there or was it just their merely their psychological demons haunting them? From a technical standpoint, it was brilliantly written. Typical of Jackson's style is the tragic surprise of the ending, which I really loved. Definitely deserves a reread ...more