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The Tomb of Terminated Threads > Recommendations Anyone?!

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message 1: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Hi Everyone,

I'm Nicole, new to the group and new to Good Reads. I love horror films, and am itching to get my hands on some good horror novels, but sadly don't know of any. Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

message 2: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Welcome to Horror Aficionados. Glad to get some new blood in here.

Here's a recent thread at Horror Aficionados that contains our favorite horror novels: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott Hi Nicole and welcome. One book that a lot of us have been talking about is Let the Right One In by John Lindqvist (and the recent film as well.) Even if you are sick to death of vampires like I am I think you will find it something different.

message 4: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Nicole, have you ever heard of Scott Sigler? Here's his Web site: http://www.scottsigler.com/.

His book Infected and the sequel, Contagious, are great roller coaster rides. Infected is about some alien strands that drift down and infect humans. As they grow inside bodies, they form triangles that eventually hatch for the purpose of building a structure that will allow aliens to invade our world.

One character called Scary Perry Dawsey starts cutting the triangles out of his body. At the same time he's battling the aliens in his body, a group from the government is trying to figure out what's going on.

The characters are not one dimensional like some characters in horror novels.

message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Definitely going to check out Sigler and Lindquist. Thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated!

message 6: by Chris (last edited Mar 24, 2009 03:49PM) (new)

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 2867 comments Welcome to our fun and lively little horror fiction community, Nicole! There's some good rec's so far, but not knowing what your tastes are, I can just fire off a few of my favorites. Anything by Edward Lee (should anyone be shocked by this?), Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, Bryan Smith, Bentley Little, just to name a few. I recently read Nate Kenyon's debut novel, Bloodstone, and that was excellent, and I'm currently reading The Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo, another debut novel, and I'm halfway through it and it rocks so far!

message 7: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I loved The Jigsaw Man. I'm in the middle of reading Crimson and so far it's delivering.

message 8: by Ravenskya (new)

Ravenskya  (ravenskya) I really depends on the type of horror you like...

Do you like the slow, dark, brooding and supernatural? (movies like The Changeling, The Others, Rosemary's Baby)

80's Slashers? (Friday the 13th, Halloween)

Creature Features? (Jaws, Frogs, Day of the Animals)

Post Apoc/Zombies? (Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, 28 days later)

Scifi-ish horror with aliens and technology gone bad (Terminator, Aliens, that retarded movie where the trucks come alive at the gas station)

Or your good old fashioned Vampire/Werewolf fare? (Dracula, Wolfman, Wolfen)

There are excellent books in each style.

message 9: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments that retarded movie where the trucks come alive at the gas station

Ah, another King classic. Hey, didn't he rip off that story Duel?

message 10: by alicia (new)

alicia grant (shesha34) | 2 comments So many to chose from Bad Things by Tamara Thorne,The Shining by Stephen King,The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum,The Resort by Bentley Little,In the Dark by Richard Laymon.

message 11: by Scott (new)

Scott Because there are trucks in it?

message 12: by Ravenskya (new)

Ravenskya  (ravenskya) Duel was Spielberg's first movie... and I can see where he might have gotten the idea for it. I know the short story had a different title than the movie... Maximum Overdrive or something.

At the moment my son is just learning about the fun of horror movies... he's only 7 so Im breaking him in slowly... at the moment he's obsessed with "Frogs" which I think I have now seen 800 times since last week. "The Gate" was a bit to scary for him, and "Watcher in the Woods" keeps him under his blanket for most of the flick.

Advise for each of the ones I've mentioned:

Do you like the slow, dark, brooding and supernatural? -The Exorcist, The Shining, I Am Legend, An American Haunting, A Winter Haunting, Hell House, Haunting of Hill House, IT

80's Slashers? - Anything by Richard Laymon or Ed Lee

Creature Features? - Books by Peter Benchley are good...

Post Apoc/Zombies? - The Stand, Eden, Drop Dead Gorgeous, anything by Brian Keene (he's always ending the world)

Scifi-ish horror with aliens and technology gone bad - Tommyknockers (I didn't care for this one) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (not really scary, more conceptually disturbing)

Or your good old fashioned Vampire/Werewolf fare? - obviously Dracula, Frankenstein, Jigsawman, Salems Lot

There are TONS of great horror novels out there.

message 13: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Kristen, are you talking about the '70s movie Frogs? That movie freaked me out when I was a kid. I'll never forget the slimy frog jumping on the birthday cake. Blech.

My son will be five in June and he's not ready for scary movies. If he sees anything remotely scary he'll make a beeline for me. He accidentally saw some of a Harry Potter movie--Death Eaters are scary to kids--and Jurassic Park. He had nightmares.

message 14: by Ravenskya (new)

Ravenskya  (ravenskya) Mine LOVES Jurassic Park... unfortunately his fav is number 3 which I can't stand.

And yup - the 1970's movie Frogs, I'm considering Day of the Animals - that one freaked my sister and I out when we were little, but I'll need to preview it first.

message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 2867 comments Or you could just go to your local bookstore today and pick up Edward Lee's new paperback, The Golem, which I purchased this afternoon...woohoo! ;)

message 16: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Sydlik | 45 comments Kristen - I love Day of the Animals, but you might want to hold off on showing it to a child due to the almost-rape scene. Oddly enough, Leslie Nielson is the scariest thing about that movie.

If you think Maximum Overdrive is bad - how about...Killdozer?

message 17: by Tressa (last edited Mar 26, 2009 08:05AM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I've never heard of Day of the Animals. Is it like Freaks only the freaks are animals? Sounds like Animal Farm. I love when beasts rise up and attack humans...only not me because I don't eat them. Just eat their yogurt and cheese.

message 18: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Sydlik | 45 comments I wouldn't say it's like Freaks, exactly. The animals aren't necessarily getting "revenge" (so, sorry - vegetarians or even vegans wouldn't be safe). The premise is that the depletion of the ozone layer has triggered abnormal behavior at certain altitudes. A group that goes hiking has to deal with this as the encounter a barrage of different animals attacking. It's campy and fun, I would say one of the better "nature attacks" movies. It doesn't make a lot of sense why the sun's radiation would affect other animals, but not humans...although maybe the derangement of Leslie Nielson's character goes a little towards addressing this.

message 19: by Ravenskya (new)

Ravenskya  (ravenskya) Thanks for the heads up on the near rape scene... when I was little I watched it on USA, with a lot cut out of it... which is why I always preview movies before handing them over to the little ones.

My vague recollection was a comet or something making all the animals crazy so they go attacking people. I distinctly remember rattlesnakes in a car... though the rest is blurred behind 20 or so years of life.

message 20: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Tressa wrote: "I loved The Jigsaw Man. I'm in the middle of reading Crimson and so far it's delivering."

I agree. Gord Rollo is a master! The Jigsaw Man keeps on escalating until your head is spinning.

message 21: by Paul (new)

Paul | 123 comments Hmm, classic stuff like H P Lovecraft, Poe, Machen, M R James?

Early Stephen King?

James Herbert - British focused but excellent, particularly "The Ghosts of Sleath".

Necroscope by Brian Lumley.

The Keep by F Paul Wilson.

Films: I liked Maximum Overdrive. Another similar one is about a bulldozer. I think it's called "Killdozer".

Alien(s) / Arachnophobia / Predator

Blade Runner I would class as SF rather than horror.

message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma Audsley (emmaaudsley) | 47 comments You have to try 'Terror Planet! It's a fantastic spoof!

message 23: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Wow, I almost can't believe there are so many horror based books out there! I'm really excited!

As for my favorite kinds of horror - I'm definitely into the slasher's (Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc), but I could definitely do some supernatural, demon stuff like Rosemary's Baby and all.

Thanks everyone!

Em wrote: "You have to try 'Terror Planet! It's a fantastic spoof!"

message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 2867 comments If you like the "slasher" type stuff for horror movies, check out most anything by Richard Laymon. I don't think you'd be disappointed, Nicole.

message 25: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Chris wrote: "If you like the "slasher" type stuff for horror movies, check out most anything by Richard Laymon. I don't think you'd be disappointed, Nicole. "

Definitely Richard Laymon! You may also want to check out Edward Lee or Jack Ketchum.

message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 2867 comments Absolutely...good choices, especially Ketchum, too!

message 27: by Trudi (new)

Trudi (trudistafford) | 28 comments Hi Nicole, I'm new too and glad to have stumbled upon such a great group. I've been reading horror for about 25 years now and am always looking for my next horror fix :)

1) I absolutely endorse Ketchum, especially The Girl Next Door (a tough read and you'll want a strong stomach).
2) Richard Laymon is another of my guilty pleasures -- Island is one of my favourites.
3) Something new is David Moody's Hater (while the idea is far from original, Moody's take on it is gripping - LOVED it)!
4) Scott Smith's The Ruins - a lot of people hated this one, but I thought it rocked, but I am a sucker for the eco-horror/survival slant.
5) Pet Sematary - King rarely writes pure horror, but this one qualifies as just that...absolutely pee your pants terrifying :0

message 28: by Tressa (last edited Apr 10, 2009 03:38AM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Trudi, Laymon's Island is one of my favorites of his. I don't like all of his books, but I enjoyed the twists in that one.

I'm always puzzled by the negative reviews for The Ruins. It is one of my all-time favorite horror books. I think I like it because it's not a slash-by-numbers book--the theme of language barriers leading to the ultimate horror and the way the story slowly builds is the reason I was so affected by it.

I wish Smith would publish another book soon. Have you read his book Simple Plan? It's not horror but it has some of the same elements of people doing one stupid thing after another and causing their downfall.

message 29: by Trudi (new)

Trudi (trudistafford) | 28 comments Loved Simple Plan (the movie is awesome too!). Yeah, just don't get the criticism aimed at The Ruins -- I really think it's one of the best horror novels written in a long time. I found the horror to be brutally convincing and the characters believable (if not always very likable). These are college-age kids backpacking in a strange country and tend to be not too bright and a lot self-absorbed. But that's realistic I figure.

Sure the story is about man-eating ivy and that may strike some readers as too silly to be scary (a la Little Shop of Horrors) but that's not where the real horror lies anyway. The vine is merely a plot device to trap the college kids in the jungle and force them to confront (and attempt to survive) a horrific series of events and accidents. Under such conditions of extreme physical peril and psychological stress, the six travelers succumb to various coping mechanisms; when they are not turning on each other, they are turning on themselves -- not unlike William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Jose Saramago's Blindness, or Stephen King's The Mist.

Couldn't say I was crazy about The Ruins movie though...I think the producers just missed the point. Have you seen it?

message 30: by Chris (new)

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 2867 comments I felt the same way about the book...and have no plans to see the film. The Ruins was one of the most viscerally disturbing books I've ever read!

message 31: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments The movie The Ruins was awful, but I had a feeling it would be. I can read about self-centered twentysomethings much easier than watching them on film. The movie had none of the slowly building terror that the book has.

I loved the claustrophobic feel of the book, which is an odd thing to say since the characters were out in the open. The nonchalant attitude of the natives as they guarded the group was chilling. They'd seen it all before and knew it was just a matter of time until the problem resolved itself. I was sad when Jeff died; he was my favorite character, along with the Matthias. I felt bad for the Greek because he couldn't even communicate with the group.

I listened to the audio and it's read by Patrick Wilson (pedophile in Hard Candy and the adulterer in Little Children). He does a great job reading the parts.

Margie (Bookzombie) (bookzombie08) Glad to hear that a few other people enjoyed The Ruins as much as I did. It is a book I would re-read. The movie was very disappointing for me as well, especially since the author also wrote the screenplay.

I will have to add Simple Plan to my mammoth pile of books to read.

message 33: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Always glad to meet another fan of The Ruins. I didn't know Smith wrote the screenplay. Maybe it wasn't the writing that was so bad but the acting?

You'll enjoy A Simple Plan. It was turned into a wonderful movie starring Bill Paxton, Billie Bob Thornton, and Bridget Fonda.

message 34: by Scott (new)

Scott I liked The Ruins (the novel) quite a bit; I only wish the nature of the enemy hadn't been spoiled for me by so many Amazon.com reviews long before I read the book. It would have been a really killer surprise.

The film was bad but I thought the acting was fine. More than the writing or the directing being at fault, I think the main reason is that 50% of the novel is internal conflict and character development, and none of it was in the movie. It was reduced to pure action and as a result the characters became cardboard and there was no emotional investment on the part of the viewer.

message 35: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments RUINS SPOILER AT THE END...

Scott, I try to avoid any reviews or threads about books I plan on reading or movies I plan on seeing. I like to be surprised.

You're so right about your assessment of the movie and the characters. Sometimes a movie can pull off internal conflicts, but sometimes it just doesn't transfer to the screen.

The book built up the characters' personalities and I came to know each of them as individuals; I couldn't in the movie because they were so one-dimensional and the movie wanted to get right to the killer vine.

How did you like the ending of the book? With the group of Greeks laughing and joking and on their way to look for their friend with the map in their hand.

message 36: by Scott (last edited Apr 12, 2009 06:15PM) (new)

Scott I had only just started hearing about the book. Stephen King had raved about it, in one of his EW columns I think, so I thought I would check out what people were saying on Amazon...big mistake. Of course, I also saw the movie before reading the book, but maybe if it hadn't been spoiled I would have read it sooner.

I liked the ending of the book, and since a lot of it was different from the film's story at least some things about that were still a surprise (especially one character's death.) I'm glad Smith ended up rewriting it, in the end, because at least not everything was spoiled.

message 37: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments Nicole wrote: "Hi Everyone,

I'm Nicole, new to the group and new to Good Reads. I love horror films, and am itching to get my hands on some good horror novels, but sadly don't know of any. Anyone have any reco..."

"Topping from Below" by Laura Reese, was very good, erotic, shocking, and the ending was pretty horrific, IMHO!

message 38: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments Tressa wrote: "Kristen, are you talking about the '70s movie Frogs? That movie freaked me out when I was a kid. I'll never forget the slimy frog jumping on the birthday cake. Blech.

My son will be five in June a..."

Our 6 yo daughter caught part of a dinosaur munch scene in JP1, and ran over the dog in her haste to get away. Earned herself a split lip, and me a guilt trip. *sigh* I can only watch horror movies with the remote in hand, so I can fast forward through the scary scenes. American Werewolf in London had me sleeping with the lights on for weeks!

message 39: by Tressa (last edited Apr 13, 2009 06:36AM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Welcome to HA, Anna!

My favorite horror novels:

The Jigsaw Man
The Haunting of Hill House
The Stand
The Shining
'Salem's Lot
Rosemary's Baby
Ghost Story
Lost Girl, Lost Boy
The Ruins
Off Season
Infected & Contagious by Scott Sigler

message 40: by Scott (new)

Scott Often true, but not in this case (IMO)

message 41: by Tressa (last edited Apr 13, 2009 11:01AM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments You might have a point, Rob. I'm guilty of that sometimes. I run screaming from anything Oprah suggests. I don't want to become an Oprah Zombie, but some of the books she chooses for her club are good literature that deserves an audience.

I didn't read A Thousand Splendid Suns because so many hens were squawking about it for years, but when I read it I immediately joined the cult of Hens for Hosseini.

I think some horror fans dig werewolves, ghosts, vampires, zombies, but couldn't wrap their heads around a killer vine. I read some comments that wondered why they didn't just light the vine on fire. Yeah, like that would've worked. The vine is ancient, can mimic a cell phone and echo the voices of its victims, yet a Bic lighter is going to end it?

message 42: by Scott (new)

Scott Didn't it snatch a torch away from them and smother it? At most, they might have been able to burn a patch away, but the larger organism would survive and the villagers still would have killed them before they got anywhere.

message 43: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Scott, it's been a few years since I read it, but I think it did smother a torch. Funny the things people miss while they're reading a book. There's no way the ancient vine would be susceptible to any kind of flame the group had. Maybe if military came in and napalmed the thing, but I bet some of it would survive and thrive even after that.

And, yes, the villagers would have killed them and anyone else who wanders to the ruins, burned or not, because it's also the seeds that people can take away and on their clothing and bodies that could take root and grow its evil elsewhere.

message 44: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Rob wrote:You know the old adage...if THAT many people like it, it CAN'T be good. OK, ..."

I'm strange when it comes to popular books/culture. When people are raving about something, I get curious and want to check it out, just to see why people love it so much. Most of these do indeed turn out to be crap, but every once in a while you find gold.

I never heard of The Ruins until the movie came out. Because I didn't like the movie all that much, I decided not to read the book. Like most people here (I think), I enjoy reading the book before watching the movie.

Maybe I'll pick it up after reading all these comments.

message 45: by Tressa (last edited Apr 13, 2009 02:23PM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I enjoy reading a book before a movie, but if I have to do it the other way, the book usually has more to offer in terms of character development, plot explanations, that I don't mind knowing the story in advance.

Jason, the book The Ruins is so much better than the movie, I think you'll really enjoy it even though you know how it ends. The book is more atmospheric, the vine is more terrifying, the villagers more threatening, the characters less boring. It beats the movie hands down in everything.

Rob, I didn't really consider the vine's history; I just knew it was evil and ancient. Maybe you're right.

message 46: by Scott (new)

Scott I always prefer to read the book first, if I am at all interested in it. (Sometimes I don't know it's something I'd want to read until I've seen the movie.)

I agree with Tressa; it is worth reading the novel even if you didn't like the film. For one thing, a number of things were changed in the film, so you will be surprised (I don't want to be any more specific than that.) Also, you get to know the characters as real people with pasts, relationships, just a lot of things that make you really feel for them. It makes a huge difference.

message 47: by Chris (new)

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 2867 comments Definitely, man, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. Read my last post in this topic. I only wish Scott Smith would write MORE books like this (not necessarily the same plot, but his brand of horror). He's brilliant.

Jason wrote: "Rob wrote:You know the old adage...if THAT many people like it, it CAN'T be good. OK, ..."

I'm strange when it comes to popular books/culture. When people are raving about something, I get curi..."

message 48: by Tressa (last edited Apr 13, 2009 04:26PM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Thanks, Scott. :) You always explain things so well. We seem to agree on a lot of things horror-related.

Chris, I would read ANYTHING Scott Smith publishes. A Simple Plan was just as entertaining as The Ruins. I love to watch his characters make their beds hard and have to lie in them. You want to scream, Stop! as they continue to make their circumstances worse and irreversible.

message 49: by Anna (last edited Apr 14, 2009 07:36AM) (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments I love Peter Straub's writing, read the stand overnight, in college. One of the first post-apocalyptic books I ever read was "False Dawn" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. She has written some very eerie and believable horror also. Also... kind of off topic, but does anyone remember the name of a book about the denizens of a haunted house who care for a dying woman? This lonely female realtor has been trying to sell a "haunted" house, she ends up buying it or just moving in. The spirits of the house care for her after she is diagnosed with cancer, accepting delivery of her hospital bed, etc. It was veryyyy good, but I wasn't keeping a book journal at the time, and don't remember who wrote it, or the name.

message 50: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Chris wrote: "Definitely, man, and I don't think you'll be disappointed."

Thanks guys. I think I will give The Ruins a go.

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