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Horrorpedia > Hundred Year Old Horror

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message 1: by Justin (last edited May 26, 2017 02:18PM) (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments So upon looking up an old book of Horror it got me to thinking. As I looked at the book on my screen I noticed it's almost one hundred years old and has a solid 4.00 star rating. However..this book was Dracula, a classic. Which got me to my idea and investigation into seeing how other old classic horror novels fair to us here on Goodreads. I looked further into Bram Stoker and also looked into two other famous horror authors, Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving. Here was my analysis and average on how their books ranked.

Bram Stoker: 2.90- 3.90
Edgar Allan Poe: 4.05-4.25
Washington Irving: 3.50-3.70

I based my averages on where books placed in between numbers of lowest to highest so basically a median. Stoker of course is known mainly for Dracula so I was very curious to see how his other works ranked. Surprisingly they were quite all over the place. As you can tell from the gap of 1.00 star. Basically Stokers ranking to me is purely based on Dracula and for the fact that some try to look into his other work and it just doesn't measure up.

Poe's rankings were impressive. Mostly all his works are in the 4.00 star ratings and clearly the ole classic horror author/poet hasn't lost a step after all these years. Yes, unlike Stoker Poe was known for many works so that could be a factor but given how some people rate books on this site it is kind of a surprise to me that all his books are pretty much in the 4 star ratings(Thats some good work Mr.Poe)

Irving of course is known for Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Finding another work that wasn't one of these was hard but their are a few. I rated them based on one to two copies of each since he didn't have many others(I didn't want to dig). Again his rank rather high in the 3 star range but I would consider that a bit above average.

Why did I do this? What does any of this mean? Well for one it tells me people still appreciate the classics and origins of where horror came from. It shows me that after all these years these authors who helped pave the way for us and our favorites of today are still just as popular today as they were then, although maybe even more popular today since Stoker wasn't popular until later after his death. So the next time you want a book to read and your not sure of what that may be, pick up one of these gentlemens books, keep the classics alive and let the horror thrive...

#HundredYearOldHorror

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message 2: by Holly (new)

Holly (Goldikova) Those 3 authors were my introduction to horror literature. I can remember my mother reading "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to me when I was too young to read for myself. The book had those lovely, creepy Rackham illustrations, icing on the cake.

I got a book of Poe stories when I was in elementary school; it was a good reading challenge to digest Poe's prose, but at that age a lot of the symbolism escaped me. I read it all anyway, and wished for more.

In junior high I started to discover some of the YA horror books, and read "Dracula" right along with them. I also discovered "Turn of the Screw" right around that time. Then, in the winter of 7th grade, a friend with more adventurous taste in books lent me a copy of "Carrie" and I was off and running into a whole genre of literature.

I wonder if my tastes in literature would have evolved differently if I had started out with "Carrie" instead of being grounded in the classics?


message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments It's good to know that hundreds of years later we can still read and take in such great horror.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Brookes (Technohippy) | 1177 comments My first proper horror was James Herbert's The Rats, I still discovered Lovecraft and Poe and loved them. It doesn't matter if you come to them early or late.


message 5: by Carly (new)

Carly Nicholas (Zombie_Girl) | 175 comments There is nothing wrong with any of these authors. They are my favourites, I really love their work.


message 6: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 310 comments I'm surprised you didn't look up Mary Shelley or H.P. Lovecraft.


message 7: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Well I had Dracula on the brain so I looked up Stoker then the other two naturally popped into my head as well so I compared them. I was thinking of Mary Shelley but decided to go with these three.

Poe's GR ratings are something we all can learn from for sure. Then again is work speaks for itself..simply defined and brilliant


message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments I did another investigation and looked into two more authors. Ambrose Bierce, whose a bit underrated in my opinion and Mary Shelley who outside of Frankenstein I was curious to see how her other works faired. None of Bierces works stand out to me but that doesn't mean he isn't good he could just mean as I said he is underrated. Shelley is widely known for one work so I was very curious to see how many people on here read her other works and how they matched up against her greatest work.

Bierce-3.78 star rating
Shelley-3.46 star rating

Bierces is quite impressive. He's in the average 3 range but its a high 3 range meaning his work could be considered a little above average. Given these results I would say he is still underrated but clearly taken into consideration of peoples reads and appreciated.

Shelleys ranking is where I thought it would be. A bit below 3.50 which Im going with as average. Frankenstein wasn't the highest ranked of her books which was a surprise but out of six books only that and one other were over 3.50. This says that while her other work is being read it clearly isn't as well known and never pans out to be as good as her classic. At least according to GR readers.

These are two known people however given their fame compared to the others may mean for some reason as to why they are ranked as such. Shelley I thought would rank as Stoker based off one work but Stoker seems to have a bit more known works. This tells me that there are still people who read work thats hundreds of years old and it still fairs to be well liked even still today.


message 9: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 7478 comments Mod
oh! I love Ambrose Bierce! I listen to a lot of podcast & audiobooks. there is A LOT of his stories in audio form on iTunes for free. my 1st exposure to him was in high school. we read "an occurrence at owl creek bridge." man, did that ever affect me!(I was 16 or 17.)then we watched the twilight zone episode of it. I really enjoy his stories, though. I LOVE the dream sequence in the deah of Halpin Frasier. i liked the secret of macarger's gulch a lot, too. i like most of his stories.


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments He's one of those names that I hear and it rings a bell. I didn't even know who he was until a year ago. Always interesting to come across an old author and read up about them and then read some of their work.


message 11: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments I decided to take a deeper look into Edgar Allan Poe and what made him so dark and sinister but so original and famous. There is no doubt that he is one of the greatest writers of all time, one of the greatest poets of all time and one of the greatest horror authors/poets of all time. I think it goes without saying that clearly the man had some serious talent. The better question is at the time he was alive how many people exactly did what he did and wrote? Not even to ask if they wrote as good as him or better(not even a question) but simply did anyone write like him around his time period? I'm guessing yes people did write be he was at a far higher level then anyone of his time.

Now aside from clear talent at writing exceptional poems and stories there also comes inspiration. Now anyone can come up with a good concept for horror but Poe was pretty damn dark if I say so myself. He had a knack for it. For describing things in such detail you almost asked yourself how someone could be so wicked. I don't believe this to be just because he was creative and skilled at thinking and writing but because personally he had a lot of real life demons in his life. "Demon" not in the sense of horror but whatever bad and dark things plagued him throughout his life. It's known that he lost his wife so anything he wrote after that was probably quite vicious. However reading about his life you tend to pick him moments that may be a reason as to why his writing was so dark but, it goes without saying that in order to write and be in such a zone of horror one must have had a horror filled live themselves as well.

I think combining his dark personal demons along with his creative knack of writing with primitive thinking made for his legendary stories and poems. You could also make a case for Hemingway, who later in life dealt with personal issues in fact the man took his own life so clearly he too had demons. This however talks about Poe in means to horror and what he gave us and what he's left us. Has anyone matched him when it comes to story telling at such a level? I suppose that is up for debate and depends on who you ask. I think when it comes to Dark Poetry clearly he's got us all beat. While I myself write dark poetry I know that no matter how good I may think it is, he holds a mere matchstick of fire to Poe's eternal burning candle.

Finally, What made Poe so great is that aside from simple rhyme he could carry on and take a reader right into the story simply by the horrific conditions and descriptions. For any writer it is the idea to write in such technique that when a reader takes it in they are brought there. With Poe or any horror for that matter takes a reader unwillingly into the dark unknown. Poe to me during his time must have disturbed a lot of people. He seemed like he kept to himself aside from being married. Despite what movies or books may say you got to figure that a man as wickedly twisted as he was he must have had some serious quiet and lone time. However he was, Poe was an innovator. A man beyond his time. I'm sure if he were alive today he would still be writing away and not only would we take to his writing but we would be buying it in stores and eating it right up.


message 12: by Feliks (last edited Aug 23, 2013 09:09AM) (new)

Feliks (Dzerzhinsky) I've been pushing classic horror authors hard on the Goodreads Recommendations pages.


Clark Ashton Smith
Ambrose Bierce
Algernon Swinburne
Lord Dunsany
Shirley Jackson
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Robert W. Chambers
Arthur Machen
Hugh Walpole
William Beckford
Robert Bloch
Richard Matheson
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Guy de Maupassant
Sheridan leFanu
Dr. Montague James

Anytime someone asks for horror, I am johnny-on-the-spot with such names. Same thing with this sudden lunatic craze for dystopics. I rattle off half-a-dozen forgotten dystopics anytime someone asks.

A particular horror fave of mine is Henry Hope Hodgson. The guy is just out there. About 1/3 into any of his books its just a great tale of terror, whatever it is..but then the dude suddenly drops acid and goes spinning off into outer space on a raft of words. Its like the prose equivalent of Astronomy Domine or Interstellar Overdrive. A torrent. A cataract.

By the way, you can obtain a superb overview of classic horror from 100+ years ago by none other than HP Lovecraft. He wrote an exhaustive critical summary and its available as a free download on the web.


message 13: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Dracula to Dracula's Origin:

We all know about Dracula. However..to which are we referring, Vlad Dracula or the man Bram Stoker created? Yes Bram Stoker took the concept of Dracula from Vlad the Impaler but how much of that is real and how much is false? He took a real man and made him into a vampire. A blood thirsty evil madman who sucks the blood of his victims and is captivating and alluring among other things. How many of these things did Vlad himself actually do? None. Vlad the Impaler was a man who was a general who ruled for his country of Wallachia. He impaled his victims with huge stakes. Thousands upon thousands at a time upon a site in battle or in town. This is the only actual gruesome thing that we know of about Vlad Tepes. There are rumors that he drank the blood of victims, did odd things at night but again these are simply rumors.

While we are no stranger to deciphering fact from fiction sometimes it's hard to tell what is real and what is not. Dracula needed to have come from somewhere, need a basis and so Vlad was that very basis. Dracula is also based on sixteenth century countess Elizabeth Bathory who bathed in the blood of her virgin servants to remain young and youthful. She too used torture tactics to achieve her own person bloody nirvana. It was said that she too drank blood, this is where I believe Stoker got the whole idea of drinking blood. I believe he took it from Bathory not Vlad since there are more valid evidence that claims Bathory drank blood rather than Vlad. So basically Stoker took certain elements and actual sick rituals and techniques from both people and put them into and created Dracula.

When someone asks is Dracula real? Ehh..he was yes in a sense based off the name and certain ways but in the sense of the very Vampire that we read about not so much. I could see here and bring the whole concept of Vampirism into this but I have't quite done that much research and that may bring this into a whole other discussion. Dracula's origins are that he is from Transylvania. However Vlad Tepes was from Romania which at the time was Transylvania. Note this thought though, Stoker seemed to take the blood shedding and out for blood part from Vlad yet used his very technique against him. Vlad was known as the Impaler because he impaled his victims on long wooden stakes. Yet it's these very wooden stakes to which is the reason of how to kill the fictional Dracula and all vampires. Also the holy cross. We all know that crosses are said to scare off and burn Dracula and vampires if they come too close. Again though Vlad himself was very religious. So much so that he was denounced from the Catholic church and fought for his religious rights. So it's kind of ironic that a cross is one of the weaknesses that Dracula and vampires are prone to. Stoker clearly did his research on the Prince however decided to do a switch and put his own twist on certain ideas.

Having read two books on Dracula and not counting the original by Stoker I noticed interesting things in both. In Vlad: The Last Confession the book focuses on the actual man who became the legendary fictional character. Any references to the words "Dracula", "Dracul" are because of his name which means Son of the Dragon or Devil. Seems only fitting that Stoker took quite the perfect name for his myth. In the book Dracula's Apprentice, Vlad Dracula is mentioned but you don't know whether it's the real Vlad the Impaler or the fictional character. I took it as in the middle being a bit of both which means Dracula has that realistic part to him but also the fictional part to him.

In very simple terms, Dracula was a real man. The story Bram Stoker created has made that very man be seen in a whole new life. Vlad Tepes was a secret agent in a way. In real life he was a ruthless general and in fiction he was a Prince of Darkness, blood drinking vampire. However a person wants to see it without Vlad and without Bram Stoker we would not have vampires. Perhaps vampires were thought of before he I believe there is (again I don't want to get into another side story) but even if there was vampires it wasn't until his tale that we really took a notice to them. His simple horror book of a blood craving pale creature turned the world of writing and horror upside down(no pun intended). It's quite a thought at least to me that one man managed to change the shape of horror as we know it. It makes me wonder if another person today could creature and write about their own creature that takes off a spins a whole new horrific species and starts a phenomenon.


message 14: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Ever wonder how Stephen King would have faired as an author in the 1800s? Theres no doubt that he is in the Top 10 with authors whom had written 100s of years ago but given Kings style and unique sense of writing horror how exactly would his writing have been compared to someone of that time? I'd imagine he could have either been as great and as known as Poe or he could have been deemed unfit by society and people may not have understood him. It goes without saying that any author of today may not fit literature of years past but some you would think would fit in nicely. Perhaps even do better if not at least well for themselves.

King is a perfect example because he has dominated our generation in the world of horror and writing in general. Had he been a writer back 100 years ago? I like to think he'd still be taking people in with his work because he is just that good. This is by no means homeage to King but merely a representation of such a solid figure in literature. I am sure there are many and feel free to name some that you feel who could not only write today but years ago. Kings style may have been different given the content to which he writes would differ from the past but I again think he'd make due with how the times presented themselves to him.


message 15: by Lee (new)

Lee Cushing Justin wrote: "Dracula to Dracula's Origin:

We all know about Dracula. However..to which are we referring, Vlad Dracula or the man Bram Stoker created? Yes Bram Stoker took the concept of Dracula from Vlad the I..."


There are quite a few documented accounts of real vampire from the East European countries concerning vampires (With the most famous being Arnold Paolo) during the 16th & 17th centuries.

One of the things I do in my books is focus on the vast variety of creatures that led to the formation of what is considered to be traditional vampires (such as the Scottish Baobban Sith, the Upierczi, the Strigoi, the Vishtitza and many others)


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Very interesting Lee thanks for sharing.


message 17: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 176 comments Well, of course King has the idiomatic voice of a mid-20th century guy. If he'd lived then, he would have sounded different. However, I think his strengths as a writer fit nicely with the 19th century: he writes strong characters in big, rambling narratives that are highly plot-driven and tend to have deeper, topical concerns as a subtext. In other words, he's got a lot in common with Dickens, who was wildly successful and popular in his own time.

Of course, King is extremely well-read and he was heavily influenced by Stoker, Robert Louis Stephenson, and Lovecraft, among others. Who knows whether he would have developed as well as a writer if he hadn't read such outstanding forebears as an impressionable youth?


message 18: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Good points Cathy, it certainly makes you wonder.


message 19: by Ken (new)

Ken | 5826 comments Have you ever read anything by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky? I read The Ensouled Violin and was really impressed. I just picked up a collection of her short stories on Amazon, Nightmare Tales. Looking forward to digging into it.


message 20: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Never heard of it Ken but it sounds interesting, I'll look into it.


message 21: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 7478 comments Mod
Me too!


message 22: by Cathy (last edited Oct 02, 2013 10:03AM) (new)

Cathy | 176 comments Other 19th-century writers I really like are Mary Elizabeth Braddon (GREAT ghost stories with a keen sense of human nature) and Theophile Gautier. And lots and lots of others ... there's a whole group here on Good Reads for Classic Horror Lovers, check 'em out! Lots of good recommendations and discussions.


message 23: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Thanks Cathy!


message 24: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Not to stir up any controversy but thinking on a rather deep thought, The Bible could be considered a book of Hundred year old horror. I take nothing away and mean no disrespect toward it's true intent or grasp about religion but I am saying given some of the stories that can be taken from it, it could be consider in some instances small horror. The Bible is of course a text to which we refer to in a time of need but at the same time does make for a good tale for those looking for questionable non-fiction. Nevertheless I believe it could lightly be considered under horror but only in small doses.


message 25: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments I started to look into the ever still popular, H.P Lovecraft. I looked into seven of his works to see how he rates and fairs here on Goodreads. I looked into books ranging between the 20s and 30s. I noticed right away that his books were above 4.14 which is above average. As I ranked the seven books they rated to about 4.23 which is also above average. This puts him above Bram Stoker but below Edgar Allan Poe previous rates made on here. It just goes to show you that people really take to H.P Lovecraft and his work.

I myself did not know who Lovecraft was a year ago. I recently found out about who he was and what kind of things he writes about and noticed that even after all these years hes still very much enjoyable. In fact he's become so popular that he has his own genre, so thats saying something right there. As far as Goodreads goes I would say he's definitely one of the most read and most enjoyable on here. If the ratings dont say so then peoples comments in threads do. H.P Lovecraft is a perfect and prime example of hundred year old horror give or take that is still very popular today.


message 26: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 7478 comments Mod
I have mentioned in some other post that I listen to a lot of podcast, which is kinda like a talk radio show but so much cooler. they have podcast for everything imaginable! one of my favorites is the H.P. Literary Podcast. they have an option to subscribe, which I do. it's 2.22$ a month &well worth it. the last 2 shows they covered:
On the River by Guy de Maupassant
The Dead Valley by Ralph Adams Cram
O.M.G. these 2 stories were so so awesome!!! I have a gutenburg app on my ipad and i found Guy's story on it. i listen to a lot of audio books & found a reading of the dead valley on Librivox. I'm pretty sure these stories fit here. if not, I'm sorry! I'm gonna post them on Paula's thread too. they were so good!


message 27: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments I decided to look into poet Arthur Rimbaud and his only work which is poem, 'A Season In Hell'. The poem was published in the late 1800's and many acclaim it to be one of the best poems ever written. It tells of Rimbaud's anger toward a love that was not to be. While many suggest and claim his language is strong with poetic tools and structure many also would say he is merely a young man going on a tirade and simply using strong words to show his anger. Nevertheless, this poem has inspired many and has found it's place in history. The uses of poetic language and his drive for writing this are obvious but what is the most bizarre and interesting is that this was his last poem he ever wrote.

After this poem he quit writing to pursue other things. Perhaps he never wanted to be a poem and only wrote his famous work to express himself but clearly a wonder. I don't believe he set out to write a masterpiece but merely wrote to express his anger and broken heart. Here on Goodreads, it ranks well and reviews on it are mixed and that is to be expected. I wish there was more works to go off of but given this is his only one this is in fact his testament of writing. Whatever his agenda, A Season in Hell is a poem which draws in many readers, leaves them with questions and leaves it's mark on the mind as to what the mind of Rimauds was thinking.


message 28: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments If you have ever read a book that's over a hundred years old I'm sure you will come to one conclusion. A conclusion that you will share with me, the writing back then was spot on and seemingly more defined then it is today. Not to discredit any author of today; not in the slightest. It just seems to me that back a hundred years ago writers wrote with a sense of pride, passion and purpose that we ourselves could only dream of having and achieving. I do wonder of the way genres were perceived back then. I would imagine they weren't as categorized and well read as they are today. You pick up a book with such age, you dust it off and dip into it and realize it has symbolism of itself and that it's no wonder it is a classic of it's representation.

Back then, an author I am almost sure wasn't busting their behinds to get a book out. They took their time and didn't worry about rejection because they were their own vices and critics at least at first. You could also probably tell a first edition book back in the day took time and it's clear and it's purpose was simply to educate the mind and expand the imagination. Not saying a book of today doesn't but a book of today you know the author tried whereas back then they didn't and even if they did try there was not half as much a crowd of critics and places to talk of the work.

The works of 100 years now today are books we as writers strive to equal. We look and see to as inspiration. Even if we never achieve such success, at least we know it is possible. For if a book as old as that can still be relevant and popular in today's world it is only a wonder as to what a book of today will become in another one hundred years.


message 29: by Holly (new)

Holly (Goldikova) Justin wrote: "If you have ever read a book that's over a hundred years old I'm sure you will come to one conclusion. A conclusion that you will share with me, the writing back then was spot on and seemingly more..."


Just the technology alone....think about the authors who "penned" their works.....in longhand, with a quill, a bottle of ink and a blotter. Or even typing the words out on an old fashioned manual typewriter. They certainly had time to think about what they were writing, didn't they? Re-writing an entire page by hand or laboriously correcting typed print is so discouraging that you would want to get it perfect the first time.


message 30: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Good point. Technology back then, or rather there lack of was obvious. Quill pens, god only knows what type of paper and how many wasted. However I would have to assume editing was still strong given most back then were well educated and knew of the fundamentals of literature and grammar.


message 31: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments Dracula(3.94 rating) vs Frankenstein(3.69 rating)

Now it goes without saying that Goodreads ratings apply to Goodreads only and some take them serious while others don't. For the sake of argument and as done before I have compared the two classics to see how they fair on here. Both clearly have had many upon many a readers and both have averages well above the average rating. Both are timeless horror classics and are one of those books that if you asked ten people a good more then half would probably say they have read both if not then at least one of the two. The fact that they are both brilliant stories are not only a factor but that they have inspired so many other remakes and other types of takes on their classic original tales.

Dracula, is the essential horror novel. One that stands in a horror vault of its own. It would probably be better then Frankenstein because of the whole vampire aspect. Dracula is someone that people wish they could be, wish they could have his powers and the story is very catching. Frankenstein does not have that factor as perhaps some want to be a monster but not an abomination which is what ole Frankie happens to be. Both take nothing away from one another but each as stated have their own right to what makes them so good. Mary Shelley's tale of a doctor creating creature in his lab is so simple yet so classic now that if the concept had not been thought of years ago and could be now it makes you wonder how it would fair today if it just came out. The same can also be said for Dracula. Of course there are many upon many of new takes on each story but no matter what they don't quite measure up to the two classics from which they were inspired no matter how good they may be. I myself have read two stories of both Dracula and Frankenstein and I got to say as good as they were, knowing why they were created I could not help but think as good as they are they of course will not beat out their original origins.

I once read Dracula's Apprentice by Mike Zimmerman. It was a tale about a young man who gets bitten and is unaware to whom he has been bitten by. As good as the book was it doesn't follow Dracula but the young man and those around him. This is a clear example of someone taking the name of Dracula and inserting it and putting their own unique spin on the tale. I gave the book 4 stars and really enjoyed the book.
I also once read a comic version of the movie based on the classic monster I, Frankenstein. This was definitely unique and told of Frankenstein's Monster in a different way and also pertained more to those outside him. I actually liked it a little bit better then the original way that the monster was created.

Overall, I think when they are outside one another and it needs not be said, both Dracula and Frankenstein are classics for another 100 years. Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley have given us not only a masterpiece of fiction to read but a great inspiration to which we as writers wish we can great into our own adaptations.


message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2596 comments As we approach another year I'd like to take a moment to ask, how has work from a hundred years ago if any helped influence you? Are their works from way back in the day that has stuck with you and you either really enjoyed it or it's made quite an impact on you? Some way think that 100 year old horror is no different then horror of today and while that may partly be true it doesn't stop that fact that without the horror from all those years ago we wouldn't have the classics such as Dracula and some of the books we love today may not have been without those from all those years ago.

So take a step back, think and ask yourself, has the works of horror from all those many years ago influenced you at all? Do you read them and are they some of your favorites and most cherished books? It's just a thought and it's always nice to know we appreciate the origins to what we have come to love so much.


message 33: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments We have to realise that a hundred years, when weighing up horror literature, is not that long ago. Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Willian Hope Hodgson, Sir Arthur Quiller Couch et al. are still firm favourites of mine. When penning my own efforts, I still return to them to see how it's done properly.


message 34: by Holly (new)

Holly (Goldikova) I have gone on an old horror spree. I have loaded up a bunch of free e-books from authors like Wilkie Collins, M. R. James, William Hope Hodgson, etc. I think I am going to read Stoker's "Lair of the White Worm" first.

What I love about the horror from this era is the atmosphere and the subtlety that is lacking in modern horror. The old writers put a lot of thought into building a menacing atmosphere, creating so much unease and dread. This style of writing gives me chills and causes me to look over my shoulder as I read. I avoid a lot of modern horror because sitting around for hours with an expression of disgust on my face is going to cause some bad wrinkles.


message 35: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments Haha! I read very little modern horror, Holly. I too have all the authors you mention in my Kindle library - and they were either cheap as chips or free. I find that a great privilege. Modern writers just can't seen to duplicate that frisson of dread that authors from a century ago could.


message 36: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments There are some decent modern writers of the macabre, but they are few and far between. Most of the recommendations from Horror Aficionados are awful. Only occasionally will one grab my interest. Zombies or vampires seems to be the in thing at the moment and I'm very reluctant to wade through mountains of the crap to find odd good one.


message 37: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 608 comments Nobody's mentioned Robert Louis Stevenson yet - not just Jeckyll and Hyde in the genre, but a whole load of great short stories too.

Also

>There are some decent modern writers of the macabre, but they are few and far between

You're not looking hard enough. Ramsey Campbell, Laird Barron, Thomas Ligotti, Reginald Oliver, Simon Strantzas and a whole host of others.


message 38: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments Yeah, I've been through all of them. Ligotti's The Frolic is, in my opinion, one of the finest horror stories ever written.


message 39: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments Got some nice first editions of RLS.


message 40: by Char (new)

Char  | 11608 comments Mod
Greg Gifune is one of our modern day horror authors who is a master of atmosphere.


message 41: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 11024 comments Mod
William Meikle is another fine author who pays homage to the past masters, while maintaining his own unique voice.

And I concur with my esteemed colleague, Charlene. Greg Gifune is excellent.


message 42: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments I envy William Meikle being a genre writer; the fun you could have. I've always wanted to have a crack at it myself, but never plucked up the nerve. For my money, Phillip Jose Farmer was the best of the bunch. William's work is okay, but it's hardly up there with the masters who influence him. Having said that, I bet he's having a great time churning out the stuff, though. I'll get back to you on Greg Gifune.


message 43: by Holly (new)

Holly (Goldikova) Adrian wrote: "Holly wrote: "I have gone on an old horror spree. I have loaded up a bunch of free e-books from authors like Wilkie Collins, M. R. James, William Hope Hodgson, etc. I think I am going to read Stoke..."

I will do that Adrian; I am starting Lair of the White Worm today.


message 44: by Joe (new)

Joe Augustyn Try to find the story THE BLEEDING NUN by Matthew Gregory Lewis. It was included in his book THE MONK but sometimes turns up as a standalone. Every fan of vintage horror should read it.


message 45: by Harsh (new)

Harsh Kumar (HarshKumar) | 187 comments Well, I don't know much about the old or classic authors in the horror genre , but I know for sure that bram stoker's other works were not as great as dracula. No where near dracula. Dracula in itself is a unique book. It has inspired hundreds of writers. My first horror fiction or horror literature book was Dracula. The modern horror novels are good but still a classic is a classic. I think we can say that the gothic fiction was introduced by bram stoker's Dracula. There are many modern horror novels which are really good but they are still nothing compared to Dracula. When it comes to poe , his work just cannot be described in mere words. The best of the best. I recently purchased the complete edgar allan poe book. Both of them according to me are like creators and have shaped the future horror literature. It is very seldom and sad that we only have a few writers like them who possess such greatness. And as for Irving, I am anxiously waiting to Read sleepy hollow. I always look up on the Internet , to find out more about the classic authors. From what I have learnt , Besides bram stoker and edgar allan poe , shirley jackson is also a very talented writer and a very popular one too. According to me edgar allan poe and stoker are by far the most talented writers in horror literature we will ever find. I am young and I don't have a lot of knowledge about this stuff. I hope you don't mind me entering this discussion. I hope I didn't make a fool out of myself.


message 46: by Char (last edited Jan 06, 2015 12:28PM) (new)

Char  | 11608 comments Mod
Harsh wrote: "Well, I don't know much about the old or classic authors in the horror genre , but I know for sure that bram stoker's other works were not as great as dracula. No where near dracula. Dracula in its..."

I agree that Dracula is an excellent horror classic, I loved it. However, there are so many other authors in the horror genre that are also good, if not better than Stoker was. Just because Dracula is very popular, does not mean that it is the best example of the genre, back then or now.

There are all kinds of horror these days...supernatural, psychological, splatterpunk, quiet, etc.. Every horror lover seems to have a niche that they enjoy the most.

Myself? I do have a soft spot for horror stories told in the epistolary style, (like Dracula), be they old or new, doesn't matter to me.

This does not mean that I agree that Poe and Stoker are the best that horror will ever be, because I do not. There are many, many other authors that I think are as great or even greater than these.

Shirley Jackson is definitely one of them-true literary horror with lots of psychological overtones.


message 47: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments Harsh, you haven't mentioned Frankenstein. Have you read it? If you haven't and you like gothic, get yourself a copy.


message 48: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 11024 comments Mod
Consider this....for quite some time, Richard Marsh's THE BEETLE was more popular than DRACULA.

Beyond the matter of personal taste, there is a vast, colorful history to the horror genre, filled with many excellent authors that is worth exploring, with a style for every taste, and hidden gems tucked away, waiting to be discovered.


message 49: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 335 comments Are you taking this in, Harsh?


message 50: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 608 comments John wrote: "William's work is okay, but it's hardly up there with the masters who influence him"

Damned with faint praise, I shall now retire from this discussion :-)


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