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Horror > The Best "Entry Level" Horror

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message 1: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 2023 comments Inspired by the interest and disscussion occuring in the thread The Best "Entry Level" Science Fiction, plus, my own curiosity.
In lieu of an article I'll use GR's own Listopia as a conversation starter.

Best Horror Novels


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul | 0 comments I haven't read much horror, but I would think you can't go far wrong with Stephen King. I'd probably recommend 'Salem's Lot.


message 3: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments The problem I've found with being a King fan is, it's very difficult to find something that even approaches his work.

Joe Hill does though.


message 4: by Felina (new)

Felina | 821 comments Chris wrote: "The problem I've found with being a King fan is, it's very difficult to find something that even approaches his work.

Joe Hill does though."


For real. King always gets me out if reading slumps. Which means I should probably pick up one of his books. :)


message 5: by Darren (new)

Darren | 102 comments Chris wrote: "The problem I've found with being a King fan is, it's very difficult to find something that even approaches his work.

Joe Hill does though."


I totally agree. The only other author, besides SK, whose books I'll buy as soon as they come out, and who might (possibly?) touch on horror is Jonathan Carroll. I love his books.


message 6: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 46 comments Paul wrote: "I haven't read much horror, but I would think you can't go far wrong with Stephen King. I'd probably recommend 'Salem's Lot."

I was just thinking that would be a great King to start with. It's not as long as some of the others but displays a lot of Kingliness.


message 7: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 2023 comments Dan wrote: "Paul wrote: "I haven't read much horror, but I would think you can't go far wrong with Stephen King. I'd probably recommend 'Salem's Lot."

I was just thinking that would be a great King to start with. It's not as long as some of the others but displays a lot of Kingliness. "


Kingliness.... I like that! :)

King went from my intro into horror, to the only (expect for a book or two from Peter Straub, I think). I was all set to become a Anne Rice fan as well, but never got past Interview With The Vampire (which I read at least 3 or 4 times). Plus, after years (I'm not joking) of trying, off and on, to read The Witching Hour I finally gave up. My last atempt was 3 months of frustration back in 2010.

I still actually do want to see if I can get through The Vampire Chronicles, though. I mean there must be a reason I read the first book so many times.


message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel It's been a few months since I read McCammon's I Travel by Night by Robert R. McCammon I Travel by Night but I continually find myself thinking back to both the haunting story and the eerie ambiance created by the author. If you're looking for a short standalone piece, I'd give it a try.

I think I'll be re-reading it again soon...


message 9: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Nyssa wrote: "I still actually do want to see if I can get through The Vampire Chronicles, though. I mean there must be a reason I read the first book so many times."

You're a glutton for punishment? O_o

I actually feel you on this though. It's only recently that I've come to the conclusion that me and Anne Rice? We ain't nevah gonna see eye to eye. I've tried reading SO MANY of her books. SO MANY. And I can't get through them. I wade in, it's not long before the purple firehose pen she uses drowns me in mundanity and I just have to give up. I'm never going to make it to the other side.

I've finished two of her books. One was the Sleeping Beauty spankporn, and the other was Interview with the Vampire, which I only succeeded in finishing because of Frank Muller's reading and the fact that I could zone out during the 20 minute door descriptions and the book would keep on truckin' without me.


message 10: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 2023 comments Really should not read these threads while in class... Almost LOL... Literally!!!
Thank you for the much needed smile Becks!! :)


message 11: by Jake (new)

Jake m (atticus55) | 22 comments So I just read my first Stephen King book, The Stand, and loved it. Any recs for a follow up?


message 12: by Chris , cookie guilt (last edited Mar 06, 2014 04:48PM) (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments 'Salem's Lot
The Dead Zone
The Shining

Those are some really good early works, written in the years around The Stand.

If you want another brick epic, you might be ready for It.

Becky and I are also mods for the Stephen King Group. Feel free to take a look around there. Lots of opinions there. Heh

They're currently reading Christine, which is another good early King.


message 13: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 2023 comments Chris wrote: "'Salem's Lot
The Dead Zone
The Shining

Those are some really good early works, written in the years around The Stand.

If you want another brick epic, you mi..."


Personally, I think It is much better than The Stand! But thats just my 2 cents.


message 14: by Jake (new)

Jake m (atticus55) | 22 comments Thanks I will check that group out. Yeah, The Stand really blew my mind. Which one would you say is the scariest and most creepy?


message 15: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments I don't personally find any of King's books scary, but IT has some pretty creepy moments, especially on audio (read by Steven Weber). It was great. Otherwise, I'd say Pet Sematary, The Shining, or Salem's Lot are usually the ones people say are scary.


message 16: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments LOVED The Stand.

LOVED.


message 17: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Me too. It's my favorite next to The Shining. :D

Jake - I'll just give you a heads up. All of the books that have been mentioned so far here are what we would call "early King". There's a definite shift in King's writing after 1999 when he was in an accident. It has a different... feel. I still happen to love it, but many prefer early King for its more straightforward kind of feel. (That's the best way I can think to describe it.)

Anyway, some of his more recent books are just as brilliant as his earlier work (if not more so - he's evolved a lot as a writer) and I would definitely recommend Duma Key, Lisey's Story, 11/22/63 and Full Dark, No Stars (which is a novella collection). All of these were 5 star reads for me. All excellent.


message 18: by Jake (new)

Jake m (atticus55) | 22 comments Becky,

Seems like you know your King. That's interesting about the change in feel. I'm glad I finally picked a King book. I was looking at Duma Key and think the premise is intriging.


message 19: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Jake wrote: "Becky,

Seems like you know your King. That's interesting about the change in feel. I'm glad I finally picked a King book. I was looking at Duma Key and think the premise is intriging."


Duma Key is fantastic. If you're into audio books, that's one that I highly recommend. The reading is absolutely perfect. :D


message 20: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Nyssa wrote: "Kingliness.... I like that! :)

King went from my intro into horror, to the only (expect for a book or two from Peter Straub, I think). I was all set to become a Anne Rice fan as well, but never got past Interview With The Vampire (which I read at least 3 or 4 times). Plus, after years (I'm not joking) of trying, off and on, to read The Witching Hour I finally gave up. My last atempt was 3 months of frustration back in 2010.

I still actually do want to see if I can get through The Vampire Chronicles, though. I mean there must be a reason I read the first book so many times. "



I'd avoid Rice if I were you. She's really horrible to people online and her work gets really squicky.

Really, really squicky. That section with the young girl turned into a vampire? The book The Vampire Armand (view spoiler)


message 21: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (last edited Mar 06, 2014 06:20PM) (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 168 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "Nyssa wrote: "Kingliness.... I like that! :)

King went from my intro into horror, to the only (expect for a book or two from Peter Straub, I think). I was all set to become a Anne Rice fan as well..."


I lost all respect for Ms. Rice when I started following her on Facebook.
She asks for peoples opinions only so she can criticize their opinions.

Oh and if you criticize her back, she'll block you from her wall.


message 22: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 2023 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "I'd avoid Rice if I were you. She's really horrible to people online and her work gets really squicky.

Really, really squicky. That section with the young girl turned into a vampire? The book The Vampire Armand (view spoiler) "


☆αlly☆ (litєrαry єscαpist) wrote: "I lost all respect for Ms. Rice when I started following her on Facebook.
She asks for peoples opinions only so she can criticize their opinions.

Oh and if you criticize her back, she'll block you from her wall. "


Good to know!


message 23: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments Anne Rice is one big reason I fucking hate vampires.


message 24: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Chris wrote: "Anne Rice is one big reason I fucking hate vampires."

^I can agree.


I love the commentary that was made about "emo vampires" in Geekomancy.


message 25: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Anne Rice is just a shit writer. Her books are painfully bad to read. Squickiness and bad attitude doesn't turn me off of her books... her books do.


message 26: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Well dang, I was just being honest. I didn't mean to scare everyone away. :P


message 27: by Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah (last edited Mar 06, 2014 08:06PM) (new)

Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah (michellekobus) | 123 comments I feel like I have to be contrary and tell you all I like Anne Rice! lol ;) Her Vampire Chronicles do decline as they go on, but I love the first three.


message 28: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments I did like those first three a lot, Michelle. Four, really.


message 29: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments LOL That's cool, Michelle. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. :)

I've just tried quite a few of her books, usually from some sense of "Well maybe I'll like THIS ONE?", and I just can't enjoy them. I managed to finish Interview because it was on audio, but every other book that I tried ended up annoying me too much to finish.


Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah (michellekobus) | 123 comments I understand. I don't get mad about it anymore because, even though I like her, I totally see where people are coming from! :)


message 31: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 168 comments Chris wrote: "Anne Rice is one big reason I fucking hate vampires."

If you're interested she can also be the reason you hate wolves...The Wolf Gift haha!


message 32: by ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ (new)

ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 168 comments Becky wrote: "Well dang, I was just being honest. I didn't mean to scare everyone away. :P"

You didn't scare meeee!!!
Now if Rice made a comment, then I'd run. She's crazy!


message 33: by Lee (new)

Lee | 939 comments ☆αlly☆ (litєrαry єscαpist) wrote: "Chris wrote: "Anne Rice is one big reason I fucking hate vampires."

If you're interested she can also be the reason you hate wolves...The Wolf Gift haha!"


I love wolves - wolves, werewolves, whatever - and I hated that book. I used to love Rice in school but hadn't read her in years. I mean to reread my favs (Interview & Witching Hour) but I'm afraid if I do they won't be favs anymore.

Anne Rice is one sick lady (no offense to any fans) but I think V. C. Andrews was even sicker. Another fav from my early teen... Really makes me wonder why I wasn't scarred for life... Makes books like Twilight harmless by comparison.


message 34: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments I dunno, Nienna. Maybe I'm just really jaded, but I don't really see anything all that squicky in either one.

I read Rice's Sleeping Beauty spankporn, even, and while it was... that... it was really pretty tame in terms of "messed-up-ness". (Unless you count the fact that she apparently thinks it's feasible to have a 24/7 erection, but that's just consult-your-doctor messed up. LOL)

I'd tried Rice's other books (Vampire Chronicles, Mayfair Witches, various others) in highschool and unless one counts the purple prose, there was nothing gross or scary or anything that I can recall. And I'm a lifelong Stephen King reader. (Or maybe I didn't find them messed up BECAUSE of that. LOL) Though, to be fair, I admit I didn't finish any of them except aforementioned spankporn and Interview with the Whaaaaaaampire.

I never read Andrews as a kid though. I read Flowers as an adult because I wanted to see how messed up it really was with the incest. And I was actually disappointed with it. LOL I expected something really... intense and graphic, Cersei/Jaimeish - only teen versions, but that wasn't the case at all. It was just... hormonal kids who didn't know better. I wasn't bothered by THEIR actions at all. (view spoiler)

I never read any of Andrews' other books though. I only ever hear about Flowers in the Attic.


message 35: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments I liked the movie 'Interview with the Vampire' when it first came out, though I'm not sure it really holds up over time. I still like 'Queen of the Damned', though I know book-fans say it doesn't follow the books at all...

So I decided to try and read at least the first three books, 'cause I wanted to see the differences, and I never got past the first book.

Like MrsJ, I found parts of it a bit squicky - especially because it seems to linger over (view spoiler)

But I also acknowledge that I'm a bit of a prude and easily squicked, but, yeah... (view spoiler)

But that's just icing on the cake. It was the florid writing and the fact I recall it being rather boring that was really the nail in the coffin, so to speak...


That said, I still like vampires. My favorite mythos is still Masquerade, I think.

Never got into werewolves so much, though.


message 36: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Colleen wrote: "I liked the movie 'Interview with the Vampire' when it first came out, though I'm not sure it really holds up over time. I still like 'Queen of the Damned', though I know book-fans say it doesn't ..."

YES.

YES.

YES.
YES!!!


I tried to go on an Anne Rice glom some years ago. I got through most of the Vampire Chronicles and - as said - books 1-3 are decent. #1 being the best (if whiny).

Had to Full.Stop. when I got to the Vampire Armand.

I then read her Servant of the Bones - which I still like, BTW. Pretty good book.

But when I tried to move into some of her other stuff... *shudder* I got rid of all but Servant of the Bones - but the last one I attempted to read was about castratos. At that point I realized I was done and was never going back.


Freeeedooommmm!


message 37: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments Vampire Armand blew chunks. From what I remember, it got good towards the end, but the first 1/2 - 2/3 bored me to tears. Which was bad, since Armand was actually one of my favorites.

Some of the books after that were good. Blackwood Farm and Blood & Gold I remember being pretty decent.

It was more burnout for me than anything. Then when she wrapped up the vamps, she went on a Jesus kick and got all preachy. My interest faded at that point.

And right, I never bothered with the Wolfie books. Sounds like I'm not missing much.


message 38: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) The only one of Rice's books I read and completed was the first Christ book. It was an okay read.

I tried her spankporn book, but it was too much...even for me. Just couldn't tolerate the bad writing, plus she managed to "squick" me as well. I don't find abuse and rape sexy.


message 39: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Chris wrote: "Vampire Armand blew chunks. From what I remember, it got good towards the end, but the first 1/2 - 2/3 bored me to tears. Which was bad, since Armand was actually one of my favorites.

Some of the ..."




SOoooo glad I didn't force my way through!! I liked Armand, too...


message 40: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Jackie wrote: "The only one of Rice's books I read and completed was the first Christ book. It was an okay read.

I tried her spankporn book, but it was too much...even for me. Just couldn't tolerate the bad writ..."


I can't even bother with her spankporn. If I want BDSM I'll go get some well written smut, thank you very much. ;-)


And let that be an option for any of yall who want to read some smut. I reads it. I likes it. I recommends it.

Drop me a line before you destroy your braincells with bad smut.


message 41: by Lee (new)

Lee | 939 comments Flowers in the Attic wasn't *that* bad if I remember, but her other series (which may or may not have been written by Andrews herself - I get confused on which are hers and which aren't) are pretty iffy. Not graphic - but a lot more sexual. Including incest and rape.

But - it did no lasting damage on me - that I know of. Lol.

I read King as a teen too. And even younger. I read Clive Barker too. Funny thing is the books I read as a teen didn't bother me when I was that age but now that I'm older I question it.


message 42: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 3 comments Stephen King is really mostly a "supernatural thriller" writer, like Robert McCammon, Richard Laymon, Douglas Clegg, etc. Most of the "big" novel writers. This is a sub-genre of horror, but not "true" horror, it is mainly thriller with a supernatural plot driver. Most true horror is in the form of short stories or novellas, not novels. Horror lends itself to the shorter forms best. It is not about character development, and the suspense, if there is any, is short and sharp and generally based around the suspense of the uncertain and often unexplained, not tied up and all explained as in a King novel. True eeriness is in things we don't really and cannot really understand.

If you don't believe me, pick up something by Laird Barron or Michael Shea or Ramsey Campbell or Greg Gifune and countless others lesser known and then tell me these aren't the real entry level for "true" horror.


message 43: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Nienna wrote: "Flowers in the Attic wasn't *that* bad if I remember, but her other series (which may or may not have been written by Andrews herself - I get confused on which are hers and which aren't) are pretty..."

I think it depends when you read it, lol.

I have a sight impaired cousin but she's a decade older than me. When she got her audio copies of the VC Andrews series she read them multiple times on loud (cause she knew I didn't want to read them). As a kid...reading about the incest and the blood drinking... *Shudder*

Then the later books with (view spoiler)


message 44: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 46 comments I think the DarkFuse novella series would be a good way to ease someone into horror before throwing them to the big dogs.

I went through an Anne Rice phase during the late 1990's. After several disappointing books in a row, I ended our relationship. I tried to rekindle things with The Wolf Gift years later but it didn't pan out.


message 45: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 46 comments On a related note, I have yet to read a really good werewolf book. I liked Cycle of the Werewolf and Wolf's Hour was good.


message 46: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Dan wrote: "On a related note, I have yet to read a really good werewolf book. I liked Cycle of the Werewolf and Wolf's Hour was good."

Now that you mention this, I don't think I've read a good werewolf book that wasn't PNR.


message 47: by Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah (last edited Mar 07, 2014 11:03AM) (new)

Michelle Sedai of the Brown Ajah (michellekobus) | 123 comments The Monstrumologist is my favorite horror novel. That's really what captured my interest in horror novels/short stories. It's an easy read (generally labeled as YA), but plenty spooky...and some gore as well :)


message 48: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Randolph, we're not really getting all that particular about it... I'm not a big one for labeling genres/sub-genres/sub-sub-genres, etc.

But I will agree with you that short fiction does generally work well with horror. :)


message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic Dust by Charles Pellegrino, published in 1998.

I didn't know what a paleobiologist was until I read this book.

It may serve as a great introduction to the horror genre because it is one of those biological chain reaction scenarios that some readers would identify as being completely plausible and, even more frightening, entirely possible.


message 50: by Laurel (new)

Laurel I just read a cool horror comic - cross between Aliens and the Abyss. The Wake Part One #1 by Scott Snyder The Wake Part One #1. I highly recommend it.


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