Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Reading Theme: Horror Fiction

‘Tis the season to be spooky. These horror picks will keep you up at night… whether to keep turning pages or because you’re too afraid to turn out the lights!

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories by Michael Arnzen (yes, Dr. Arnzen!)
One hundred very satisfying small stories by one of the true masters of flash fiction. Sometimes disturbing, sometimes humorous, and sometimes musical, this collection is essential reading for anyone interested in flash-bizarro-horror, not to mention the fact that it's basically a clinic for anyone interested in writing the stuff. A modern classic. (Amazon.com reviewer Scott Cole)

Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce
Drawing on his own experiences as a Civil War veteran and a San Franciscan journalist, Bierce uses the backdrop of the Civil War, the South and California as the setting in many of his tales. His highly intelligent, highly critical and biting personality comes through in the bizarre menagerie of characters populating his narratives, in the descriptions of their actions and in the world they inhabit. (Amazon.com reviewer Amazon Customer)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Have you ever tiptoed down a hall in a dark house late at night, not sure if you really heard that bump in the night? That is what reading this novel was like, in all of the best ways possible. Shirley Jackson is a renowned master at the macabre, the unnerving, the Gothic genre, and this work puts her talents on full display—in HD. (Goodreads.com reviewer Navidad Thelamour)

Four Past Midnight by Stephen King
You are strapped in an airline seat on a flight beyond hell. You are forced into a hunt for the most horrifying secret a small town ever hid. You are trapped in the demonic depths of a writer's worst nightmare. You are focusing in on a beast bent on shredding your sanity.
You are in the hands of Stephen King at his mind-blowing best with an extraordinary quartet of full-length novellas guaranteed to set your heart-stopwatch at- FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT.
(Publisher’s summary)

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Does this classic need a synopsis? A young and beautiful primadonna is visited by a masked "Angel of music" who teaches her to sing and jealously demands her devotion. (Publisher’s summary)

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft
Incantations of black magic unearthed unspeakable horrors in Providence, Rhode Island. Evil spirits are being resurrected from beyond the grave, a supernatural force so twisted that it kills without offering the mercy of death! (Publisher’s summary)

Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Lestat's kiss has awakened Queen Akasha from her 6000 year sleep. She immediately begins a wholesale slaughter of most of the world's vampires, sparing only a small remnant (including Lestat) who she expects will join her in a crazed crusade against male mortals. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Presents the classic macabre tale of a vampire, Count Dracula of Transylvania, and the small group of people who vowed to rid the world of him. (Publisher’s summary)

Fog Heart by Thomas Tessier
Oona Muir has visionary trances that involve self-laceration, bleeding and fits. Expressing her visions in the disjointed, imagistic language of traditional prophecy, she convinces a few believers but lets more skeptical acquaintances scoff--until she hints at their own dark secrets. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, edited by Phyllis Cerf Wagner and Herbert A. Wise
This is the bedrock of horror anthologies; the quintessential collection of spine-chilling tales; the keystone in any serious horror buff's collection. (Amazon.com reviewer R.D. Ashby)

The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story by Horace Walpole
On the day of his wedding Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. Fearing the end of his dynasty, his father, Manfred, determines to marry Conrad's betrothed Isabella, until a series of supernatural events stands in his way. A giant helmet falls from the moon, a portrait sighs, a statue bleeds and spirits warn of impending tragedy, as the curse on Manfred's house inexorably works itself out. (Publisher’s summary)

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