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Customer Discussions > Horror forum

Horror novels for picky reader?

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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 14, 2012 3:11:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012 3:16:33 PM PST
writerholic says:
My hubby is a huge horror novel reader, but lately he's been having a tough time picking anything new. I was hoping someone could give me some suggestions for Xmas presents. My hubby likes horror with creatures, like giant animals terrorizing everyone. He's not into psychological horror or anything weird. No pansy Vampires, but he's a huge fan of Hammer films and Universal Monsters. He still likes ghost stories as long as they are really scary. I've been looking over some books to buy on Amazon, but I don't read horror and I thought I'd see some suggestions first before I buy some that I think sound good. I think I should add that he's read all the usual more prominent books by big authors, so I'm looking for little gems that he may have missed over the years. Thanks for any help!

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 2:42:00 AM PST
It would be awfully hard to say without knowing what he's already read. But I'll throw a couple out there.
Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 6:04:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 15, 2012 6:05:34 PM PST
Wolf Hunt
Wolf Hunt is a funny, modern day werewolf story.
If your husband likes giant ant stories this one is entertaining:

And I second both of Clay' s suggestions. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 9:24:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 16, 2012 9:36:35 PM PST
Dingfelder says:
Agree with Charlene on Wolf Hunt. Haven't read Mandibles yet. Jeff Strand, the author, writes stories that are funny and a very fast read.

For classic horror, you can't go wrong with Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin. He's also the guy who wrote The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil and A Kiss Before Dying. None of those last ones are quite horror, so though they are unusually well written (Levin is a master), I'd try Rosemary's Baby but hesitate to recommend the other for someone wanting horror.

I'd also like to recommend a collection of short stories I got recently that is particularly outstanding. It has a huge number of short stories and includes some that are extremely hard to find and some that are true classics: The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. At over a million words, it's one heck of a bargain at its price.

I strongly recommend the three books I've read from Alan Ryker, Burden Kansas (Vampires of the Plains), Blood Tells True (Vampires of the Plains), and The Hoard. The first two are novellas that make up a two-part series. They're vampire stories with gritty, nasty vampires and a sort of spare feel to them that reminds me a little of Westerns, though they take place in the Midwest. The last is about, well ... bugs kinda, but with a bit of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers and a famous short story called "The Autopsy" by Michael Shea thrown in too. All in all, fun, and Ryker's (I'm picky too!) an unusually fine horror writer with strong characterization skills.

You can find my reviews for them here (Burden Kansas):

here (Blood Tells True):

and here(The Hoard):

I gave the first two 4 stars and the last one 5 stars.

I'll also recommend Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things for a taste of traditional old-timey Japanese horror and Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (Penguin Classics) for the same, but Chinese. They're both fun and the last is very imaginative.

I'd also strongly recommend Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide. It's chock full of monsters that Westerners not only have never heard of, but would probably never imagine. It comes with illustrations of many different monsters and notes on their habitat, diet, and place in folklore and tradition. Each is described and put in context within two to four pages. Really just a heck of a lot of fun. If you like that one, the same people came out with another one on Japanese ghosts, which I bought but have not read yet.

Finally, though I have not read it myself, any fan of Hammer horror flicks is likely to recognize the name Ingrid Pitt, who starred in some of their most famous and best movies. Her biography, Life's A Scream, is very well-reviewed in the major press outlets, and takes her story backwards from her movie star days to her start in a concentration camp as a young girl. By all accounts it's a fascinating story very well told, and the lady is on one account after another hard not to love. Utterly charming in video interviews you can find online, and I think at least one of her movie performances is extremely strong -- moving and haunting. She lent what could have been light roles an unexpected gravity and depth. A newer version is called Ingrid Pitt: Darkness Before Dawn.

You should be able to find most of these as both e-books and regular printed books, so don't feel restricted by my linking to the e-book versions.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 3:28:57 AM PST
Alina says:
A fun coffee table book is Monsters in the Movies by John Landis (director of American Werewolf in London). It's cheap for what it is - a very glossy picture book of classic movie monsters and amusing reviews by Landis. A fun book.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 2:58:33 PM PST
Nick Jones says:
How about a hundreds of years old shapeshifter, seeking revenge against four old men and the town they live in? Peter Straub's Ghost Story is not only one of the best horror novels ever published, but my favorite novel of all time; I've read it - oh, let's say 13, shall we? - somewhere in the double digits. I thought of reading it again this year, but I'm going to put it off until Fall-Winter 2013. Charlene will back me up on this novel.

If your husband has the patience for a very long book, there's Dan Simmons' The Terror: A Novel. On the plus side there is an Inuit god/monster terrorizing a stranded British Arctic expedition, based on the true story of Sir John Franklin; on the minus side, Simmons writes more about the customs and practices of the mid-19th century British Navy than he'll probably want to know.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 4:08:17 PM PST
Ghost Story is the best. I can't imagine an avid reader of horror has not read it. But if not, it's the mother lode.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 5:28:14 AM PST
Ghost Story is a phenomenal read and very scary. It's in my top 5 books of all time.
I assumed that writerholic's husband had already read it, since she mentioned that he has already read the prominent novels of the genre. Ghost Story would be considered prominent in my book. :)
Please note though, Ghost Story is not available as an e-book. I did recently write to Mr. Straub who says they are 'working on it.'

I second Nick regarding The Terror The Terror as well. Very scary.

Marc's suggestion of the Vampires of the Plains books was also a great one. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 10:19:09 AM PST
KinksRock says:
I'm guessing your husband has read all the classic horror novels. It's out of print and hard to get (although cheap copies sometimes pop up on amazon and but I can't recommend enough one of my favorite horror novels: Graham Masterton's The Hell Candidate.

Believe me, no pansy vampires in that one. Just the meanest depiction of the Devil I've ever seen.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 12:30:21 PM PST
writerholic says:
Thanks to Nick and everyone with the ideas. My hubby has not only read Ghost Story several times, he deems it one of his ultimate favs. I'll check with him about The Terror, although that sounds familiar to me. I think it's a movie he's watched. Lot's of good suggestions to look into before time runs out. I did also see the discussion about nature going nutty and found some gems there as well.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 12:47:23 PM PST
We are glad to help spread the love of horror!

I don't think there has been a movie made of The Terror, but it very well might not be his cuppa. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 12:51:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2012 12:52:40 PM PST
Clay, I just saw your post in the MOA. I wanted to wish you good luck with your book and to thank you for not whacking us over the head with it here.
I would add though, that you should change your profile which says you currently have no books on Amazon. I would probably put a link to your book in there as well. : )

Oh and I totally agree about Van Hagar! I upvoted your review.

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 3:39:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 4:49:05 AM PST
Oh..Thanks Charlene.


Posted on Dec 27, 2012 3:50:17 AM PST
daibhidh says:
It's too late for Christmas, obviously, but reading's good all year 'round, right? :)

"Chosen" and "Saamaanthaa" are good. Smart, scary, cynical, creepy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013 10:58:03 AM PST
The Haunted Halls (a novelette) by some guy...The Haunted Halls
But I agree with anything by Joe Hill or Jonathan Maberry

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 8:41:14 AM PST
James says:
Bunker +++FREE+++ From midnight Friday, 'Bunker' will be Free to download from Grab yourself a copy - synopsis below.

Mark only believes in what he sees. He certainly believed in Brendan Douglas who rammed a shot gun in his mouth and told him never to come back to 'The Hedgerows'.For eighteen years Mark kept his promise. But then he began to see what was impossible; the ghost of a small child who had been disappeared all those years ago and Mark then knew he had to find the courage to confront his past.

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 11:26:54 AM PST
Dingfelder says:
Jeez stop with the spam you guys. That's for the Meet Our Authors forum and is now allowed outside it per Amazon's rules.

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 12:19:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2013 12:20:51 PM PST
KinksRock says:
Following up on my earlier post, there's a copy of THE HELL CANDIDATE available on for $11.61. That's not the cheapest I've seen it, but not a bad price, especially when you consider that people are trying to sell it for up to $169.25 on and about $150.56 (why 56 cents, I have no idea) on amazon. Great book, recommended. And no, I am not the author.

FOLLOW-UP: OMG, someone is trying to sell it for $271 on amazon. Is it worth that to anyone? I mean . . . I like the book and it's out of print, but come on!
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Discussion in:  Horror forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Dec 14, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 30, 2013

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