As we are now into the thick of Fall, and Halloween season has its icy grip upon the land, I thought I'd share some recommendations for some excellent Halloween season reading. There is a wide selection here, based on what you are in the mood for. I stand behind each and every one of these titles, and hope you get some chilling enjoyment out of them. CLICK THE BOOK COVER IMAGES TO FIND HOW TO GET THE BOOK ONLINE. Without further ado...
The Haunted House Story -- THE SHINING
Stephen King's The Shining is one of those cases where the haunted house itself is a major character to the story. Loaded with spooks and spectres, and led by an extremely flawed protagonist, it's a powerful read. And one of King's best ever.
The Reimagined Story - FRANKENSTEIN series by DEAN KOONTZ
Where Mary Shelley's Gothic classic left off, Dean Koontz does a superb job of continuing the tale and bringing Victor Frankenstein and his Monster into modern day New Orleans.
Part horror, part science fiction, part crime thriller, this 5-book Frankenstein series is something great for those wanting to binge a longer tale through the October season.
The Claustrophobic Horror -- THE DEEP
The Abyss meets The Thing in Nick Cutter's The Deep. In a story that takes place within a deep-sea research station sitting on the ocean floor, there's no way you can't feel the walls closing in around you. And that's in addition to the creature-feature weirdness going on amongst the characters.
A lot of this story is told with interior-mind flashbacks, revealing where the characters were at personality wise prior to the events going on underwater. If you're not a fan of too many flashbacks, that's understandable. But there is reason for it, as the unknowable force is wrecking havoc with the characters' very minds.
The Best Weird Stories -- H.P. LOVECRAFT'S CTHULHU MYTHOS
H.P. Lovecraft changed horror on a scale that hasn't come along since his time. Prior to his work, horror kind of stuck to the realms of Gothic and ghosts, and that was about it. But Lovecraft brought the world Cosmic Horror, and the genre of horror itself changed for the better.
Without Lovecraft's creations-the likes of Cthulhu, Dagon, Nyarlathotep, or Herbert West- we would have never gotten the likes of Stephen King, John Carpenter, Freddy Krueger, Alien, even Marvel/DC comics. Lovecraft's influence reached far beyond his years, which is why it's sad he died broke and starving.
But at least due to his having no heirs or estates, you can usually obtain his entire library in single volumes for very low price.
The Slow-Burn Ghost Story - GHOST STORY
When people ask me for ghost stories, I always turn to this debut novel, Ghost Story by Peter Straub. What reads like other close-knit-friends-fighting-an-ancient-evil tales like Stephen King's IT, this one is not about a group of kids but instead a group of elderly friends coming to terms with a horrible event in their pasts.
The invading spirit is a creepy one, and as long as you are alright with a VERY slow burn toward a harrowing end, you'll be in for haunting experience.
The Apocalyptic Vampire Story -- THE PASSAGE TRILOGY
Justin Cronin's Passage Trilogy cranks the vampire story up to full throttle, and the vampires themselves are extremely dangerous; more akin to wild animals than slick seducers. The story of the remnants of mankind trying to eke out an existence in a world overrun by the undead is an epic one, and even rings eerily mirror-like with some of today's current events.
The Best Short Horror Fiction Collection -- THE BOOKS OF BLOOD
While there are many excellent collections of short dark fiction out there, my number one pick continues to go to Clive Barker's Books Of Blood. These are the tales he told prior to Hellraiser, and they are such a treat. Barker's writing is full of body horror, some of which will disturb some readers. But, while gruesome at times, Clive Barkers's prose also elevates it to an almost poetic level of literature. Both horrifying and beautiful, I recommend getting them all at once for a single read through.
Alrighty, there is my official selection of books for 2021 Halloween. I highly recommend checking at least one of them out, just click the corresponding image to take you there. If you read any of them, or have already read any of them, feel free to let me know your thought.