Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish. I can’t believe it’s been a little more than a year since I participated in one of these.
It’s been a while since I revisited horror. The last book I read was Doctor Sleep (it has made it to the list.) I don’t like the stigma associated with the genre; the “Stephen-King-is-my-favourite-author” gets a whole range of judgmental reactions from “Really?-So-you-don’t-like-classic-literature.”, or a simple “But-he-has-no-‘literary-value’.” or “I-don’t-read-genre-fiction.” or the classic, “Oh-you-don’t-seem-like-that-type-of-person.” Well, I am, just deal with it. Plus, whoever says Stephen King is just a horror writer hasn’t read the right books.
This is a list of my Top Five All Time Favourite Horror Books, though I have a vague feeling I have already made this list on the blog. Anyway, a few of the titles link to reviews.
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker – as my favourite gaslamp fantasy
2. The Shining and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King – as the first and latest Stephen King I read, both more emotional than they appear
3. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft – as my introduction to Lovecraft, macabre and weird fiction
4. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – for the musings over coming-of-age and the lessons of life and death
5. The Terror by Dan Simmons – for being wonderfully evocative and steeped in history and mythology
That being said, these aren’t the scariest, most horrifying horror books I’ve ever read. So here’s another list; my Top Five All Time Scariest Books
6. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty – All the spidery-crawli… no, no, I can’t relive it.
7. IT by Stephen King – One word, clowns.
8. Ghost Story by Peter Straub – How could anything be scarier than fear taking a physical form?
9. The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker – My first Barker, I wasn’t prepared for the gore.
10. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – The strange knocking on doors, the holding a hand in the dark only to find out…*shudders*
The two books that get a special mention in the second list are The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – neither needed horror of the supernatural kind to be mind-numbingly scary.
*Edit: Also add all of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, though I don’t exactly like them for being horror, but didn’t you hear? The Brat Prince is back! That calls for a lengthy re-read.
So which are your favourite horror books? Or your scariest?