[Horror] Book Recommendations

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Melon, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. So, I have a growing interest in the horror genre. Right now I'm looking for a book that will keep me on the edge of my seat, and will genuinely freak me out. However, there is a small problem for me. My parents are not fans of me being interested in horror. So are there any books that aren't extremely gruesome or dark?(Even though I personally love that kind of stuff)
  2. Edgar Allan Poe's collection of short stories is golden :D! It's pretty easy to find them in bookstores.

    The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado were amazing. The stories can be quite dark, but most of the deaths and killings are handled with a certain kind of subtlety, so it's not too intense.

    I also suggest stuff by Shirley Jackson >w<

    Her story The Lottery was...wow xD. It's a short story though, but she does have some novels.
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  3. Viral House by Joe Sharp. It's not, scream your head off scary, and I honestly wouldn't have much of a problem letting one of my kids read it when they're a bit older. The worst part is the implied drug use, but it's minimal. There's a tiny bit of gore, but nothing that would turn anyone's stomach.

    Ghost Stories by Peter Staub is a good one as well, and if you haven't read it, The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Staub isn't exactly horror, but I recommend it anyway.

    If you have a Kindle, or an Amazon account, there's Amazon Unlimited, which is kind of like the Netflix for books. There's no horror section, they're all listed under suspense and thrillers, but most of the ones that I've read have been decent horror stories, a bit obscure, but decent.
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  4. Me and the spouse are currently working on a newly acquire Joe Hill collection. He's a lot like his father Stephen King, but with his own style. Pretty good so far.

    Anything by H.P. Lovecraft, usually his collections and short stories, or one's inspired by him. Black Wings of Cthulhu Vol. 1 + 2 are quite good and more than a little unnerving.

    My wife suggests Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon, they got really excited about that and ran through the apartment with bread dough on their hands just to remember the name for you.

    If you like comics I would also suggest reading most anything by Junji Ito, especially Uzamaki. Though Gyo, Hellstar Remina, and the Amigara fault are all good in my opinion.
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  5. Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft.

    Poe goes without saying and Tim Burton has some rather cute and disturbing poetry.

    Minibit is running a book club in which we all voted to read "1984".

    "House of Leaves" is bizarre and I thought it was awesome.

    "The October Country" and "Something wicked this way comes" by Ray Bradbury is one of my favorites, so I will mention it by name.

    Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat" is a beautifully written piece of literature if anyone who is into horror has not read "The Vampire Lestat" they absolutely should get on that asap, just for the wonderful literature, as well as "Interview with a vampire"

    Chealsea Quinn Yarbro's "Hotel Transylvania" was another vampire book that actually held my attention.

    These are some Horror titles that have left quite the Dark impression on me, that I think as a Horror fan you will enjoy reading.

    Clive Barker's "Books of Blood"
    William Golding's "Lord of the flies" - not totally horror but immersive dark fiction.
    Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
    H.G. Wells "The Island of Dr. Monreau"
    Cormac MaCarthy's "The Road"
    Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

    There are tons more, but I'd be here alllllll day.
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  6. If you're looking for something that'll freak you out, I'd recommend the Demonata Series by Darren Shan

    They're pretty good books, with some rather gruesome scenes

    (Someone just pointed out the nongruesome thing. Editing this now. Sorry!)
    Other things that are horror, would be stuff by Stephen King and HP Lovecraft. I've never really been freaked out by their stories but found them quite enjoyable and they are in the horror genre. Plus some people I've talked to have been freaked out by their stories


    Go with Lovecraft. Stephen King books are awesome, but they can contain inappropriate scenes in them. Lovecraft tends to not be gruesome, plus the writing tone is very majestic
    #6 ZombiePenguins, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
  7. OP specifically asked for non-gruesome stuff. Although Shan is great for all-out gore, it's probably not appropriate for the OP's needs.

    Others have made fantastic suggestions (Poe and Lovecraft in particular, though I'm not experienced with either), but personally I'd like to take a different tack and recommend Trainspotting. It's not exactly traditionally "horror" but its depictions of hard drug use and life in poverty is incredibly bleak, depressing, and horrifying. It's got some sick and twisted parts, but it never feels like it's a "for the sake of it" thing - it's always communicating the complete hopelessness of their lives. Only problem is that it's all written in Scots dialect, which may be pretty difficult to understand.
    "Lord of the Flies", suggested above, and books like 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, and other dark classics are similar in that they're not traditional horror, but will certainly play on your mind with their grim depictions of human nature and experience.
  8. Oh crap! I totally misread that sorry >.< I thought it said gruesome, but rereading it now whoops

    Okay so for nongruesome stuff go with Lovecraft. Stephen King books are good, but they have inapporapiate scenes in them. Lovecraft is a more haunting horror, plus it has classic points
  9. See, if I had a choice, I would get the darkest and most gruesome book I could find. XD So far, a lot of these books have sparked my interest, thanks guys!
  10. Going to second Lovecraft. I've been reading his work and it's hardly gruesome or graphic, but he does eventually develop quite the talent to get into your psyche and write some seemly unsettling tales.
  11. Lovecraft all the things
  12. I'll second Fijoli's suggestions of 1984 and House of Leaves. They're not exactly horror of the gruesome murder variety, nor are they thrillers for the most part, but they've both got a sort of suspenseful psychological horror thing going on that is pretty neat.

    If you do decide to read House of Leaves, I'd advise against getting an ebook copy unless it's in PDF or similar format as actual scanned images of the pages. The book does weird things with how it's printed, so if any ebook copies exist that were created through use of optical character recognition software they'd probably just spit out plain text and lose all the weird positioning of words and other intentional oddities of the print copy, and that would remove a lot from the reading experience.
  13. I absolutely concur with the very popular recommendation of Lovecraft. He's not only one of my favorite horror writers, but his works are short stories and almost entirely in the public domain- and so free and legal to read online. I have not one, but TWO links to sites where you can read his collected works!

    Bonus free ebook link

    My favorite short story by Lovecraft is Pickman's Model.

    Poe is another classic that I always recommend to budding horror fans. Go for The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Tell-Tale Heart.

    Both Lovecraft and Poe especially are classics, so that should make it harder for your parents to argue with.

    I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. That's another classic.

    Junji Ito is amazing and I am sure you would like his manga, but your parents might not be as crazy about that.

    Pretty much all of Fijoli's suggestions are excellent, especially Bradbury and Hemingway (I fucking love Hemingway) and Wilde (I fucking love Wilde too). HOWEVER, I'm going to caution you against Anne Rice. Not because of my own personal dislike for her writing, but because her writing is high in sexual content and is probably exactly what your parents would worry about. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is another great book, but has some uncomfortable themes and again might not be popular with your parents (although for different reasons than with Rice).

    House of Leaves is a very cool reading experience. Definitely follow Jorick's advice and get a physical copy because an ebook would not be the same.

    Some more parent-friendly books with darker themes would be Coraline or The Graveyard Book, both by Neil Gaiman. Both are young adult dark fantasy; creepy, but nothing gruesome. You should also check out the Scary Stories kids books- for the illustrations, not the stories. The artwork is the stuff of nightmares.

    I have a bunch of other suggestions, but all of them are unfortunately more on the side of gruesome/containing sexual content/otherwise Not Parent Safe. :[
  14. If suspenseful/thriller/Gothic is up for review, and you don't mind romance (nothing graphically so, should that be a problem), I'd recommend Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Hitchcock's adaptation is great as well.