Well, it’s my turn to share ten of my favorites here, but suffice it to say there are far more then ten that could be listed. In fact quite a number of what I could include have already been covered (some in excess) by my co-writers on the site. So, since there are so many to choose from, I’ll travel a different path and shed light on a few works that haven’t yet been mentioned. Just a heads up, these aren’t listed in any specific order.
Edgar Allan Poe …The Complete Short Stories
Here is where I found my first real love for horror, back in my youth. A frightening place of fear, horror and suspense… with the tap tap tapping on my window in, The Raven to the pounding heartbeat in The Tell Tale Heart, I discovered a completely new territory to traverse. Mr. Poe did not let me down.
Ray Bradbury …Fahrenheit 451
Some may not consider this to be horror, but for me it is just that, at it’s finest. The idea of living in a dystopian society where books are censored and burned by governmental control is horrific. Mr. Bradbury passed away earlier this year and I wonder what he thought of where our government and censorship has progressed into. Now there is a man I would have liked to have had a conversation with.
Ray Bradbury…The Illustrated Man
I had the good fortune to read The Illustrated Man prior to my adventure into Something Wicked This Way Comes, affording me the opportunity to meet him before he showed up at the infamous carnival as an antagonistic character. Here I met the weary tattooed man in need of rest and some companionship as he sets down by a warm fire and allows the artwork that decorates his skin to tell eighteen stories of life and death.
Dean Koontz…The Fun House (Originally penned under the name ‘Owen West’)
A good number of people, myself included have loved to visit carnivals, traveling through the fun houses. This tale left me with a sincere desire to never again venture into the often very dark and frightening world of the infamous dark ride.
Clive Barker…Books of Blood Volume One
Honestly I have only read this particular volume from the Books of Blood collection, even though I have the whole set. Barker writes an intense amount of stories and I’ve just found myself lost in other tales he’s crafted (I will get to them, promise). Nonetheless he really hit home with Pig Blood Blues and most certainly a disgustingly delicious tale in The Midnight Meat Train. The latter being not easily digested.
Joe R. Lansdale…The Drive-In Series
Here is a set of three books all of which should be read to fully enjoy the entire journey. Lansdale starts us out at a night at The Orbit Drive-In Theater and takes us through horrendous circumstances and fantastical places here. Each book is a place and a tale that amazes the reader as we find out the where , what, and possibly even the why of the various characters contained within them. You too will find yourself wondering just what and where is the end of the road.
Stephen King…Needful Things
You did not think that I was going to have constructed this list and not include something from King, did you? As one of his many ‘constant readers’ that just is not about to happen. I could easily have picked ten of his many novels for this list, but for obvious reasons, I did not. Now on to this story …Who could resist a store named ‘Needful Things’? Not very many in Castle Rock can, but the prices this retailer demands… well, to put it mildly, are much higher than anyone ever expected. This story has held a special place for me as it’s the official end of the town in which so many of King’s stories have taken place. A bit sentimental on my part, I know. But hey, I wanted to visit there one day (is that possible?)!
Stephen King…The Stand The Complete and Uncut Version
Having read both versions of this epic novel I choose this one for the simple fact that it filled in places more completely than the first one. And well it should, with more than five hundred pages and extra details included. This apocalyptic tale really puts horror in the hot seat, as earth’s inhabitants are forced to choose what they will do to survive in a dying world. There are no easy answers. The Stand is considered by many to be one of King’s finest works…I share that opinion.
David Wong…John Dies At The End
If you have seen the movie of the same name I hope you enjoyed it (I certainly did), but the book deserves much more attention. The humorous and bizarre tale took me to strange and very frightening places. Rarely do I read a book that has me actually watching for things from the corner of my eye and jumping at shadows …that may or may not be there. This book did just that. I felt it only fair to list this here because it is a ‘new’ favorite of mine and I recommend it to you highly.
Mike Robinson…The Green-Eyed Monster
Lastly, another ‘new’ favorite. I read this, reviewed it and found it to be an excellent novel. The character development is so well rounded that you are not left with confusion and questions about anyone’s placement within the story, and I think we’d all agree that completed, fully fleshed-out characters make for better tales. This is a finely crafted story of jealousy , revenge and some supernatural horror, loaded with refreshing twists.
I will close this with a few honorable mentions…Wendy Potaki’s ‘The Man With The Blue Hat’, a twisted little tale of giving the Devil his due. Ray Bradbury… everything he has ever written, with a specific tip of the hat to ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. And finally… Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ collection, the complete set.