I keep my skeletons out all year in spots to spook nosy guests. Be warned if you ever come over and snoop that white canister on the bathroom shelf or move back the leaves of a fern. (although why you would be messing with a fern is beyond me)
There are still a few books that scared me so badly that I waited to catch my breath before I reviewed them. Not that I stop reading horror or ghost stories just because Halloween is over, no way, but I know that many do.
Imagine a dark and stormy night and you’re cuddled up with an herbal tea in your favorite chair, the fire is toasty, no one else is home, the wind howls and you pick up…..
This is such a classic that it would be great to read from every year even if the subtitle makes you giggle a bit. Think about it, there just aren’t that many authors whose surnames start with “Ho” and that subtitle implies that the volume just covers that specific grouping. It doesn’t. Full of short stories that are old favorites (Poe, I am pointing at you) and a whole bunch that are new, I suggest that you keep the lights on. Naw, for the best, edge of your seat chills, turn them off and read by candle light or use your Paperwhite Kindle.
P.S. There are 29 stories in this and it feels like so much more. The forward is really worth reading as well.
Horror Stories edited by Darryl Jones, 510 pages, published October 1st 2014 by Oxford University Press
Are you old enough to remember the 1987 movie Mannequin staring Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall? Synopsis-cute guy falls in love with mannequin and gets a job there so he can chill with her when the store is closed, she comes alive and they have a beautiful relationship, at night, in the store. That and the fact that I thought it would be so cool to stay in a store over night are the only things that stuck with me. My never-had-a-job-before rear thought that it would be “cool” to hang out in a store at night. Wow, kids are naive. Fast forward a few years and I fell asleep on a pile of scarecrows while doing inventory at Michael’s in the middle of the night. Good times.
Anywho, it was a fun fantasy then and that is part of what made Horrorstor so alarmingly scary. The book takes something that we can all relate to in one way or another, an Ikea knockoff, and turns it into the scariest haunted building you have ever visited. A lot of it is tongue in cheek with the random Ikea-like descriptions of must-have house wares and that serves to make it more insidious. I don’t care that it is supposed to be a bit funny or that it is a lightly masked commentary on our materialistic culture; I will never ever open up a cabinet in any store again without thinking of the book. And Ikea? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix, 243 pages, published September 23rd 2014 by Quirk Books
File this under: Sometimes the remaking is just too much remaking.
Remember when they remade Psycho shot for shot? I was bored out of my mind; did you get through it? The Fall isn’t shot for shot, but it is a retelling of a treasured favorite from a treasured favorite author. That’s a lot to live up to and it is important to mention that if this gets younger folks to appreciate Edgar Allan Poe, it’s all good. However, if you grew up reading Stephen King and Poe like they were oxygen? This one might be okay if you get it from the library and that is still wouldn’t have helped me.
Bethany Griffin’s The Fall is a complete redo of Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. It isn’t updated to a modern setting, just cleaned up to add a bit more YA and make it easier for many more to read. While Usher has never been one of my favorites, I do know it well and mea culpa, I set the bar too high. It isn’t Griffin’s fault at all. This isn’t even the first treatment of Poe that she has done so she must be doing it right for her audience. (I haven’t read the others and therefore can’t judge) The problem was that I thought I was her audience and I was wrong.
If you have never read Poe, abandoned it due to it’s less than modern language, or have a teen that you would like to introduce Poe to, may I present…
The Fall by Bethany Griffin, 420 pages, published October 7th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
All three of these spooky reads were provided by their publishers and that, obviously, doesn’t mean that they had any hand in these thoughts.
You know how they have bloopers for movies and TV shows? There are times that I would like to post some of the bloopers for my writing. I laugh so hard at some of the spelling errors, typos, and complete butchering of the language. I don’t need auto-correct to embarrass myself, no sir. Have you had any good ones lately?