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November 11, 2008

My TOP 25 Horror Books

With the Halloween season just ending, I found myself curious of what my Top 25 Horror books are. I went through some of the books I have read and tried to figure out what are my favorites. I looked at other lists and found some books that I will be checking out. However, here is my list (I am sure it will change the more I read, but for now – here’s what I have.)

  1. The Traveling Vampire Show – Richard Laymon
  2. Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  3. Misery by Stephen King
  4. The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson
  5. Frankenstein – Mary Shelly
  6. Interview with a Vampire – Ann Rice
  7. 20th Century Ghosts – Joe Hill
  8. The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
  9. The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
  10. Ghost House – Claire McNally
  11. Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
  12. The Shining – Stephen King
  13. Interview with a Vampire – Ann Rice
  14. Darkness Tell Us – Richard Laymon
  15. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
  16. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
  17. Sybil – Flora Rheta Schreiber
  18. Dracula – Bram Stroker
  19. The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  20. Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
  21. Where Are The Children – Mary Higgins Clark
  22. My Sweet Audrina – V.C. Andrews
  23. The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
  24. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
  25. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

September 25, 2008

Read it, Write it, Love it – Writing Prompt

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I just finished reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and was blown away. This book is amazing – amazing because of how different it is from the movies and stories we know. The movies tend to focus on the development of what a monster Dr. Frankenstein is and how obsessed he was in the creation of this story, when in truth it is a very small portion of the story. I am not sure if I was reading this story for the first time, or re-reading it (in my college days, I was a Lit. major for a long time, so I read a lot of books, that I don’t necessarily remember reading.) However, there were many pieces of this book which were very familiar to me and led me to believe that I have at least read portions of the book.

Boris Karloff as Frankenstein

As I was reading the book, I find a couple of on-line book discussion groups and one of the most common questions I saw being asked and answered was ‘who is the true monster of the story.’ It was interesting to see the variety of responses for both men. Yet, I have to say that I am not sure who I believe to be the monster. I love the complexity that Mary Shelley gave these characters – I feel pity for them both, Dr. Frankenstein was a man who had a vision and saw that vision through – after completing he learned that it was not the direction he should have gone, and refused to ever do it again. On the other hand, the creature – what a sad and lonely life – do we create conscience? In this thinking that we can build other beings – do we also have control of their actions, their desires and is it our responsibility to meet these desires.

I was hoping to write a post on what I am listening to and enjoying at this time. However, this book is causing so many thoughts to run through my mind. Do I have any characters in my stories – either written or being developed who can be both loved and hated? That readers will feel contempt for and pity? What a challenge – I am up for it? Are you?

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