Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 92: Getting ready for Halloween: Scary Books.

Literature in general has had an extraordinary impact in my life, providing me with different parameters under which analyze the world and its events, as well as contact with a variety of schools of thoughts and philosophies that have helped me create a belief system of my own.

I have read books that have made me laugh, and cry, but indeed very few books or stories have made me tremble with fear.

I am glad to present you with my horror stars that have instilled terror into my literary world:

1. Children of the Corn. Stephen King, 1977.
This short story by the master of terror is the first “monster story without a monster” I ever read. You know there is a monster, but you never get in touch with it properly. The idea of a way of life ruled by fear and fanaticism, and exerted by children, more than the monster itself, gave me the creeps
2. The Exorcist. William Peter Blatty, 1971.
I was lent this book by my best friend (an avid reader himself) when I was 16, after I told him about my fear of the movie. And probably because of that, I started feeling extremely disturbed while reading it, to the point of almost having a stroke when I once was reading late at night and my lap dog unexpectedly jumped onto my bed.

3. 1984. George Orwell, 1949.
I am fully aware that this is no horror book, but a dystopian novel. However, the notion of being deprived of the most essential elements of private life and the ultimate rape of human individualism, more that poverty and war themselves, really shook me up at that time. Even now, the idea of being regarded as nothing more than a sheep in a herd makes me sick

I hope one day you may enjoy being scared by literature as much as I have!


Miao said...

I'd include Lord of the Flies in the list!

The Usual Stuff said...

Oh, c**p, I completely forgot about it! You're absolutely right, miao: that is another horror book. I also considered including "Animal Farm", but finally I decided that one was more like a social manifesto than terror.
And now that I'm thinking slowly, I should've included "Metamorphosis", from Kafka. I used to believe it was a horror novel when I first read it, many years ago.

Miao said...

Yes, Metamorphosis should be included too! Not exactly a horror story, but what it mirrors or tries to convey is sinister enough. How about A Clockwork Orange?

The Usual Stuff said...

Well, I didn't find A Clockwork Orange particularly scary under the definition of a book that really disturbs your sleeping patterns, but a masterpiece altogether. Even Poe feels mild when compared to them.