Friday, September 16, 2016

Halloween Readings To scare you

October approaches with the speed of time passing through your fingers.  My son began his final year in high school, and he is doing well.  It seems impossible.  Yesterday he was a 7 year old running to me and hugging me.  Now, he is this huge (compared to the 7 year old) kid who is brilliant, nearly an adult, kind, and all those good things.  Time is unfair, but it isn't the only thing in life to be so.

And due to my schedule I am not able to spend time, as I have in the past, promoting horror, monster movies, tpbs of comics with vampires and the like.  This will be pretty much it.

I've chosen books for you to consider that have some degree of acceptance as good works in the genre/subject.

Werewolves and wolf packs are not as popular it seems as vampires, but are by far more interesting to me.  Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King has brilliant art within by Bernie Wrightson, an amazing artist who loves depicting horror.

I truly adore Brian Lumley's writing skills.  His Necroscope series is one that I've only recently indulged fully in.  And the vampires he writes are not truly the undead, or blood suckers, in the true sense.  They are a form of energy, with human characteristics, who feed upon human souls/blood.  The aspects that are familiar are revisioned and made better, and the aspects that are brand new are made clear for the reader to dwell in the horribly scary place they come from.

Anne Rice is a wonderful writer, who has a way with Vampires.  She is a person I adore as well.  Stephen King is a great writer, perhaps among the best ever America has produced, but due to his "fixation" upon writing horror he'll likely never get his due.  However he gets lots of dough instead of due.  So there is that.   Bram Stoker's words are far far far better than any of the movie roles Dracula appeared in, so it is with some joy I suggest people read this Dracula work, with Jae Lee panels of art within.  He brings to life horror, at the same time as beauty.  Not an easy trick, and quite delicious.

Steve Niles has a hit franchise with 30 Days of Night comics, but he did some work with Jeff Mariotte to expand and contrast the fictional world of darkness.  These are at times as evocative as the comics, and are recommended. 

I remember when the first time I picked up Black Easter and the follow up.  I was horrified and quite naive to the world, oh so very long ago.  And then I came to the end of the first book, and I shivered.  It was genuinely that scary and icky.  Which is the mark of great writing.  So I began the next book, and it took forever to finish, because I didn't want to have it hit me like the previous work.

And just so the ghost of James Blish knows, you probably realize already, but, God is not dead.  So so not dead.

Frankenstein is a powerful work.  It is not horror, but people believe that it is.  It is a lesson upon the arrogance of humans, to think that they too could create life, in a fit of idolatry rather than recognize that life comes from and the secret is known only to God.  It is not a "Christian" or "Theistic" work, rather, it speaks in the language of the day and uses the power of myth to ask the question "what is life?".  The books below would be enough to send your mind into ambrosia if this is your interest area.

The next three books suggested are not for all audiences of horror.  They are long, drawn out, wordy works that mostly require a high level of interest or attention.  Phantom of the Opera is possibly based on a poor sucker who was misformed in the face.  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is well written, about the dark side of men.  Have any of us really overcome it, and should we want to have done so?  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an exercise in pain for some people I know.  It is different than any of the movies, Quasimodo isn't a happy guy even in the end, although he isn't tortured as much.  And the real theme is cruelty based upon difference, and trust and distrust due to appearance rather than the human heart.  Yes I liked it, but it is not an easy book. 

While my favorite monster is the Mummy, I cannot say that I've ever read or watched a movie about one that scared me, except for the Karloff movie, The Mummy.  I think they could be used well, and I don't assume any genre or subject to be bankrupt of potential.  But of the books and stories suggested below I'd suggest that the Anne Rice is the best one, and unless you are a person with an interest in the subject, (for me it comes from my love of Egypt and Ancient History in general) you might be better off finding one of many great National Geographic documentaries or books on the subject.

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