7 essential books for your horror collection.
Published: October 22, 2013
Horror cinema tends to get all the love, but that’s understandable. With an assault on the senses both visual and auditory, chills are easily dispensed. You jump because the soundtrack gets cranked up just right, or the apparition enters slightly off frame. It’s scary because you’re being manipulated in that classic Hitchcockian way. Horror literature obviously can’t employ those tools - which makes it so much scarier since it’s happening inside your head.
Edgar Allen Poe, arguably the godfather of the horror genre (as well as the detective story), invented the template for horror literature back in the 19th century through mostly psychological excursions into dark recesses of the human condition.
Then, in the 1920s and ’30s, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (better known as H.P. Lovecraft) repurposed that 19th century brand of horror to something more in line with the tastes of a blossoming 20th century.
Horror, be it in the form of the supernatural or the psychological, has been employed by such renowned literary writers as Henry James and William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf and Joyce Carol Oates.
And while more contemporary authors such as Charles Beaumont, Clayton Johnson, Ray Bradbury, William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist) and Robert Bloch (Psycho) shook up the establishment, it is that demented genius from Maine, Stephen King, who is the current reigning king of horror lit.
As Halloween approaches, it might be a good time to curl up with a hair-raising read. While this list of titles is hardly comprehensive, your horror collection is probably incomplete without at least one of these books on your shelf.
The Books of Blood by Clive Barker
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