Wednesday 6 October 2010

Scary reading suggestions

Since Halloween is coming soon, I thought I would give some reading suggestions to my readers. I did the same thing same time last year. I may not be particularly inventive year after year, but this blog is called Vraie Fiction after all and should be sometimes about fiction. This year, instead of giving a list of books, I will give short story titles (and hopefully I can find them all online). So here it is:

-The Judge's House, by Bram Stoker. Not merely because the story was written by the author of Dracula, but because it is a really good spook in its own right. And it has some elements that Stoker will later develop in his most famous novel. (Talking about Dracula, I will blog about it soon. I have wanted to do so for years as it is my favourite horror novel.) What I particularly love about this short story is that the ghost is not merely scary, he is malevolent and can hurt physically. And there are rats, which makes the story even scarier.
-Canon Alberich's Scrapbook and Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad by M.R James. Respectively the first story he wrote, the first story I read of him. Little gems of atmospheric horror. Alberich is more straightforward as a ghost story and so is the threat, but Whistle has a long, slow build up of terror that is a real feast for the reader.
-Thrawn Janet by Robert Louis Stevenson. I only read it once, more than twenty years ago, in a French translation, but I still remember it. I am going to read it again this month. Why did he kept haunting me? Stevenson is great as putting the little sinister details that stick to your mind like a bloodthirsty leech to your vein. I don't want to spoil the ending, but it just makes me shiver still today.
-The Tapestried Chamber by Sir Walter Scott. A classic ghost story from the early days of the genre. 
-The Red Room by H.G. Wells. Wells is of course better known as a science-fiction writer, but he shows he can work in other genres. This story is a deconstruction of the genre, almost an anti ghost story, but it still manages to be scary.

So here it is, there is enough here to keep you in the mood until Halloween.

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