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All Hallow's Read


Let me start with: in general I'm not a fan of Neil Gaiman's writing. I've tried to read him, and often get too bored to continue. That said, however, I do think he's a pretty interesting guy, and I occasionally thumb through his journal. If you're a fan of his, I imagine that just about any of his books would be good for this subject. However, I have to say I was extremely delighted to come across the post for this idea, All Hallow's Read

The basic idea is to give someone (anyone) a scary book for Halloween. This, is an idea I can get behind. There's a few links to recommendations on the site, but I want to throw out my own.

Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. They were re-released this summer with brand new covers. Or you can grab the three story collection instead.

The Locke & Key comic by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez starting with "Welcome to Lovecraft". I just got all caught up on these recently, and think that it's a really good story.

Continuing the comic idea, I also highly recommend House of Mystery by Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham and Luca Rossi, starting with "Room and Boredom".

I've always been a bigger Dean Koontz fan, than Stephen King, but anything by either of those guys is likely to be a good choice. I recommend The Funhouse by Dean Koontz and Pet Sematary by Stephen King, as starting places.

Most of you should know that I'm a big Christopher Pike fan and if you're in the market for YA fiction, I'd start with The Midnight Club</a> for older teens and The Season of Passage for adults (currently out of print - so get it used).

If you're a zombie fan, or your gift recipient is, grab World War Z by Max Brooks. The audiobook is a really, really good listen if you're into that sort of thing.

Also, it's been my experience, that you can't go wrong really when you get something from Permuted Press. They're a small press publisher that specializes in horror - usually zombie related, but not always.

Finally, it should go without saying that anything by H.P. Lovecraft is a must-give for the season. Start with Call of Cthulhu if you don't know where else to start. And if you're into the audiobook thing, there's quite a lot of options for listening to Lovecraft stories.


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Oct. 29th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
First of all, WHERE ARE THE ILLUSTRATIONS IN SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK? Those were easily the most terrifying part of those books and they gave me the best sorts of nightmares for years! How on earth are kids supposed to be properly terrified on Halloween without those pencil drawings? ;)

And, oh, God, Christopher Pike! I remember how racy I thought he was in middle school. Also Lois Duncan (Down a Dark Hall is my favourite of hers) and R.L. Stine's Fear Street series, although I don't know how well those stand the test of time. You've sort of made me want to reread them now...

The Stephen King book that scared the sense out of me was It, but I made the truly idiotic mistake of reading it while jetlagged at 4:30 AM in an empty house. One would think I'd know better.

I need to properly read Lovecraft at some point. I absolutely love A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, and am a huge fan of the game Arkham Horror, so I suspect I'd enjoy it.
Oct. 29th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
So, last year I went through and reread several books in my MASSIVE Christopher Pike collection. Some of them held up well - The Midnight Club - for example. Some of them did not: Witch.

I wasn't a huge RL Stine fan, but I do have several of his books, and in rereading one of those I felt it hadn't held up well, but I suspect, like Pike that will depend on the book you read.

The 3 book collection for Schwartz's stories still has the illustrations! :)
Oct. 29th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Yes! I need to buy myself a copy of that so I can traumatise my nephew when he's old enough...;)

And I remember Witch! Or at least I remember that I read it. Possibly this is something to do over winter break.

What surprised me is how well some of the books I read in elementary school held up. Have you ever read Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn? That scared the sense out of me in third grade and holds up surprisingly well.
Oct. 29th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
I also recommend Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide. It's a handy book to have when plotting out the apocalypse and makes me realise that yes, I am basically screwed. But at least I know why I'm screwed.
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