Weekend Ramblings: The Halloween Edition

My vision for this blog has always been all about the reviews, but I thought every once in awhile I should throw in some “bonus” content of sorts in the form of these Weekend Ramblings in which I ramble about whatever happens to be on my book-obsessed mind over the week.  I’m not promising one every weekend, but thought it might be fun to try out every once in awhile.

This week…

I’ll begin by admitting that I don’t read a lot of horror novels.  I really have to be in the right mood for a scary story, and since I often read before bed, I tend to avoid books that might give me nightmares.  As such, there’s a lack of true horror novels in my list, and I’m sure other sources may come up with better titles that are much more terrifying, but what can I say?  I’m kind of a wimp.

In no particular order….

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
This book is terrifying not only for the horrifically violent acts which the main character commits, but also for the twisted punishment he receives.

The Book of Lost Things
 by John Connolly
The Crooked Man in this book terrified me, and rightfully so.  This was my first exposure to dark retellings of classic fairy tales, and it’s one that’s stuck in my memory, though it’s been years since I’ve read it.

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
I had to read this short story in college, and actually had to do some Googling to come up with its name because the only thing I remembered about it was the very end, the creepy discovery the townspeople make in Emily’s bedroom after her death.

Gone series by Michael Grant
These books are an even darker version of Lord of the Flies, with all sorts of sinister characters and a giant, evil radioactive monster.

The Shining by Stephen King
I had seen the movie before reading the book (breaking one of my own reading rules), so I think I wasn’t quite as scared as I should have been, basically because I already knew what was going to happen.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
I’m pretty sure this isn’t even that scary of a book, but after reading it in sixth grade, I had nightmares about giant brains.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
The “ghost stories” told in these books were only slightly disturbing, but man, oh, man, the illustrations were enough to give any poor kid nightmares.

Unwind/UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
Anyone who’s read Unwind knows what I’m talking about when I mention “THAT chapter”… Anyone who hasn’t read it, let’s just say, don’t get too attached to Roland.

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
This first book of the Graveyard Queen series appealed to me for its information about cemeteries, but at the same time totally freaked me out, not only for the creepy paranormal goings-on, but also for the even more creepy things that real people did to each other.

Dracula by Bram Stoker
I loved the dark, Gothic tension and suspense of this one.  It made me understand why vampires are (supposed to be) so scary.

Agree with my choices?  Want to share your all-time scariest books?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


About WNK

Check out my book review blog! https://excellentlibrary.wordpress.com/

4 responses to “Weekend Ramblings: The Halloween Edition”

  1. Jon says :

    Yes. THAT chapter in “Unwind.” I’m in UnWholly right now and it’s not grabbing me the same way Unwind did, but I have a feeling I’m still in the setup.

    I read your review of Gone — I’m interested in the book. Compared to a Shusterman story (since I know he’s one of your favorites!) how does it fare?

    • WNK says :

      There’s one chapter in “UnWholly” that’s really intense, and kind of makes you go “whoa!” in the same way, but doesn’t really come close to the memorable-ness and shock of Unwind Chapter 61.

      Tough question about the Gone series…. I definitely like Shusterman’s works better, and some of it is I’m sure just a personal preference to one writing style over another.

      For instance, the Gone series plays out like a prime time TV series (did you ever watch LOST?). Not a bad thing, really, but there are so many little issues to deal with through each book that the big issues don’t seem to get resolved, somewhat like the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (only dark and violent and geared towards a more mature audience)

      Also, there are MANY characters in the Gone series, and though there are some main ones that do a bulk of the “doing,” it’s harder for the reader to really connect with them. Also, they’re all kind of messed up, which is probably realistic in the stressful circumstances they’re in, but I’ve had a hard time relating to any of them — even the “good guys” can be real jerks sometimes.

      So, that’s just my opinion on them. Personally, I think you’d enjoy BZRK (also by Michael Grant) better, since it has more of a crazy sci-fi twist to it that I found really original.

      • Jon says :

        huh. I hadn’t heard of that one — thanks for the recommendation and the in-depth analysis of Gone! I appreciate it!

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