BY SEAN CLARK
It’s been a while since I did one of these holiday recommendation posts. Back in 2009 I shared the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Shelley, Stoker, and King, as well as the classic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Here’s some more spooky reading to keep you busy over the weekend.
(Where possible I’ve linked to free ebook downloads.)
The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliff
My favorite Gothic novel. It’s perhaps the most atmospheric book I’ve ever read. Udolpho reads a bit like a Jane Austen novel, but with tons of eeriness. And it’s a good story to boot. Gloomy castles, dark forests, mysterious strangers, it’s all here.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith
Speaking of Jane Austen and eeriness, this book inserts a whole bunch of zombies into Austen’s classic novel. I really enjoyed this book, and it saw a lot of ssuccess and praise. Unfortunately, due to this things got a little out of hand at Quirk.
The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James
James’s writing takes a little warming up to, so if you haven’t read any classic literature in a while, be prepared for a pretty slow burn. But this book is well worth your patience. It’s a subtle and creepy Gothic ghost story.
House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewsky
This one tends to fly under the radar, in part because it’s just so weird. It’s about a family that moves into a house and discovers a seemingly endless closet. Danielewsky does a bunch of experimental stuff with the print setting (font flipped around and all shapes and sizes, lots of marginalia), so this would never work as an ebook. But if you can find a copy, get it; it’s one of the best haunted house (I use that pretty loosely) stories I’ve ever read.
The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H.G. Wells
Probably the best mad scientists book there is (Frankenstein doesn’t count). A man shipwrecked on an island becomes the guest of a madman whose experiments on humans and animals result in freakish creatures. It is grotesque and horrifying.
Also, I did a few horror reviews this week of two above-average supernatural books. Check out my thoughts on The Last Werewolf and I Don’t Know the Author or the Title but Its Red and has 3 Zombie Stories in It.