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Rating: List Type:
IT - Stephen King
This book is horror gold and masterfully written until the climax; the ending ruins it. The antagonist in a novel cannot change at the end because the author has no idea how to end the book. Only a final showdown with Pennywise would have been satisfactory. There is also vile sexual content involving kids. Why??? King must have looked into the "deadlights" and forgot the words - revision required.
Twilight Eyes - Dean Koontz
It's a great carnival story in the beginning, but the demon stuff comes off as cheesy and amateurish. (And I'm not against a story involving demons-Blatty's Exorcist franchise is fantastic!). This one lost me in the middle of it, and I just skimmed the rest. Half the book was solid, but the last half seemed like a bad first draft.
Pig Island - Mo Hayder
Woman with a birth defect (tail) mistaken for a fabled island monster...and her daddy is insane, a one time preacher, and then a reporter trying to solve the mystery leaves his wife for the lady with a tail...and... and... Please!
The Scarlet Gospels (2015)
Pinhead wants to overthrow Lucifer. That's the plot. I freely admit Barker lost me years ago. Excellent writer who too often gets lost in his story. But the pure talent of his earlier stuff is amazing. The only horror writer that makes me go back and read a sentence or paragraph over and over because it's SO good. But this is drivel. AXR
The Tommyknockers - Stephen King
How can I say this...? Horrible to the 100th power.
The Cellar - Richard Laymon
I tried to like this one. I really did. The scary house in this is called "Beast House." WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! Guess why? Yes, there is a beast, and someone is in love with it. Does that sound like anything else on this list? Four books in this chronicle. How? If it was a movie, it'd be a sci-fy original.
The Girl Next Door - Jack Ketchum
It's well written and horrifying on a number of levels. But the images and violence stayed with me, filling my insides with a nauseating oppression. The fact that young kids are being encouraged to inflict their merciless tortures on innocents makes it even worse. I wanted to puke it out of my system when it was over. Ketchum is a brilliant writer and exacts emotional upheaval from his readers and forces them into the uncomfortable position of confronting unfathomable human malevolence. This was simply too dark and too much.
The Store - Bentley Little
The evil merchandisers have come to take over your town. The shadow men are spreading capitalism. Stop them! They're controlling everything...even really lame metaphors. Some of Bentley's stuff is very good. Not this one.
Black House - Peter Straub,Stephen King
Two of the greats got together and laid an egg. First chapter is a helicopter shot of a town slowly revealed in lackluster, yet overly detailed description. If you're going to be detailed, use colorful, more poetic language, please.
The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)... - Shirley Jackson
If I have to throw a classic under the bus, this is the one! Read it in high school. My English teacher gave the class a choice of a few titles. We thought the title was cool. Teacher tried to talk us out of it. Said it was boring. She was right. AXR
A short list of well-known horrors titles that got "The Toss" (a trip into my fireplace). AXR