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    Member Sakedon's Avatar
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    Default Books that have scared the pants off you

    So lately I've been reading a lot more, and mostly crime thriller/horror based stuff. In the last little while I've read: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, 1408 and The Exorcist. You'll notice all of these have been made into movies, which I've also seen lol.

    Problem is, despite how good these books are (Silence of the Lambs especially) I've yet to find something utterly terrifying. I want to be scared. I want it to stick with me. I guess I'm thrill-chasing and these books have gotten me halfway there. I want a page turning, up all night, wide eyed, can't wait to read what happens next, adventure. So I'm going to pick your brains and ask for scary/thrilling read suggestions to fill my book shelves with.

    Who's got something good?
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    The Stand gave me some pretty scary dreams.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

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    Interestingly, I find I get more "physically scared" from movies. Books are more engrossing, less "sheer terror." Also, as I've gotten older, I have less shock moments.

    But there are pieces of certain books that really can unsettle me, even in books that aren't necessarily perfect. For example, there's a scene in Graham Masterson's "Manitou" series where the orderly is seen screaming from inside the hospital room where the manitou is emerging from the host mother's body, and suddenly there's a huge spray of blood where the manitou used a spell to turn the guy completely inside out.

    Similar stuff:
    - Stephen King is probably the most famous since he's put out such a huge volume of work. His story of the "The Raft," for example (despite the really crappy adaptation for Creepshow 2) just left me ill and scared to go in the water after. The whole storyline of Mordred in "Dark Tower 7" is also pretty harrowing and horrific.
    - Stephen Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" stuff might overall be high fantasy but has a lot of dark overtones to it, in terms of the evil that is involved. I remember reading it when I was in middle school and there are a lot of sequences that could fit into horror; for example, the whole bit in The Illearth War where one of the lords has a horrific vision of the race of Giants being exterminated, so they send a squad of soldiers into the marshlands to reach the Giant's home and they disappear... and they later send another group in with the same purpose, and they find the missing soldiers + far more than they bargained for. If you like your high fantasy with lots of scary/starkness, well, he has that.

    I'll try to think of some other things. I agree with you about Tom Harris' stuff. I think I found Red Dragon "scarier" than Silence of the Lambs, honestly. Harris is a tremendous writer, but I didn't exactly find his books 'scary' per se even while they were engrossing.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakedon View Post
    So lately I've been reading a lot more, and mostly crime thriller/horror based stuff. In the last little while I've read: Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, 1408 and The Exorcist. You'll notice all of these have been made into movies, which I've also seen lol.

    Problem is, despite how good these books are (Silence of the Lambs especially) I've yet to find something utterly terrifying. I want to be scared. I want it to stick with me. I guess I'm thrill-chasing and these books have gotten me halfway there. I want a page turning, up all night, wide eyed, can't wait to read what happens next, adventure. So I'm going to pick your brains and ask for scary/thrilling read suggestions to fill my book shelves with.

    Who's got something good?
    "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski is it's own brand of mystery/horror. You should pick it up.

    "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy sticks with me. I haven't seen the movie yet, but the book is very good.
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    Member Sakedon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'll try to think of some other things. I agree with you about Tom Harris' stuff. I think I found Red Dragon "scarier" than Silence of the Lambs, honestly. Harris is a tremendous writer, but I didn't exactly find his books 'scary' per se even while they were engrossing.
    You know I hear this a lot, that people liked Red Dragon more than Silence of the Lambs. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for thinking the other way around. I'll admit a lot of RD was unsettling, but it moved at a really slow pace for me. SotL I was page turning and eating up. o_o different minds, I guess. I do have yet to read Hannibal. Maybe I should add that to my 'to read' list.

    Awesome suggestions everyone! I am writing all these down. Keep them coming! ;D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakedon View Post
    You know I hear this a lot, that people liked Red Dragon more than Silence of the Lambs. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for thinking the other way around. I'll admit a lot of RD was unsettling, but it moved at a really slow pace for me. SotL I was page turning and eating up. o_o different minds, I guess. I do have yet to read Hannibal. Maybe I should add that to my 'to read' list.
    ROFL!!!!

    Okay, I'm gonna be blunt.
    The book and the movie (Hannibal) actually share a lot of similarities. That's not a compliment for the book. What's in Harris' favor is that he's SUCH a good writer, that he could take an absurd villain, absurd situations, and still make them palatable on the page... because they sure did not come off as believable during the movie. (I have trouble watching the movie, let alone not laughing the entire way throughout it.)

    My personal opinion of Hannibal is that it was Harris' "fuck you" to his audience and to his publisher, for obsessing so much over SotL. He basically sold them a book that was just ridiculous, that they already had to print, that they already knew they'd make lots of money off, and that people would suck up and read regardless just because it was a Hannibal book... and he did it because he could get away with it and wanted to rub everyone's nose in that fact.

    That's how I felt while I was reading it... like it was one big joke that Harris' pulled on his audience and his publisher. Annoying and amusing to me all at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyAnnaJoan View Post
    "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy sticks with me. I haven't seen the movie yet, but the book is very good.
    I saw the movie first. It ambled a bit, not really having the clearest arc (and thus not as satisfying a resolution), but I will say tonally it was pretty amazing, and the acting was excellent. It actually convinced me to buy and read the book. Charlize Theron was haunting, and Viggo M was just dogged and lovely and forlorn and... well, he very much loved his son. I've read part of the book since, I should actually finish it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Member Sakedon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    ROFL!!!!

    Okay, I'm gonna be blunt.
    The book and the movie (Hannibal) actually share a lot of similarities. That's not a compliment for the book. What's in Harris' favor is that he's SUCH a good writer, that he could take an absurd villain, absurd situations, and still make them palatable on the page... because they sure did not come off as believable during the movie. (I have trouble watching the movie, let alone not laughing the entire way throughout it.)

    My personal opinion of Hannibal is that it was Harris' "fuck you" to his audience and to his publisher, for obsessing so much over SotL. He basically sold them a book that was just ridiculous, that they already had to print, that they already knew they'd make lots of money off, and that people would suck up and read regardless just because it was a Hannibal book... and he did it because he could get away with it and wanted to rub everyone's nose in that fact.

    That's how I felt while I was reading it... like it was one big joke that Harris' pulled on his audience and his publisher. Annoying and amusing to me all at the same time.
    Interesting! Apparently there's a 4th book floating around in that series (Rising?) that people have cautioned me to steer clear from for this very reason. Did you make it to book four?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakedon View Post
    Interesting! Apparently there's a 4th book floating around in that series (Rising?) that people have cautioned me to steer clear from for this very reason. Did you make it to book four?
    I honestly had never heard of a fourth book, but that was during a dark period in my life and I missed a lot that was going on. I didn't realize the fourth movie had actually been based on another book.

    I found Lecter far more interesting when we didn't know much about him. Sometimes you can explain too much, and it becomes more and more implausible as you do.

    I do highly recommend the TV show, which will enter its second season in a few months.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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