Thursday, 29 October 2015

Favourite Five Horror Stories for Halloween

I'm not the most enthusiastic of horror fiction readers by a long shot so, when checking back on my Goodreads Read list, I was surprised by how many books were actually labelled in the genre. I thought it might be fun to list my five favourites as suggestions for suitably chilling Halloween reads and listens (as some were excellent audio books). There's a linkup at the end of this post as I would love to find out what stories gave you nightmares too!

1) I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
This was a fabulous audiobook download from Audible which I listened to in May of this year. A 1950s classic, it creates its horror through anticipation and expectation rather than using overt gory-ness although there are shocking flashes of extreme violence. What really made this book for me was its overriding sense of loss and loneliness and the world-weary narration is superb.

You can read my blogged review here.
You can buy the audio download from Audible via Amazon


2) The Brain Within Its Groove by L N Nino
This was a StoryCartel find, named for an Emily Dickinson poem that I haven't read! Nino's writing is beautifully elegant and 'old-fashioned', but in a good way, the prose flowing like that of a classic Victorian author. His imagery is vivid with each word appearing to have been considered and deliberated over. Whether the psychiatric science is valid or imagined I cannot say, but certainly the mood and atmosphere ring true and I particularly appreciated the restraint of the writing as we grew closer to its horrific conclusion.

You can buy the ebook download from Amazon


3) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

I first heard a recording of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow five years ago and, having then recently seen the Johnny Depp film version, was distracted by trying to mesh the two tales. The film differs from  Irving's original tale. For Halloween 2014, Audible.co.uk offered members a new recording so I gave the story another chance and am glad I did. I love Irving's detailed descriptions of the town and its residents, their appearances and especially their food! I was surprised that, despite references to the headless horseman, he is quite a peripheral character making this a less spooky tale than I expected although, this time around, a satisfying one.

You can read my blogged review here.
You can buy the audio download from Audible via Amazon


4) Niedermayer And Hart by M J Johnson
Another indie author for my fourth suggestion and the first of my two twitter finds. Twitter really is fantastic for discovering the existence of good self-publishing writers! Niedermayer And Hart has a classic horror storyline but with a sharp, contemporary viewpoint that I enjoyed. The two strands, one set in the thirteenth century and one set in the 1990s, have markedly different writing styles and the contrast gave authenticity to each.

You can read my blogged review here.
You can buy the ebook download from Amazon


5) Ghostileaks by M J Peter
My second twitter find and also my second 'M J' author. Now, how spooky is that?! Ghostileaks is a short story collection of thirteen tales, all of which, unsurprisingly, feature ghosts and several of which are actually purported to be true. I liked that our narrator approaches each tale from a sceptical standpoint which adds to the believability of the scenarios. There are interesting snippets ending each tale to explain their inception too.

You can read my blogged review here.
You can buy the ebook download from Amazon


I hope you enjoyed discovering my favourite horror reads? Please do link up your own via the linkytools gizmo at the end of this post. All horror fiction is welcome whether you're linking to reviews on your blog, to book retailers' pages or, for horror authors, to your own websites!

I'd just like to finish with a shoutout for a massive Facebook party which is happening over the next couple of days. Hosted by author Lilo Abernathy, All Hallows' Reads will showcase twenty-four horror, spooky and paranormal genre authors with plenty of games, prizes and free samples too. It will be a great way to discover new writing and get to know other fans of the strange and supernatural. There's already folks popping by. Consider yourself invited!



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