Read But Not Forgotten – Horror

This week I’m taking a quick look back of some of the darker reads. Horror is one of the big three genres I tend to read/review on this blog (the others being fantasy and science fiction) so I thought it was about time I looked at some of my favourites from yesteryear. As you’ll see … I really enjoy my horror audio books.

My previous posts in this series can be found here:

Read But Not Forgotten – Series Starters

Read But Not Forgotten – The Bad Reads

Read But Not Forgotten – The Classics

Read But Not Forgotten – Fantasy

Read But Not Forgotten – Science Fiction

Read But Not Forgotten – Thrillers

Read But Not Forgotten – Historical Fiction

 

woman in black

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill:

Eel Marsh house stands alone, surveying the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Once, Mrs Alice Drablow lived here as a recluse. Now, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor with a London firm, is summoned to attend her funeral, unaware of the tragic and terrible secrets which lie behind the house’s shuttered windows.

It is not until he glimpses a young woman with a wasted face, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a sense of profound unease begins to creep over him and take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk about the woman in black or what happens whenever she is seen.

And Kipps has to stay on in the lonely house, sorting out Mrs. Drablow’s papers, when the mist begins to enshroud both it and its surrounding graveyard and the high tide cuts it off from the world beyond.

My format: Audio book

My thoughts:

When it comes to horror, hauntings/ghost stories are up there as one of my favourite in the genre. I gave this a listen a good week or two before I watched the film and was glad that I did. As one would expect, scenes in the book are slightly different and far more vivid than some of those we were treated to on the screen. The Woman in Black managed to be creepy, spooky and a little unnerving. Just what I want when I plump for a horror.

 

crickley hall

The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert:

There is an old, empty house in Devil’s Cleave, a deep gorge that leads from the high moors down to the harbour village of Hollow Bay. The house is Crickley Hall and it’s large and grim, somehow foreboding. It’s rumoured to be haunted. It’s thought to hold a secret. Despite some reservations, the Caleighs move in, searching for respite in this beautiful part of North Devon, seeking peace and perhaps to come to terms with what’s happened to them as a family.

But all is not well with the house. They hear unaccountable noises. A cellar door they shut every night is always open again in the morning. They see things that cannot be real. The house is the last place the Caleighs should have come to, for the terror that unfolds is beyond belief. Soon they will discover the secret horror of Crickley Hall….

My format: Audio book

My thoughts:

This is the reverse to The Woman in Black. I watched, and loved, the tv series that aired on the BBC and, upon discovering there was a novel I had to get it. I think, as an audio book, this worked wonderfully. David Rintoul brought real life and flare to the characters and even made me jump at times. It’s the quintessential creepy house tale with some links back to the past that have frightening ramifications on the present.

For anyone who watched the show and doesn’t want to read this because you already know what happens, trust me, you don’t. The book is vastly different to the tv series. I imagine there would have been some seriously unhappy viewers if some of the things that happen in the book made it to the screen.

 

Swan Song

Swan Song by Robert McCammon:

“We’re about to cross the point of no return. God help us; we’re flying in the dark, and we don’t know where the hell we’re going.”

Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the president of the United States to the homeless on the streets of New York City – will fight for survival.

Swan Song is Robert McCammon’s prescient and shocking vision of a post-apocalyptic nation, a grand epic of terror and, ultimately, renewal.

In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth’s last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity. They include Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets… Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station… and Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan’s gifts. But the ancient force behind earth’s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself.

My format: Audio book

My thoughts:

I’ve listed this before on a similar post and, much like the one that features next on the list, it really is good enough to get a second mention. This is a post apocalyptic novel much in the same sort of vein as The Stand by Stephen King. It just has a lot more pace to it than the Stand. If you enjoyed The Stand but wanted more from it, then Swan Song is the book you should plump for. I loved this one and, personally, preferred it more than I did The Stand.

 

The Green Mile

The Green Mile by Stephen King:

At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers such as “Billy the Kid” Wharton and the possessed Eduard Delacroix await death strapped in “Old Sparky”. Guards as decent as Paul Edgecombe and as sadistic as Percy Wetmore watch over them.

But good or evil, innocent or guilty, none has ever seen the brutal likes of the new prisoner, John Coffey, sentenced to death for raping and murdering two young girls. Is Coffey a devil in human form? Or is he a far, far different kind of being?

There are more wonders in heaven and hell than anyone at Cold Mountain can imagine. In The Green Mile, Stephen King builds the tension page by page and then delivers a revelation that will truly blow your mind.

My format: Audio book

My thoughts:

This will go down as one of my all-time favourite horror novels/audio books. Set in a prison on death row, it brings so much of every kind of emotion to the pages that, as a reader, you can’t help but be desperate for more. It was so good that I’m thankful I didn’t go for it when the story originally came out, as it was first produced in a serial format. No way I could wait any length of time for my next hit of the Green Mile addiction.

 

shining

The Shining by Stephen King:

Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control. As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217, and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that, too, is beginning to shine….

My format: Audio book

My thoughts:

This is one of the most interesting-sounding blurbs I’ve come across for a horror novel and one that I raced through when I first downloaded the audio book. I’m ashamed to say there are large parts of it that I can’t remember as well as I would like and, with the urge to go for Doctor Sleep being a strong one, I think I may have to re-visit this first.

This is the book that when anyone mentions Stephen King that is thought of first. If not first, it’s a close second. It’s one of his most iconic horror novels (not hard considering a lot of his horror novels aren’t actually horror … but I digress). What could be worse than being stuck in a hotel over the winter with a man who is slowly going murderously insane? Probably if that hotel was haunted. Yep, definitely that.

26 thoughts on “Read But Not Forgotten – Horror

      1. Nothing really captured me (characters, setting and plot) or made me interested in reading it. I maybe got about a quarter of the way through and decided it probably wasn’t for me!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I really enjoyed The Stand, so I might check out Swan Song. The thing is though, I’ve read Stinger and the Border by McCammon and they were 3 and 3.5 star reads. I don’t know if I want to take the chance, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read the two Stephen King books. I really enjoyed The Green Mike and found The Shining to be so freaking boring but I did love Doctor Sleep. Honestly if you remember the basics of the first one you can go ahead and read Doctor Sleep. It’s mostly about Danny as an adult.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really liked the Shining. I might just read Doctor Sleep in October before continuing on with my plan to read King’s books in publication order. I’ve only seen the Green Mile movie. I liked it and wonder how I’ll get on with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m suppose to read Dead Zone next, but I really wanna know what happened after the events in the Shining… been procrastinating on reading another book by him because of indecision on which one to read next, smh lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Shining holds a special place in my heart. It was the first proper horror book that I ever read (my grandad gave me a copy when I was 12 😂) and I maintained that it was my favourite horror novel for years even though, like you, there were large parts of it that I couldn’t remember. I reread it a couple of years back, though, and it scared me just as much as it did first time round.

    Also, I read The Woman in Black in one sitting when I was about 18/19 and it spooked me so bad, mainly because the light in my room started flickering 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a similar experience to you when listening to Secret of Crickley Hall. Listening in the dark as lightning was flashing just as the narrator was getting very atmospheric.

      There’s just something special about the emotions you get from horror novels 👻

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s