Nov 14, 2018

Book Recommendations of October and November 2018 Part 3 - Horror

Here are our horror recommendations and tips issued in our October and November newsletters, enjoy!

The Best Horror of the Year Vol. 10 by Ellen Datlow (ed.)
night shade books: €15,99
There's so much good horror being published nowadays, so much to read! So much that although it's been almost six months since it has been published, I still wouldn't have had the opportunity to take a peek at the 10th and latest volume of Ellen Datlow's "The Best Horror of the Year" hadn't it been for this newsletter.
We're ten times lucky to have Ellen Datlow who keeps us updated on the current situation of the world of horror. Not only does the 10th volume of the Best Horror of the Year contain 21 superb short stories by acclaimed authors such as John Langan, Mark Morris, Carmen Maria Machado or Carol Johnstone, it also summarizes all horror related significant happenings of 2017: awards, notable novels, magazines, journals, webzines, anthologies, collections, poetry and non-fiction.
A must have and absolute feast for every horror fan!

The Doll's Alphabet by Camilla Grudova 
coffee house press: €15.95
A super freaky and original debut anthology consisting of 13 short stories from a truly unique name in the realm of horror literature. Elegantly macabre, surreal, dark, dreamlike, genius - Camilla Grudova!
I really loved these stories that revolve around sinister sewing machines, tinned food, gender roles, doll horror, body horror, you name it... The overall tone is almost naive, fairy-tale like but in an eerie way that will sent shivers up and down your spine.
This is solid, good horror; a hidden gothic gem!

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
amulet: €9,95
Another "dark fairy tale" written by a surpassingly talented female author!
Cuckoo Song is a beautifully creepy story written for both young adults and adults: Triss wakes up after a mysteriuos accident to find herself alienated from her surroundings as well as ill; she doesn't remember much, she has fits of fever and something just feels deeply wrong...
In a quest to find out what has happened to her, she sets out for the city where she will meet unknown allies as well as find out more about herself and her family.
Great story, great writing, amazing character development, nail bitingly suspenseful; an overall fantastic book!

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
quirk: €10,95
With three books in the past five years, Grady Hendrix has truly blasted off into the skies of horror literature - his distinctive style, humour and choice of subjects (a furniture store that has been experiencing supernatural phenomena, an 80s possession novel about girly BFFs and a kick-ass horror paperback anthology - Horrorstör, My Best Friend's Exorcism and Paperbacks from Hell - all available at the Otherland, of course) never fail to make me happy. And with his new book he didn't fail me again; We Sold Our Souls is about 90s heavy metal, surviving the brutal music industry and never giving up.
Kris Pulaski, lead guitarist of the 90s metal band Dürt Würk, suspects in retrospect that lead singer Terry (later to become "The Blind King"), who has gone solo and skyrocketed into the charts, might have sabotaged more than just the band. She hits the road to reunite her band, take back their souls and prevent more damage. A fast paced story with clever twists, definitely darker than previous Hendrixs, an unholy pact of heavy metal/rock and horror, following the tradition of George R.R. Martin's Armageddon Rags, Karyn Kusama's kick-ass horror flick "Jennifer's Body"(2009) or Sean Byrne's "The Devil's Candy" (2017). I give it two thumbs up!

Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
penguin: € 11,10
No, there’s no new edition of this ravaging, terrifying classic... There’s in fact nothing new about this book other than that Netflix has turned it into a series that kept me literally glued to the screen for hours and hours. I endured the judging looks of my flat mates because I neglected my chores, I dozed off on the train and sat yawning at my office desk because I kept staying up late and later to watch just one more episode... and I’m awed!!!! If you too have been thinking about nothing but this horror feast, then let me tell you one thing: TRY THE BOOK.
Even though the show was great, it has little in common with Jackson’s original novel. - I have to stress at this point that both are gorgeous in their own way!! -. While the show slips off to drama, Jackson relies a little bit more on her readers’ imagination; hers is not horror, it’s terror, it’s subtle and it’s psychological. Plain wonderful!

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
harper collins: € 11,10
Friday, November 23rd! Mark the date horror fans for we’re having another horror special. And we’re reading Paul Tremblay’s Bram-Stoker-winning novel A Head Full of Ghosts! I have to admit I’m pretty psyched about this one, I’m a great fan of Tremblay’s and can’t wait to discuss this book with fellow book clubbers.
The Barretts are a fairly normal American family until their lives are turned upside down when their pubescent daughter Marjorie shows signs of acute schizophrenia. While she keeps getting worse, the family’s last straw will be turning to the church… and a reality TV show called "The Possession". Nail biting, fast reading, deconstructing and heart breaking horror that will leave you perturbed, let me tell you that much.

A God in the Shed by J.F. Dubeau
inkshare: €13,34
Imagine a god of death and hate, trapped within the rules of a game it has learned from a child a century ago.
Imagine it gets angrier, meaner, crueler the longer it is trapped in this game. It can and does take people apart piece by piece, eat their souls or bring out the worst in them.
Imagine the only thing between you and this god is serial murder and that murderer has just been caught...
A God in the Shed is breathtaking! Perfect from its premise to its prose; clever, creepy, gripping, stomach churning and spine chilling all at once. I can’t remember the last time I have finished a book so fast, but here I am. Also, J. F. Dubeau is is definitely on par with King, Straub or Tremblay; an author to be watched closely, I think we’ll hear a lot more of him in the future!

The Fisherman by John Langan
word horde: € 15,65
Mix a good portion faustian occultism with lovecraftian sea monsters.
Add a cup of "Pet Sematary",
a dash of ancient Egyptian and biblical mythologies,
a little Zombie horror,
a few drops of black waters,
a few strings of Hellraiser-ish hooks and ropes, stir it well.
Pour it into a mold of American folk tale and
cook it at stormy temperatures...
Enjoy The Fisherman!
After losing his wife to breast cancer, Abe finds solace in fishing with his colleague Dan Dresher, a fellow widower whose wife and kids died in a car accident. When one day Dan suggests they go fishing in a certain “Dutchman's Creek”, Abe kind of senses there’s something not quite right, but doesn’t dwell on it. Even when Howard, owner of ‘Herman's Diner’, warns them of the lair of a fellow called “Der Fischer” and tells them the chilling story surrounding the place, Abe sticks with Dan. Big mistake!
No wonder Langan has won the 2016 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel with The Fisherman. It's hard not to get hooked on this book; love the writing style, love the story within story, love the plot that will suck you right in and not let go, love, love, love it!
This is horror as I think it should be!

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