Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish with the aim of sharing Top Ten lists of our favorites – mostly book related.
This week’s topic: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.
With Halloween rapidly approaching, this meme was too intriguing to ignore, and I believe no one would better represent the genre than the true master, the king – in fact and in name – of horror: Stephen King.
The multi-faceted declinations of horror in his novels have fed our nightmares for the past few decades – and let’s face it, we love being scared this way! So here is my personal top ten of his books:
10 Christine – A car with a personality, and a malicious one to boot. It’s enough to make you seriously think about public transport for the rest of your life. This story starts with a young man’s obsession with one such car, and progresses from there to its chilling evolution.
9 Firestarter – Mental powers are scary enough, especially when they can be so disruptive: here Mr. King showed us what could happen to a young girl capable of lighting fires with her mind, once her world has been destroyed and she’s on the run from those who would use her ruthlessly.
8 Carrie – Everyone indulged in some innocent pranks during their times school, and I’d like to think no one was ever as cruel as the other kids were to Carrie. But if they did, they should read this book and think – long and hard – about retribution…
7 The Dead Zone – What if one went into a coma as a consequence of a terrible accident, and woke up able to see other people’s past and future? And what if they could see – truly see – the evil that lurks into their minds? It’s just as frightening a possibility as it is intriguing…
6 Pet Sematary – Losing one’s beloved pet must be a harrowing experience, or so I’ve been told by people who had this happen to them. But would having them back really be a good thing? Especially if the same “miracle” that brought them back can be applied to people…
5 Mysery – Nothing supernatural in this story, but it’s more than enough to terrify you: imagine being at the mercy of someone who claims to be your staunchest admirer and wants something from you, or worse, feels you owe them something. Sometimes a real-world setting can hold more horror than a fantastic one.
4 The Shining – The idea of haunted houses (or hotels as is the case here) can give you shivers, but when they are located on an isolated mountain, during winters, and the ghosts that dwell there can take possession of an already disturbed mind, you have a recipe for unspeakable horror. One of Stephen King’s most haunting stories.
3 It – This is one of King’s books I found more disturbing, and I mean this in a very positive way: a group of people reunites after a long time to battle once again the monster who preyed on kids luring them into the depths of the city’s sewers. After reading this story, I’ve never looked at a storm drain in the sam way…
2 Salem’s Lot – my very first vampire book, the one that set my standards for the genre. A small town is being slowly overtaken by the undead, and only a writer, returning home after a long absence, can convince his fellow citizens to fight the monsters. The scene that burned itself in my mind is the one of the young boy, transformed into a vampire, who knocks on a friend’s window at night begging to be let in.
1 The Stand – I consider this King’s masterpiece: on the wake of a global pandemic that has decimated the world’s population, an ancient evil tries to establish its rule over the survivors while the “forces of good”, gathering around the mysterious Mother Abigail, prepare for the battle against the darkness. As involving as this battle is, I find the first part more involving: the slow, deliberate pace of the end of the world as we know it remains, in my opinion, the best description of an apocalypse in the making I’ve read until now.