Horror Genre Discussion

For October 2015, we will be reading a Supernatural or Horror genre novel in honor of Halloween.
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Horror Genre Discussion

Post by kio » 01 Oct 2015, 22:00

Horror is defined as "a genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from readers by playing on their primal fears. Inspired by authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley.

Supernatural (properly, "supernaturalist fiction" who knew!) is defined as "a literary genre exploiting or requiring as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it."

Here are the questions I thought we could discuss, butt feel free to add some of your own to the discussion: What was the name of the book you read? How many stars would you give it and why? What genre would you say it fits? How does it fit in that genre? What are some characteristics that you see in the book that seem unique to the genre? Would you recommend the book?

There are no right or wrong answers. The goal here is to see what makes these genres these genres, what might be some of the appeal factors with relation to the books we'be picked, and, overall, getting to know the genre more in-depth in a fun way.
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Post by gali » 02 Oct 2015, 07:49

I didn't have a chance to read the book I planned to read yet, so thought I will write about a book I have read a while ago and liked, Heart-Shaped Box/Joe Hill. I rated it 3 out of 4 stars. It belongs to the horror genre of course.
Horror isn't really my cup of tea, but I read horror books whenever the mood strikes me. Truth to be told I chose this book because I knew that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. I have not read many of King's books, but I liked what little I've read and I was curios about this book.

This story is about a collector of macabre items. Buying a ghost online will be his undoing...The book is full of ghosts and gore and really gross stuff like in any good horror book, but it is bearable. Hill weaves a chilling horror story that takes the reader on a wild ride. The book has tension and nail-biting moments. There is death, there is mystery, there is intense danger and stress, there is revenge, and all are well woven together. I would certainly recommend this book! 8)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 02 Oct 2015, 21:31

Gali, that book sounds very unique!

OK, I'm reading FEAR by RL Stine. I chose it because I have focus issues reading whole books, but this is a collection of short stories. I suppose I can check in each time I complete one. They're written by thirteen (of course! Thirteen! That unluckiest of numbers!) different authors.

I just now started with Dragonfly Eyes by Alane Ferguson. It was very, very short, which is why I started with it! It wasn't scary so much as emotional and touching. What a tearjerker! I have to say that it doesn't fit the genre, but I imagine that the other stories will.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS EIGHT-PAGE STORY!!

In Dragonfly Eyes, a high school science class was interrupted by a violent killer with a manifesto. He held two girls hostage: a popular girl and a nerdy girl who the popular kids gossipped about. After the killer kills the popular girl, her spirit rises and she gains insight into the beauty of the nerdy girl's soul. She suddenly sees what a beautiful person the nerdy girl was, who she treated awful in her life.

The dead popular girl knew that the other girl would be killed soon, but she put all her energy into averting the killer's gun. She somehow saved the nerdy girl and knew that the right girl had lived, for the nerdy girl would go on to make a meaningful mark on the world.

See what I mean about a tearjerker? I'm almost crying again.

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Post by gali » 02 Oct 2015, 23:00

zeldas_lullaby wrote:Gali, that book sounds very unique!

OK, I'm reading FEAR by RL Stine. I chose it because I have focus issues reading whole books, but this is a collection of short stories. I suppose I can check in each time I complete one. They're written by thirteen (of course! Thirteen! That unluckiest of numbers!) different authors.

I just now started with Dragonfly Eyes by Alane Ferguson. It was very, very short, which is why I started with it! It wasn't scary so much as emotional and touching. What a tearjerker! I have to say that it doesn't fit the genre, but I imagine that the other stories will.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS EIGHT-PAGE STORY!!

In Dragonfly Eyes, a high school science class was interrupted by a violent killer with a manifesto. He held two girls hostage: a popular girl and a nerdy girl who the popular kids gossipped about. After the killer kills the popular girl, her spirit rises and she gains insight into the beauty of the nerdy girl's soul. She suddenly sees what a beautiful person the nerdy girl was, who she treated awful in her life.

The dead popular girl knew that the other girl would be killed soon, but she put all her energy into averting the killer's gun. She somehow saved the nerdy girl and knew that the right girl had lived, for the nerdy girl would go on to make a meaningful mark on the world.

See what I mean about a tearjerker? I'm almost crying again.
Thank you. I have read another book by him, but didn't like it so much.

Your story sounds tearjerker indeed.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by rssllue » 02 Oct 2015, 23:29

zeldas_lullaby wrote:Gali, that book sounds very unique!

OK, I'm reading FEAR by RL Stine. I chose it because I have focus issues reading whole books, but this is a collection of short stories. I suppose I can check in each time I complete one. They're written by thirteen (of course! Thirteen! That unluckiest of numbers!) different authors.

I just now started with Dragonfly Eyes by Alane Ferguson. It was very, very short, which is why I started with it! It wasn't scary so much as emotional and touching. What a tearjerker! I have to say that it doesn't fit the genre, but I imagine that the other stories will.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS EIGHT-PAGE STORY!!

In Dragonfly Eyes, a high school science class was interrupted by a violent killer with a manifesto. He held two girls hostage: a popular girl and a nerdy girl who the popular kids gossipped about. After the killer kills the popular girl, her spirit rises and she gains insight into the beauty of the nerdy girl's soul. She suddenly sees what a beautiful person the nerdy girl was, who she treated awful in her life.

The dead popular girl knew that the other girl would be killed soon, but she put all her energy into averting the killer's gun. She somehow saved the nerdy girl and knew that the right girl had lived, for the nerdy girl would go on to make a meaningful mark on the world.

See what I mean about a tearjerker? I'm almost crying again.
I have never read him before, but the story sounds interesting.
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Post by DennisK » 03 Oct 2015, 07:15

At this time of the year, tarantulas come from their burrows to find a mate. They can be seen crossing the road that I use to get home. For me, they mark the start of Fall, and I sense in them, a fitting harbinger of Halloween. We had the season's first rain when I opened Gods of The Nowhere by James Tipper. With the daylight dimmed, the sky gray and the tarantulas roaming the hills on their silent and dangerous mission, I was well placed to settle in with Tipper's story.
The author lives in San Mateo, California which is a county just south of San Francisco. In San Mateo, there is a city called Colma which has a population of around two million. Of that two million, about 1700 are living. Colma is known as the “city of the dead”. This is because, around 1920, San Francisco property values became more important than the consecration of those graves residing in San Francisco. Everyone, dead, was moved down to Colma. Today, Colma has quite a few graveyards, and it is here that the story takes place. Or rather, it is here where the vale between the living and the dead is thinnest, and where Sam and his friend, Lucia, trespassed the vale, and entered the realm of the “Nowhere”. It is Nowhere where most of the story is told.
The book begins with a prologue in which Ireland, during 239 AD, was the scene of a battle between powerful druids; one evil, and the other good. This was a time of magic, and it is with magic that the battle was fought. The good druid prevailed, and the evil druid lost his life. His soul was banished to Nowhere. There is some element of truth in this story as it is claimed that Halloween did start in Ireland, about 2000 years ago. The festival was called “Samhain” - in honor of the Lord of the Dead.
The first chapter of the book takes place at present time. Sam has a slight paralysis that affects part of his body. As a result, he is a bit of an outcast. He was born on October the 31st, and the event of Halloween posed, for him, a time of heightened sensitivity. This sensitivity enables visions of a lady in blue who called to Sam from the reflection of mirrors.
Lucia lives across the street from Sam's home. Lucia's younger brother had died of cancer, and to deal with the loss, her family celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). They do this at the grave site of the boy. It is during this time that Sam and Lucia sneak away to enter the Nowhere. Nowhere is in eternal night, and it is populated by those who are not wanted by heaven or hell. Nowhere is a kind of Halloween themed purgatory. Sam and Lucia must deal with witches, skeletons, and characters such as Jack of the Lantern and Jacques de Molay – a knight of the Templars who was burned at the stake in 1314 for becoming richer than the king of France. Sam sought the lady in blue, and Lucia sought her brother. They ended up confronting the evil druid who was slain in Ireland on 239 AD.
Gods of The Nowhere is a Halloween adventure story. It wasn't particularly scary; rather, it was just plain fun. I enjoyed the way Tipper wove historical characters and events within his fictional story.

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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 03 Oct 2015, 07:22

I really don't care for RL Stein myself. He freaks me out.

Yeah, there's definitely something to that. My sister read him when we were growing up. I borrowed one of her books once, and it was horrific, grotesque, and terrifying. It really messed me up in the head. So I may skip the one story in this collection that was written by him. Fortunately, twelve of the stories were written by different authors!!

-- October 3rd, 2015, 6:16 pm --
gali wrote:
Your story sounds tearjerker indeed.
It was!!! Ooh, horror month will be fun.

-- October 3rd, 2015, 10:14 pm --

OK, I read another short story from my collection: She's Different Tonight by Heather Graham. SPOILERS, but come on, I know none of you guys are reading this book as well! But if you are, SPOILERS AHEAD. This story had a twist ending, but I saw it coming a mile away. It still read really well as a "revenge on bad guys" kind of tale. It's about this guy who picks up a girl on Halloween, and he has strong impure intentions. Once he gets her alone, his true monstrous nature comes out... and then so does hers. :o (Delightful ending. Totally macabre.) :character-count:

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Post by Gravy » 04 Oct 2015, 17:10

I finished my book for this month, Hell House by Richard Matheson...
I rated it a 3, but I'm still digesting it.
"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 04 Oct 2015, 17:38

Great job! I'm excited to hear more about it later.

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Post by rssllue » 04 Oct 2015, 19:30

Graverobber wrote:I finished my book for this month, Hell House by Richard Matheson...
I rated it a 3, but I'm still digesting it.
Um...you aren't supposed to eat the book, silly. :doh: :shifty:
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Post by Gravy » 04 Oct 2015, 21:58

Okay...it's digested :lol:
Here are my thoughts on Hell House
I will say that I enjoyed it. It felt very sparse, but I believe that's what he was going for...however, it kept me from being able to like any of the characters. I got just enough to know they were all flawed, but not enough to be able to see past those flaws. It's like that's all they were.
As far as the horror aspect, it had all the things I would expect...but it didn't really have any effect on me.
However, I didn't expect it to, I'm weird :lol:
Others would no doubt be effected, it is surely a horror story.
I found one thing really interesting, and that was the opposing beliefs held by two of the characters.
I also liked the ending (wound up staying awake a little late just to finish it) and liked how it handled those opposing beliefs (and that's all I'll say because I refuse to spoil anything).

I would say this could probably keep some people up...
I'm just immune to scary fiction :lol:
rssllue wrote:
Graverobber wrote:I finished my book for this month, Hell House by Richard Matheson...
I rated it a 3, but I'm still digesting it.
Um...you aren't supposed to eat the book, silly. :doh: :shifty:
:lol:
"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

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Post by rssllue » 04 Oct 2015, 22:43

Nice thoughts! And I am quite glad that your digestion went well! :roll:
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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 05 Oct 2015, 17:48

I read another short story from my FEAR collection: Tuition by Walter Sorrells. Wow. It had a lot of plot packed into a short story, and a lot of characterization too of the main character. What a thrill ride, and that ending! It's about a teenager whose family raised him to be a master safecracker, and they're a family of thieves. But ultimately, I found this story to lack credibility. I finished it and I was like, "Yeah, right." (It was all suspense, nothing supernatural. But I didn't believe the characters' actions, and I didn't find the happenings to be credible.) All the same, it was kind of brilliant in its way. Ridiculous, yet brilliant. And it pulled me in and did not let go.

The only aspect of fear in it was its ending--totally horrific, given the circumstances. Horrific and heartbreaking, and incredibly frustrating, because it was so avoidable!

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Post by sphillips44 » 06 Oct 2015, 19:49

Currently 100pages or so into Mrs. Penegries House For Peculiar Children, and I can say I am beginning to see the horror in these characters. I'm curious to see what the rest of this novel brings.
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Post by kio » 06 Oct 2015, 21:39

I finished mine as well: Angels and Demons by Delaine Christine, but I'm still reeling from the cliffhanger ending. I'll be back as well after I've digested it to further divulge into your guys' posts :)
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