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Old 11-29-2014   #21
Robert Adam Gilmour
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
We can imagine Clive being pressure to tone it down and include more H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen references. In an interview he mentioned his editor trying to change the main character in Sacrament from a gay character to a straight character...this was in 1996!!!!

Can imagine him regularly getting notes and letters like

"Stop including this kind of material Clive...just write a Victorian ghost story or something...no more penises and original ideas."
I really enjoyed this post but I cant imagine big publishers in recent times pressuring Barker to do Victorian stuff or references to old horror writers because it isn't really that commercial (maybe some Cthulhu Mythos would be though). Or are you talking about when he was on the rise and there was a bit more of the friction between different schools of horror writing?

And would a career in dance really hurt anyone's chances? If anything I would think more people would write about you for that.

This might offend some people because loads of horror writers do this (even good ones) but I'm really not fond of references to old horror writers, characters, creatures and books. It doesn't necessarily ruin a story but I'd prefer they did without them. Makes me groan and roll my eyes when I see characters named Edgar Karloff or something like that.
I find it a bit daft when you have stories about Poe or Lovecraft making some serious supernatural journey. When it's done as kind of a comedy it could work but I really don't like it when artists are mythologized as larger than life gods. I read a story like that by Manly Wade Wellman about Byron and I just couldn't take it seriously.
But there are probably exceptions I might like but it would have to work on a delicate balance.

I mean, I'm generally against adaptations but many of my favourite films and comics are adaptations.

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Old 11-29-2014   #22
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote Originally Posted by Hideous Name View Post
"It", "The shining" & "Nightshift" by Stephen King. I used to read a lot of Stephen king's books back then when i was younger.
Sorry to say I thought IT was a train crash of a book.

Negatives
- Woefully padded with in-depth descriptions that don't have any real effect. It could have had two thirds of its length cut out and it wouldn't have anything important left out. There's just so many scenes that could have been changed or cut out entirely.
- The infamous sewer orgy wasn't convincing at all. Seems like he was trying to compete with the splatterpunks for shock value there. But I think the junkyard scene with the pervert bully touching the other bully worked.
- The goofy cosmic parts at the end are terribly jarring.
- The shapeshifting creature often talks in a ridiculous manner that is not remotely scary.
- It makes no sense that this creature with seemingly limitless power (sometimes it profoundly distorts the fabric of reality at will) is scared of a group of children. It seems more like it is letting them win.
- Lots of sloppy writing.

Positives
+ There are a few brief scary moments.
+ Some good characterisation, historical sections and bits and bobs across the book work quite well.
+ The end parts about the friends forgetting each other genuinely made me cry a little. Which astonishes me because by that point I was really fed up with the book.

Huge disappointment. The idea of a terrifying clown that kills children in the sewers sounds like gold. I would have loved it if the children played in the sewers regularly throughout the book and always met the thing there.

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Old 11-29-2014   #23
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote
Incidentally, I just feel like commenting on what I believe to be a common misconception. There's this idea that more literary writers are verbose - i.e., that they use language redundantly - because they tend to use longer sentences and a wider vocabulary. In my experience, the opposite is the case, and the more popular writers, while they might use shorter, simpler sentences, are far more redundant in their word usage. Good writing is precisely using the right words for the task, whether that means extraordinary detail, or limpid simplicity. --qcrisp
Absolutely. I abandoned mainstream horror after a character took three pages to open his briefcase. It wasn't even locked.
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Old 11-29-2014   #24
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Hideous Name View Post
"It", "The shining" & "Nightshift" by Stephen King. I used to read a lot of Stephen king's books back then when i was younger.
- The goofy cosmic parts at the end are terribly jarring.
- It makes no sense that this creature with seemingly limitless power (sometimes it profoundly distorts the fabric of reality at will) is scared of a group of children. It seems more like it is letting them win..
I had the same problem with these two points.

“Human life moves in only one direction - toward disease, damage, and death” Thomas Ligotti

"I wish I were a cannibal – less for the pleasure of eating someone than for the pleasure of vomiting him" E.M. Cioran

“It would be wrong to refuse to face the fact that everything is fundamentally sick and sad.”Thomas Bernhard
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Old 11-29-2014   #25
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

I didn't find most of Garth Marenghi funny but this clip from Man To Man With Dean Learner made me laugh. Good parody of bloated books but there probably are quite a few great writers who could fill shelves like that.

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Old 11-29-2014   #26
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote Originally Posted by Hideous Name View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Hideous Name View Post
"It", "The shining" & "Nightshift" by Stephen King. I used to read a lot of Stephen king's books back then when i was younger.
- The goofy cosmic parts at the end are terribly jarring.
- It makes no sense that this creature with seemingly limitless power (sometimes it profoundly distorts the fabric of reality at will) is scared of a group of children. It seems more like it is letting them win..
I had the same problem with these two points.
I think you're overestimating Pennywise's power. Pennywise feeds on fear and primarily works by projecting scary images into the minds of his victims. Every so often he will manipulate other humans into scaring/attacking his targets for him (the bigots attacking the gay couple, the adult bully going after the loser's club). he can easily presenbt himself as having reality-distorting power, but that's as much of an illusion as looking like a clown or a werewolf or someone's nagging mother.
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Old 11-29-2014   #27
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

But there are several scenes where these illusions physically injure people. Like when the image in the photo album actually slices the skin on the fingers of one of the kids; the mosquitos that kill one of the characters; the toddler that gets pulled into the toilet. Only some people can see them but they aren't purely illusions.

In any case, all the power the creature displays makes it seem absurd that the heroes were able to beat it.

Another annoyance is how Eddie gets so ridiculously overconfident that he shoves his arm down It's throat with a weapon, gets his arm bitten off and his friends leave his dead body in the sewer and you never hear what happened to his poor worrying wife. It's as if these jerks cant be bothered burying him or contacting his family.
Considering all the exhaustive detail in the rest of the book, it seems like a huge oversight.

But I've heard this was during King's heavy cocaine period and for some reason he didn't go back and edit it down. I think he changed Dark Tower though.

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Old 11-30-2014   #28
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

My favourite bestselling horror author is John Connolly. His work isn't actually marketed as horror (apart from his short story collection Nocturnes) but his thrillers featuring private eye Charlie Parker have included an increasing amount of supernatural content as the series progresses.

His main horror influences are Stephen King (which will make him too commercial for some readers) and MR James (which will make him too subtle for others). But he yokes this with a love of tough but compassionate hardboiled authors such as Ross Macdonald, Robert B Parker and James Lee Burke, as well as a spiritual bent that comes from his own lapsed Catholicism. This allows him to explore various issues -- be they social, moral or metaphysical -- with warmth, humour and a lyrical yet accessible prose style.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 11-30-2014   #29
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

For a fun, quick read I would recommend The Strain trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan; the books are far from perfect but enjoyable. I had not seen the TV series or read the comics based on them.

Also, the novels by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden (Baltimore, Joe Golem and Father Gateano's Puppet Catechism) are fine reads. The Baltimore comic is pretty good too.

I have Mr. Shivers and The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett on my to-read list. Anyone heard of them?

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 11-30-2014   #30
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Barker is great, no question about that, but I find he's books unreadable after Weaveworld.
Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament is still one of the best ever horror stories, both short and long, that I have read.

I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
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