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Old 11-30-2014   #31
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Would Jonathan Carroll qualify as mainstream horror? You usually find him in the literature section of a bookstore,

His first novels were frightening - The Bones of the Moon, The Voice of Our Shadow.

He's one of my favorite writers.
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Old 11-30-2014   #32
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote Originally Posted by Coa View Post
Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament is still one of the best ever horror stories, both short and long, that I have read.
That's interesting, because that was one of the ones I didn't really respond to. I've read 3/6 into Books Of Blood, the ones I really liked were "In The Hills, The Cities" and "Human Remains".

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Old 11-30-2014   #33
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Yes, those were great to, almost everything in Books of Blood is... About Jacqueline - I really like body-related horror, transformations, meat and similar stuff , so no-surprise I liked that one. Also, in that story Barker shows that he's not afraid of "vulgar display of power" and that he can do it well, thing I really like and prefer about horror and about him. Sometimes suggestion and subtlety just get's to boring.

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Old 11-30-2014   #34
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

For whatever it's worth, I don't (and have never) read anything that could be considered mainstream horror--not even one Stephen King novel. I read Lovecraft because I consider him a science fiction writer, Ligotti for the (sometimes pseudo-) philosophy, and Clark Ashton Smith for his fantastic poetry, particularly his prose poems. I'm with Douglas Winter--"horror is an emotion, not a genre"--and I personally have no particular need to seek out horror in fiction. Most of the authors I read are past worrying about life being horrific and just plain live, or at least depict living in their work. Jack Vance is maybe the prime example here. I'd expect a conversation between him and HPL to go something like:

HPL: "We are adrift on black seas of infinity."

JHV: "Yeah, alright. So which star are we steering for, and what's on tap?"
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Old 11-30-2014   #35
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Basil Copper?

I did read numerous James Herbert books at the appropriate age. I have no desire to revisit them, but of those I read, I think The Jonah was the most haunting.

Basil Copper, I wouldn't mind taking another look at.

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Old 11-30-2014   #36
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

I was slightly hesitant to mention Copper, because it's hard to know where mainstream ends and begins, but going by the guidelines of the original post, I think he qualifies:

https://sordidspheres.files.wordpres...pg?w=363&h=600

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Old 11-30-2014   #37
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Yeah, I think R Chetwynd-Hayes is probably similar. He had a pile of novels too but probably focused on short fiction.

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Old 11-30-2014   #38
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Quote Originally Posted by Howarth View Post
I personally have no particular need to seek out horror in fiction. Most of the authors I read are past worrying about life being horrific and just plain live, or at least depict living in their work
Well, I think a lot of horror writers are like that. This might sound anti-intellectual but I don't think it is: I think some writers probably spoil their work trying to find some greater purpose for monsters and fantasy to try and say something about the horrors of real life, to justify their work. It's fine if that comes naturally to some writers but it doesn't for many.
I've even heard some horror writers say there's no point in a story unless you learn something about life from them. I'd really struggle to say if I got any real life lessons from most of my favourite stories.

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Old 11-30-2014   #39
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

I was thinking this when I rewatched Jaws the other day. I love the film but I don't think there's any serious message to it. You can probably read stuff into it -- you can read stuff into anything if you really want -- but basically it's just a really cool film about a man-eating shark.

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Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

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Old 11-30-2014   #40
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Re: Your favorite mainstream horror books?

Clive Barker is a serious artist and the Hellbound Heart is emblematic of the genre and a classic of the highest order. I have also enjoyed the Books of Blood and Cabal, but once I tried reading one of his 800-page long door stoppers my enthusiasm went out the window. Obviously that has nothing to do with Barker and everything to do with me: I can no longer read novels of that length [ 2666 has been haunting the side of my desk now for a while] though I do not have a similar problem with non-fiction. I am also ambivalent about Barker revisiting Hellraiser, it almost seems like a good idea, but not really, sort of like revisiting an old girlfriend after 20 years. The chances of good things happening are slim.

I never really got into Stephen King, though I have read a few of his books. Long after I thought I was done with him, I re-read the Shining in my mid-thirties and it really hit me that it is an excellent story about the bottle and that I should probably place it, not next to other 'horror' fiction, but next to books like The Honorary Consul or the Rum Diary. To be honest, and in general terms, King upsets me for the same reason Chambers upset Lovecraft: if he but tried! I get the impression that if, instead of pushing out a couple of novels every single year, he took four or five years to really work out something slightly more literary, a statement work, if you will, something really good might happen. I remember Cormac McCarthy stating somewhere that there is no point in writing fiction unless it consumes years out of your life and almost drives you to suicide. And then I think of King, putting down his five thousand words a day, every day, year after year, decade after decade, and kind of despair in oblique ways. What if he took a year off of writing and went to live in Mongolia or Moldava and just contemplated producing something that is not just for reading in swimming pools and airplanes?

I have read one novel by Koontz. Did not like it. The others, I have not read.
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