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Old 10-20-2016   #1
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Topic Winner Do You Remember Your First Time?

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I was about 10 years old and vacationing with my family at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. I was bored, so I went with my mother and grandmother to a large garage sale taking place in front of this old three story Victorian house. I spotted a pile of books and always being the eager reader, went over to it. Amongst the paperbacks was this dogeared copy of a book called "Ghosts and Things", published in 1962 by Berkeley. I had read a lot of ghost stories for kids but this one had some intriguing short story titles in it.
The Romance of Certain Old Clothes by Henry James
Caterpillars by E.F. Benson
Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton
The Novel of the White Powder by Arthur Machen
The Night-Doings at "Deadman's" by Ambrose Bierce
Running Wolf by Algernon Blackwood
The Music On The Hill by Saki
Phantas by Oliver Onions
The House by Andre Maurois
The Lovely House by Shirley Jackson

So I plunked down my quarter and bought it. And for the rest of the day I read, unable to put it down. By the time I was finished I knew I had found my niche, my calling. It was the book that started it all for me, heading down the path of horror, the weird, and the uncanny.
Does anyone else out there have a book that they remember started it all for them?
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"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 10-20-2016   #2
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

I entered Woolworths, a curious 10 year old, looked at the painted turtles and white mice on sale. Then I passed the paperback stand and the cover of a book froze me on the spot. It was the face of a frightened and demented man. The title read "The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales of Terror" by Edgar Alan Poe. It cost me two quarters. I went home excited. I began to read it quietly in my bed and never looked back. That night I had nightmares and forgot about my box of comics.













u
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Old 10-20-2016   #3
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

Amen. Mine was a Poe anthology for 50 cents U.S. at age 12, then The Shadow over Innsmouth a couple of years later. Gone for good!

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Old 10-20-2016   #4
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

I was 8 at the time. Spent most of the day helping my Grandfather and my Mom rake and burn leaves at our summer house at Lake W. (my Dad worked out of town during the week). A wonderful smell, burning leaves.
Afterwards my Grandfather took us back to the city...and my favorite drugstore as a treat for my 'help'. And on the paperback rack I spied--

Cry Horror! H. P. Lovecraft. Avon. 1958.

Although I could read quite well, that night I begged my Mom to read me a story from the new treasure Pop bought me.

She did. The Lurking Fear. I loved it.

To this day I associate the wonderful aromatic smell of burning leaves with that story. And I still love it.
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Old 10-20-2016   #5
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

These are amazing stories all of you have shared. I really enjoy reading them.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 10-20-2016   #6
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

Reading my brother's copy of Kafka's The Metamorphosis at age 13 or 14 changed my life.
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Old 10-20-2016   #7
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

I seem to recall, at a young age, reading a collection of Poe tales that had been adapted for younger readers, as part of the Great Illustrated Classics line, and illustrated by Pablo Marcos: I remember that at the time I was less interested in the actual stories and more by the lurid black and white drawings. And I know that Stephen King's Misery was the first "grown-up" novel that I ever read, when I was in the fifth grade. But I consider my true entrance point into the horror genre to be the works of John Bellairs, who I also discovered in grade school, specifically his Johnny Dixon series. The first one I read was the 1985 Bantam-Skylark paperback edition of his 1984 book The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull. The front cover had an Edward Gorey illustration of a teenage boy standing outside of a ramshackle cabin in the middle of a sinister-looking woods, with a leering jack-o-lantern face gazing out at the boy from one of the windows. I'm not going to lie, the book terrified me, and even though it's probably been over 20 years since I last read it there are scenes from it that I can still recall vividly (I'm hoping to re-read it, along with some of his other books, next year).

Lovecraft I didn't discover until college.

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Old 10-20-2016   #8
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

Was always a horror fiend. Whenever I would camp with friends, I would always encourage everyone to come up with impromptu scary stories to see how much we could frighten each other. I must say that I guess I was quite good at it. I remember other kids telling me to stop numerous times because they got too scared. I think my imagination was at its peak when I was quite young, and has only dulled since.

I wasn't an avid reader as a child, but probably more so than most of my friends. I devoured King, some Straub, and loved Goosebumps at a very young age. It wasn't until reading The Painted Bird and a ton of Kafka that the cosmos seemed to widen into a voluminous pit of indifference, and true terror entered my life.
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Old 10-21-2016   #9
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

This , followed quickly by this .

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Old 10-21-2016   #10
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Re: Do You Remember Your First Time?

Wow, those are huge images. Sorry about that.

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